Nestled in the heart of the historic Little Belt silver mining valley is a “Treasure
State” treasure. The friendly community of Monarch is home to the Montana Fiddle
Camp. During the first two weeks in June, this picturesque setting rings with laughter
and the sweet sound of fiddle music, blended with big blue skies, crystal clear water,
and the fresh aroma of mountain spruce. Montana Fiddle Camp brings together a dazzling
array of instructors who offer classes and workshops in an intimate and beautiful
setting. We offer fiddle, guitar, mandolin, cello, and contra dancing. Nightly concerts,
given by our instructors, are the highlight of the fiddle camp experience.
Click here for a picture tour of the camp facilities.
General Information - 2017
- Arrival – campers may begin arriving no earlier than 1:00 pm Saturday. For students
flying into Great Falls, there will be a $40 fee for pick-up/return. Please be prepared
to pay driver in cash at the time of arrival prior to transport.
- Registration – begins late afternoon on Saturday. ALL students must be registered
by 10:00 am Sunday.
- Instructor’s jam – 9:00 am to 10:00 am Sunday in the lodge.
- Orientation – 10:00 am Sunday in the lodge. This is mandatory for all camp residents
(students, parents, siblings, chaperones, etc.). Instructors will be introduced and
we will go over camp rules and schedules. You will choose your instructor for the
week at this time. Choose wisely, based on your interest and ability*.
- Classes will begin at 1:30 pm Sunday.
Registration options and accommodations:
- Option 1A – $435 – Tuition and meals.
- Option 1B – $455 – Tuition with gluten free and/or vegetarian meals.
- Option 2A – $380 – Tuition and meals for current (paid in 2016) members of the Montana
State Oldtime Fiddlers Association. Must provide proof of membership at registration.
See montanafiddlers.org for membership information.
- Option 2B – $400 – Tuition with gluten-free and/or vegetarian meals for current members
of MSOTFA (see option 2A).
- Option 3 – $295 – Tuition only (for students preparing their own meals).
- Option 4A – $200 – Meals only (for chaperones and non-playing family members). This
option does not include tuition for classes. Please do not attend class if you haven’t
paid for it!
- Option 4B – $220 – Meals only, gluten-free and/or vegetarian (see option 4A).
- Dorms are included with all of the above options at no additional charge.
- Camping without hook-ups (water and power) will be an additional $25 for the week.
You will have access to public bathroom and shower facilities.
- Camping with hook-ups (water and power) will be an additional $75 for the week. You
will have access to public bathroom and shower facilities. Hook-ups are limited,
and the camp will be full. Register early! Late registrations may not have access
Choosing your class:
- Instructors will be introduced at orientation. They will demonstrate and speak briefly
about what style they will teach, and at what level* they will teach.
- Choose your class based on your interest and ability level*. You will stay with the
same instructor for the duration of the week.
- All students will attend two classes per day with the chosen instructor. You will
also have an opportunity to attend workshops presented by other instructors each
- If you find the class is not a good fit, you will have an opportunity to make a change
during the second half of class on Sunday afternoon.
- The schedule does not permit you to take more than one regular class. Some of our
students feel that they can “handle it.” However, we feel it is disrespectful to
the instructors and the students that have committed to one class for the week. Classes
build on skills taught throughout the week and continuity is important. Please do
not class-hop! You may take as many optional workshops as you wish.
- Level 1 – For students with little or no playing experience. These classes are meant
- Level 2 – For students with some playing experience. Ready to move beyond the beginner
class. These students should have some experience with learning by ear. Good technique
and some basic theory are likely to be covered in these classes.
- Level 3 – Intermediate students will find these classes have much to offer in genre-specific
styles. Students should have experience in learning by ear, and a repertoire of basic
tunes. Knowledge of theory is helpful, and is incorporated into many of the level
- Level 4 – Advanced classes for students looking for a challenge. These instructors
may have their own criteria for their class. Fiddle students considering these classes
will typically have experience with playing double stops, third position, the keys
of F, Bb, Eb, etc. Guitar, mandolin, and cello students should consider themselves
advanced students. These classes may assume a working knowledge of theory. Level
4 classes will move at a faster pace than level 3 classes.
- There are three dorms available: men’s dorm, women’s dorm, family (co-ed) dorm.
- Each dorm consists of a large room with bunk beds, bathroom facilities, and three
private shower stalls.
