Frequently Asked Questions

More details about camp and our community!

Accessibility & Inclusion

What is the Accessibility & Inclusion Committee?

If you have mobility issues, we will do our best to support your participation in Dance Camp. We will work with you to evaluate our ability to accommodate your needs and answer any questions or concerns. Dance Camp is not a fully accessible event, primarily due to our rural location.

What kind of accessible lodging do you have available?

We have limited beds available indoors for people with mobility issues or severe health needs. Please contact the Accessibility Coordinator about your specific situation to find out more.

What kind of lodging is available for CPAP machines?

People with CPAP machines can get permission to tent near a building with electricity. There also may be some limited indoor sleeping options. Contact the Accessibility Coordinator for more info.

I have mobility issues — do I still need to do chores?

We ask all campers to participate in the chore program as best as possible. We can help you work with the Chores Committee to find accessible chores.

How do I get around Camp?

Walking: The landscape and trees are beautiful and you can enjoy it at your own pace. The distances generally require 5-15 minute walks between various buildings and the Waterfront.

Dancing: Stride with intention everywhere you go around Camp.

Bicycling: Bikes are a great way to get around campus. So, if you have one, bring it with you! Helmets are mandatory. The roads at Camp are unpaved, hilly, and many are quite rough. As safe as you may feel in a car-free environment bike accidents happen, so please trust your own ability. Ride carefully!

Golf Carts: There is a golf cart shuttle system that is run by volunteers to help shorten the distances around Camp and to accommodate those with mobility issues. Please see the OBook for more information.

I have severe food allergies/restrictions — can you accommodate my needs?

The Accessibility & Inclusion Committee does not work with dietary issues. Please check Dining and Food for more information on dietary concerns.

Accommodations & Amenities

Accommodations

Each cabin cluster includes an external facility with sinks and toilets (i.e., not within the cabins). There is an electrical outlet at each of these sink facilities, but generally no electricity within the cabins.

Cabin beds are limited and not guaranteed, with approximately 4-6 beds per cabin. We encourage everyone to consider tenting.

On your registration form, you must indicate your desire to sleep in a cabin. Then you will receive a cabin request form in advance of Camp to sign up for a cabin spot; sign-ups are first come, first serve.

Can I have food in my tent or cabin?

Absolutely not! There are wild animals, specifically bears, that can smell the smallest amount of food. Please keep all food only in the Dining Hall for everyone’s safety.

How do I get my belongings to my residence?

You take them there yourself — you are allowed to drive your car to quickly drop off your belongings before parking in the designated parking area.

What necessities do I need to bring to Camp?

See the suggested packing list.

Where can I tent?

There are so many places to tent at Camp Timber Trails! With 417 acres of pristine land, you have numerous options — whether you seek solitude or a spot near the action.

Please note: tenting in the big field is permitted ONLY with stakes that are 5 or less inches (leach field).

Are there places where I CANNOT tent?

  • Please check for a “No Tenting” sign before pitching your tent!
  • No tenting on the field near the Barefoot Ballroom (there is a leach field there).
  • No tenting near the Ranger’s Cabin (private caretaker’s space).
  • No camping in parking lots.
  • No tenting around the maintenance/Morton building area.
  • There is no camping on docks or near the shore. Tents must be 150 feet from water and wetlands.
  • Do not set up your tent on or near walking paths, and be sure to avoid having your tent cords on walking paths. People may trip on the cords, which may bring down your tent and cause them, and you, injury. When possible, flag your tie-downs to keep them visible.

Other Tenting Rules:

  • You may not take a cabin bed if you are tenting.
  • Do not take cabin mattresses into tents.

Where can I shower?

There is a shower house near the Dining Hall as well as indoor showers in various buildings. Look for the “Sh” on the map for showers. Folks staying in both cabins and tents will have the use of all available bathrooms and showers. There is a bathroom facility in each cluster of cabins, as well as porta-potties throughout Camp.

Can I do Laundry?

There is no laundry facility available at Camp. Some Campers wash clothes by hand.

Closest Laundromats:

Soap and Suds, 25-659 Massachusetts Route 8 N, Otis, MA 01253 — 6.8 miles

Spin Cycle, 515 College Hwy, Southwick, MA 01077 — 20 miles

Laundry 101, 180 Holabird Ave, Winsted, CT 06098 — 16 miles

Stay & Play Laundromat, 65 Franklin St, Westfield, MA 01085 — 22 miles

What stores are in the area?

Pharmacies closest to Camp Timber Trails:

Great Barrington, MA
(Rite Aid, CVS, Big Y, Price Chopper)

Westfield, MA
(CVS, Big Y, Walgreens, Stop & Shop).

Convenience stores closest to Camp Timber Trails:

Katie’s Country Store
1922 E Otis Rd, East Otis, MA
(413) 269-4211

Big Y Express — open 24 hours, gasoline
320 Housatonic St., Lee, MA
(413) 642-9127

Circle K — gasoline, ATM
1400 Russell Rd., Westfield, MA
(413) 568-1786

Cumberland Farms — open 5:00 am to midnight, gasoline, ATM, propane
140 Main St, Great Barrington, MA
(413) 528-2105

Papa’s Healthy Food & Fuel
2000 E Otis Rd., East Otis, MA
(413) 269-7779

Bruce’s Ace Hardware
1873 E Otis Rd, East Otis, MA 01029
(413) 269-4309

Animals

Can I bring my pet to Camp?

Pets are strictly prohibited from Camp.

The only exception is registered service animals as allowed by law. Please reach out to the A&I Coordinator so we can plan for service animals.

What about an Emotional Support Animal?

Emotional support animals are different from trained working service animals and are not permitted at Camp. Unless you have a registered service animal, please do not bring your special pet with you to Camp.

Are there wild animals?

Yes. We are out in nature and surrounded by Tolland National Forest. There are wild animals such as bears that frequent the area. Check Bear Safety information which is also posted at Camp.

Consent at Camp

Do classes talk about consent?

This is currently what we will ask all our teachers to include in their class intros:

  • Choice:
    DNE affirms the core right of participants to be at choice at all times, including to opt in or opt out of any experience.
  • Boundaries:
    When we know our own and others’ NOs, we can more clearly see our own and others’ YESes.
  • Safety:
    DNE adopts the Precautionary Principle of ensuring personal and collective safety (for those inside and those outside the container) in all human realms: physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual.

If you have any questions, thoughts, or want to volunteer around these Camp-wide practices, please reach out to the Peace Council.

Dining & Food

What kind of food do you serve at Camp?

All food served at Camp is vegetarian. We source local organic produce whenever possible.

For Breakfast, we have an assortment of savory and sweet options, from miso soup and eggs to cereal and fruits.

Lunch is often a salad and sandwich bar. Dinner has special themes each night, including many longtime Camp favorites!

Can I bring meat or fish to Camp?

Yes, but it needs to be precooked and kept in the Dining Hall refrigerators.

Do you use organic/local products?

Organic and locally grown/produced ingredients are used whenever possible.

What provisions are there for special dietary needs?

For those who indicate restrictions on their registration form, we have non-dairy, non-wheat, and simple vegan options available at each meal. If you do not indicate any restrictions when registering, please leave these special offerings for those who requested them, as they are made in limited quantities.

To address your special dietary needs, you may store limited amounts of personal food items in the designated refrigerators in the Dining Hall. All personal food and perishables must be clearly labeled (with your name and departure date). There is not room for coolers/insulated bags in the fridge.

Is food available between meals?

Some snacks will be provided outside of mealtimes during the day. More snacks will be available during the night.

When are meals served?

We provide a buffet style dining hall environment for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.

Breakfast: 8:00–10:00am
Lunch: 11:30am–2:30pm
Dinner: 5:45–7:45pm — Kids’ food gets served at 5:30
Dessert: 8:00pm until it’s gone

Can I cook my own food?

No. You are not permitted to cook your own food in the Camp kitchen, nor anywhere else at Camp. Camp stoves are strictly prohibited.

Where can I keep my own food?

You may use the dining hall refrigerators for food storage, but keep in mind that space is limited.

Do not keep food in tents or cabins due to the presence of bears on the land.

Financial Matters & Assistance

What does DNE do to make Camp accessible financially?

We offer a sliding scale for Camp, in which you select your own daily rate from a designated range based on your income and other personal circumstances. The sliding scale is available on the Registration page

I need more assistance than the sliding scale provides.

DNE offers a Work Exchange program as our most common form of financial assistance at Camp, and there are some associated scholarship funds.

How does DNE’s Work Exchange program work?

This a reimbursement program based on hours worked at Camp. The expectation is that payment is made by the payment deadline, however we recognize that may not be possible and we will absolutely work with you to create a fiscally optimal plan.

For each hour worked when you are enrolled in the Work Exchange program, DNE will refund $15 from your paid registration, not to exceed your total registration fees (does not include late fees or customization charges).

Where are the Work Exchange positions?

The Kitchen and Dining Hall areas are the hub of Camp, and require a large number of campers for Work Exchange. Other areas include: Waterfront, Trash/Recycling, and Young People’s Program, among others.

Are there scholarships?

