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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.

Community Pledge

  • What is the Community Pledge?
    • All students, faculty, and staff will take the Interlochen Community Pledge, affirming a commitment to:
      • Protect self,
      • Protect others,
      • Protect community

Cohorting

  • How many students will be in a cabin?
    • Our cabins will be at 50% capacity. Bunks will be six feet apart per guidance from LARA.
  • How will gender separation of cabins work with cohorting?
    • Students will still be housed by gender identity and cabins will be separate.
  • How will cabins be assigned?
    • Cabins will be assigned by program and gender.
  • How many students will be in a class?
    • This will depend on the instructional space.
  • How will meals/dining work this summer?
    • We have three dining halls on campus and will work with our COVID-19 Task Force to plan appropriate use of these facilities in keeping with LARA cohort guidance.
  • What is a cohort and how does it work?
    • Students will be grouped by their program, and will experience all aspects of Camp within their program or “cohort,” including classes, recreational activities, and meals. Cabins will be assigned by program and gender.
  • Will my student be able to hang out with friends not in their cohort?
    • Most activities will be maintained in the cohort, but there will be some opportunities to enjoy socially distanced activities with others.
  • Will students be allowed to attend performances/events outside of their arts area/program?
    • Yes, students will be able to attend performances/events, following social distancing protocols.
  • Will faculty numbers be reduced this summer?
    • We will ensure that we are offering the same level of great instruction as always.

Masking-Social Distancing

  • Does my student need a special mask to wear while playing their instrument? And, will Interlochen supply?
    • Yes. Interlochen will provide bell covers and specially made, instrument specific masks for use while playing woodwind and brass instruments.
  • Will there be times when my child can take off their mask?
    • All students, faculty, and staff will be required to wear face masks at all times when inside any campus building, except during meals or inside their cabins.

COVID 19 Testing/Vaccination

  • Will students be required to be vaccinated for COVID-19 to attend camp?
    • If students have an opportunity to be vaccinated, please take it. We are monitoring vaccination access. Due to limited access currently, and that no vaccine has been approved for anyone under age 12, Interlochen does not require that campers receive a COVID-19 vaccine at this time. Should the situation change, we will advise accordingly.
  • Will all faculty/staff be vaccinated/tested for COVID 19?
    • Our year-round Interlochen faculty and staff were vaccinated in the “1b” priority vaccination group in Michigan. Many of our seasonal faculty and staff have also been vaccinated, and camp employees have just been prioritized by the State of Michigan. We will continue to monitor progress throughout the hiring process and communicate updates. Our onboarding process for students, faculty and staff will require testing and testing will be available on campus throughout Camp.
  • What happens if my child tests positive for COVID-19 while at Camp?
    • If needed, separate residential in-patient facilities have been designated for isolation and quarantine. Families would be contacted immediately in this case and will work with our Dean of Students and Director of Health Services to determine the best plan for the student.
  • Will there be periodic testing at Camp for students and staff?
    • Testing will be required and administered during campus onboarding, and as needed during Camp. Testing is available on-site.
  • If my child is flying to get to campus, what will the quarantine requirements be?
    • Interlochen will follow the CDC guidelines for travel and students will be tested upon arrival (we request that students who can access a PCR test within 72 hours of arrival obtain a test). Most students arriving from the U.S. will not need to quarantine.
  • If my child is vaccinated, does that change any protocols for them?
    • At this time, all protocols are the same for all campers, regardless of vaccination status. We monitor CDC guidelines and will advise accordingly.
  • Are there additional onboarding protocols for international students?
    • Interlochen follows all CDC guidelines and will advise international students about their specific situation accordingly.

Restricted Access

  • Will parents/visitors be allowed on campus?
    • Access to campus will be limited to campers and employees, pending gathering restrictions implemented by the State of Michigan. We continue to monitor the pandemic and public health guidance and will evolve our policies accordingly.
  • Can families attend performances?
    • Due to our contained campus and COVID-19 restrictions, families may not attend student performances this summer. We will webcast performances, as well as archive recorded performances for viewing at home.
  • Can my child leave campus while at Camp?
    • This year, for the safety of all, we will have a contained campus. Campers will not be able to leave campus while their program is in session. Recreation activities will take place on campus among the forest, lakes, beaches, and abundant outdoor gathering spaces.

Program Changes

  • Who do I contact with questions about my programs/application for this summer?
  • What are the dates for Summer 2021?
    • June 19 - August 8, 2021. Some individual program dates have changed. Login to the Education Community to verify the dates of your program.
  • Will we still have performances this summer?
    • Yes. Performances and showcases for our students remain important. We will webcast as many performances as possible.
  • How will electives work?
    • This summer, students will be cohorted by arts division and program. Your curriculum has been carefully designed to fill your day with curated classes within your arts area. Most programs will not choose electives this year.
  • Will I receive a refund if Camp is canceled or my program changes?
    • If your program has changed or been canceled, you can decline your in-person camp offer in the Education Community and reach out to admission@interlochen.org to request a refund.
  • Can I defer my spot to 2022 if Camp is canceled?
    • We will not defer enrollment offers from Summer 2021 to Summer 2022.
  • What is Interlochen Online?
    • Interlochen Online is a virtual program that brings the world-renowned Interlochen experience into your home for students 8-18 in all arts areas.
  • Can I participate in Interlochen Online and go to Camp?
    • If the Online program dates do not overlap with your in-person program, of course! A student, however, would not be able to do an Online program while at Camp.
  • Can I switch to an Online program for this summer?
    • Any student can register for an Interlochen Online program that fits their schedule. If your program has changed for Summer 2021, you may choose to attend an Interlochen Online program instead.
  • How do I sign up for Interlochen Online?
    • You can register for Interlochen Online through the Education Community. Simply click on the red Register for Interlochen Online button in the top right and complete the registration form. Interlochen Online does not require an application.
  • Are auditions or portfolios required for admission to Interlochen Online?
    • No! Interlochen Online only requires a registration.
  • If I opt to sign-up for Interlochen Online instead of attending in-person Camp, will my financial aid or scholarship be applied?
    • We do not offer financial aid or scholarships for Interlochen Online at this time.
  • Will you still offer a shuttle service to/from the Cherry Capitol Airport in Traverse City?
    • Yes. The Interlochen Airport shuttle will still run on arrival and departure days for students only. Due to COVID-19 restrictions we cannot accommodate our shuttle service for family members.

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 2021, most programs happen between June 26 and Aug. 8, although the one-week "Intensive" programs run June 19-25. 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. 14. We will continue to welcome applications after Jan. 14 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 campfinaid@interlochen.org.

Can friends and family members visit students?
For the safety of all students and staff, our campus will be closed to visitors pending gathering restrictions implemented by the State of Michigan. We continue to monitor the pandemic and public health guidance and will evolve our policies accordingly.

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?
In an effort to maintain cohorting and limited campus access, students will not be able to attend religious services on or off-campus this summer. 

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.

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, knickers 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.