Fiddle Camp 2020 FAQ

Who can attend the camp?

Fiddle Camp is an intensive yet fun course that is open for children ages 7 through 13 years.

Prior violin experience is required. Fiddle Camp is for violinists who have completed Suzuki Book One and up; fiddlers should have completed Old Town Fiddle: Book Three and/or have teacher recommendation. Fiddlers will be grouped according to age and experience.

Are there any pre-camp events?

Yes! Campers should all join us for the Fiddle Camp Preview Party! Party date and time is TBD. Please check back soon for more information. This is a great chance for campers to meet each other, get to know the camp leaders, play some tunes together, eat pizza, and get really excited about Fiddle Camp 2020! More information and details will be available to all registrants in May.

Where does the camp take place?

Fiddle Camp takes place at our Lincoln Square campus: 4545 North Lincoln Avenue in Chicago, Illinois. Camp classes take place throughout the building.

When does camp happen?

Fiddle Camp hours are 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM, Monday, July 6 – Friday, July 10.

Campers will also participate in the Square Roots Festival on Saturday, July 11 from 3:00 PM-5:00 PM

An informal Showcase will take place on Friday, July 10 in Szold Hall, 4545 N. Lincoln Ave., 3:00 PM.

On Saturday, July 11th, all campers will participate in busking at Square Roots Festival from 3:00 PM-4:00 PM. From 4:00 PM-5:00 PM all campers will be the official band for the Family Barn Dance at Square Roots.

What is the cost?

The price for Fiddle Camp is $500 per session. The Fiddle Camp cost is to be paid in full at the time of registration.

Do you offer financial aid?

Financial Aid is available for all Old Town School summer camps. Applications are available as hard copies only, beginning on November 13, 2019. You may pick up an application at the front desk of 4544 N. Lincoln Avenue or 4545 N. Lincoln Avenue. Please ask specifically for the Summer Camp Financial Aid application, as it is in a different format (and color!) than our other financial aid applications.

To submit your application, you'll need to drop off your completed form during regular business hours with an attached copy of your most recent 1040 tax return (for proof of household income). Once your application for financial aid is received, you can expect to hear from us within two weeks. If you qualify for financial aid, we'll let you know your award amount at that time. Financial aid for summer camp has rolling admission, and will be distributed to qualifying families on a first-come, first-serve basis. Since financial aid is awarded only as long as funds are available, we strongly encourage you to apply by March 1, 2020.

How is the camp day structured?

Fiddle Camp is a jubilant, week-long experience rooted in folk traditions. Each day, the campers will have classes with Old Town School teaching artists. Our Fiddle Campers are divided into small classroom groups based on age and experience. The entire camp is together during the morning gathering, snack time, lunchtime, and afternoon classes, and jams.

Who staffs the camp?

Old Town School teaching artists, with deep backgrounds in folk traditions and musicianship, staff our camp.

What is the Fiddle Camp Showcase Experience like?

The purpose of the Old Town School of Folk Music Fiddle Camp is to allow children to explore the fiddle and musicianship while playing and learning within small group environments. We strive to teach fiddle in an exciting, productive environment wherein we encourage experimentation and sharing, and focus on the importance of the learning process. Fiddle Camp showcases are nurturing and without pressure. Throughout the week, we play as an ensemble, grow together in joyful music making, and build confidence in our work together; our showcases are a natural outcome - and authentic sharing of our work and a celebration of our play.

What should my child bring to camp?

Your child should bring their fiddle and bow to camp every day! The camp will provide hypoallergenic rosin to all fiddlers.

Each day at our camp is action-packed, so all campers should bring a substantial and nutritious nut-free lunch (with drink), as well as a nut-free morning snack (with drink). Lunch and snack foods cannot be refrigerated or cooked at our site. In addition, lunches and drinks will not be available for purchase from our café by campers. Please include the appropriate utensils and join us in our efforts to make the camp as green as possible — pack your camper's lunch in a reusable container, and use smaller reusable containers inside. Remind your child to bring the containers back home at the end of the day!

