I'm signed-up for an upcoming jam camp, and I have been checking out some of the pictures from previous camps. There seem to be a lot of microphones involved. I am hoping to get over some of my fear of singing in public, but the sight of those microphones in front of the jammers gave me the chills! Are they used in every jam camp?
Yes, we use mics at every jam camp, but only for a short time on the very last day. As part of our camp wind-up, we have a "Jam Camp Opry" where each of the informal jam groups prepares a single song to perform for the rest of the class. That's the one time the campers use mics, and it makes for a good way to celebrate how far everyone's come -- plus it gives everyone a taste of performing, where the expectations are only to do your best and have a good time. Everyone cheers everyone else on, and it's fun for all.
At Merlefest, Gettysburg, and Grey Fox, the camps precede the festival, and the festival folks like it if the jam campers get up on stage and perform a couple of songs en masse. You've probably seen some photos of those events. I get volunteers to sing verses and play solos, and we rehearse the songs enough to get through them without major hitches. The festival crowd (usually not very large, since we're on early in the festival) is very encouraging, and the campers seem to enjoy it a lot, even those who mostly stay behind the others and just sing on the choruses.
Sounds like that will be you, and that's just fine. Glad you're coming to the camp!