Music Campout September 16-18, 2022

Welcome all players and listeners that appreciate old time and bluegrass music to a weekend of playing, learning, sharing and listening with some of the best old time players in New England.

Vacationland Bluegrass Jam Camp has teamed up with the Old Time Campout to create a joint Old Time and Bluegrass Event: Strung Together, A Fine Old Time on Penobscot Bay. The Campout is held at one of the most beautiful outdoor jam spaces on the planet in Searsport, Maine.

Porch pickin’ on a Sunday afternoon

Survives and Thrives!

The Strung Together outfit has presented festivals right through the pandemic. As the Dark Times fade into memory this year’s Camp Out promises to be better than ever.

Headliners for the Fall of 2022

Skip Gorman

Skip is an iconic figure in the American Folk Music scene and has been for generations.  A devotee and student of Bill Monroe, Skip is a fine mandolin player and a great fiddler as well.  In addition, he has a giant gig bag of true American Song. Skip will perform concerts and conduct workshops on both mandolin and fiddle. His presence at the Jams will guarantee that a good time will be had by all. We feel very fortunate to land Skip for the Fall Festival. 

This is a singular event and not to be missed!

Skip talks about recording Bill Monroe on a reel to reel.

 Fred Coon

Also on tap for this year’s festival is the famous Fred Coon.   Fred graced our Festival for the first time in the Fall of 2021 and was an instant hit. We were lucky enough to secure his services for the 2022 Strung Together Music Camp Out. Fred knows hundreds of songs and tunes all performed with his personal unique style of fives string banjo. And he has a million stories to relate. Reserve your spot now as Fred’s performances are memorable events. This year’s Strung Together lineup is exceptional.

Fred Coon plays “Sally Ann” at the Flagstaff Folk Festival held June 28-29, 2008


Workshop registration opens June 15th

The OT & Bluegrass Jam weekend begins Friday afternoon with an OT/ Bluegrass Jam followed by our world famous Strung Together wood fired pizza bar and concert. The jams will take place in different areas around the park and by the ocean if your feel the draw.

Special guests include: Skip Gorman, Fred Coon and the Quilters of Gee’s Bend, Alabama! More announcements to follow. Stay tuned please!

This year we are jamming around the grounds under tents, porches, trees and other canopies.   Designated spaces will be laid out for each style of music, with unlimited spots to hold you own jam.

Workshops and jam sessions are being offered this year in a more spontaneous fashion. Volunteer workshop and jam leaders will post their offerings on the big marker board in the middle of the camp. Please feel free to offer up a workshop, lead a jam or just sit by the fire playing with a friend during the weekend. Most importantly, enjoy sharing a few tunes along the seaside in a welcoming and relaxed space.

Sharing a few OT tunes on a winter’s night

Jam Spaces will remain open all weekend and are not limited by the schedule or time. A room will be available to lock up your instruments in the evening.

“A Fine Old Time on Penobscot Bay”

All types of camping is available that weekend including tents, hammocks, RVs, safari, cabin rentals. Volunteers are needed, and any time you can give is greatly appreciated. Bartering welcome.

Come early, stay long.

Banjo players
Recording an old time claw hammer tune.

The weekend is sponsored by the Old Time Music Players and Vacationland Bluegrass Jam Camp of Maine and is hosted by Searsport Shores Ocean Camping in Searsport, ME. Come with some friends and make new ones while you are here celebrating American string band music, stories and the cultures that brought us those traditions.

General Admission Tickets:

Weekend includes admission for Friday, Saturday, Sunday to all jam spaces, performances, and community fire rings along with any other activities that may pop up. Your donation helps to cover the costs of teachers, jam leaders, staff, tents, pizza party, and cleaning of bathrooms. Ask us about volunteer opportunities or lead a jam session as your donation (Extra monies will be used for musician scholarships and to help fund the instrument lending project at the Searsport Carver Memorial Library).

Suggested donation for the weekend is $75 or $60 if sent in by July 15th – not including camping, special workshops, lunch or private lessons. Call or write to Searsport Shores for a camping spot. Campsites include hot showers, picnic table and fireplace (oceanfront & RV site upgrades available).

Reserve your campsite now by calling Searsport Shores at 207-548-6059. Make sure to mention you’re coming for the jamming weekend when you call.

Sign up for our mailing list: Please stay tuned for more updates as the date approaches.

Any extra proceeds will be used for musician scholarships and to help fund the instrument lending project at the Searsport Carver Memorial Library.

Shape Note Singing

For Festival & Camping details call 207.930.5920

2022 Schedule


The quilters of Gee’s Bend return to Searsport to join the Strung Together Weekend.
Join acclaimed Gee’s Bend quilters Miss Stella Mae and Miss China Pettway to design and piece an original, free-form quilt.

This will be the third time we’ve welcomed Miss Stella Mae and Miss China Pettway to Searsport Shores and if past visits are anything to go by, it will be an extraordinary event. 

