Music and Dance Camp Checklist

A list of some additional things you’ll want to bring to a music-and-dance camp. Inspired by experience at Gaelic Roots.

Originally published 2001

For Everyone

Space blanket

Only one light blanket is provided in the dorms, and the nights can get pretty cold, at times. If you’re flying, you need a small, light, warm blanket that doesn’t take up too much room. If you’re driving, bring a regular blanket.

Small video recorder

Use it sparingly, and only during classes, not performances. Recording a musician makes it possible to see what they’re doing. That shortens your learning time. The same with recording a dancer. Don’t record an entire class, though! Just get the bits you intend to work on. For example, three times through a tune is pointless! You only need it once through.

Small roll of toilet paper

You don’t need a whole roll, but half a roll or less is a good idea. The dorm ran out on Thursday, and we couldn’t find any of the staff! I didn’t want to buy a whole package for the 2 remaining days, so I was in a quandary. Fortunately, one of the fellows was a camper, and he had a roll in the car.

Hot water heater

One of the little immersion heaters they sell in travel stores, along with a small cup. There’s no microwave or toaster or anything in the dorms. Just bare cupboards, a large refrigerator, and a stove. There’s a convenience store nearby with paper plates and plastic silverware, but no appliances.

Extra bag

Always a good idea when you’re traveling. A small one that you can fold up and take with you makes it possible to carry back all the loot you find at the camp music store!

For Dancers

Ice packs

Emergency ones are good, in case they’re needed. Or the reusable ones you put in the freezer, to get you through the week!

Duct tape

The dancer’s friend. Makes fiberglass taps less slippery. Makes rubber-soled shoes more slippery. It creates the perfect surface for dancing, so you have stability but can still spin.

MSM Lotion

This little wonder is better than Ben Gay for muscle soreness, and you can find in the health food section of major supermarkets these days. It’s a naturally occurring form of sulfur (the only bio-available form) that has no side effects whatever. (You’d have to drown yourself in it to do any harm.) It promotes healing with natural, flexible tissue instead of the stiff scar tissue that immediately re-tears when stressed. They use it to rub down the legs of million-dollar race horses — and they don’t use just anything on those horses! Learn more: Why You Want MSM

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