Home » Camp » Pete Wernick’s Level 2 Bluegrass Camp at Silver Bay

Pete Wernick’s Level 2 Bluegrass Camp at Silver Bay

posted in: Camp, Level 2, Northeast 0

Silver Bay, NY at the Silver Bay YMCA Conference Center

Silver Bay is a large Y Camp and Conference Center, on Lake George in the Adirondacks.

87 Silver Bay Road
Silver Bay, NY 12874

August 21-26, 2022

Tuition: $460

All participants and their guests must provide same-day negative test results.

Until further notice, all Wernick Method classes will be conducted either outdoors or in very well-ventilated indoor spaces.

Though Silver Bay now has online booking options, if booking for Bluegrass Camp please instead call Silver Bay’s Reservations Team at 518-543-8415 for the favorable group rate. Rates include all meals. Call anytime and get a call back during business hours.

Deposit of $100 holds your spot; 50% refundable for cancellations more than one month in advance. $360 (check or cash) balance due at camp.

Spaces may become available, so join the waitlist. Or consider signing up for the Basic Level camp.

— or —

For a $15 discount, pay the $100 deposit by credit card and send a check for $345 by Feb 15 (full payment) to Dr. Banjo, 7930 Oxford Road, Niwot, CO 80503.

All Bluegrass Skills Taught

9am-12:30pm: Daily classes for banjo, guitar, fiddle, mandolin, dobro, bass…AND… Coached small jam groups, intermediate/advanced.

1:50-5pm: coaching on harmony singing (one coach per trio), classes on songwriting, basic music theory, practice “boot camp”, playing under pressure, stagecraft, and more!

Activities every evening: fiddle tune jam, open mics, karaoke, history, jamming, beautiful sunsets!

Organized Bands: $395 each member

For band members registering together, to work together as a band throughout the week: $65.00 off each member’s tuition. Bands will have opportunities to perform and get performance coaching including working with a sound system on stage (band lab), band cohesion, rehearsal guidance, band decision-making, “how to make a band work”.

Band members must first contact Pete as a group, for approval of the group members’ band discount, and then they can each register with the discount.

In 2022 we will have two concurrent camps:

Level 2 (this camp)Basic Camp
QualificationsExperience with bluegrass jamming; able to play in more than one key; able to follow guitar chord changes; willing/able to lead songs; know basic chord number system and jam etiquetteAbility to change chords smoothly between G, C, D, A (or the notes that work on bass and fiddle)
TemposRanging over 100 beats/minute60-95 beats/minute
SingingAbility to sing melodies accurately is expected; harmony singing taught to those who can learn and “hold” a harmony part most of the timePlease try!
SoloingWilling/able to fake passable solos (exceptions: bass players and rhythm-only guitar players). Melody-based solos are the standard, so we try for that; ability to find melody notes by ear is expectedMinimal “placeholder” soloing taught, and acceptable; more advanced soloing taught but not required
PerformingPerformance opportunity (expected but optional); some performance coaching; extra coaching available for bandsNo performing expected
Night ActivitiesOpen to participate in open mic and karaokeAttendance welcome at all nighttime activities
If you’re not sure if you qualify, write Pete regarding your skills in these areas.

Both camps will have the same hours. Sunday evening following dinner is an informal kickoff get-together for all. Classes and coached jamming run Monday-Friday 9-5 daily, in separate but close-by locations at Silver Bay.

The Level 1 camp is lower challenge than the Level 2 camp in levels of skill and speed, allowing an experienced player to take a more prominent role in the Level 1 jam groups. Experienced jammers are sometimes grouped together. We accept students for the Level 1 camp while on a waitlist for Level 2. If a Level 2 slot opens, they can switch camps.



A scholarship is available for a bass player for the Level 2 camp, or for any instrument in the Level 1 camp. It covers full tuition and about half of housing/meal expense. People under 25 and service veterans are especially encouraged to apply. To donate or apply, write to Pete.

