About the Camp

Roots and Boots Music Camp is an immersion learning experience for adults with a focus on acoustic folk, bluegrass, and blues.

Registration & Fees

Roots and Boots Music Camp is for serious students who are excited to take the next step toward refining and expanding their musical knowledge and abilities. We offer courses and electives taught by renowned performers in their respective genres, for acoustic instruments, singing, and performance.

John Reischman showing his students a few chops.
Students enjoying jamming electives.

About

This camp was started by Julie Sullivan Brace, co-founder of Pickin’ in the Pines Bluegrass and Acoustic Music Festival, now in its 15th Year. Julie has also been the artistic director for Pickin’ in the Pines since its inception co-guiding the festival toward its current success and public enjoyment. She currently serves as Festival Advisor. She has also created and supported many music events in her life, including serving as a board member for both Flagstaff Friends of Traditional Music, and the Berkeley Society for the Preservation of Traditional Music (oversight board of The Freight & Salvage Coffee House in Berkeley, CA). This camp is her most exciting venture to date. Although we had to cancel the second RBMC, due to COVID 19, and our again in 2021 due to forest fires, our inaugural year in 2019 was a huge success and we will continue to refine the model in years to come. We have specifically moved up the date to earlier in June to hopefully avoid fire season. This camp is for ADULTS and we offer 2 different levels of instruction on many acoustic instruments along with singing classes.

Levels

Please note: there are no beginner classes, with the exception of singing. You must have command of your instrument. If you are unsure of your level, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
(N-I) Novice-Intermediate
You must at least be able to strum, pick or bow, as well as change basic chords in time and understand simple melodies (you do not have to know how to play leads—we will teach this). An ability to play in several keys (minimum G, C, D), and to know respective relative minor chords is also desired. These courses will strengthen your knowledge, help you understand song and tune structures, help you to play with more precision, speed, and confidence. Please contact us to discuss your level if you are uncertain.

(I-A) Intermediate to Advanced
Must be proficient in strumming styles, picking, bowing, ability to easily change chords in many keys, can play at speed, and can play some runs and leads. These courses will help you build on this understanding, and improve your skills in speed, chord development, lead playing in various styles.

Dates

Wednesday, June 8, (check-in 3:00 pm, no classes). Sunday, June 12 (check out by noon). Please see schedule and fee structure for additional information.

Vision

The concept behind the camp is to create a supportive “envelope” for learning and playing acoustic music in the beauty of nature where some of the best kind of music is made and from which we can draw inspiration. Our model allows participants to fully focus, have easy access to our instructors for a deeper experience, and to share this knowledge with your fellow participants. Our desire is that you will come away from the camp with a new set of musical skills, and a deeper sense of love, joy, and appreciation for making music.

The main purpose of this camp is to learn to play, sing and jam with more skill, soul, and gusto. The focus is on learning to play and perform on stringed instruments, and to improve your singing abilities in styles focused on acoustic folk, blues and bluegrass. Electives include discussion and instruction in finer points and deeper exploration of playing and performing, and of the historic significance of the music. Electives in related genres such as old time, gypsy jazz, celtic, and blues may be offered.

Our vision for the camp is to grow to no more than 60 participants to keep the experience intimate. Because of the recent COVID19 concerns (please see our policy), we are only allowing 40 students this year and hosting primarily regional instructors. In the future, we will invite renowned instructors from around the world, and from our own talented pool of local and regional instructors who will share their love and knowledge of acoustic music for the growth and enjoyment of our participants. Additionally, as we grow we will add new tracks and extend the camp to a full week.

New Location!

CAMP COLTON is our new location and is conveniently located 15 miles from Flagstaff, Arizona in a beautiful forest of old growth Ponderosa, fir, spruce, and aspens. The environment is rugged with limited facilities. Classrooms are either outside with canopies or in large yurts with sides that open. 

The elevation is 8,500 ft. so if you have any respiratory concerns, this camp is not for you. Again, please see our COVID19 policies. Anyone with any underlying health concerns should not attend.

Camp Colton offers many outdoor classroom environments under shady pines in a beautiful remote and mountainous area. There is a historic lodge with a big fireplace where we can gather, and 16 canvas “cabins” with bedding for up to 4 people including and ADA space. These can be used by any students and are first-come-first-served. We encourage folks to “cozy up” slumber party style! They all have bunks with sleeping pads for comfort. There are separate bathhouses for men and women with hot showers and flush toilets. There are 2 large fire rings where we hope to have propane bowl fires, but we cannot have fires anywhere else. Fire restrictions are in place throughout the forest. 

In addition to being a charming and rustic site for Roots & Boots, Camp Colton is ideally suited for visiting many wonderful destinations, should you consider extending your stay or bringing others with you who are not participating in the camp.

