Frequently Asked Questions: Summer Arts Camp

Here are some common questions students and families have about applying to and attending Interlochen Arts Camp:

General Questions

Where is Interlochen Arts Camp?
Interlochen is located in the northwest corner of Michigan's lower peninsula. By car, we are about four hours from Detroit, and six hours from Chicago. Details on getting here.

What are the dates of Interlochen Arts Camp?
Our programs are one, two, three, four and six weeks long, so dates vary by program. For summer 2014, most programs happen between June 27 and August 10, although the one-week "Institute" programs run June 20 - June 26. To find the dates of a specific program, start here.

Application Process

Interlochen Arts Camp: Step-by-Step Application Process

When is the application deadline?
Programs that do not require an audition or portfolio enroll on a rolling basis. The priority application date for programs that do require an audition or portfolio is February 1, 2015. We will continue accepting applications after February 1 as space permits. Early application is encouraged.

Do I need to submit an audition or portfolio?
Audition and portfolio requirements vary by program. Some programs do not require an audition or portfolio. All programs require an application. View requirements by program:

Audition and portfolio materials can be submitted online. Music, Theatre, and Dance students may also attend one of our live, regional auditions, held in cities throughout the country.

When will I receive my admission decision?
For students who have applied to program that do not require an audition or portfolio, the Interlochen Arts Camp Admissions Office will begin sending admission decision announcements in early January. The admission decision process will continue for each of these programs until it is filled.

Tuition / Financial Aid / Scholarships

How much does it cost to attend Interlochen Arts Camp?
Tuition varies depending on program. A full list of all programs and the specific fees for each can be found online: start here. The indicated cost covers room and board, classes, group instruction, all recreational facilities and admission to faculty and student performances. Tuition also covers private lessons that are required as part of an arts program.

What should I expect in terms of financial aid?
Interlochen strives to make programs available to eligible students by offering financial aid. Approximately 25 percent of students receive some financial aid. Because financial aid is allocated based on individual financial circumstances, it is difficult to predict a student’s aid package. Three factors that can affect assistance include:

  • Financial circumstances of the family
  • The student’s level of achievement and artistic merit
  • The programmatic needs of Interlochen

Visit our Scholarships and Financial Aid page to learn more about opportunities for financial assistance. To apply, complete the Financial Aid portion of the application. High School instrumentalists may qualify for up to a full merit scholarship through the Emerson and Fennell programs.

Are discounts available for siblings or students enrolling in multiple sessions?
Discounts are available for students who attend multiple sessions. Discounts are not offered for multiple students attending from the same household.

Student Life

Can friends and family members visit students?
Family and friends are welcome to enjoy public performances and short visits with students on the main campus. Visitors are asked to be mindful that students have busy schedules and many obligations. Frequent or lengthy visits make it difficult for students to take advantage of the resources available to them or fully immerse themselves in the camp experience. Guests are not permitted to visit residential areas or cabins.

What kind of adult supervision does Interlochen provide?
In addition to approximately 350 year-round staff, Interlochen employs another 1,000 adults during the summer season. While the duties of each position vary, the safety and well-being of students is a responsibility that is shared by all employees. Cabin counselors comprise more than 20 percent of the summer staff. Their primary responsibility is to ensure the well-being of those who participate in Interlochen’s summer programs.

Are religious services available?
Although Interlochen does not have a religious affiliation, local churches and clergy offer services on the campus throughout the Camp session. Students are free to attend services as they wish. Many denominations are represented. If you have specific questions about what is offered, please call the Education Office at 231.276.7492.

Can my child have a cell phone, laptop computer or iPod at Interlochen?
Interlochen Arts Camp is a busy and intense program of a quality that is best experienced without the distraction of cell phones; we recommend leaving them at home if they are not needed while traveling. Students who choose to have phones at Interlochen will be able to us them on a limited basis at designated times and in designated locations that will be explained after arrival. Cell phones are not allowed on campus during the day. Public telephones are available on campus and require a phone card. In the event of an emergency on campus, Interlochen staff will provide telephone access to students. In the event of an emergency at home, parents can reach students through the campus switchboard at 231.276.7200.

Laptops are not allowed – with the exception of students who are participating in intermediate or high school creative writing, high school motion picture arts, or high school music composition programs.

Students are allowed to use iPods and other portable audio players.

What does Interlochen do for homesick students?
It is not uncommon for kids of all ages to miss home during their first day or two at Interlochen, especially if they are on their first extended trip away from home. The residence life staff is trained to identify when students are having difficulty and to help them enjoy their experience.

It is not uncommon for a parent to "suffer" more than their child, who is typically preoccupied with a busy schedule.

