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Interlochen Arts Camp: Summer 2021 Protocols

Interlochen Arts Camp will operate in-person this summer at reduced capacity with rigorous health-and-safety protocols to safeguard our community. We are committed to providing students with exceptional arts education, a deeply enriching Camp experience, and a safe environment in which to learn and thrive.

Our preparedness plan applies proven protocols that enabled Interlochen Arts Academy to host over 500 boarding high school students on our campus this year for in-person instruction. We will take full advantage of Interlochen’s glorious 1,200-acre wooded campus, with two lakes and abundant outdoor facilities and spaces for open-air classes and rehearsals. We are also equipped with our 24/7 fully staffed Health Services.

Three central tenets guide our COVID-19 preparedness plan for summer 2021:

  • Health and Safety
  • Cohorting
  • Reduced Capacity

We also ask that every student and employee take the Interlochen Community Pledge, affirming a commitment to protect themselves, protect others, and protect the community.

Health and Safety

  • We request that students who are not fully vaccinated* be tested for COVID-19 prior to arrival at Camp (preferably a PCR test within 72 hours of arrival). We know that PCR testing is not available in all areas and will accommodate, as needed. (*Note that students are considered fully vaccinated after their second dose of the vaccine.)
  • Interlochen will provide and administer COVID-19 tests for unvaccinated students during arrival and campus onboarding.
  • On-site COVID testing will be available throughout the duration of Camp. Staff will report daily wellness self-screenings, and students will undergo daily wellness checks performed by staff.
  • All students and employees will be required to wear masks while inside any building on campus except while seated and eating six feet apart, or in cabins. (*Special masks provided for wind and brass players.) In accordance with recent updates to health guidelines, masks will not be required outdoors. 
  • Appropriate social distancing will be maintained. We will leverage extensive use of outdoor classroom and performance facilities.
  • Interior facilities will be retrofit to include additional air purifiers, plexiglass dividers, and spacing demarcations.
  • We will use instrument-specific aerosol barriers, including bell covers and instrument masking during all sessions.
  • Equipment which must be shared will be sanitized between individual use.
  • All students and employees will have access to our 24/7 Health Services, which is fully staffed with licensed nurses and on-site medical providers.
  • If needed, separate residential in-patient facilities have been be designated for isolation and quarantine.

Note: All Arts Camp employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Camp faculty and staff were recently prioritized for vaccinations in Michigan. Our year-round Interlochen faculty and staff were vaccinated in the "1b" priority vaccination group in Michigan.

Reduced Capacity

  • The overall student population will be capped at 50% of our usual capacity.
  • The Interlochen campus will be contained: recreational activities will take place on campus among the forests, lakes, play areas and outdoor gathering spaces.
  • Access to campus will be limited, pending gathering restrictions implemented by the State of Michigan and public health considerations. As this is an evolving situation, we will solidify our policies closer to the start of Camp.


  • Students will be grouped by their program, and will experience all aspects of Camp within their “cohort,” including classes, recreational activities, and meals.
  • Cabins will be assigned by program and gender.

Additional Information

We will continue to adhere to recommendations issued by professional associations and regulatory agencies regarding best practices for camp operations and for arts education during COVID-19. Examples include:

COVID-19 Updates

Further guidance and updates for the Interlochen community can be found on the COVID-19 web page.

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


  • 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 COVID-19 task forces of the board and on campus 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 inside any building on campus except during meals or inside their cabins. Face masks will not be required outdoors. 

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. Vaccinations are currently available for anyone over the age of 12, and we highly recommend being vaccinated before arriving at camp. Being vaccinated before camp not only protects the student, but also keeps the student from being designated a close contact, with a required quarantine period, if a community case emerges. To find a vaccination clinic near you, please visit
  • Will all faculty/staff be vaccinated/tested for COVID 19?
    • Yes, all employees are required to be vaccinated. 
  • 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 for all unvaccinated students, 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 unvaccinated 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?
    • Vaccinated students will not be required to submit to a COVID-19 test upon arrival. All other 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 is limited. We are exploring ways in which we may allow parents and guardians to attend select performances of their children. We continue to monitor the pandemic and public health guidance, and will communicate updates to policy as soon as possible.   
  • 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-Aug. 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. You will not choose electives.
  • 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 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. You can find the webpage with all of the offerings here and click the registration link within your program to sign-up when available.
  • 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.