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Camp Pre-Arrival FAQs

Here are some common questions students and families have about applying to and attending Interlochen Arts Camp. In addition, many questions can be answered by reviewing the Student and Family Handbooks.

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 2024, most programs happen between June 23 and August 4, although the one-week "Intensive" programs run June 15-21. To find the dates of a specific program, start here. If you've already registered for a program, log into the Education Community for your specific start and end dates.

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

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 Jan. 15. We will continue to welcome applications after Jan. 15 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. Consult the program page for more details on whether an audition or portfolio is required. Audition and portfolio materials can be submitted online. 

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

For students who have applied to programs that do require an audition or portfolio, the Interlochen Arts Camp Admission Office will send decision announcements by March 1.

Learn more at How to Apply.

How to apply

How much does it cost to attend Interlochen Arts Camp?
Tuition varies depending on program. 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. 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 Tuition 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 Interlochen Orchestral Scholars and Fennell Scholars programs.

Who can I contact for my Financial Aid questions?
Our Camp Financial Aid team is happy to assist. Contact

How will my camper get to and from Interlochen from the Traverse City Airport (TVC)?

  • For camp students, Interlochen provides a shuttle to get to and from campus for a small fee. We base these shuttle runs on the information you input into the Education Community Travel Plans Form. It is incredibly important that these are accurate and up to date to ensure smooth arrivals and departures for your camper.
  • Uniformed Interlochen staff will be at the Traverse City Airport (TVC) for camp arrivals and departures; however, on June 14, 2024 the shuttle will not start running until 5 p.m. This means that if your camper arrives at TVC early in the day, they will have to wait until the first shuttle starts running.
  • Parents and Guardians are able to request transportation to and from the airport when accompanying their student for registration only. Please indicate your needs when filling out the Travel Plans in the Education Community. The fee for parents/guardians is $29 each way. 

What happens if my camper has an early in the morning flight / late at night flight / their flight is scheduled after noon on departure day / arrives before the first shuttle runs?

  • Interlochen staff are at the airport for arrivals and departures no matter the time of day.
  • All departures are taken to TVC a minimum of 2 hours PRIOR to their departure flight. On departure days, all campers must be checked out of their divisions by noon. This can make for a long day waiting at the airport. Please be sure your camper has activities to keep them occupied if they do have to wait for a later in the day flight. While waiting for their flight, please remind your camper not to leave their luggage unattended. 

What if my camper is flying as an unaccompanied minor?

  • List the following information when filling out the unaccompanied minor paperwork: 
    Travel Coordinator: Melisa Castillo 
    Address: Interlochen Arts Camp, 4000 J Maddy Pkwy, Interlochen, MI 49643 
    Phone Number: 231.276.7373 
  • Please schedule your flights early in the day. Unaccompanied minors will not be able to fly if any flights of the trip are the last flight of the day.
  • Please familiarize yourself with your chosen airlines policies and procedures for sending your camper as an unaccompanied minor.

What if my camper has a large instrument coming to camp with them? 
If traveling with a very large instrument, you have a few options:

  • You can purchase an extra seat for your instrument. We advise traveling with it in a hard-shell case for protection, even if it is in the seat next to you.
  • You can check your instrument when you are checking in at the airport. We advise purchasing insurance as well.
  • You can ship your instrument: Please call Peter Willis at 231.276.7822 or email for more information.
  • You can rent an instrument while you are here at camp: Please complete an Instrument Request Form as soon as possible by logging into the Education Community. For further questions please reach out to: Peter Willis at 231.276.7822. 

Is there a parent/guardian shuttle to the airport?
There is a parent/guardian shuttle to the airport on arrival days only at the following times: 12 p.m., 2 p.m., and 4 p.m. 

Pick-up will be at the Yellow Poles by Campus Safety. The fee for parents/guardians is $29 each way. 

Are there other campers coming in on the same flight as my camper or from my same general area?
We are unable to give out personal information of other campers and/or staff. 

Can you look to see when my camper’s first and last obligations are so I can make travel arrangements?
You can find that information in the Interlochen Arts Camp Education Community parent portal.

Can I just send you my camper’s flight information in an email?
No. Entering plans into the travel plans section of the Education Community is the only way that everyone who is involved with your camper's travel plans are promptly made aware of all details. 
How do I change my camper's travel plans?
Please log into the Education Community and edit your existing plan. Doing this promptly ensures that everyone involved in your camper's travel plans are made aware of changes. 

Can friends and family members visit students?
Family and friends are welcome to enjoy public performances and short visits with students on our main campus. We ask visitors 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. Please note that visitors are not permitted to visit residential areas of 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 who offer services on campus are accommodated throughout the Camp session. Students are free to attend services as they wish. If you have specific questions, please contact Esther Triggs, Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Can my child have a cell phone, laptop, desktop 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 phone use and policies depend on the age of the student. Public telephones are available at headquarters and may be used on a limited basis at no charge. 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 Film & New Media, or High School Music Composition programs. Unless laptops are indicated as required for the artistic program, they are to be left at home.

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 Camp 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 and at headquarters at no cost. Intermediate and Junior 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, gluten-free, and other restrictions can be accommodated.

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 outdoor recreational facilities including tennis courts, basketball courts, hiking trails, waterfront activities, and more.

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

For two, three, four, and six-week programs, 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 Tuesday through Saturday, white on Sunday, and light blue or white on Monday

Pants: Navy blue pants, capris, skirts, or shorts

Belts: Color-coded by age division

  • High School, light blue
  • Intermediate, red
  • Junior, navy blue

Socks: 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.

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. 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, Thompson Pharmacy. Prescriptions will be filled, packaged, labeled, and delivered to campus prior to each student’s arrival and refilled as needed. Medications are dispensed by Interlochen nursing staff according to the instructions listed on the medication. 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 their own personal care, move independently from place to place, and live cooperatively in a cabin setting.

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. Swimming in shallow water is open to all but before a student swims or participates in deep water sports, they must pass a mandatory swim test.