Santa Camp 2023 - A School for Santa, Mrs. Claus & the Elves

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Santa Camp 2023 - A School for Santa, Mrs. Claus & the Elves

Santa Camp, A School for Santa, Mrs. Claus & the Elves is a relaxing, enjoyable setting for learning, fellowship and sharing for everyone.

By New England Santa Society

When and where

Date and time

August 25 · 11am - August 27 · 4pm EDT


Barbara C. Harris Camp & Conference Center 108 Wally Stone Lane Greenfield, NH 03047

Refund Policy

Contact the organizer to request a refund.

About this event

  • 2 days 5 hours
  • Mobile eTicket

As of March 4, 2023:

Santa Camp 2023 is filling up quickly!! Limited class space available. And reservation for the lodges and Adult Cabins are sold out. Only Standard Cabin lodging available for 2023 Santa Camp.

The other option is to stay at one of the nearby inns, hotels, or campgrounds and sign up for the Commuter option.

Featured in the HBOMax Original documentary SANTA CAMP

Santa Camp has education as the main focus, but additional group and individual activities contribute to a unique, memorable weekend of learning, camaraderie and fun. Recapture your youthful joy with a trip to summer camp -- without the tents, campfire meals, and rustic facilities. The conference center provides hotel-like rooms, full meal service and modern amenities.

Santa Camp - A School for Santa, Mrs. Claus & the Elves, is offered and taught by New England Santa Society members. The event will run Friday noon to Sunday afternoon. The program is open to anyone 21 years old and over who portrays or is interested in becoming Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, elf or other holiday character. All instructors and staff donate their time and receive no compensation. All proceeds from Santa Camp go to supporting New England Santa Society, a non-profit organization.


Santa Camp 2023 offers four separate programs:

COMPREHENSIVE COURSE - Preparing for the Sleigh: This extensive course is for the new and experienced Santa, Mrs. Claus & Elves. It covers everything from creating the character, performance techniques, to marketing your services and much more.

MRS. CLAUS & HELPERS PROGRAM: A full weekend program of lessons & activities for experienced Mrs. Claus and helpers. The lessons will explore ways Mrs. Claus and others can operate as independent performers as well as with a partner. In addition to developing new skills, the group will share ideas and projects.

ADVANCED WORKSHOP - Know Your Audience: This advanced program will focus on working with various groups including special needs, elderly populations, preschoolers, autistic, deaf, blind, hospital patients and more.

*NEW* ANNUAL ADVANCED PROGRAM - Performing Workshop for the Clauses: This program focuses on activities and strategies to use to create magical and memorable appearances. One focus will be how Santa, Mrs. Claus and helpers can work as a team to create coordinated and cohesive performances. Special attention will also be given to building a strong Claus backstory.

COMPREHENSIVE COURSE: Preparing for the Sleigh

The comprehensive course is for the new and experienced Santa, Mrs. Claus and elves looking for a broad overview of the role, business, and activities of Mr. & Mrs. Claus and helpers. Through a variety of lessons, panels, discussions and activities, participants will gain the knowledge and tools needed to become an exceptional Claus.

Topics to be covered include History of Santa & Mrs. Claus, Roles for the Clauses, Looking the Part, Business Topics, Finding Work, Marketing, Claus Performance, In the Chair, Santa & Mrs. Claus Bag of Tricks and Resources for Performers. The program is open to anyone interested in being Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, elf or other holiday performer.

The First Graduating Class of New England Santa Academy, Santa Camp 2016, & Staff


This workshop is all about Mrs. Claus and other helpers. The session focuses on moving from a basic Mrs. Claus to a dynamic, multifaceted performer. Through sharing, presentations and discussions, participants will explore ways helpers can work with Santa for a complementary, partnered performance. Attention will also be given to opportunities and options for solo appearances by Mrs. Claus and the elves.

It will delve into the history, character, and role of Mrs. Claus. Marketing, backstory, and types of events will be covered. Developing a holiday wardrobe and ideas for various looks for Mrs. Claus will be shared.

In addition, a number of hands-on opportunities will be offered to create accessories, props, and tools. Ideas for crafts, music, story telling, puppetry and other activities will be explored. Resource lists, activity worksheets, craft projects, and other materials will be provided.


This year's advanced seminar will focus on the various special audiences Santa, Mrs. Claus and holiday performers often encounter. In addition to providing information on and suggestions for the various groups and settings, participants will share their own experiences and strategies.

While there will be opportunities to discuss all groups, sessions will focus on the following audiences:

Toddlers & Preschool Children: Taking a look at typical childhood development, the group will explore what techniques work best to connect with children of various ages in schools, daycare centers, public events and homes. Appropriate activities, songs and stories for different age groups will be discussed.

