What to Expect — Most of all, expect to have fun! BHSFS is a wonderful community of musicians united by a common interest and purpose, and it is easy to meet people and make friends here. We offer many activities at camp, and hope you will plan on participating in all of them that appeal to you! We have campers of all ages, from 5 to 75, so you are sure to fit in.
What to Bring — Look here to see what you should bring to ensure a comfortable week at camp!
Arriving — All campers should plan to take the 9:30 a.m. ferry to Thompson Island on Sunday, August 14. (If your arrival plans make this impossible, please notify the office in advance. ) Please be at the dock with your luggage by 9:00 a.m. Look for the Scottish banner at the turning to the dock. Our welcoming committee will be there to greet you starting at 8:30 a.m., and will give you your welcome packet and color-coded luggage tags (indicating the dorm where your luggage will be dropped off) when you arrive. The ferry will depart at 9:30 a.m. for our 25-minute ride to the island.
Our camp ambassadors will be available at all times to answer questions or provide assistance. Look for the red “Ask Me” ribbons on their badges.
When we disembark at Thompson Island, make sure to keep your instrument, welcome packet and any personal items you will need for the day with you. We will have a brief welcome meeting, then go right into our morning classes. The rest of your luggage will be waiting for you at your dorm when we check into our rooms at noon.
There will be a campus tour following afternoon classes.
Accommodations – Rooms are simple and basic college-style dorm rooms in three dormitory buildings – Dunvegan Castle, the Mish Nish Hotel, and Tobermory. Each dorm has a shared co-ed bathroom on every floor; men’s and women’s bathrooms are available in the gym. The standard accommodation is a two-person room, although there are several rooms with three to six beds. Everyone who rooms with two or more other people receives a $25 discount off their camp fee, subject to availability. Single rooms are available for a $130 surcharge, again subject to availability. Families can often be accommodated in the same room. We will do our best to take your wishes into consideration.
Meals – Three full meals a day are served in the dining hall, known to us as “Maggie’s Pancakes.” They are prepared on the premises by the island’s kitchen staff from recipes developed especially for BHSFS. A vegetarian option is offered at every meal. Other special dietary needs can usually be accommodated with advance notice. If you are going to need a special diet, please call Marcie at the Folk Arts Center office, 781-438-4387, to make arrangements at least two weeks before camp starts.
Programming – During the day our programming consists of music classes from morning through mid-afternoon. Review periods and slow jams will happen at various times. Free time is built into the daily schedule to allow time for practicing, socializing, and exploring the island. There are parties and sessions most evenings, and informal sessions go on into the wee hours. A typical evening schedule would be:
Sunday – All-camp meeting with introductions and miniconcert by teachers, followed by sessions and dancing
Monday – Evening fun TBA
Tuesday – Visitors’ Day followed by Games Night
Wednesday – Band Night and costume party – theme is the Renaissance — welcome to Elizabethan Island!
Thursday – New England clambake and BHSFS auction
Friday – Spectacular Ceilidh (Scottish talent show and dance party)
Information Center – Late-breaking information will be posted in the dining hall lobby. Check back often!
Refreshments — We will provide a variety of snacks, as well as water and lemonade, all day and through the evening. However, if there is anything special that you know you are going to want, please bring it with you. We seek to provide but do not guarantee a nut-free environment, so if you or your child have allergies please plan to bring your own snacks.
Alcohol on the Island — Alcoholic beverages for personal use are permitted on the island. The island will operate cash bars on Tuesday during Visitors’ Day and on Thursday at our clambake. If you desire alcoholic beverages at any other time, please plan to bring enough for your needs. The legal drinking age in Massachusetts is 21. Underage drinking at BHSFS is strictly prohibited. There will be zero tolerance for underage drinking, and anyone under 21 found to have used alcohol will be required to leave the island immediately.
Daily Schedule — A detailed schedule for each day of camp, including mealtimes, class times, and evening events, will be handed out at check-in on the island. We will post a preliminary version of it here about two weeks before camp.
Contact Information — Cell phones generally work on the island (though signal is stronger in some spots than in others, depending on your carrier), so you should be able to communicate normally with the outside world. We can be contacted during camp at our cell phone numbers below:
Marcie’s cell phone: 781-720-9340
Carolyn’s cell phone: 508-954-7774
Technology on the Island — You will probably be able to connect to a network with your laptop or tablet while on the island, and smartphones will definitely work. However, we hope you will think about limiting the time you spend online while at camp – instead, focus on fiddling, making friends, and enjoying the natural beauty around us!