Campsite Challenge

2015 winners: Camp Tiki Bar
2015 winners: Camp Tiki Bar

To extend the spirit of Sustainable Festivation into the campgrounds, Planet Bluegrass encourages you to enter the 8th Annual How Green is your Grass? Campsite Challenge.

Coordinated by the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics and Planet Bluegrass, the contest encourages all of us to raise the bar for sustainable and creative camping. All entrants are eligible for random daily prizes, while campsites that excel in achieving the highest levels of the Leave No Trace philosophy could win camping and 4-day passes for the 2017 festival.

How Do I Enter?

The contest is open to all campers in any of the Planet Bluegrass-managed campgrounds. To nominate your own campsite or one of your neighbors:

  1. Leave No TraceComplete the 1-page campsite entry form at the Leave No Trace booth inside the festival. (Download a PDF of the entry form now.)
  2. Stop by the Leave No Trace booth each day to view all the campsite entries. Each day we select 2 winners (one chosen by our staff, one chosen at random) for daily prizes.
  3. Planet Bluegrass will select the grand prize winner after the campground pack-out is complete on Monday. The grand prize winner will receive camping and 4-day passes for the 2017 Telluride Bluegrass.

How Do I Win?

We will be judging on three simple criteria:

  1. Cleanliness. Are you repackaging the food you bring? Are you keeping a tidy campsite? Are items secure and not susceptible to wind gusts? Are you safely disposing of cigarette butts?
  2. 2014 winners: Camp Blow It Out
    2014 winners: Camp Blow It Out
    Sustainability. Are you separating your recyclables, compostables, and then placing them in the correct bins at the campsite waste stations? Are you reusing products (cups, utensils, water bottles, bags) instead of trashing them? Are you using any alternative energy sources to power your campsite? Did you bike or carpool to the festival; are you offsetting carbon emissions using wind credits or carbon offsets? Will you pack out as much as possible when leaving? Did you do anything to reduce your homes’ energy while attending the festival?
  3. Creativity. Does your campsite have a theme? Did you decorate your campsite with lights, flags, or banners?Are you utilizing any unique and innovative camping techniques? Are you cooking any creative camping recipes? Are you upcycling any items from home?

What Do I Win?

Random winners will be chosen each day to win: New Belgium beer, Kelty gear, Klean Kanteen products, and fun stuff from Planet Bluegrass.

One grand prize winner will be selected after the campground pack-out on Monday. This grand prize winner will receive a pair of 4-day passes and camping (in the campground of your choice) for the 2017 Festival!!

2015 Winners

Congratulations to the 2015 Campsite Challenge winners Camp Tiki Bar in the Town Park Campground. They received free 4-day passes and camping for the 2016 festival.

Camp Tiki Bar

Camp Tiki Bar
Town Park campground
With their camp slogan of "Bringing the Aloha spirit to Town Park!" this camp from Flagstaff, AZ inspired us by their commitment to community, sustainability, and fun ways to share the messages and lessons of sustainable festivation.

"The people of Hawaii have a phrase, Malama Ka `Aina, which means to take care of the land. On our visits there, we've been inspired by the people who put those words into action, like organizing a beach clean-up. Similarly inspiring are the Planet Bluegrass volunteers who tend the bins, patiently and enthusiastically helping people dispose of their waste to create the smallest impact. We're sure many festivarians have started composting because of the Planet's example, and the Tiki Bar Camp is happy to help spread the word. Aloha! - Gary Dunn, Camp Tiki Bar

Tiki Bar tips for Festivarian campers: "We share our kitchen with old friends and new neighbors for better community and efficiency. Kitchen in the back with coolers in the shade to make the ice last longer. Dish- and hand-washing station with foot-pump faucet and three tubs for proper cleanliness. Recycling, compost and trash all separate and easily accessible. Our living space is separate from the kitchen to keep it tidier. Patio heater and solar LED lights make the space inviting, especially for the late-night jams we love! Tropical scene on one wall for a fun 'photo booth!' As a group we take home what we learn here and apply it to our daily lives." (from Tiki Bar's 2015 Campsite Challenge application)
Thanks to these and many many other thoughtful, creative, sustainable campsites. Congratulations to everyone who helped make this possible. Give them a virtual pat on the back over at the Festivarian Forum.

Some Tips from Leave No Trace

  1. Voting at the LNT booth
    Bigfoot at Telluride Bluegrass
    Before you arrive, repackage food into reusable containers. This will limit how much waste you bring to the fest and keep your camp that much cleaner.
  2. Re-use is the name of the game. Bring re-usable cups, plates, napkins, etc. This will reduce the amount of trash you generate.
  3. Good campsites are found, not made. Bring folding tables, chairs, or other amenities to make a comfortable camp. Remember to take everything you brought with you, and leave the area better than you found it.
  4. Establish a clean and green camping community. Work together with other nearby campers to share your resources and strive to Leave No Trace in a fun and festive manner.
  5. Secure your food. Human food is unhealthy for wildlife. Protect the locals and your food by storing all your food, trash, and compost securely in your camp.

For More Information

Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics is an educational, nonprofit organization dedicated to the responsible enjoyment and active stewardship of the outdoors by all people, worldwide. Visit at or call 1-800-332-4100