Frequently Asked Questions

1) Is this event for mountain dulcimer, hammered dulcimer or both? We teach the lap-style, fretted Appalachian dulcimer also known as the Mountain Dulcimer. We don’t have any classes for the hammered dulcimer at this time.

2) What tuning will you teach in? We teach in DAD tuning but classes may retune or use a capo. Capos will be available for purchase if you need one.

3) How do I know what level player I am? Here are guidelines for what we expect:

– Beginners have either not yet touched a dulcimer or have had only minimal instruction. A beginner plays tunes with one finger only and is still learning how to strum and press the notes on tunes. A beginner is just starting to become familiar with the instrument.

– Advanced-Beginners are progressing in their playing and can find notes easily on the fretboard. They strum easily, know a few songs, can read tablature, and have started playing with two and three fingers, including basic chords. They are ready to learn new techniques, more chords, how play with a capo, and expand their knowledge in many directions.

– Intermediate players are familiar with chords, play with confidence, have memorized some tunes and are fairly comfortable playing in jams. They’ve been exposed to a range of concepts and techniques, know how to use a capo, can change to some alternate tunings, play in different rhythms and/or use left-hand techniques such as hammers and pulls.

– Advanced players are experienced players who wish to master the finer, more challenging points of playing. Students should know and use chord shapes by name in at least three positions on the fretboard and already be adept at strumming, fingerpicking and flatpicking techniques. An Advanced player can usually jump into a jam and play along even if they don’t know the song, and may have experience in arranging and performing.

4) When do I sign up for afternoon electives? We have an informal sign-up process at camp. There’s no need to do so in advance.

5) What should I bring for class? Besides your dulcimer, you’ll want to bring picks, tuner, capo, music stand and perhaps a recording device. Most of these items can be purchased at camp for your convenience.

6) What items will you have for sale? We will have strings, picks, capos, electronic tuners, straps and music stands plus McSpadden dulcimers and dulcimer-related CDs and books. Instructors will bring a wide selection of their own tune books, instruction books & DVDs, and music CDs. We do not allow other vendors at this time, but some students may sell instruments they have made – email wallowadulcimer@gmail.com for information.

7) I have a used dulcimer or other instrument for sale. May I sell it at camp? Please email Heidi (wallowadulcimer@gmail.com) in advance to make arrangements to do this. Instruments are to be sold through the camp store, which will receive a 10% commission of your selling price.

8) Can anyone fix my dulcimer, check it to see if it is set up correctly, fix the action or put in extra frets? We usually have someone at camp who can do basic dulcimer repairs for a reasonable charge, as time permits. If you know in advance what work you need done, please contact us at wallowadulcimer@gmail.com to make an appointment.

9) Will you offer classes in any other instrument? All our classes are centered on the mountain dulcimer, which can include the baritone, bass or variants such as the banjammer or dulci-bro. There might be informal sessions on the ukulele as well, since a number of our students are also starting to play uke (feel free to bring yours if you have one!). For guitar, mandolin and fiddle classes, check out the Wallowa Fiddle Tunes Camp happening the week after ours at the Wallowa School. Information is at www.wvmusicalliance.org.

10) Are pets allowed? No, pets are not allowed anywhere on the property of Wallowa Lake Camp, except for service animals (this does not include “therapy” animals). Please contact us if you have questions about this policy.

11) If there is an emergency at home, who can people call to reach me quickly? Your cell phone may not have service at camp, depending on your provider. Please give these numbers to anyone at home who might need to contact you in an emergency:

Wallowa Lake Camp – David & Peggy Lundgren, camp managers, land line: 541-432-1271 or Heidi Muller – 304-382-9422 / Bob Webb – 304-550-3799 (Dulcimer Week organizers). The camp will have a list of who is staying in each cabin and camping area, in case they need to find you outside of class.

12) What kind of services and stores are available at Wallowa Lake? There are convenience stores, gift shops, ice cream counters and several restaurants that serve wine and beer, such as the Glacier Grill. The nearest grocery store is Mt. Joseph Family Foods in Joseph and a Safeway in Enterprise. There are gas stations in Joseph and Enterprise. The nearest post office, hardware store and fly-fishing shop are in Joseph. You can find excellent coffee, tea and espresso at Red Horse Coffee Traders and Arrowhead Chocolates.