Know someone that might be interested? Head to Maker’s Guild of Maine for more info & Registration


2-5 PM: Check-in, reception, & informal picking time.

Free to all: Introductory Old Time music session 3-5 PM for this session. Promises to be a great introduction, refresher, or warm-up session for Old Time Music. Get your groove on!

5-6:30 PM: WELCOME (Snacks, orientation, etc) Hoping you can all arrive by this time. The pizza bar is open! Please bring your favorite toppings to share and we’ll do the rest! $10/ pie recommended donation.

6:30 PM: Opening Concert – Skip Gorman performs songs from the Old West.

Fred Coon will follow by sharing a few Old Time Tunes before getting everyone involved in the evenings music jam for all of the Strung Together Gang. A celebration of Old Time Music at its best!

8:30 PM: Small Group Jams  Pick a spot in the center of things or seek a quiet spot to make music. Spaces will be identified on a map. Slow group OT Jam led by Woody Pringle, a member of the Bradford Bog People. Sit by the fire, make music, make friends, eat chips, and enjoy music by and with friends.


10-11:30 AM Bill Monroe Mandolin Workshop

Skip Gorman is one of the leading teachers and players of Monroe-style mandolin in the country. He has taught bluegrass mandolin with Ronnie McCoury, Frank Wakefield, Mike Compton, Norman Blake, Chris Thile, Butch Baldissari, Mike Seeger, Barry Mitterhoff, Rhonda Vincent and others at: IBMA World of Bluegrass, European World of Bluegrass, Grass Valley Bluegrass Festival.

Skip has followed Monroe’s traditional fiddle-style of mandolin playing for over 50 years. As an old-time fiddle player, himself, Skip has captured the essence and beauty of Monroe’s playing on the mandolin-having sat with the master on several occasions.

“Skip Gorman remains best known in bluegrass circles as perhaps the finest exponent today of the style of mandolin Bill Monroe played with the Monroe Brothers.”

Art Menius – Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine

“Beyond phenomenal… I’ll go to anything he does… Skip was very responsive to questions and requests, and had a very interesting program laid out, besides being an excellent player and a really friendly guy… Really helpful… Get him back!”

Skip’s Workshops at Wintergrass – Anita Graham, Workshop Coordinator

Sara Grey plays at Old Time Music Gathering at UU Church
Sara Grey plays at Old Time Music Gathering at UU Church

10-12 AM Jams begin.  Please check the marker board for what’s happening and where.

12 PM: Picnic Lunch

1-2:30 pm Two-finger banjo style workshop with Fred Coon. This style of banjo playing has been passed down through his family for generations, which he learned from his father who learned it from “Uncle Otis” Coon in Boone County, West Virginia, in the 1930s and so it goes back into time. Fred was raised in West Virginia and during his early years he enjoyed the stories told and songs sung to him by his father and other Appalachian Mountain relatives.  

1-4 PM:  Jam Sessions continue. Volunteer jam leaders will be on hand or feel free to begin your own. Plenty of space to work with others on particular songs as well.

2:30-4:00 PM Old Time Fiddle Workshop with Skip Gorman
Skip is deeply immersed in the fiddle styles of the American West, as well as its Celtic and Appalachian roots. He has presented Fiddle Workshops in a variety of settings both by himself and with well-known fiddlers, such as: Natalie MacMaster, Tom Sauber, David Greeley, Pete Sutherland, Rodney Miller, Joe Cormier, Tom Anderson, Eugene O’Donnell, James Kelly, and others- as well as countless hours in informal settings playing with legendary American fiddlers such as Kenny Baker and Tommy Jarrell, and
in Ireland and Scotland with Johnny Dougherty, Aly Bain and Tommy Peoples. Among
his earliest musical memories is witnessing the live performances of the elderly Texas
fiddler, Eck Robertson, in the 1960s.

4-5 PM: Dance Jam with the Strung Together Band (everyone is welcome to join in:). This is an outdoor dance session.  Led by Chrissy Fowler of the Belfast Flying Shoes. Bring your favorite partner or fiddle!

5:30 PM: Community Pot Luck at the Garden Kitchen! Bring your favorite dish to share and a beverage to enjoy by the campfire. Ovens and grills are available for heating your meal.

7-9 PM: Saturday Evening Coffee House. One or two and off. Sign up with new or familiar combinations to play up to two pieces. Instructor bands to perform, followed by campfire and jam circles.


9:00- Sunday morning community sing, in the round by the garden kitchen.

10-12 PM: Jam tents open. All are invited to play Reveille on your harmonica, key of C.

Goodbye and Cleanup 1:30-2:30PM

Other Information

Jams begin by 10 AM: The first 12 players are seated in a circle on chairs. Extra players or people that just want to observe are welcome to stand around the circle to listen in. Slow Jam and Fast Jam Tents are open to all. Players choice. Many of the playing sessions will be led by an old-time or bluegrass player. Anyone willing to teach please get in touch.

