In the lead-up to Jazz Camp starting January 7, here are some frequently asked questions before and during the camp.
- Do I need to bring my own instrument?
- When do I choose my electives?
- Will my child be sleeping in a room with others of the same age-group?
- What if my child gets sick? Is there someone to care for them?
- Are students supervised at night? Who looks after the students?
- This is my child’s first time away from home. I’m worried!
- Can I contact my child during the camp?
- My child is homesick. What should I do?
- My child likes to smoke, drink, and bully others. Is that ok at camp?
- Who is responsible for my child’s instrument at Jazz Camp?
- When are you emailing the final details?
- My child needs to get to the airport after the end-of-camp festival. Can you help with that?
Do I need to bring my own instrument?
Yes, you do. This includes drummers, keyboard players, guitarists, bassists, percussionists – everyone. The only exception is rhythm section players (drums etc) who are flying to Sydney from interstate or far away.
When do I choose my electives?
Everyone chose their electives when they booked into the camp, they were part of the registration form.
Will my child be sleeping in a room with others of the same age-group?
Yes, accommodation is by age-group. The rare exception is if someone has requested that brothers or sisters stay together or if a large group are coming to camp together from the same school, for instance, and have arranged this.
What if my child gets sick? Is there someone to care for them?
Yes, there is a professional nurse on staff staying onsite for the duration of the camp. There are also trained first-aiders among the JWA and Naamaroo Conference Centre staff. If a student aged under 18 needs to go to a doctor or hospital we will contact you or your alternative emergency contact.
Are students supervised at night? Who looks after the students?
Yes. There is a staff of counsellors separate from the musical tutors who are dedicated to supervising and caring for the campers. There is a ‘lights-out’ time that the counsellors enforce. Of course, every camper is expected to cooperate and follow the directions of the counsellors and is responsible for doing the right thing.
This is my child’s first time away from home. I’m worried!
Jazz Camp is a great first-time-away. It is a friendly, motivating, supportive, and structured environment. There is no need to worry. Most likely you are more worried than your child. Also, be careful not to focus on worry, concerns, or negativity too much as children pick up on those emotions and that often triggers them to become worried or homesick.
Can I contact my child during the camp?
Yes, you can but we kindly ask that you don’t unless absolutely necessary. Calls during class time are disruptive and not appropriate. It is better that you leave it up to your child to contact you if they have to. In our experience, the more contact a child has with home during camp, the more likely it is that they will feel homesick.
My child is homesick. What should I do?
If they contact you, reassure them that it is normal to feel that way: they are in a new environment, sharing the space with lots of other people, being bombarded with new experiences and information, and surrounded by amazingly accomplished musicians. They (or you) should speak to the counsellors and they can help. The more upset you get, the more upset your child is likely to become. Your child might say they want to come home: of course they can, but they shouldn’t. One of the great lessons from Jazz Camp is how to deal with those feelings and overcome them.
It is quite common for children to feel homesick, especially if they are not used to being away from their parents. This is natural. At camp, students are with lots of people, most of whom will be strangers at the start of the week. It will seem like everybody already knows everybody else (they don’t), and everyone knows exactly what is going on all the time (they probably don’t). It is not the same as home: there are lots of other people sharing the same space, all with their own needs, and compromises are always made unlike, perhaps, at home. It is also common for young musicians to feel intimidated at first.
There will be other musicians at the camp who are extraordinarily good, have been playing jazz for years, and are completely comfortable and familiar with jazz and the kinds of musical activity at Jazz Camp. Some of these students might even be younger than your child or teen. This can be confronting. Everyone coming to camp is likely to be well above average as a musician, probably one of the best players at their school or in their area. At Jazz Camp, all these high-achievers are concentrated together. Don’t worry. They were all new to it once and have worked over time to get better. They aren’t better people or better musicians, they are just more experienced and more practiced. We don’t compare Year 6 students with Year 12’s at school, so we shouldn’t do it at Jazz Camp either.
My child likes to smoke, drink, and bully others. Is that ok at camp?
No, it isn’t. There is no smoking or drinking permitted at the venue and, of course, it is against the law for under-18s to drink or smoke. Under-18’s found breaking the law will be sent home at the discretion of the camp directors, without refund. Bullying or doing anything deliberately to make others uncomfortable is not tolerated: the perpetrator would be sent home at the camp director’s discretion, without refund.
Who is responsible for my child’s instrument at Jazz Camp?
Each camper is responsible for their own instrument and for taking care not to even risk damaging anybody else’s instrument. During breaks and when moving about the site instruments should be in their cases and never left unattended in precarious position. Instrument insurance is recommended for every musician, not just for Jazz Camp but always.
Drum kits, keyboards, and amps are likely to be shared between two musicians. They are generally set up in one rehearsal venue where they remain for the whole camp and are used by each ensemble that uses that space (usually up to two groups). This saves anybody having to continually carry heavy gear around. Only players of those instruments are allowed to use the instruments. So, for example, only drummers are allowed to play drum kits at camp.
When are you emailing the final details?
This has already been done. If you didn’t see the email please check your junk mail folder first, and then contact firstname.lastname@example.org for it to be re-sent. There won’t be any other emails before the camp unless there is a significant update. There is also information on the jazz camp page on our website www.jazz.camp.
My child needs to get to the airport after the end-of-camp festival. Can you help with that?
We can book a taxi for you child. There are usually several people heading to the airport after camp so they can share a taxi. Of course, older campers can do that for themselves too.