How to Lark

Practical wisdom from experienced Larkies

What to Bring to Camp

You’ll be living in the redwood forest for eight nights, and there are things you’ll want to bring. For example, it is imperative that you have a flashlight and replacement batteries – either a headlamp or small pocket-sized version – to walk safely at night in the many unlit areas of camp. But there are many other things you’ll want to consider, so check out Dana’s List! Thoughtfully compiled over the years by one of our regular campers, Dana Dubinsky, it’s comprehensive!

Getting Around

  • You may bring a bicycle to ride between camps on the main road (but bikes MUST be walked on footpaths). It is roughly one mile from Camp 1 to Camp 3, and another quarter mile to Camp 2.
  • To prevent dust and shuttle bus encounters, no driving is permitted once you’re settled in camp. When you arrive, you’ll drive to where you need to unload your gear, and then move to park in central parking areas for the duration of camp. The road is a well-managed, single lane with small passing areas.
  • There are free shuttles! There are shuttle stops throughout the park, and they run from 8:30 am till 3:00 am, so you won’t miss all the late night fun and find yourself walking in the dark. If you have large instruments to haul to workshops, you’ll love the shuttles.


Breakfast is served from 8:00 to 10:00, lunch from 12:00 to 2:00 pm, and dinner from 6:30 to 8:30.

NOTE: Last Friday mealtimes are different; brunch is served from 8 – 1:30, and dinner from 5:30 – 8:00pm. No breakfast is served on the departure day, August 3.


AT CAMP: We have one or more instrument stores at camp for you to buy instruments, strings, picks, etc. Lark in the Morning music store will be in Camps 1 and 2. Jason Cool will have his Musical Instrument Library in Camp 3. Camp 3 also has a Lark store for basic needs like batteries and tissues. Often you can find instruments and tune books at both Swap Meets – see Events.

WE MAY HAVE MASSAGE IN 2024 – PLEASE CHECK BACK. Restorative massage is usually available at Lark Camp thanks to several Licensed or Certified Massage Therapists who come each year, but this year is an exception. We hope to bring it back in 2024. (Ordinarily, you’ll find sign-up sheets for appointments at the dining halls. Please be considerate of the therapists – honor your appointments, or offer to pay if you miss yours!)

There is no WiFi at Camp. It’s frustrating…and kind of wonderful. Phone reception is VERY limited.


BEFORE AND AFTER CAMP: In the town of Mendocino, there are several restaurants, but Larkies are awfully fond of getting coffee and treats before camp, and breakfast the morning we leave camp at the GoodLife Bakery & Cafe. If you realize you forgot your toothbrush or other grocery/sundry item, Harvest Market at Mendosa’s will have what you need, and they own Mendocino Hardware right next door for anything else you might need on the spur of the moment!

Lark Camp Music Library

You can find music notation and links to audio recordings for tunes that have been taught at Lark Camp in the past, and in some cases before camp. It does not include ALL our instructor materials (often handed out during workshops), but if they’ve told you you’ll be able to find it on the website, dis is da place!

Pesky Pests

Lark Camp regularly has these pesky things:

  • Insects are numerous – we cannot lie. The products that work most reliably for mosquitoes is DEET or Picaridin, but many people have good luck with other repellents. Covering up with clothing helps, too.
  • Poison oak – Not everyone has a reaction, but poison oak plants have an irritating oil that can produce swelling and blisters where it has made contact with your skin. You’ll want to educate yourself and your kids about its appearance; groups of three leaves can be shiny or dull, and green or red. The most important thing to do if you’ve gotten oil on your skin from contact with the plant, is to wash – use soap (which dissolves the oil) AND friction ASAP. Carefully remove clothing that has contacted the plants and save it to wash when you get home. For some folks, poison oak reactions can be severe enough to warrant a visit to a doctor for a steroid prescription. The best medicine: avoidance!
  • Dust – well, you’re outdoors. Dust is unavoidable! The Mendocino Woodlands does its best to minimize airborne dust, but if you’re particularly sensitive, proactively following your regular allergy protocols will keep you comfortable.

Vashon Poison Oak“Vashon Poison Oak” by is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0