Frequently Asked Questions:
What should I bring?
A flashlight is a must. So is good, warm bedding. Firestarters and a duraflame (or java) log or two to help to get a fire going in your cabin are helpful. Sturdy shoes for walking around the camp are important (beware, they will get dusty), and, of course, comfortable dance shoes are imperative. Any specific foods or drinks that you might require would be good to bring – we bring snacks for our cabin. And a battery powered lantern is handy for inside your cabin, as not much light gets in through the trees, even during the daytime. Please note that there is no electricity – no outlets, no overhead lights in the cabins. So, you might want a battery powered alarm clock (for making it to breakfast). And since there is no power in the cabins, and cell service is still spotty at the Woodlands, you may want to plan ahead regarding your technology. The common buildings have outlets, but that’s the only place you could get a charge.
What should I wear?
Daytime is totally casual and you should be comfortable in camping clothes. Nightime is cold, so bring warm jammies! For the dances, think about dressing up! We are out in the woods, but wearing a fancy dress or a nice suit really lends to the festive atmosphere of the dances. And the band always looks *so* sharp! Don’t get left out!
What ages may attend / can I bring my child?
This camp is “all ages”, however minors must have a permission form signed by a parent or guardian. Please contact us directly for this form. Children are welcome at the camp, we request only that you contact us before so that we can more effectively coordinate accommodations.
Can I bring my dog?
Sorry, absolutely no animals or pets are allowed at the camp. Kennels / animal shelters available in the Mendocino area:
- Woodlands Kennels 707 937 5208
- Mendocino County Humane Shelter 707 964 6218
The Woodlands staff understands most people think of their pet as part of the family; everyone’s pet is very special and the majority of pets are well behaved. However, for reasons of sanitation, public health, safety, liability, damage to the environment and fairness to all campers we must enforce the no pet policy.
How rustic is it?
The Woodlands is charmingly “low-tech”. There is no electricity in the cabins. We need to repeat that for effect – there is NO ELECTRICITY in the cabins. There is electricity (and hot water!) in the shared toilet and shower facilities, and power in all the dance spaces. We’re 10 miles from the nearest town (Mendocino…and all the stores close down at 8pm or so), and the last 4 miles or so are down an unpaved road, in the middle of a redwood forest.
What is the weather like?
This is the pacific northwest and weather can vary greatly. Days are typically fairly warm, even balmy when the sun is out. The rainy season usually starts a little later, but a few years we did get torrential rains at night. And one year it was quite nice during the day, but close to freezing at night. Bottom line, bring lots of layers, warm bedding, check the weather before you pack the car, and be prepared for anything!
Who will I room with?
Each cabin sleeps 4 people. If you know others who are going to camp, and you would like to share a cabin with them, please indicate this on the sign up sheet. If you are a single person, we will assign you to a cabin with other people of the same sex. If you are a “couple”, you will be assigned to a cabin with another “couple”.
What are the meals like / I have special dietary needs.
We aren’t able to plan out the meals until right before the camp. We strive to create healthy, tasty meals from locally produced foods. We understand that some people prefer not to eat meat. It is likely that meat or fish will be served at Camp Swing, but there will always be plenty of vegetarian options as well. Since people will be dancing and burning up lots of energy, we try to have lots of carbohydrates available. We have a wonderful cook / kitchen manager and every year we receive many favorable comments about the quality of the food and meals. If you have have allergies, or specific needs, it’s best to speak with the chef directly at camp. We bring in what we can, and what we think appeals to most people, but obviously we can’t satisfy every need. If you have very specialized requirements (ie soy milk or eggless pasta), we suggest you bring your own.
How can I get there / I don’t have a car.
Unfortunately there is no public transportation system that will get you to camp. However, we strongly recommend that people car pool. If you do not have a car, and you need a ride, we will provide you with names of other campers who have indicated that they will take riders, just check the “I would like to carpool” box on the registration forms.
Do you balance out the lead / follow ratio?
We pay attention as sign ups come in. If it gets too skewed one way or the other, we will “hold” either leads or follows until it balances out. This has not been a problem the past years but we recognize the importance of an even balance.
I’ve never done this before, is this a place for me?
No matter what level your dancing is at, this is the place for you. At Camp Swing, beginning dancers can learn from the very start in a supportive, fun environment from some of the best teachers in California! If you are already dancing at a higher level, you can find new inspiriation from the fabulous dancing of the more experienced campers & teachers, or you can fine tune your styling & technique in our Lindy Rx clinc.
We offer classes at all levels, starting with the basics, and we quickly have first time campers up to speed on the dance floor. Imagine learning in one weekend what many take months to learn!!
I’ve been dancing for a while, and I think I’m pretty good, what will I get from this camp?
Camp Swing offers you the chance to take not only great, challenging swing classes taught by some of the finest instructors, but we also have a beautiful learning environment. You can take classes during the day, and then dance the night away to awesome bands! And after the music dies, you can stroll to your cabin through the redwoods to sleep like a baby and awake to do it all again! You can also participate in the variety show, and go to intermediate / advanced classes you just won’t find anywhere else. Classes like Yoda’s training class, Austin Power’s Shagarama, 007 Dips and Tricks (and many more) set Camp Swing apart!! Add one of the most beautiful venues ever created for swing dancing (well, by nature anyway) and you have the most fun you can have legally!
What level am I / What level are the classes?
At Camp Swing we offer a simple self judged scale to determine which classes are for you. The classes are named for difficulty (Intro/Beginning, Intermediate) or are geared to be appropriate for all levels. Camp Swing prides itself on being a place where people of all levels have a great time and most classes reflect this. The focus is on inclusion and the spirit of swing more than moves or classifications. Still, we recognize that people often don’t know which class is best for them. You will have the opportunity to talk to all the instructors before each class to get an idea of what will be covered and the classes are held close enough to walk between them.
How many classes are offered / What are they?
There will be approximately 25 different workshops taught over the week end. When the camp is in “full swing”, classes will be taught in four or five different locations. When we create the program, we try to set up classes so that there is always a “beginning” and “intermediate” or “intermediate-advanced” classes. A beginning class however, may have more advanced dancers who are either learning a new dance, switching focus between leading & following, or just looking for a new perspective on the basics. The final schedule is posted a few days before camp. We rely a lot on the feedback we receive from former campers and new sign ups when we create the program, so feel free to contact us with suggestions.
What does it cost?
The camp swing fee (on the registration page) includes all workshops, meals, shared accomodations, and dance parties at night. You could go the whole weekend without spending another penny! And if the fee is too steep for you, there are a limited number of “work study” opportunities for people who are “in need” and are willing to work at the camp in exchange for reduced tuition. Contact us for information on work study.