Workshop suggested donation, $50-,$75

Lock up storage room available for all instruments.

Other Workshop Possibilities include: 

Playing for contra-dancing  A fun workshop focused on matching tunes to dances and/or general contra repertoire.

Meat & Potatoes- Old Time Tunes everyone should know (bring any instrument).

A sign-up board (time, space, topic) will be set up at registration for anyone willing to offer other workshops, wanting to partner with someone to learn a tune, or just to organize a jamming circle.

Old Time & Bluegrass Tunes by Key/Tuning

Some of the tunes being shared during the weekend are listed below.  Tunes with * have a lesson & sheet music at

Undecided Key

Black Mountain Rag, Lazy John, Mrs. Macleod’s (Hop High Ladies), Rocky Mountain Goat

D Tunes

Angeline The Baker*

Arkansas Traveler*

Cherokee Shuffle*

Coleman’s March*

Dry And Dusty

Ducks On The Millpond*

Eighth Of January*

Five Miles From Town

Flop Eared Mule*

Fly Around My Pretty Little Miss*

Johnson Boys

Julianne Johnson*


Molly Put the Kettle On

New Five Cent Piece

Over The Waterfall*

Pig Ankle Rag*

Sal’s Got Mud Between Her Toes

Sam and Elzie

Soldier’s Joy*

Spotted Pony*

Twin Sisters*

Whiskey Before Breakfast*

Cross A Tunes 

Dance Boatman Dance

Grey Eagle

Grub Springs*

Half Past Four

Jim Shank*

June Apple*

Kitchen Girl*

Little Billy Wilson

Red Haired Boy*

Red Prairie Dawn

Road to Malvern

Sandy Boys

Say Old Man I Want Your Daughter

Waiting for Nancy

Ways of the World

Standard A Tunes

Bill Cheatham*

Boil Them Cabbage Down*

Bull At The Wagon

Cherokee Shuffle (or D, really)*

Cluck Old Hen*

Cold Frosty Morning*

Cripple Creek*

Hangman’s Reel

Ida Red

Liza Jane*

Old Joe Clark*

Sail Away Ladies 

G Tunes

Barlow Knife

Big Sciota*

Biscuits and Gravy 

Blackberry Blossom*

Bound to Have a Little Fun

Elk River Blues

Girl I Left Behind Me*

Golden Slippers*

Grasshopper Sitting On a Sweet Potato Vine

Jenny Lind Polka


Old Beech Leaves*

Possum Up A Gum Stump

Pretty Little Gal with the Red Dress on

Red Wing (The Union Maid)*

Turkey In The Straw*

Sail Away Ladies (or Modal AEAE)*

Seneca Square Dance (Waiting For The Federals)*

Shoot the Turkey Buzzard

Shove That Pig’s Foot A Little Closer To The Fire*

Tombigbee Waltz*

Whiskey Before Breakfast

C Tunes

Billy In The Lowground*

Mustache Wax

Bluegrass Tunes Chords

Blueridge Cabin Home 1-4-5

Boil Them Cabbage Down 1-4-5

Bringing in the Georgia Mail 1-5

Bury Me Beneath the Willow 1-4-5

Dark Hollow 1-17-4-5

Darling Corey 1-5

Don’t This Road Look Rough and Rocky 1-4-5

Dooley 1-4-5

I’ll Fly Away 1-17-4-5

In the Pines 1-17-4-5

Long Journey Home 1-4-5

Man of Constant Sorrow 1-4-5

My Homes Across the Smokey Mountains 1-5

New River Train 1-17-4-5

Nine Pound Hammer 1-4-5

Old Home Place 1-27-37-4-5

Pig in a Pen 1-4-5

Reuben’s Train 1-5

Rocky Top 1-4-5-6m-7

Roll In My Sweet Baby’s Arms 1-17-4-5

Salty Dog Blues 1-2-5-6

Sitting on Top of The World 1-4-5-6m

There’s More Pretty Girls Than One 1-4-5

Will The Circle Be Unbroken 1-4-5

Working on a Building 1-5

Worried Man Blues 1-4-5

Anything Goes Jam Tunes May Include: , Cluck Old Hen (A Modal, maybe we’ll pluck the E & A strings a bit), Snowdrop,  Bonnie on the Rhine, Twin Sisters (A Modal), Red Rocking Chair, Sail Away Ladies, Angeline the Baker, Down by the Willow Garden, Bury me Beneath the Willow, Starch and Iron, Bully of the Town, Diamond Joe, Shady Grove, Cannonball Blues, Wind and Rain, What Does the Deep Sea Say?, Hard Times, Wildwood Flower, Cuckoo Bird, Amazing Grace, etc, etc, etc.