Kings Mountain State Park, SC
Pickin' n' Campin'
June 23-25, 2023
Friday 10:00-6:00
Saturday 10:00-6:00
Sunday 10:00-4:00

Just South of Charlotte NC straddling the NC/SC state line.

Camping in your RV, trailer, and tents.  Motels 30 plus minutes away.


What it's like

Kings Mountain State Park is home for our early summer jam camp under the trees. Campsites are all pretty near one another and we've reserved our own rustic log cabin/pavilion for jamming. Built by Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s and still serving folks like us today! If we're lucky Ranger Dalton will come and give us a short history lecture. 

We gather in the morning for coffee and snacks at our campsite. Then we'll head over to the pavilion and get to the music. Leigh creates real home cooked lunches delivered to our pavilion. We're all on our own for breakfast and dinner which is often a shared effort between and betwixt all us jammers. Dogs are welcome in the campground. 

June in the upstate is typically real nice weather for open air jamming, camp fires and fellowship. You could bring a fishing pole but honestly I suspect you'll be too busy jamming.

Small Groups

That's the way bluegrass is supposed to be played.

We'll arrange small groups for you according to skills, interests, instruments, singing to get you the best ensemble experience. Sometimes groups can change so you can get a variety of experience with more people.

That was then and . . . this is now!

Gilbert the lumberjack

When I'm not pickin' I'm cuttin' firewood.

Large Group Instruction . . .

happens periodically as the occasion calls.

Especially first meeting of camp and typically mornings but other times too. These sessions are for everyone to get on the same page together. 

Breakout and Topical Sessions

Mixed groups according to topic like:

Finding melody - Faking a solo when you don't know or haven't practiced the melody - Leading a song or following one. Singing and also Harmony singing - Instrument specific breakouts - Pick up notes - Fills - tone, timing and technique - Learning strategies - How to find your key(s) - capos and transposing. Who knows what will come up. We can't always hit everything but some things we always get to work on.

After Hours Jamming 

Pretty much a spontaneous and less rigorous time just letting it all hang out.

Impromptu after hours jamming can happen at anyone's campsite. Sometimes a gaggle of  guests may gather around for a few tunes.  Noodle  quietly with a fellow picker or join in a raucous jamboree.  Faster or slower stuff - straight up bluegrass or off the beaten path. Or you may just want to retire and nurse your sore fingers.

The Food

Each full day Leigh creates one of her famous lunch dishes.  Everybody's on your own for breakfast and dinner.

Leigh creates good home cooked lunches like your mama made. If you have special diet restrictions please let us know and we'll do our best to take care of you.

Tuition, meals and lodging

are all separate. 

Tuition -  $350.00
Lunches - (included in your tuition)
Lodging - by separate arrangement with
Kings Mountain State Park

Gilbert Nelson

aka Dr. Jambo 

Gilbert Nelson is your host. He leads jammers to green pastures. A passionate player and teacher of the music. Gilbert can hone in on where you're at and guide you in ways to break out with more knowledge and pathways to improvement. He knows how to bring out the best in you and he leads jam camp by example with inspiration, energy, and insight.

Leigh Nelson

aka General Leigh

Affectionally known as "General Leigh" Leigh is Gilbert's "backup brain" She's part musician, part organizer and problem solver. Leigh knows jamming. She's a master with gentle and knowledgeable instruction making learning fun. Leigh plays Bass Fiddle, Guitar, Mandolin and she's learning banjo now. She’ll even sing for you if you’re nice.

We love the Wernick Method

A common sense approach to getting musical fun and success in bluegrass jamming.

You'll be jamming in the first 5 minutes. We use Pete Wernick's time tested methods to get you understanding, how to techniques and plenty of action in a friendly circle of people just like you.


There is no requirement for vaccine or testing. Masks are welcome but not required.

We do expect everyone to use common sense and hygiene. We'll prioritize open air with plenty of space among ourselves. Each of us is responsible and accountable.

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