When You Arrive

NimbleFingers check-in is the afternoon of Sunday, August 16th & Sunday, August 23th.

*Please do not arrive the night before expecting to camp at Sorrento Centre unless you have confirmed early-arrival arrangements with Sorrento Centre.*

When you arrive, we’ll help you find your accommodation. Plan to give yourself time to settle in before the orientation at 4:30 pm. You’ll get together with your workshop leader to discuss the week’s activities, play a little music and confirm that the level you have chosen is right for you. All participants are invited to the delicious opening night burger barbecue. After dinner you can join one of the bluegrass and old-time jam circles—including our famous Hosted Jam—which are a supportive way for beginners to experience the joy of playing together.


Pre-register for one workshop only and attend it for a quick session Sunday afternoon, two sessions daily Monday through Thursday, and a final review session Friday morning. The most important thing you can do is register for an appropriate workshop to your skill/experience level, and though it can be tempting, please do not sign up for the wrong level just to study with a particular workshop leader. Monday through Thursday, the morning session runs from 9:30 am until 11:15 am, and the afternoon session runs from 4:15 pm to 5:15 pm. Workshop leaders will probably have a quick 5-minute break sometime during each session.


Non-student 'Pickers and Grinners'

We’ve opened up the camp to non-student “Grinners.” This option includes everything except a workshop and participation in the Student Concert (you’re welcome to attend of course, but only registered students will play in the student concert). We'll do our best to hook you up with others doing the same.


After a delicious lunch, a series of optional Special Interest Workshops are open to all participants. These include instrument and singing workshops, and a variety of other sessions that reflect the interests and skills of our workshop leaders. These are very popular with participants. Some of these will be oriented towards hands-on learning, while others will be conducted 'festival style,' with a mix of performance, discussion, and Q&A. We’ll also have a “meet and greet” workshop on Mondays so that everyone can meet other campers and find new people to jam with during the week. The first session is from 2:00 to 3:00 pm, with another batch of workshops from 3:00 to 4:00 pm.

We also encourage our Wild Card Workshops—these are workshops put on by anyone about anything. If you have a skill or knowledge area you would like to share, now is your chance!

Keeping it fun and creative, we have a Campsite Decorating Contest judged by our special Celebrity Judges on Monday before dinner. There are always some good prizes, and some folks go all out personalizing their sites.

You'll also get a chance to meet the camp Luthier, John McQuarrie of Northwood Guitars in Sorrento over in the Luthier's Lounge.


Some popular past workshop topics/titles have been:

  • Bluegrass Karaoke

  • The Joy of Duets

  • Basic Music Theory for Banjo Players

  • Harmony Singing on the Fly

  • Songs of The Louvin Brothers

  • Old-Time Singing

  • Metronome Workouts

  • Mountain Gospel Singing

  • Slow-Pitch Improvisation

  • Caring for your Instrument

  • Crosspicking

  • Contest Flatpicking

  • Dobro Backup Tricks

  • Bluegrass History

  • Ukulele Class

  • Old-Time Banjo

  • Bluegrass Kick-offs

  • Regional Fiddle Styles

  • Dance Calling for Beginners

  • and many more!


Evenings are filled with staff concerts, our famous band scramble, a couple of always super-popular Old-Time Dances, one of which is in the wonderful Memorial Hall—a chance to put on your fancy frock and kick up your heels in high style! There is also the always exciting student concert. Following evening snacks, you can join in organized jams including the nightly Hosted Jam. There will also be organized intermediate and old-time jams, as well as plenty of informal pickin’ in the campground.

The last class is Friday morning 9:30 - 10:30 am. Then it's time to say Goodbye.

This is when you go home and sleep for one whole day, then wake up dreaming of next year’s workshop!