Tell ‘Acoustic Guitar’ Your Summer Camp Stories

The guitar summer camp is an unparalleled musical experience. You get the chance to immerse yourself in music, guided by knowledgeable and supportive teachers, in the company of likeminded enthusiasts, far from the distractions of your daily routine. 
Tell your stories of guitar summer camp.

The guitar summer camp is an unparalleled musical experience. You get the chance to immerse yourself in music, guided by knowledgeable and supportive teachers, in the company of likeminded enthusiasts, far from the distractions of your daily routine. 

With that in mind, we want to hear your stories from guitar camp! Did you study with one of your guitar heroes? Is there a jam session that sticks out in your personal musical history? Was there a specific guitar tip or trick you picked up? What is it about your chosen guitar camp that keeps you coming back every summer?

Please call and leave us a voicemail at (510) 215-0020 or email your stories to

Note that your name and submission may be used in an upcoming episode of the Acoustic Guitar Podcast.

Not familiar with guitar camps? Check out our in-depth feature, Learn from the Best: Plan Your Summer Camp Getaway. For a quick look at the wide-range of offerings, check out our list of active camps.

Joey Lusterman
Joey Lusterman

Opinionated creative slash beginning guitarist. Joey has worked in every department at Acoustic Guitar in the past 10+ years: front desk, ad sales, editorial, sound guy, camera man, booth babe, email coder, podcast editor, photographer, book designer…


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  1. My most recent “Summer Camp” experience was during Covid, on a ZOOM meeting. The camp was SUMMER ACOUSTIC MUSIC WEEK (SAMW) by Umass, Boston, for adult students. Guy Davis was the instructor for the class, Blues & Slide. I’m afraid I wasn’t a stellar student, but I still learned a lot. Pre-Covid, I had attended several SAMW camps and enjoyed the week of learning, interacting, co-writing, performing and just schmoozing with my confreres and teachers like Bob Franke, Linda Waterfall, David Surette, who will be missed, as will Dick Pleasance who ran the camp in the early years.

  2. Back in the 1980s, I was thrilled to meet and study with one of my original influences when Jorma Kaukonen taught a master class at the Guitar Study Center, which was headed by Eddie Simon (Paul Simon’s brother) and housed at the New School in NYC. This eventually led to Jorma and I becoming friends with me sitting in with him at a few shows, and then having him produce my first (and only) CD, which received a lovely review in your magazine. At the same time, Jorma and his wife Vanessa moved to Ohio and founded the Fur Peace Ranch guitar camp, which still teaches legions of loyal students, with guest instructors teaching various styles on many instruments – even voice and songwriting.

  3. Music camps are a lot of fun, and are instructive and interesting. Recently, Acoustic Guitar has featured articles by Kathy Fink and Marcy Marxer. They were both instructors at Steve Kaufman’s Kamp in 2006, and I really enjoyed classes and break out sessions with them.

    Each night at the camp, there are concerts by instructors, and one night several of us, along with Kathy and Marcy planned a jam after the concerts on the steps across from the auditorium. We not only had Kathy and Marcy, who were Grammy Award winners, but an IBMA fiddle player and I think and IBMA bass player in the jam. Pretty high cotton to be playing with. Kathy and Marcy were gracious and helpful as they led the jam, which lasted from about 10:30pm until 12:30am. I had only been participating in jams for three or four years, and didn’t have a large repertoire of songs, but I could do a fair job with “Bury Me Beneath The Willow. As we were getting organized, I was practicing the song and my break (In “G”) and the fiddle player walked by, stopped and listened for a moment, and walked on. The circle passed to him before it got to me, and he “Stole” my song, and did it in “F” which I could barely play at that time. When I told him that he took my song, he suggested I not let others know what I was planning on playing (all in good fun of course). I attended this camp in 2005, 2006, and 2007. It is still one of the highlights of my musical memories, and Kathy and Marcy still stand out in those memories.

    One of the outstanding features of Steve’s Kamp is the availability of time and interaction with the instructors outside of the classroom environment. Food is good, and if you are wanting to play and listen to music, this is the place to be.

  4. Mary Flower’s Blues in the Gorge camp is a great way to end summer. It takes place in a stunningly beautiful retreat center in Oregon in early October. I’ve been to many of these kind of camps over the year and the vibe at this one is super relaxed, welcoming, and fun. If you are looking for a camp where there are a bunch of killer players who stay up until 3am jamming and partying this isn’t your scene. It’s a smaller group (tops out at 50 campers). Great food, accommodations nice. The teachers are all approachable and very much part of the camp milieu, not simply hanging out and jamming on their own. Summer guitar retreats/camps are a great way to meet other players and up your own musical game no matter if you’re a beginner or long time player. Blues in the Gorge definitely fills the bill.

  5. What I like best about the Blues in the Gorge Camp, just east of Portland, Or. is the vibe. Mary Flower take pride in offering diverse instructors who are very accessible.
    There are 4 lessons times per day with multiple options. With +/- 50 students, the class sizes are small. There is plenty of chill time in the beautiful Columbia River Gorge too. I always come away energized to try new tricks and songs.

    Where else can you rub elbows with some of the legends in the business!

  6. I am the Lead Teacher of Guitar at the Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts ( Within Usdan’s magnificent grounds of over 140 acres, the camp has creatively served families of the NY/Tri-State region for 53 years.

    After a long hiatus, Usdan re-established a classical guitar program last summer. The enrollment filled immediately to include 48 guitar students ranging from 10 – 17 years of age. The students were focused and committed to the process of learning the classical guitar, and playing the guitar in an orchestral-style ensemble. This renaissance of the guitar program would never have been possible without the support and commitment of the Usdan administration, staff, and personnel.

    With the help and support from our sponsors: Alhambra guitars, Ibanez guitars, and RC Strings, every absolute beginner student took home a new classical guitar at the end of the 2022 summer season. I cannot begin to describe the look of joy on the young campers faces at the end of the summer when they realized that they were going home with a new guitar, gig bag, set of strings, and a method book that were all lovingly provided by our sponsors. Most of those students are returning to camp this year to play and learn more classical guitar. For summer 2023 we are anticipating full enrollment in the guitar program, building up to 96 students over 8 weeks.

    I consider myself blessed to teach in a musical “tree house” surrounded by nature and witness students from every cultural and economic background sit side by side and joyfully play classical guitar together.