Elderly: At the other end of the spectrum are Santa's visits to nursing homes, elderly housing and senior citizen events. Ideas for activities, conversations and interactions will be shared. Interacting with those with Alzheimer's disease and dementia will also be addressed.

Special Needs: Working with children and adults with autism, developmental disabilities, Down syndrome, behavioral issues and other conditions will be covered. The session will discuss different conditions, how to identify them and strategies for interaction.

Deaf & Blind: Techniques for connecting with blind or deaf children and adults will be offered. Simple sign language in the Santa setting will be shared and practiced.

Hospitals, Hospice & Health Issues: Visiting with the sick, disabled or dying, is a special challenge but one that can be very rewarding. The session will look at the practical requirements and emotional demands required for these types of visits. Those experienced in this area will offer their advice on how to prepare, ideas for interactions, strategies for coping with the emotional aspects and other unique elements.

Participants should have completed an introductory Santa/Mrs. Claus course of some kind and have two or more years experience with numerous appearances as Santa. If space allows, those will less experience may be allowed to participate.

Performing Workshop for the Clauses

This advanced workshop focuses on activities and strategies that Santa, Mrs. Claus and the elves can use to create magical and memorable appearances. The emphasis will be on home parties, larger group gatherings, and other events that require more than just posing for photos and taking wish lists. However, the material learned will be useful for all types of events.

A major element will be presentation of various activities, stories, strategies, props, techniques, etc., by students as well as the workshop leaders. Participants will be encouraged to share what they do for feedback and suggestions. Time will be provided to develop new material and try out various ideas, techniques and tools. This is a hands-on, interactive program.

One focus will be how Santa, Mrs. Claus and helpers can work as a team to create coordinated and cohesive performances. Whether existing couples or solo performers, students will explore strategies for determining roles, tasks and assignments. Individuals will be paired to work together for these exercises.

Special attention will also be given to building a strong Claus backstory to create a solid foundation. Participants will learn how to creatively incorporate elements of the backstory into the performance, stories and when responding to questions.

Topics to be covered include structuring the performance, filling the “bag of tricks,” expanding storytelling throughout the visit, creative props, employing music, using magic effectively and other ideas for creating logical and cohesive visits.

This program will be offered annually. Since the content will be shaped by participant presentations and group discussions, the workshop will be different each year. Experienced folks are encouraged to attend every year to gain new ideas and hone their skills.


The program fee includes all seven meals (Friday lunch to Sunday lunch), two nights lodging (double occupancy) and program fees and materials. In order to maximize the number of people who can attend, individuals are asked to share a room. You can request a specific roommate on the registration form.

Private single rooms are not available at this point. If you prefer a single room ($175 upgrade), add a note on the registration form and/or email with your request. If singles become available, they will be assigned in the order of registration date. Another option is to stay at a nearby hotel and sign up for the Commuter Option for the course you wish to attend.

Couples are welcome to attend. A “companion” option is offered to cover lodging, meals, use of the facilities and group social activities. It does not include ability to sit in on classes, workshop materials, giveaways, or certificates.

Santa Camp Fees

All Programs: $495.00 per person (Double Occupancy) - All inclusive: covers attendance in selected program, workshop materials, two nights lodging, seven meals, class certificate and other supplies.

Companion Option: $325.00 per person (Double Occupancy) - Includes two nights lodging, seven meals, and use of facilities. Attendance in same workshop and class materials are not included.

Commuter Option: $350.00 per person. Those who do not require lodging can commute daily. The fee includes all seven meals, participation in all activities and all class materials. Since learning takes place at meals and other events, commuters should plan to be in attendance for all meals and class sessions, including evening schedules.

Special Discounts

When registering, click on the "Enter promo code" link at the top of the registration ticket list. Then enter the appropriate code. The ticket prices will be adjusted to reflect the discount.

NESS Member Discount: All current New England Santa Society members can take a $25 discount on any program fee or Companion ticket. Use promo code: Member

Two Workshop Discount: Couples or partners who want to attend two different programs get $25 off each fee for a $50 total savings. Use promo code TwoTix when registering. Be sure to do both registrations on the same order.

NESS Members should use MemberTwoTix to receive both TwoTix and Member discounts when registering.

Preparing for the Sleigh Repeat: Those who have attended Preparing for the Sleigh previously can receive a $75 discount if wanting to attend the program again. No workshop materials or gifts are provided. Updated materials will be provided if needed. Use promo code: Repeat

NESS Members should use MemberRepeat to receive both the Repeat and Member discounts when registering.