Here are some close destinations with their driving times:
Grand Canyon National Park – 1 Hour
Sedona – 1 Hour
Bearizona – 45 Minutes
Lake Mary – 45 Minutes
Lava River Cave – 15 minutes
Walnut Canyon National Monument – 45 Minutes
Oak Creek Canyon – 45 Minutes
Wupatki National Monument – 45 Minutes
Meteor Crater – 1 Hour
Sunset Crater National Monument – 1 Hour
Lake Powell – 2 Hours
Phoenix – 2 Hours
Monument Valley – 3 Hours

Getting Here

Travel information:
Flagstaff can be reached by car or by plane either to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport then drive to Flagstaff (about 2 hours north of Phoenix) or fly directly into Flagstaff Pulliam Airport.

Camping

Camping is included in your fee and spots are first come first serve. At the new location, there is plenty of space, including room for RVs under 30 feet. We will be surrounded by a mixed conifer pine forest. There are 2 “bath houses”, one for men, one for women with shower stalls and toilets on site for those camping without internal facilities. (Showers are free.)

Although this is a DRY CAMPING environment (no hookups) the site offers a variety of camping options for any kind and most sizes of rig, tent or vehicle. All camping is within a short walking distance from the Lodge. When you arrive you will be directed to the appropriate area based on the type of rig you have. RVs will be in directed to specific spots and will be subject to generator hour restrictions, but will also be close to all other campers. Generator hours need to be discussed based on class times. 

You will be directed by our volunteers.

Additional Camp Colton Details:

Showers: Running water is not available at campsites, however, the lodge has running water, as do the bath houses, but we must be very frugal with water use.

Electric: Electricity is (usually) available in the lodge to charge your devices, but note: there are limited outlets. WiFi on premise is pretty good, but hopefully you can really unplug.

Restrooms: There are 2 bath houses with toilets.

Tent “cabins” availbility: There 16 cabins that are on platforms with bunkbeds. Several will be held for instructors, and the rest will be available on a first-come-first-served basis, but please buddy up if you can as each accommodates up to 8 people.

Fires: This is typically a very dry time of year before the Monsoon rains start in July. Currently, we are are STAGE 2 fire restrictions so no open flames, only propane and only in designated areas. If there are no restrictions in place, you may have above ground fires at your individual sites, no ground fires. You must bring your own above ground fire pits (these are not provided). Firewood is available for free for your individual sites. Group area campfires for jams will have firewood supplied if we are allowed to have fires.

RBMC is in a RUSTIC environment! All classes will be held outside under canopies or in the yurts. Please be prepared for weather. In case of rain or extreme wind, we will move classes into the lodge and tent cabins in smaller groups.

Weather

We chose this date because it is before the Monsoon rains come and it is normally a lovely time of year with exception of extreme dryness. That said, please prepare for all types of weather and chilly nights. It can be rather warm or it can rain. It can snow. It can be very windy. It has done all these things in the past, but mostly this time of year is quite lovely. It is cooler at this altitude in the shade of giant ponderosas, spruce, aspen & firs.

Average temps: 82° – 37°

Remember we are in the mountains at 9000 ft. – Nights do cool down. Bring warm clothes!

Bring your sun hat, raincoats, down jackets, tarps, hiking clothes, sunscreen, bug spray, etc. Camp Colton is in a wilderness area and there is wildlife (including bears), and it is circled by beautiful trails in a mixed forest. Bring bikes!

Meals

We will have delicious meals daily provided by local chefs and restuarants. DInner will be served from foodtrucks on site, and lunch will be supplied in lunch boxes lovingly prepared by Laura Chamberlin, Professional Chef Services. Breakfast will be continental. Coffee, tea, and lemonade are included in everyone’s tuition despite which meal plan you choose. We will send out a notice prior to the event to allow for vegetarian, and gluten-free options, but please note: We cannot control cross-contamination in our certified commercial food truck kitchens. If you are Celiac or have severe food allergies, please choose OPTION 3 and bring your own food. You may choose from 3 different meal plans:

1. Full meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

2. 4 Dinners only: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday

3. Bring all your own food

IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT Alcohol: PBecause this is private land owned by the School District, you cannot drink alcohol on the premises, but the location is surrounded by Forest Service and within minutes of your camp, you can be out of the gate on Forest Service public land where you can have a wine tasting or cocktail party in the most beautiful towering pine trees and flowery meadow. Please bring your own alcohol, extra snacks, and extra cans of your favorite non-alcoholic drinks and lots of water. Please drink responsibly.

What To Bring

  • Personal water bottle
  • Sleeping bags/bedding
  • Pillows
  • A headlamp or flashlight
  • Battery operated lighting
  • Marked plates, eating utensils and your own drinking mug: We will have hot water for washing your own dishes
  • Personal snacks and beverages including your own alcohol if desired for your own camp
  • Personal items; toiletries, etc.
  • Medications
  • Recording devices for classes
  • Camera
  • Sunscreen
  • Rain gear
  • Warm clothes for night time
  • Clothes for hot weather
  • Bug spray (we do have mosquitoes at times, but rare)
  • Good shoes
  • Sun hat
  • Yoga mat for optional yoga stretching class, and comfortable loose clothing