Packing • Food • Lodging • Camp Life
Am I experienced enough to attend?
We found that all levels of photographers enjoyed camp; we had beginning photographers, active photo bloggers and professional photographers. Everyone is welcome, all levels found the challenge to advance their craft. Choose the classes that speak to you.
If you are unsure if Camp is a good fit for you, please contact us!
What photo supplies should I bring to camp?
Last year one camper said "I'm bringing every piece of photography equipment I own." Camera(s), lens(es), laptop (with Photoshop installed if you are taking classes that require it), chargers, batteries, memory cards, film, tripod (if you have one), props and wardrobe items. It's always good to bring your camera manual. You might also want a rain cape for your camera (http://bhpho.to/1LQRkUS) or a plastic bag, just in case! If all you have is a camera - that's enough.
What clothes should I bring to camp?
October weather in Sonoma could be warm during the day, will be cool/cold (California cold, as in, not so cold) at night, and could rain. Hope for an extended Summer, but bring rain gear and an umbrella, just in case. And fingerless gloves! Flat footwear is recommended for the paths at the Ranch. You may want to hike the trails, and you may go on photo walks in the hills with your class. Comfy clothes rule! Stretch pants for morning yoga and a swim suit for the hot tub. Even for our wine-tasting outing, Sonoma is very relaxed, no fashion-police anywhere!
What other things should I bring?
Perhaps a small reading light and a go-cup if you want to take your coffee/tea to class or to your room ...
What is the food like?
The food at Westerbeke Ranch is fresh, local, delicious, nutritious, sustainable and hand-made. The Ranch chefs are of the highest caliber; they are artists in their own right. Their buffet-style meals garner rave reviews: "The hardest part of going home is leaving this food!" You will enjoy three meals daily plus snacks in the afternoons. The Ranch kindly offers the honor-system in their Cantina for extra beverages (wine, beer, juice) and snacks, for which you can pay when you check out at the end of camp.
Can the dining room accommodate my dietary preferences? I'm vegetarian/vegan/gluten-free/dairy-free ...
Yes! The chefs at Westerbeke Ranch will have plenty of yummy food for everyone. Just be sure to tell us your dietary preferences on your registration form.
Can I bring my own food/drinks?
There are no refrigerators in the cabins, and it's best not to keep food in your cabin. If you have specific dietary needs, please let us know on the registration form.
What are the accommodations like?
Each of the five cozy cabins is painted white and named after its trim color: Blue, Red, Orange, Green, and Yellow. All of the cabins contain several bedrooms with two, three or four beds with colorful linens and blankets, and each bedroom has its own bathroom with shower, entrance, and front porch offering comfort and privacy. All cabins are heated and have plenty of electrical outlets. Luggage racks rest at the food of each bed, and towels and daily cleaning service are provided. You will need to bring your own toiletries. Tipping is not necessary.
Can I choose my roommates?
Yes! Just let us know on the registration form who you'd like to room with. FYI - Rooms have two, three and four beds. If you are two friends who want to be roommates, we may need to add another lovely lady or two to your room. And then you'll have even more friends! We will do our best to accommodate everyone's needs and wishes for a peaceful stay at camp.
What if I want a room by myself?
We are unable to offer a single-occupancy option, to enable the maximum number of campers to attend. Cabins have two, three or four beds, so you will have one, two or three *lovely* roommates.
Is the price different for different rooms?
No, the price is the same for everyone, regardless of the room or number of roommates.
Can I stay off-campus but attend classes during the day?
When camp is filled we will consider adding a limited number of "day campers." Please email for details.
How big is our group? Will there be other people staying at the venue?
There are 52 beds at Westerbeke Ranch, so we will be 52 people ... 46 campers, 5 resident teachers, and Camp Director Pam Sogge. There will not be anyone else staying at the Ranch (except for Westerbeke staff), we will have the entire place to ourselves!
What if I'm coming by myself?
If you're coming to camp on your own, as so many are, never fear ... We'll match you with lovely roommates! We are a relatively small group of 48 people, affording us all the luxury to get to know everyone there. The atmosphere will lend itself to our becoming a real sisterhood of kindred spirits, a community of women who all love photography. We immediately have a lot in common. Friendships will flourish and you will have new photo-friends in no time!
What are my choices of Saturday afternoon activities?
- Winery tour and tasting: Travel by small shuttle bus to three wineries, learn the local Sonoma grape lore, and enjoy several fine wines ($120 supplemental fee)
- Explore downtown Sonoma: Travel by small shuttle bus to the Sonoma Plaza to shop, stroll, and find your favorite café
- Stay at the Ranch: Relax, read, nap, hot tub, book a massage, take a hike, walk the labyrinth, look at the clouds, etc, etc, etc
Can I play music in my cabin?
Yes, until 10 pm. Westerbeke Ranch has a all-quiet policy at that time because of local noise ordinances.
Who do I talk to if I have a problem during camp?
Your camp counselor can help you with any issues and will help make sure you are comfortable and happy! There will be one camp counselor in each cabin to support campers.
May I bring a guest who is not taking classes?
No, we are unable to accommodate guests. We need all the beds for photo campers!
May I attend just one or two days, or one evening event, but not the entire camp?
Unfortunately, we are not able to offer partial attendance at this time.
Is there a store at Westerbeke Ranch?
The Westerbeke Ranch store contains an assortment of gifts, tunics, t-shirts, water bottles, and jewelry, in case you want to take home some mementos from the Ranch, and a small assortment of toiletries, etc.
Should I bring extra cash or a credit card?
Yes, if you intend to make purchases in the Ranch store. If you take wine/beer or snacks from the dining room pantry, the Westerbeke Ranch honor system requests that you write down what you take and pay for those items when you check out at the end of camp.
Are there any scholarships available?
Sadly, no, we do not have scholarships at this time. We are working on scholarships for 2018!
Is there wi-fi?
Yes, there is limited wi-fi near the pool and the Adobe dining hall. We are hoping, though, that you limit or completely omit your online/email time while you are at camp, in order to maximize your real-time, in-person experiences with your fellow campers. We suggest you set up your auto-reply and relax, restore, and retreat for a few days with your new friends ... It does the soul good to be offline for once. Disconnect "over there" in order to connect right here!