Additionally, campers should bring a durable, screw-top water bottle that should be filled at home every morning. Backpacks are allowed. Please label all of your children's belongings. We are not responsible for anything lost or misplaced.

What should my child NOT bring to camp?

Campers do not need to bring music stands or any printed music.

Please do not allow your child to bring any toys, trading cards, stuffed animals, or personal electronic devices to camp. If any of these items accompany your child to camp, they will be set aside and sent home at the end of the day. Phones brought to camp need to be left in a bag and either turned off or silenced.

Is there a camp orientation?

No, there will not be an orientation. Rather, we encourage you and your camper to attend the Fiddle Camp Preview Party. Any questions you may have about Fiddle Camp can be answered here, and you can meet your camper's teachers. On the first day of camp, you'll drop your camper off in their homebase and sign them in with a camp staff member.

What kind of medical and emergency information do you need for my child?

We take medical situations and health care very seriously at our camp. Once you register your child for camp and make your deposit, you will need to log in to your Old Town School web account in order to access the Camper Information Form. You will need to fill out this digital form by June 1, 2020. No one will be allowed to attend camp without this signed form! If your child needs to receive (or potentially receive) medicine (including an Epi-Pen) while at camp, you will note this on your form and provide a signed approval note from your child's physician. Our camp cannot administer any medications without this form.

Do you administer First Aid? How do you handle emergency medical situations?

Minor bruises, bumps, bug bites, and wounds will be taken care of at camp. If anything more serious arises, we will contact you immediately. If emergency care is required, we will call an ambulance, which will go to the closest medical facility. During our staff orientation, all of our staff members will become certified in CPR and First Aid. Our staff also receives professional training in the administration of Epi-Pen.

What do you do to accommodate children with allergies, intolerances, or special medical conditions?

We take life-threatening allergies, intolerances, and special medical conditions very seriously at our Fiddle Camp. Parents of campers with serious allergies or serious medical conditions will develop an Allergy Action Plan or Medical Action Plan with our staff before camp begins. All camp families will have access to our Allergy Guidelines prior to the start of camp. The camp will provide hypoallergenic rosin to all campers.

Do you allow nuts at your camp?

Our camp is nut-free. Please make sure your child's lunch bag and backpack are free of all peanuts, tree nuts, and nut products. While the Old Town School Fiddle Camp is committed to monitoring foods and responsibly limiting potential food allergens, the school can, in no way, guarantee a 100% nut-free or allergen-free environment, and therefore cannot be labeled as an allergen-free or nut-free school or camp. We ask that all camp parents discuss allergies with their camper beforehand, and explain to their child the importance of washing hands before AND after eating, not sharing/trading food, and respecting the needs of campers with severe and/or life-threatening allergies. Our staff works with all campers to reinforce the importance of hand washing, not sharing foods, and respecting the needs of campers with severe and/or life-threatening allergies.

May I send treats with my camper to share with the other children?

We're sorry, but treats, including birthday treats, are not allowed at camp.

Is there a uniform?

No, the children do not wear a uniform. We do ask that all children dress comfortably. Keep in mind that the campers will be moving around a lot, so it's best if they wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes and shorts underneath all dresses or skirts. It's also best for everyone if your camper leaves distracting jewelry and accessories at home.

Do you take field trips?

We do take field trips! Some days we will embark upon a busking adventure through the School and neighborhood (including Welles Park and Giddings Plaza) to share music with the community. Busking is a traditional form of making live music outside, on the streets, for the people, and it's an important aspect of our learning experience in Fiddle Camp! Feel free to join in on the jam!

I'm concerned about sun exposure. Do the children wear sunscreen when they go outside?

Yes! We are really invested in sun protection at our camp, and we supply (30 SPF or above) sunscreen to all campers. Our staff will help all children apply sunscreen before going outside. If your child is allergic to a particular sunscreen or sunscreen ingredient, please let us know ahead of time so that we can help your child avoid the allergen.

Does your camp offer an extended hours program?

No, we do not offer an extended hours program for Fiddle Camp.

What are your drop-off and pick-up policies and procedures?

Campers are to arrive 9:00 AM and will be dismissed at 3:00 PM.

Questions? Contact the Camp Coordinator »