Lodging space and class capacity are limited. So sign up early before they sell out. Click the orange "Reserve A Spot" button at the top of this page. That will bring you to the list of available class tickets and options.

To reserve a place at Santa Camp, select the ticket(s) for the program you want to attend and pay by credit card or PayPal. If you prefer to pay by check, mail it directly to NESS, P.O. Box 6362, Manchester, NH 03108.

You have the option of paying in full to avoid Eventbrite fees. Or use the "Deposit" ticket to secure your place with just a deposit of $95.

Please complete the registration form completely for all persons attending. Use different cell phone and email address for each person if available.

For more details, go to Or contact us at info@NewEnglandSantaSociety.Org or P.O. Box 6362, Manchester, NH 03108.

Payment Schedule Available 

Those who register before July 1st can make payment in three installments. A deposit is needed at time of booking to hold the reservation. The balance will be made in two equal payments on July 1 and August 1. Reservations made after July 1 require full payment at the time of booking.

When registering, select the Deposit ticket for the class you wish to attend.


The Barbara C. Harris Camp & Conference Center, in rural southern New Hampshire, offers a secluded but modern facility. Located on Otter Lake and surrounded by woodlands, the site will provide an idyllic, natural environment for relaxation, reflection and recreation. Our group will have almost exclusive use of the facilities. Swimming, boating, hiking and recreational activities will be available.

Lodge rooms are in St. John’s and St. Mark’s Lodges. These modern hotel-style two-story buildings each have twelve bedrooms. All of the bedrooms have two beds, some with two double beds and others with a double and a twin bed. These are normally double occupancy but accommodate 3 or 4 campers depending on available beds. Each room has its own bathroom with a shower and is comfortably appointed to make you feel right at home. Bedding and towels are provided. The buildings are not air conditioned so you may want to bring an extra fan or a window AC unit if desired.

Adult Friendly Cabins are another option for lodging. There are ten separate buildings which have four single beds and two full bathrooms with showers. They can sleep two to four people. Bedding and towels are provided. The price for cabins is the same as the lodge rooms. Unless otherwise requested, cabins will first be assigned as double occupancy with a third and fourth person added if enrollment requires it.


Do you need to be or become a member of the organization to participate?

No. This is open to anyone interested in learning more about taking on the role of Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, Elf or other characters. While not required, you are welcome to become a member of New England Santa Society at any time.

How do I sign up to attend?

Go to the top of the page and click the orange button "Reserve a spot." You can secure your reservation by selecting the appropriate "ticket(s)" and option for the program you wish to attend. Prior to July 1, you can make a deposit to reserve your spot with the balance paid in two equal payments on July 1 and August 1. After July 1st, full payment is required to make a reservation. Be sure to order a separate ticket for each person attending.

Can my Mrs. Claus, spouse, assistant, elf, helper or partner come to Santa Camp too?

Yes, they are most welcome. The "Companion" option ticket covers all meals, lodging, use of camp amenities and social events. Attending classes is not included.

For partners who want to both attend a program, a $25 discount on both fees is provided for a $50 total savings. Use the discount code "TwoTix" when registering. NESS members should use "MemberTwoTix" to receive both discounts ($50 each).

What can I do if the options I want are sold out?

Put yourself on the Waiting List for the session. Additional spaces may open up and you'll be the first in line for them. You can also sign up for another course to attend camp. Then add a note at the end of the registration form regarding your interest in attending a different course if a space opens up.

I am coming from a distance and prefer not to drive. What suggestions do you have? Is there an airport nearby? What about train options? Is ground transportation available?

The best option for flying is the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport ( in Manchester, NH. It is served by American Airlines, Southwest, United and Spirit. It's about an hour drive from Santa Camp.

Logan International Airport in Boston, MA, is about a 90 minute drive from Santa Camp. It has a large number of airlines to choose from.

Amtrak offers train travel from Virginia north on Northeast Regional into Boston South Station. Or you can take The Vermonter from Washington, DC, up to Brattleboro, VT, about an hour drive from Santa Camp.

There is excellent bus service ( regularly from Logan Airport and South Station to North Londonderry, NH (near Manchester). Less regular service goes to Nashua, Manchester and Concord, NH.

We should be able to arrange ground transportation from and to North Londonderry, Manchester, Nashua or Concord, NH, Brattleboro, VT. There's a chance we can get you a ride from and to Boston, MA. We have a number of members who can provide a ride to and from Santa Camp depending on your schedule.

As you plan your itinerary, take travel time into consideration. Since the courses present a coordinated curriculum, it's important you be present at all class sessions. The session begins at noon on Friday and ends around 3:00 pm on Sunday.

