I’m assuming those who are tent or trailer camping will know what essential camping gear they will be needing. Please note: there are no specific camp sites so you should bring your own table and chairs and whatever else you will need to be comfortable……including an umbrella or other shade structure.
There is no WiFi, but cell service (Verizon) at the camp is excellent.
There is electric power in the ramadas, in the bathrooms, at the amphitheater, and in the tent cabins. There are no hook-ups for RV’s.
It’ll be warm to hot during the day, but in typical Napa Valley fashion, it will probably cool right down in the evening (and is sometimes damp)…..that’s why the grapes taste so good…so be prepared with layers!
For the most part dinners are “organized” group meals so please come prepared to share a dish at dinner time (and bring all necessary serving utensils.) Other than that, unless you are on the meal plan, you will be responsible for keeping yourselves nourished.
There is a store about 8 miles down the road, so you will be able to restock and refresh your ice if necessary. But I strongly recommend freezing big containers of clean, filtered water that you can use to help keep your ice chest cool AND you can drink the water as it melts. Double freeze lock bags would also work great for this also with the added benefit of collapsing as they empty.
In addition, here are a few things you should bring to make sure you have the very best time possible.
DON’T FORGET TO BRING:
SHADE, SHADE, SHADE!
Right now the forecast is for upper 80s and into the 90s during the day! Fortunately, the lake is right there and a great place to cool off. Don’t forget to bring some kind of water shoes, you’ll need them for getting in and out of the lake. If you have some big industrial-type fans (the quieter the better), please bring them as we can use them to, at least, help keep the ramadas cool.
A good folding chair that will be easy to set up and move around….Your cozy, comfy camp chair may not be the best one for sitting in to play your uke, especially during a workshop.
Bring a music stand (and battery-powered light), if you have one.
You’ll need quarters if you want to take a nice, hot shower! (And we hope you do!) Two quarters buys you a 3-minute shower, which is generally plenty………
Tecnu! I didn’t see any poison oak either time I was at the Eco-Camp, but this is California, and it is hard to go anywhere in the wilderness without at least seeing it. And, believe me, you don’t want to get it. The rash it creates is painful and ugly, and besides being annoying, can be downright dangerous. It’s unlikely you’ll encounter any poison oak at this camp, but just in case you do, you’ll want to rub yourself down with Tecnu after you think you’ve been exposed. This will chemically break down the oily noxious sap called urushiol. Let it sit a minute or two, then you just shower it off. (Don’t forget to bring quarters!)
Headlamp or flashlight for finding your way to the bathroom at night.
Something for the Wednesday Night Potluck! On Wednesday afternoon we’ll all be busy setting up (and decorating!) our campsites and the easiest way to deal with dinner that evening will be with a little pot luck, something you bring from home and that may just need to be reheated. It’s also be a great way to get to know each other. One of the secrets to making potlucks work well is for people to bring everything needed to serve their dish, which includes serving utensils…..I repeat…..serving utensils. (No pasta and sauce thrown on the table in a plastic ziplock! Really! I’ve seen it happen.!) Beverages to share are also always welcome. Everyone will be responsible for cleaning up afterwards.
And don’t forget to plan on attending the the BBQ on Thursday and the Weenie Roast on Saturday…and bring something to share!!
Non-disposable cutlery, dinnerware, and beverage containers. Let’s be kind to the planet! Pay a visit to a local thrift store and get yourself a plate, a bowel, a cup and some cutlery. We will be setting up a skullery area so that everyone will have a convenient and hygienic place to wash their dishes…so it might be nice to have something unique and recognizable to eat with. And we’re counting on everyone to pitch in a make sure the wash water is Hot! And, please, no single-use disposable water bottles!
If you have an electric coffee pot and would like to be the camp hero, you should bring it. There is power in the ramadas which offer a great way to heat water for coffee or tea.
If there’s a song or two you’d like to share at any of the song circles or jam sessions, please bring at least 25 copies to pass around….unless it is one we’ll learn to play by ear! We will not have a copier at the camp.
Cash! We will have a camp store set up and you’ll have an opportunity to buy assorted ‘ukulele paraphernalia: ukuleles, cases, strings, tuners, etc. along with instructional and song books produced by our illustrious staff. But with limited access to WiFi, we probably won’t be able to accept credit cards. So, please, bring sufficient cash (or your checkbook) so you can satisfy all of your ukulele whims and support your local musicians.
Pancake fixin’s! I’m still not sure we’ll be able to pull this off, but I’m hoping to have a pancake breakfast for us all on Sunday morning. Our goal is to provide the basics–pancakes, juice, coffee, etc.–but we’re counting on you to bring your favorite “fixins.” Special syrups, fresh fruits, what ever you like to doctor your “cakes” with. (And don’t forget mimosas or bellinis, if you’re so inclined.) We’ll have more info on this at camp, but I wanted to make sure you at least had a little time to prepare before hand.
Chili? The Friday Night Chili Cook-Off has become a bit of a camp tradition……but it only works if people bring chili! And if you don’t bring a big pot of chili, please bring some appropriate accompaniments such as corn bread, salad, and/or desert. The best part is that you can get your favorite chili recipe prepped and frozen before camp. (A block of frozen chili in your icebox is as good as ice to help keep everything else cold!) If we don’t actually have enough “entrants” for the cook-off, you will at least have something for your own dinner on Friday night….!
Flashlights! You don’t want to be tripping over things and causing a ruckus once the sun goes down!
Water shoes, pool toys, sun screen, and sun hat. Right now it looks as though the weather will be giving us a break. But just in case, the best place to cool off will be in the lake. Pool shoes (or old tennies) will come in handy when you wade in at the beach…remember this is a reservoir and it doesn’t have a sandy beach. And, we may stage some races and lake-side ukulele water follies for the more adventurous, so if you have any pool toys, inner tubes, floatees, or noodles, please bring them!
Firewood and s’mores. There’s a wonderful fire pit at the amphitheater that will just need a little fuel. And, if you’re so-inclined, it’ll be a great spot to roast marshmallows for s’mores. (The wood-fired pizza oven, too, will need some suitable fuel if anyone wants to try to figure out how to use it.) And, if you have a favorite s’mores recipe……by all means bring it! (And don’t forget to bring a long stick!)
And most important: bring a great attitude! I can tell from your emails that you are all excited and anticipating a wonderful time at Camp Oo-Koo-Lay-Lay and we’ll do our best to deliver. But we are counting on all of you to help out. One of the beauties of Camp O is our ability to shift on the fly. We will have a skeleton schedule posted, but there will also be a number of empty spaces for you and our staff to fill in. Perhaps there’s workshop you’d like to offer. Or a jam session you’d like to lead. In the spirit of good summer camps everywhere, we will be rewarding all good Samaritans with raffle tickets and have a grand prize drawing Sunday morning. (And raffle tickets cannot be bought; they must be earned.) So, the more you earn, the better your chances of winning something totally fabulous! (You can even earn raffle tickets by donating something to the raffle!)
Camp O is not about a rigid schedule and taking attendance. It is about getting together, being together, learning together, laughing together, making music together, and building a community of adventurous ukulele players who love the outdoors….a community that we hope will grow and flourish in the years to come. It’s going to be what you make it. And we know that you are going to help make it be fabulous!