- Dorms are also used as classroom space. You must keep your area tidy. Pack light!
You won’t have much personal space.
- There are no towels or bedding provided. Bring your own.
- All dorms are heated.
Campers and tents:
- Camping without hook-ups will be an additional $25 per week.
- Camping with hook-ups (power and water) will be an additional $75 per week.
- There are no fire pits or picnic tables available at individual campsites. The facility
is not designed as a campground.
- You may use the bathroom and shower facilities in the dorms.
Nearby motels and restaurants:
- Bob's Motel in Neihart (406)236-5955.
- Cougar Canyon Lodge in Monarch (406)236-5922.
- We will begin serving breakfast at 8:00 am on Sunday morning. If you come to camp
on Saturday, be prepared to provide your own meals for that day.
- We will serve three hearty meals and two coffee/cookie breaks daily. Feel free to
bring your own snacks but they must be stored in your personal space.
- You must wear your badge in order to go through the food line. Lost badges will require
a $5 replacement fee.
- Gluten-free and vegetarian meals are available for an additional fee.
- There is a small kitchen available for campers to use if you should decide to cook
for yourself. There is no refrigerator available for campers’ use. Store your food
in a cooler. Keep the kitchen clean and tidy. It is also used as classroom space.
- There is no grocery store nearby.
- If you have chosen options 1, 2, or 4 and have a specific medical condition that
requires a special diet, you must contact us in advance, so that we can plan accordingly.
Please do not show up at meal time and expect special consideration.
- For questions or concerns about the meals provided, contact our head cook, Katelyn
Swanson at 406-320-0594.
- St. Thomas Church Camp, 4806 Hwy 89, Monarch MT, 59463.
- We are located between White Sulphur Springs and Great Falls, mile marker 48 on Hwy
- The phone number for the camp is (406)236-5548. Please use this number only for emergencies.
- There is little or no cell phone service available. Be prepared to unplug!
- You may purchase a calling card from the office and use the camp phone to call out.
- The balance of your tuition is due upon arrival at registration.
- Please bring your payment in the form of cash or check.
- We do not accept credit cards.
What to bring:
- Clothing for variable weather. We are in the mountains. It often rains, has been
known to snow at camp, and can be cold. Be prepared!
- Bedding and towels.
- **A recording device.
- **An electronic tuner.
- **An ID tag for your instrument case.
- Your enthusiasm!
**These items are required for all students. ID tags are generally available in the
Fiddle Camp Gift Shop for a reasonable price. Smart phones are adequate for audio
and video recording. No need to purchase a separate device.
- All dorm residents are asked to participate in daily sweeping and general tidiness.
- Do not leave hygiene products and hair appliances on the bathroom counters. Keep
personal property on or under your bed.
- Dorms need to be vacated by 9:00 am Friday morning. Please clean your own area before
- All vehicles must be parked in the meadow before class begins on Sunday. Yes, this
- Only authorized vehicles (staff and instructors) will be allowed parking on campus,
in designated areas.
- If you are sleeping in your vehicle, it is considered a camper and may stay on campus,
in a designated area.
- Handicapped students may request permission to park on campus.
- Fred Buckley, Camp Director: 406-323-1198; 406-320-1150; firstname.lastname@example.org
- Jill Flikkema, Camp Sec/Treas: email@example.com
Our camp is run by a small army of volunteers. We are available to answer your questions
and help you make the most of your camp experience. Many of our volunteers are fulfilling
multiple duties. Please be respectful and considerate of the staff.
Students under the age of 18 are required to have a parent or chaperone present at
camp. Ideally, a parent would attend camp with the child. If you are unable to attend
with your child, please choose an appropriate adult chaperone, such as a grandparent
or close family friend. You must provide a medical release with your registration
for all minor students.
We reserve the right to refuse service to any student, parent, chaperone, sibling,
etc. that does not comply with our rules and policies. If you are asked to leave
due to non-compliance, no refund will be issued.
Montana Fiddle Camp is sponsored by Montana State Old Time Fiddlers Association,
a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Contributions are tax deductible. You can help:
- Volunteer your services while at camp. We can often use kitchen/clean-up help.
- Sponsor a scholarship.
- Make a cash donation.
- Donate an item to the Fiddle Camp auction, held on Wednesday evening during the concerts.