13) For medical needs, the Wallowa Memorial Hospital and Winding Waters Clinic are 12 miles from camp in Enterprise. There are no medical facilities at Wallowa Lake. Directions to hospital: Take Hwy 82 to Enterprise, turn right onto Hwy 3 (by the Chevron station), turn left onto Medical Parkway (by Les Schwab) and the hospital is ahead on the right (601 Medical Parkway, Enterprise, OR 97828). The clinic is in the next building on the right.

14) Is there Wi-Fi at the camp? What about cell phone service? The camp has wireless internet service, and it can be found just a short drive away at Mad Mary’s, The Embers, Arrowhead Chocolates and Red Horse Coffee in Joseph; and The Bookloft, Gypsy Java and the Library in Enterprise. Cell phone service may be unreliable at the south end of the Lake, depending on your provider. There is usually good service in Joseph.

15) What will the weather be like? What kind of clothing do I need? The camp is located at about 4100’ elevation. Days can be either hot or chilly, and even on hot days evenings cool down quickly. Plan to bring layers from light summer duds to jeans and sweatshirt. Don’t forget your swimsuit! Both sturdy walking shoes and sandals may come in handy. While we don’t expect wet weather, it’s best to bring some rain gear just in case.

16) Anything else I should bring? Bring sunscreen, sunglasses and flashlight! The camp is very dark at night. Binoculars come in handy for eagle and osprey watching at the Lake.

17) What should I know about Wallowa Lake Camp? Wallowa Lake Camp and Retreat Center is a family-oriented facility owned and operated by the United Methodist Church. There are to be no illicit drugs, weapons, foul language, hostility or belligerent behavior. Smoking is discouraged and only permitted outside in designated areas. A recent policy change allows alcohol in cabins for certain events such as ours, but guests are required to remove and dispose of their own bottles, cans and packaging when they leave. Available activities on-site include volleyball, basketball, badminton, baseball, horseshoes, campfires, crafts, outdoor education, and a ropes course. There are both inside and outside environments for worship, personal meditation, and group discussions.

18) Driving directions to Dulcimer Week?

From Spokane and Lewiston, take Hwy 12 to Clarkston, WA and turn south on WA-129 (becomes OR-3) to Enterprise, then turn left on Hwy 82, continuing 12 miles to the south end of Wallowa Lake. (continued below*)

From Portland or Pendleton, take I-84 east to La Grande. Or from Boise or Baker City, take I-84 west to La Grande. Take Exit 261 onto Hwy 82, “Wallowa Lake Highway,” driving east through Elgin, Enterprise and Joseph to the south end of Wallowa Lake. (continued below*)

From Seattle, Yakima and Tri-Cities, head east on I-82 to Oregon, then east on I-84 to La Grande.Take Exit 261 onto Hwy 82, “Wallowa Lake Highway,” driving east through Elgin, Enterprise and Joseph to the south end of Wallowa Lake. (continued below*)

*As you come to the south end of the Lake, turn left at the fork, go about ¼ mile (past the mini-golf), turn right onto Bailie Lane (there’s a sign for the Wallowa Lake Methodist Camp), and continue straight over the bridge into the unpaved parking lot of Wallowa Lake Camp.

Local Maps: For a map of roads at the south end of the Lake, see the following (note our camp is shown here as the Methodist Camp):   http://www.wallowacountychamber.com/maps/wallowa_lake_map.html

19) I’m flying  – where are the nearest airports? The full-service airport at Boise is a four-hour drive away (and you cross into the Pacific time zone, one hour earlier, as you enter Oregon). Lewiston, Idaho is about 2 hours north (Delta and Alaska fly here). Pasco, WA is 3.5 hours away (has United, among others). Flights to Boise are usually the cheapest, as are the car rentals. In driving time, Spokane is about 4 hours north, Portland is 6 hours west, and Seattle is a 7-hour drive northwest.

20) What else can I do at Wallowa Lake? Nearby activities include boating, windsurfing, fishing, swimming, a tramway to superb high mountain views, wildlife and wildflower photography, llama treks, horseback rides, go karts, miniature golf, backcountry hiking and camping, whitewater rafting, and scenic air flights. Places to visit include antique shops, art galleries, county museum, bronze foundry tours, Nez Perce historic sites, and Hells Canyon.

For more information about recreational activities, please visit:

http://www.wallowalake.net/

http://www.josephoregon.com/

http://www.wallowacountychamber.com/

http://www.wallowalake.net/WallowaLakeMarina.html

http://www.eaglecapwildernesspackstation.com

http://www.wallowalaketramway.com

http://www.wallowalake.com/Hiking.htm

http://www.oregonstateparks.org/images/pdf/wallowa_birds.pdf

http://www.co.wallowa.or.us/museum