Questions & Answers

Mostost dorms at Smith do not have air conditioning, though they do provide us with fans.  Sometimes they unexpectedly provide air conditioning in some rooms, but that is not under our control.

According to the letter of the law at Smith College, we are not allowed to drink on campus at Smith (except under circumstances that do not apply.) Smith has, so far, graciously allowed us to skirt that policy and the only—very rare—times it has been an issue were when people drank irresponsibly. So please don’t or you will be asked to leave.

As a matter of policy, we summer campers do not have access to Smith’s indoor athletic facilities. As a matter of fact, however, we sometimes can get a small number of gym passes we can make available for $20 for the entire time you are at Choro Camp. And of course no one will stop you from going for a run on the track or playing a game of tennis outdoors. Most campers really have no time for it, but if access to a gym or pool is really important to you we may be able to get you access. Just ask.

In general, especially for your own use, this is a good idea. That said, please check in with teachers before you record their classes. Some may have had bad experiences with people posting things online without permission, so as a matter of courtesy, offer them the opportunity to set the terms. For our part, we have no problem with you recording classes. We only ask that you if you make any of that material public that you credit Choro Camp New England as the venue.

We welcome visiting chorões after 3:00 on Saturday. Come play before and after our closing concert that night, though you’ll need to make other arrangements for a place to stay on Saturday night. For the rest of the week, however, access to both our formal and informal activities on campus is restricted to registered participants. Thanks for your cooperation in that regard.


Within a few weeks of the event we’ll provide all registered participants with the details on how, when and where to check in at Smith. Trying to get detailed information months in advance may only create confusion, since some of the details will not yet be available.

Generally, you should check in between noon and 8pm on Monday or between 8:30 and 9:30 am Tuesday morning. (Orientation is at 10:00am.)

$150 Key/Card Deposit: If you are staying in the dorms you’ll get both a key and swipe card to open various doors. Smith charges us $120 for every lost key (because they change the lock every time this happens, for security reasons.) So we are going to ask you for a $150 deposit (for both key and card) or a $30 deposit (for just the swipe card.) We will, of course, return that deposit to you on departure if you return whatever we’ve given you. To avoid having too much cash on site we would prefer you pay your deposit by check. You remember checks.

There are no scheduled activities on the last Sunday of Choro Camp. Breakfast is served for those who opted for the meal plan, but no other meals. Smith asks that you be out of your dorm room by 10 AM, but you don’t need to be off campus by then. So if you want to hang around for some leisurely jamming or you need to wait on your airport shuttle you are welcome to do so in the common areas or outside. We do not have access to the dorms on Sunday night.

When you leave your room, please:

  • Strip the bed and leave the linens and towel either on the floor in the hall or in a basket the bathroom.
  • Put all trash in the trash basket.
  • Take any bottles or cans to the recycling bins on the first floor or basement of the dorm.
  • Return your keys and swipe card to our office and get your deposit back.

Concert tickets are NOT included in the cost of tuition because not everyone can stay for the concerts and we don’t want to charge them for something they are not receiving. We offer registered choro campers access to tickets in advance of the general public and at a reduced rate. You’ll see that option on the registration form.





That depends on the venue. We’ll let registered choro campers know once those details have been hammered out. (In 2024, it will be general admission.)

The rooms are not set up for cooking of anything more complicated than an electric hot water pot (your own.) Some dorms do have an accessible kitchen that you are welcome to use. Most people find it easier to eat downtown—a short walk away—than to deal with cooking.

  • Staying in the dorms? If you are staying in the dorms you’ll get both a key and swipe card to open various doors in the dorms and dining hall. Smith charges us $120 for every lost key (because they change the lock every time this happens, for security reasons.) Lost swipe cards cost us $30. So we are going to ask you for a $150 deposit as we hand those over to you. We will, of course, return that deposit to you on departure if you return both the key and swipe card. To avoid having too much cash on site we would prefer you pay your deposit by check. (Made out to Choro Camp New England.) Thanks.
  • Got the meal plan but no housing? You’ll need a swipe card to get into the dining hall. There’s $30 deposit for those cards.