Can students call home or send e-mail?
Public phones are available on the main campus. Students are encouraged to have a phone card for calling home. Students will not have Internet access to read or write e-mail.

Are there vegetarian/special needs dining options?
At each meal there are multiple entrée choices, which include vegetarian options. Vegan, peanut allergy and other restrictions can be accomodated.

Can students exercise or participate in sports?
Junior campers may participate in structured recreational activities and sports. Intermediate and high school students have access to recreational facilities including tennis courts, basketball courts, hiking trails, waterfront activities and more.

Do students have to wear uniforms?
During the one-week institute programs students do not need to wear a uniform.

For programs taking place between June 27 and August 10, 2014, all students, faculty and staff wear uniforms.

Uniform shirts must be purchased from the Interlochen Scholarshop. All other items are available at the Scholarshop but may be purchased elsewhere.

Shirts: light blue polo shirts on Monday through Saturday and white on Sunday

Pants: navy blue pants or shorts - girls may also wear navy capris or knickers

Belts (boys only): color-coded by age division

  • high school, light blue
  • intermediate, red
  • junior, navy blue

Socks (girls only): color-coded by age division

  • high school, light blue
  • intermediate, red
  • junior, navy blue

Does attendance at Interlochen Arts Camp improve my child's chances at being accepted to Interlochen Arts Academy or their choice of college?
There are no formal arrangements between Interlochen Arts Camp and other educational institutions to provide preferential admission to students who have attended Interlochen summer programs. However, there are many opportunities for students to interact with instructors and admissions representatives from colleges, conservatories and the Arts Academy. More than 100 colleges and universities take part in a college fair on campus each summer.

Health Services

What if my child becomes ill?
Interlochen's medical staff includes doctors, family nurse practitioners, registered nurses and medical assistants. Medical professionals are on campus 24 hours a day to provide routine and emergency health care as needed for no additional charge to parents. While there is not a “per visit” fee for a student to meet with a health professional on campus, a Health Services fee of $7 per week is charged for each student. Interlochen is not responsible for the costs associated with medical services provided outside of Interlochen Center for the Arts by non-Interlochen personnel (emergency room visits, area medical clinics, etc.).

There are three health centers on campus. The Green Lake Township Emergency Medical Service and fire station is less than one mile from campus and Munson Medical Center, which has been recognized as one of the top 100 hospitals in the United States, is 13.9 miles from the Interlochen campus.

How does Interlochen help with a campers’ prescription medications?
In order to provide a safe and responsible means for supervision of student medications, Interlochen reserves the right to determine the conditions under which medications will be administered. To best ensure student medication safety and security, all prescription and nonprescription medications that need to be taken daily must be filled through a local third party vendor: The Prescription Shop/Whitney Pharmacy Services of Traverse City. Prescriptions will be filled, packaged, labeled and delivered to campus prior to each student’s arrival and refilled as needed. Medications are dispensed by authorized Interlochen personnel, nurses or health services assistants, who have been trained to administer medication. There is a fee of $5 per week for students taking medications. Students are responsible for picking up medications from Health Services as scheduled, and for picking up any unused medications at the end of each session.

State camp regulations prohibit students from keeping any medications in their cabin or with them (with the exception of Lactaid, EpiPens, insulin, and asthma inhalers). Please do not send over the counter medications to camp with your child to be taken as needed (e.g. Tylenol, Advil, etc.). Commonly used medications are readily available in the Health Centers if needed.

Can Interlochen accommodate students with special needs?
The Health Services staff is available to consult with parents and students. They can be reached at 231.276.7220.

Students must be able to: manage his or her personal care, move independently from place to place, and live cooperatively in a cabin setting.

Safety and Security

How do I know my child will be safe and secure?
Interlochen takes the safety of students very seriously. Here are just a few measures that Interlochen has taken to ensure the well-being of students:

  • As part of the hiring process, background checks are conducted for all faculty and staff.
  • All Interlochen faculty, staff and students are required to wear uniforms and Interlochen-issued photo ID tags at all times.
  • Each building has an evacuation or emergency plan for fires or severe weather. The staff is trained to follow the plans.
  • A public address system allows administrators to issue vital information (weather warnings, etc.) to students and staff.
  • Interlochen employs numerous security and safety professionals, many of whom have law enforcement experience.
  • Interlochen has an extensive Emergency Response plan and routinely works with local, regional, state and national safety and security professionals.

When can students swim?
Students may only swim when the waterfront is guarded by trained lifeguards. Before any student swims or participates in deep water sports, they must pass a mandatory swim test.


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