What is the age range at NEMC? Campers range in age from 9-18. NEMC Core camp is open to students ages 11-18, Prelude String Orchestra Camp is open to Middle School students ages 9-13, and the Intensives are open to High School students 14-18
How many campers? NEMC Core Camp enrolls approximately 200 campers (100 girls and 100 boys). Balance in voice/instrumentation is a priority; therefore, this number may vary by a small amount. The Intensives total around 175 campers.
Where do campers live? Campers are housed by age. The “Girls End” of camp includes two younger cabins, Towne Cabin and Wade Cabin, located adjacent to The Girls Dorm. The “Boys End” housing is located at the opposite end of camp and includes Dorr Cabin, Sault Cabin, and the Boys Dorm.
Who are your counselors? Our counseling staff is led by Head Counselors (boys and girls) and Assistant Head Counselors (boys and girls). We carefully select our counseling staff of 25 college students for their interest in and ability to lead young people. The counselors live in the cabins with campers, coach recreational activities, and organize all social events.
What is the ratio of campers to staff? Ratio of camper to staff is approximately 3:1
What kind of recreation do you offer? NEMC’s recreational complex boasts three tennis courts, a soccer field, two softball diamonds, volleyball and badminton courts, archery range, and basketball court. Aerobics, dramatics, and physical fitness are other recreational options. Highly qualified lifeguards and water safety instructors coordinate lessons and recreational swimming. We also offer instruction in sailing and kayaking for beginning through advanced levels.
What are the “traditional summer camp social activities”? Evening social activities include: carnivals, talent shows, cabin song competitions, dances, games, ice cream parties, and more. Campers enjoy frequent cookouts, barbecues, and picnics. Our favorite evenings include campfires at the edge of the lake where we sing songs together, tell stories, and watch gorgeous sunsets as darkness falls.
Where is NEMC located? Sidney, Maine is located in the Belgrade Lakes, approximately one hour north of Portland.
How do students who live far away get to NEMC? International campers and campers who travel to NEMC from long distances arrive by chartered bus accompanied by NEMC counselors. The bus leaves from Boston Logan International Airport at 2:00 pm on the first day of each session and departs NEMC for Boston at 6:00 am on the morning of the last day of each session. See travel form for arrival and departure time details.
Can students call home? Public phones are available at the main office and may be used by campers during their free time. Parents should be aware that the morning schedule is quite full and often campers are busy having fun with their friends during the afternoon. Our camp culture emphasizes independence and in our experience “no word, is good word”.
Can my child bring a cellphone or other electronic devices to camp? Our program at NEMC is designed to promote strong social connections and an appreciation of the camp’s beautiful natural setting. Over the years our campers have become the strongest supporters of our strict limitations on electronic devices and find that this is the time to “unplug” and focus on growing musically and building strong friendships. Campers should not bring laptop computers or tablets, video-games, or video/DVD players to camp. Cellphones for travel may be checked in upon arrival.
What if my child has food allergies or dietary restrictions? Our dining staff prepare a variety of healthy meals, which always include a vegetarian option. We are able to accommodate peanut and other such allergies. Please contact us to discuss your specific needs.
What if my child becomes ill? Our 10-bed health center staffed by 3 nurses and a doctor on call provides expert medical attention for campers. Three modern hospital facilities are located within 9 miles of NEMC.
What if my child gets homesick? It is very common for kids of all ages to feel “homesick” during their first day or two at camp. Our counseling staff is trained to identify when campers are missing home and work to facilitate a smooth transition that meets the needs of each individual camper. Many of our professional camp staff are parents themselves and will admit that it is not uncommon for a parent to have more difficulty with the initial separation than their child, who is typically preoccupied with a busy camp schedule.
Are there Covid-19 Safety Protocols in place? Yes. Should the Covid-19 pandemic still be active upon the start of our season, a series of protocols will be in place. These protocols will be announced later in the Spring. If implemented, they will include: self quarantine and testing prior to arrival, rapid testing upon arrival, daily temperature checks, limited indoor activities, and potentially a closed campus. To read more about how we handled Covid-19 last year, check out this article written by our camp doctor HERE.
Can parents attend concerts and recitals?
Yes, all concerts and recitals are open to the public. We live stream recitals and concerts via Facebook Live on the NEMC Facebook page. Our rural Maine connection is not always reliable so we recommend that campers ask a friend in the audience to video for them if they would like a recording.
What is an Honor Recital?
Each week select students have the opportunity to audition to perform in the Friday evening Honor Recital. Students who wish to audition should come to camp with a polished and performance ready solo piece.
What is the NEMC Concerto Competition? Qualified campers are invited to compete for the opportunity to perform a solo work accompanied by the NEMC Faculty Orchestra. LINK
When are performances held?
Recitals are at 7:30pm on Wednesday and Friday evenings in Alumni Hall. Concerts are held 3pm Saturdays and Sundays at the Bowl in the Pines. Some weeks may vary and the Intensive programs have their own schedule so always check the camp calendar for exact dates and times!
What are the deadlines for registration and financial aid? NEMC Core Camp and Prelude Strings do not have a registration deadline. The Intensive Programs have an audition/registration deadline of April 1. NEMC Core camp fills studio space on a “rolling” basis beginning in October – many studios fill early so we recommend registering early in order to secure a spot in your instrumental studio. We enroll for balance of instrumentation, voice, gender, and age.
Is there an audition? We request that applicants submit a playing sample/audition and one evaluation from a teacher or conductor for NEMC Core Camp. There is an audition for all Intensive programs. Information can be found on each Intensive's information page.
What is the acceptance criteria? NEMC Core Camp provides a challenging yet nurturing experience for intermediate to advanced musicians. The audition and teacher evaluation help us plan for and ensure that ALL students will be able to thrive at any level while attending NEMC. On occasion, our faculty will recommend that a student wait a year to attend NEMC in order to avoid overwhelming them. The Intensives are designed for the advanced High School musicians and only the top students will be admitted into these programs.
What are the requirements for need-based financial aid? Assistance is based solely on the parents’ and/or student’s ability to pay.
Do you offer merit scholarships? Yes, each spring we award a number of scholarships to exceptional musicians, based upon proven musical ability, dedication to the musical craft, and the potential for improving the overall experience for all campers. Read more HERE.
How much is the tuition? NEMC tuition includes, room and board, classes/rehearsals, weekly lessons, weekly laundry (for core camp), recreation and social activities. Instrument rental and extra lessons are available for an additional fee. Laundry is an additional fee for Intensive students. Please see the Tuition and Dates page for current tuition.
What is the payment schedule? A non-refundable $500 deposit is required at registration in order to reserve a space in the appropriate cabin and the requested instrumental/voice studio. Our 50/50 plan requires 50% of the tuition balance due on February 28th and 50% due on May 1st.
What is meant by “Non-Refundable Registration Deposit”? Registration should be made with the intent to attend NEMC. If the student is accepted, the $500 deposit guarantees the student an ID number that confirms a space in the studio and a bed in a cabin. This deposit is non-refundable. If the student is not accepted, the deposit will be refunded.
Are allowances made for students who come late or leave early? Students may come a day or two late due to conflicts with school schedules or other commitments. Rarely do students leave early. No monetary adjustments are made for personal choices in scheduling arrivals or departures.
What happens if my child withdraws? If a camper withdraws after April 1st, and a replacement cannot be found, the parent of the withdrawing camper will be held responsible for the full tuition.