You’ll find Smith College campus map here.  We’ll have printed copies of campus maps and floor plans on site.

About a 10 minute walk or a very short cab ride. The address is 1 Roundhouse Plaza, Northampton, MA 01060.

If you are arriving after 8 PM on Monday, we’ll need to find a way to get you your keys. (We can deal with the rest of registration the next morning.) The best arrangement is to have someone already on site get your keys for you. So if you already know someone else coming to Choro Camp and you know they are arriving before you, have them pick up your keys and then you deal directly with them to get the keys. If you see no other option, let us know you’ll be arriving late and we’ll make other arrangements — like, leaving your keys and swipe card accessible outdoors in some way. In that case,

  1. Please pay your $150 deposit in advance either by check (which we won’t cash) or by Paypal (which we’ll refund.)
  2. Make sure we have a cell number for you so we can call or text with instructions.

Smith does not provide these for us, so please bring your own.

Although we suggest you arrive much earlier, the first thing you really need  to be here for is the orientation on Tuesday morning, at 10:00 am. The purpose of the orientation is to help you get, uh, oriented: to campus, to the daily schedule, to the class levels, to the teachers, etc. We’ll let registered participants know by email exactly where that’s happening, before Choro Camp gets started.

Especially if you are staying in the dorms you do not need a car while at Choro Camp. If you do drive here, we will provide you with a Smith parking pass and suggest you park your car for free at the Smith parking garage for the whole event. The free (to us) parking garage is on West St, right across from Arnold St.

 If you don’t want to use that facility, you have two options:

  1. You can use the Smith parking pass in white-lined spaces on campus. Parking near dorms and other much-used Smith buildings is in high demand, however, so a pass of this sort only guarantees you a spot in the competition for convenient parking; it does not guarantee that an empty spot will be easily available nearby.
  2. Everyone will also have access to Northampton parking spots, some of which are close to the dorms. This is mostly metered parking. Even if it is not metered, parking may be limited to only certain times of day. So pay attention to the street signs as this quaint town supports itself in the manner to which it has become accustomed by nailing visitors with traffic tickets.

We do not offer a daily rate for Choro Camp, but we may offer a half-camp option. We give first priority to those who plan to be here for the whole event and then make the half-camp option available as circumstances (ie. space in the dorms, our student/teacher ratio, etc.) allow. Feel free to check in with us by email  if you don’t see a half-camp option under the Registration tab on the website.

For basic of info on flying in for Choro Camp and links to ride boards, just follow this link: Transportation

The dorms have very substantial doors and good locks, so if you use them (the door provides the most security in the “closed” position) that is the least of your potential areas of concern. The reality is, however, that there’s no “gate” for this event. We are on a college campus with all sorts of unfamiliar people walking by and checking out what we’re up to. It is entirely possible that someone could be in our midst looking for an easy opportunity for theft. Please don’t provide them with one. Keep your instrument nearby, in your room, or know who has it.

The Smith meal plan can accommodate most diets—Paleo, gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, common allergies—so long as you let us know when you register. We’ll give Smith a heads up and if it’s an issue they will let us know.

So far we haven’t got a line of Choro Camp T’s and hats and such. It will be fun to do so, though! Stay tuned…

For domestic (and even some international) travel, Bradley International is best. If flying into Bradley is not an option, know that Boston is a lot closer than New York, but not necessarily cheaper or easier to travel from. From Boston Logan, bus is your best option. From NYC, either bus or train will get you close enough to use Uber or taxi for the final stretch.

Linens, pillow, blanket, towel, hand towel (which are not changed daily) and a fan.  So, all you should need are basic toiletries. Please understand that this is a dorm, not a hotel, so bathrooms are usually shared. Unless otherwise requested, you can assume you have your own room.

Yes, we will all have access to wifi. We’ll provide the network and password at check-in.

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