If a Thursday arrival is necessary, we can arrange a stay at Santa Camp that day. The extra cost for three meals and overnight is $150. Or you can stay somewhere else and we can pick you up Friday morning.

We can arrange transportation on Sunday at the end of the sessions. We don't have the option of staying over at Santa Camp that night, but we can take you to a hotel near your departure point.

When you are ready to book your transportation, feel free to discuss the options with us so we can help you plan the most convenient and affordable options.

What requirements are there for being Santa Claus? Do I need a real beard? Should I have experience working with children? Is there an age requirement?

It's not what you look like but what's in your heart that qualifies you to be Santa. The only common requirement for serving as Santa (and other characters) is passing a criminal background check.

While most think of Santa as an older man with a real white beard and big jelly belly, those are not prerequisites to playing the role. Physical attributes of the traditional Santa are a plus, but everyone can learn to look the part. That's one of the things taught in the course.

Since interacting with children is often a big part of Santa's role, being comfortable working with kids is helpful. Teachers, coaches, grandparents, etc., are great candidates for the role. However, there are many events where working with children is not even part of the job.

We are restricting participation in this event to 21 and over. However, elves, helpers and even Santa and Mrs. Claus could be any age.

What are the requirements for attending the Advanced Workshop?

Due to the advanced nature of the programs, applicants should have completed Preparing for the Sleigh or an introductory Santa/Mrs. Claus course of some kind and have experience with numerous appearances as Santa/Mrs. Claus. If space allows, those with less experience may be allowed to participate.

If you don't meet the prerequisites but want to attend an advanced course, email us with your interest and experience. Or register for another course and include a note at the end of the registration form.

How are rooms assigned?

There is limited lodging available. There are 24 lodge rooms that sleep two (could sleep 3 or 4 if wanted). A number of them are handicap accessible. The ten adult cabins can sleep up to four each.

Indicate your preference for where you'd like to stay on the registration form. Assignments will be made in order of registration. Consideration will be given to those with mobility issues or needing accessible rooms.

Unless otherwise requested, two people will be assigned to the adult cabins to begin. If needed, occupancy will be increased to three or four per cabin. Couples will most likely to be assigned lodge rooms to allow flexibility for the cabins.

If all lodging fills up, we may be able to offer other group cabin options. Details on area lodging will be provided as an option if everything on site sells out.

Can I have my own room and not have to share?

Due to the demand for lodging, single rooms will not be available. Feel free to email your interest in a single room if they come available on the registration form note section at the end. There is a upcharge of $175.

Do I need to find my own roommate? Or will you match me up?

If you already have someone to room with, you can book both reservations together. We will know to match you up in the same room or cabin. If you register individually, just comment the end of the registration form who you want as a roommate. Or email us with the name of the people you want us to match together. Otherwise we will assign roommates.

Can I attend the school without staying at the Conference Center?

For this year, we are opening registrations for commuters. Since all aspects of the program are important, including free time, meals, social activities and evening programming, it is important that everyone be available and participate. Select the appropriate ticket if you plan to commute and not stay on site. All meals and class materials are included in the price.

Do I need to attend the whole weekend? Can I attend individual days?

Since the programs are comprehensive courses, it's important participants are there for the entire program. Individual day tickets are not available.

 How can I contact the organizer with any questions?

The best way to reach us is send an email to

Is my registration/ticket transferrable?

Yes. Just be sure to notify us who will be taking your place.

 What is the refund policy?

Refund of the full amount paid will be given to anyone who cancels by June 1. After that date, a refund of the total paid minus the $95 registration fee will be given only if there is someone on the waiting list to take the spot. Otherwise refunds will not be given.

Santa Camp courses have been developed and are taught by members of the New England Santa Society. Their efforts are voluntary. They receive no compensation and even pay to attend, covering the cost of lodging and meals. Here's the staff at the conclusion of 2021 Santa Camp.

About the organizer

New England Santa Society

New England Santa Society is an independent, nonprofit association of members from all six New England states. Our purpose is to bring together those who portray Santa, Mrs. Claus, Elf and other holiday characters for sharing, socializing, learning, networking, and service. 


The organization holds meetings and activities regularly throughout the region for the benefit, edification, enjoyment, and socialization of the members and guests. NESS also sponsors the New England Santa Academy, a school for Santas by Santas. 


Full voting membership is open to any Santa, real bearded or not, Mrs. Claus, elf, reindeer handler, helper, and other holiday performer from the six New England states and immediate vicinity. Associate non-voting membership is open to anyone. 


New England Santa Society is an official chapter of the International Brotherhood of Real Bearded Santas. The organization cooperates with and fosters Santa events and holiday activities organized by other groups and individuals in the region when possible.

$95 – $495