The majority of our scholarship budget goes to people who are doing Work Exchange; these are offered up to a 1:1 ratio (that is, earned reimbursement of $100 means you can access up to another $100 in scholarship).

We also have a “Community Elder” scholarship, which is tied to one’s time and commitment to the community and not to age. We are looking to create more specific scholarship access to those who are not able to meet the physical requirements of Work Exchange, as well as other categories.

Yes, I want financial assistance in attending camp!

The Work Exchange Coordinator will confirm that you have registered, and will share your information with relevant area coordinators. If paying your balance in full prior to Camp is a burden, or you have any other questions, please contact Work Exchange.

Lost & Found

Is there a Lost and Found?

Every year, there is an enormous pile of belongings left behind. Please check the Lost & Found frequently, which is located in the Dining Hall. Anything important to you — put your name on it! Label your mug, water bottle, flashlight, shoes, blankets, towels, etc. DNE is not responsible for items left behind.

Contact the Lost and Found Committee.

Miscellaneous

Do people celebrate Shabbat?

On Friday evenings, a group of people often join together around the Dining Hall to celebrate the start of the Jewish day of rest and reflection, called Shabbat or “Shabbos.” All are welcome.

Registration

Please visit the Registration page for the current year’s Camp registration info.

Can I customize my registration days?

We ask all Campers to choose one of our designated registration options (current options are listed here). We have carefully considered these options to provide the best individual experiences and to maintain the cohesion of Camp as a whole.

If you have questions about our designated options, please email the Registration Committee.

We do not offer day drop-in options.

What’s the last day I can register?

Please visit the Registration page for this year’s registration cutoff date.

Why hasn’t my check cleared?

Checks are processed in groups and may not be deposited for approximately three weeks after they have been received by the Registrar.

Registering young people and teens

In order to prepare our kitchen and staffing, everyone under the age of 18 must pre-register for Camp.

  1. Register your family online or by mail.
  2. We will send you an email confirming your registration and linking you to medical release and health forms to be filled out online.

Can my child or teen come by themselves?

No. All people under 18 must be accompanied at Camp by a parent or guardian.

We have a Young People’s Program, Teen Programing, and safety policies for children 12 and younger.

Does Camp get full?

Some of the registration options may fill up. It doesn’t matter whether you are tenting or planning to stay in a cabin, a full Camp is a full Camp.

How do I get on the waitlist?

In the event that a Camp registration fills up, we will have a waitlist for those options. Wait-listing is not automatic; select YES on the registration form if you would like to be put on a waitlist for your preferred attendance choices. Waitlist placement is determined by timestamp on online registrations or postmark date on mailed registration.

Sliding Scale

What is the philosophy behind the sliding scale?

Our sliding scale is intended to ensure that all attendees are paying the same labor hours. The philosophy seeks to maintain:

  • Fairness so that everyone is contributing in proportion to their ability
  • Financial stability for DNE
  • Simplicity and transparency

Details about the current year’s sliding scale are available on the Registration page.

Waterfront

What are the rules of the Waterfront?

  • Lifeguard hours are 9:00am–8:00pm daily, weather-permitting.
  • Swimming after dark or when the lifeguards are not on duty is
    strictly prohibited. Campers who violate this rule may be asked to leave camp.
  • All swimmers must swim only in lifeguard designated areas.
  • Flotation toys require lifeguard approval.
  • Pushing, running, front or back flips, and handstands on the docks
    are prohibited.
  • Diving into the water is allowed only in designated areas.

Are there any other rules for Children?

  • All Children 12 and under must pass a swim test to enter the deep water.
  • All Children 12 and under may not be left at the Waterfront without parent/guardian. Lifeguards are not allowed to be this adult.

Work Exchange

Please see the Financial Matters & Assistance section.

Alphabet Soup

A & I – Accessibility and Inclusion

CARE – Compassion, Attention, Resources, and Empathy – resources for self-care, including the Peace Council and Mediation

CCG – Camp Coordinating Group – was replaced by the  Managing Coordinator role

CTT – Camp Timber Trails – our Camp location and homeplace

DNE – Dance New England – the name we call our community

FDNE – Friends of Dance New England – the for-profit entity, including many members of Dance New England, that came together and bought Camp Timber Trails; now known as CTT

LC – Leadership Committee – was replaced by our Board of Directors

NGC – Next Generation Council – a self-identifying group of people, many of whom were introduced to DNE by their parents and have grown up in the DNE community

PC – Peace Council – a designated group who offer listening support and conflict resolution at Camp and about issues in our community

WISH – Welcome, Information, Support, Hugs – volunteers who greet you when you arrive and can help you get oriented

YPP – Young People Program – our childcare program at Camp