Applicants should give their age, instrument(s) played, and experience and goals in bluegrass, and a short statement of their financial need. Applications must be received by June 22 and applicants will be notified by June 27.

Silver Bay YMCA Conference Center

Stately 700-acre Y Camp on the shores of Lake George, est. 1902

For accommodations reservations, call 518-543-8415 or email reservations@silverbay.org.

Call any time… Your message left will get a callback during the next business hours. The Silver Bay reservations team will help you with housing choices and all info.

Silver Bay Camp Video #1

Watch this video of our 2015 camp! With many thanks to the French filmmaker and banjo player Antoine Porteaux who attended the camp as part of a U.S. bluegrass tour originating in Paris. The film starts with the Europeans’ travel to Silver Bay, and the part about the camp starts at 2:03.

Silver Bay Camp Video #2

Want to know more about the Silver Bay instructors? Here they are in concert, featuring There Ain’t Nobody Going to Miss Me When I’m Gone, Golden Slippers, Why You Been Gone So Long, Blue Moon of Kentucky, Lay That Pistol Down, Sitting on Top of the World, mandolin duets and more!

Comments from recent camps:

“High quality instructors.”
“Great place for a camp like this!!!”
“Awesome location!!!”
“Thank you for a terrific week at Silver Bay. Your faculty was all top notch.”
“A wonderful experience! The camaraderie was palpable!”
“The small jams were challenging and empowering, a big confidence boost for me.”
“The mixed instrument, jam opportunity and performance experience were invaluable. Likewise student population was great, helpful and fun, a major part of the success.”
“I have been waiting to start playing real bluegrass with people for quite a while, and now I can.”
“Our 13 year-old son got more out of it than I ever expected. Bob Amos’ guitar class was outstanding and really helped my son and I break out of a rut we had been in.”
“One of the best musical experiences of my life. The camp gave me knowledge, experience and laughs for a lifetime.”
“I do not believe I have ever been to any type of class where the instructor made learning so easy and so much fun.”
“An incredible experience… a depth of knowledge on the subject beyond just technique, including the history, etiquette, and flavor of the genre.”
“I had a wonderful time at the Silver Bay camp. I like your idea of a program that focuses on entire bands. Thanks for a great experience.”
“This is so much more fun than sitting on the couch playing alone.”
“I have never had so much valuable information and real teaching in such a short period of time.”
“I came to jam camp new on my instrument (mandolin), and intimidated. By the end I was pretty comfortable. I started checking out different jams in my area, and now often go to at least 2 a week. The more I play, the better I get, and the more fun I have. I’ve made great new friends” — Marion, MA
“Pete Wernick is a master teacher with decades of experience in promoting and advancing bluegrass education at all levels. His methods seriously address the fact that most pickers quit while still at a beginning level due to the use of ineffective materials and methods. His approach quickly leads one to becoming an independent and successful learner. Pete’s camps could be thought of as bluegrass “boot camps” because they are skill based, experience based and intensive. The camps involve a lot of challenging and enjoyable group work.”
“You have had a major impact in my life. Our social network now is mostly musicians, wonderful people my wife and I would have never met if I hadn’t gotten out of the closet and attended your Jam Camp in 2006.” — Jim, NC
“The information that I learned will help set me on the path that I am looking for. I learned more than I have in three years at fiddle camp.” — Lynn, CO
“The jam camp I attended was a true treasure. It changed my life for the better. I was able tonight to walk in, ‘cold tukey’, and sit in with the featured band at a Bluegrass society meeting. Before your workshop I had never even tried to play in public.” — Richard, KY
“I truly am happy that I have been able to attend your camps and never expected to be in this position to enjoy playing so much.” — Jim, NC

Click any photo to enlarge.

Tentative Schedule

The schedule shown here is based on recent years’ schedules and is sure to incorporate some changes.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *