Frequently Asked Questions
- How do I sign up for camp? Registration opens at midnight AKST on January 1st at www.fineartscamp.org. Our programs fill up quickly so we highly recommend signing up as soon as possible. Registration means providing information about your student and paying a non-refundable deposit to reserve your child’s spot. Additional paperwork including the medical form, teacher recommendation, class sign up, etc. and are due throughout the spring. See you child’s program page for required paperwork and deadlines on the enrollment checklist.
- What happens when a program is full? Camp registration is open on a first come, first served basis. When a program is full, we start a waitlist. Students are accepted off the waitlist based on class availability and housing at the discretion of Sitka Fine Arts Camp.
- If my student has previously attended camp, does he or she still need to turn in a teacher’s recommendation form this year? Yes. We do not keep the Teacher Recommendation forms from year to year. Any educator, teacher, or adult outside the student’s family who is familiar with their academic or artistic work can complete the Teacher Recommendation.
- What should I do if I cannot access my camp account or forgot my password? First, try the password reset link on the login screen. Then call the camp office at 907-747-3085 or email email@example.com. Please do not create a new account.
- How do classes work? We believe it is important for young students to be exposed to a variety of art forms and new experiences. Each day, students attend 4 classes. A typical schedule includes music, movement, visual arts, and theater. Students do not select their own classes at the elementary camp. Instead, SFAC assigns classes and creates groups based on age and grade level.
- What is the setting like? Located in Sitka, one of Alaska’s most picturesque communities, the Camp celebrates the natural beauty of both mountains and ocean. The camp is located on the Historic Sheldon Jackson Campus. Dormitory, cafeteria, gym, and classrooms are located on site. The campus is a short walk from downtown Sitka.
- Is housing available for families from out of town? Yes, more information is available here.
CAMP LIFE & HOMESICKNESS
- What does a typical day look like? Each morning and afternoon, students attend classes. After class, students choose from a variety of rec time activities including sports, games, open mics, reading and writing cafes, arts activities and more, run by the counseling staff. During middle school and high school camp, each evening features an Artshare performance put on by the camp faculty. Dormitory students attend a hall meeting each night before lights out to build community and reflect on their day.
- What is the setting like? Located in Sitka, one of Alaska’s most picturesque communities, the Camp celebrates the natural beauty of both mountains and ocean. Our campus includes dormitories, cafeteria, gym, classrooms, and practice areas. The campus is a short walk from downtown Sitka. The final student performances will be held in Sitka’s state-of-the-art Performing Arts Center.
- How can my student get the most out of camp? The single most important aspect in getting the most out of camp is to attend classes well rested and healthy. Students should get plenty of rest, drink lots of water, and make healthy eating decisions. Parents and guardians can prepare their child before arriving by reminding them that camp is a place to have new experiences and challenges. A big part of the camp experience is learning to have success in a new and different setting. It helps to arrive with an open mind and positive attitude. We have found that students are most successful when given space from home and cell phone/screen use so that they are able to be present in their learning and creativity.
- What if my student is homesick? It is not unusual for students of all ages to miss home and family in the first few days of camp, especially if it is a student’s first extended time away from home. Camp staff are trained to recognize homesickness and work especially hard to keep students busy and engaged in the camp atmosphere. When homesick campers are able to engage with new friends and activities at camp, they discover that camp is fun and safe, providing them with a new, profound sense of independence and discovery. We recommend that parents allow their child to work through homesickness with limited contact with home (family/friends), so it is easier to engage in the camp environment.
- What is the dormitory like for dorm students? Residential students are housed in dormitories on the Sitka Fine Arts Camp Campus. Students are housed on floors by gender. Each room generally houses two students. Lights out is at 9:30 pm for middle school camp and at 10:00 pm for high school camp. Dormitories are unheated in the summer months. Make sure your child packs a warm sleeping bag or warm bedding and extra clothing layers. Summer in Sitka can be chilly.
- Can students request roommates for camp? Students may submit the name of one friend on the roommate request portion of the registration form. Students who attend multiple camps can list one roommate request for each session. Sitka Fine Arts Camp does not guarantee roommate requests.
- What if my student has dietary restrictions? Our dining hall offers a variety of healthy choices at all meals. SFAC is able to accommodate most dietary restrictions. Any dietary restrictions and allergies must be noted on the Medical form during registration. If you are concerned about your child’s dietary restrictions at camp, please contact the camp office at 907-747-3085.
- What kind of adult supervision do students have? The primary responsibility of all camp staff is the safety and well-being of each student. The counselor to camper ratio is 1:10. Counselors live on student residential halls and provide supervision and guidance for students throughout camp. Students must check in twice a day with their counselor and attendance is taken for each class period.
- Who are the counselors? Our counselors are students or recent graduates from various colleges and universities throughout the country. Prior to camp, they participate in intensive training on supporting student health, safety, and well-being. The counseling staff are supervised by our highly experienced residential administrative team.
- What is the weather like? In Sitka, it can rain for days on end or be sunny for the entire camp. Be prepared for both extremes. Summer temperatures can range from 40-80 degrees. Dressing in layers is recommended. The average temperature is in the 50s. Residential dormitories can be cold at night. We recommend packing warm layers and bedding.
- Do dorm students have the opportunity to do laundry at camp? Yes, dorm students have the option to do laundry. Students should bring quarters and soap is provided. The cost is $3 per load which includes washing and drying.
- Can my student receive mail at camp? Address mail to: Student Name and Session (example: Mary Smith, Middle School Camp), c/o Sitka Fine Arts Camp, 110 College Drive Suite #111, Sitka, AK 99835. One care package is allowed per session per student. SFAC is unable to forward camper mail that arrives after the recipient’s camp session.
- Is there a camp lost and found? Students are responsible for locating lost items before they leave camp and are responsible for the shipping and handling expenses should an item need to be returned after the session is over. Any unclaimed items are donated or discarded one week after each camp session ends.
- Can friends and family members visit students at camp? Family and friends are welcome at the evening art share performances and the final performances.
- Can my student be checked out from the campus during camp? We strongly encourage parent(s)/guardian(s) to limit off campus checkouts of dorm students so that students can fully participate in the camp experience. A dorm student’s parent(s)/guardian(s) may designate authorized adults to check out their student from campus by following the directions below. In order to check out a student, the authorized adult must present a valid photo ID and sign the student out at the Student Support Center. Off campus checkouts are permitted during Final Performances (Middle School Camp: June 27 & 28, High School Camp: July 12 & 13), from 4:15pm - 6:15pm. Students must sign back in at the Student Support Center upon their return to campus. How to add an authorized adult: 1)Login to your account here. 2) Under summer camp 2023, click on “view details." 3) On the right side of the screen look for the “Forms” section. 4) Scroll down and click on “Update Household Information.” 4) At the bottom of the screen add the names of up to 2 people who must be over 18 years of age.
- Approved check-out times are:
On normal camp days, from 4:00pm (MS) / 4:30pm (HS) - 6:30pm.
On Sunday Recreation Day, from 9:00am - 6:00pm.
On Final Performance days, from 4:15pm (MS) / 4:30pm (HS) - 6:00pm.
MIDDLE SCHOOL & HIGH SCHOOL CLASSES
- What is the process for assigning classes? The Middle School and High School class catalog & schedule will be posted and emailed out January 25. Students have a week after the release to consider class options and to submit their preferences. There are five class periods a day, and each student will select their top 5 choices for each period. It is important that students select 5 different class choices for each period. Student class schedules are made based on instrumentation, lottery system, and with the goal to create the best camp experience for every student. Students who have not turned in required forms by the deadline will not be placed in classes. Please note that registration order is not the primary criteria for class placement and there is no benefit for selecting classes quickly when the catalog and schedule are released as long as paperwork is submitted by February 1.
- Why does my student need to select 5 different class preferences per period? Each year a handful of classes always end up being the most popular. Common examples are ceramics and photography which have small class sizes. Many more students request these classes than there are spaces available. This means it is not unusual for students to be placed in a class that was a 4th or 5th choice if their previous preferences are already full. We use a lottery system with the intention to place students in a mix of classes so if they have a varied camp experience and and receive a mix of prioritized choices.
- Why didn't my student get into Wheel Thrown Pottery or Darkroom Photography? Each year, these classes tend to be some of our most popular classes. They have small class sizes and are assigned on a lottery system. If your student did not get into one of these classes, we recommend trying again the following year or seeking instruction in your home community when possible.
- I signed up my student at midnight on January 1. Why didn't they get all their first choices? Most of our students register at that time and registering early is important for securing a spot at camp. However because the bulk of our student register at that time, registration order is not the primary criteria for class placement. See #1 above to learn more about the process for assigning classes. Students should expect to see classes on their schedule that are among any of their 5 ranked choices. Occasionally, if all 5 classes are full, a student may be assigned a class outside their preferences that aligns with their interests as listed in their application.
- Is it possible to change classes? If there is an error on your child's schedule, please contact our office right away. An error could look like your student being signed up for a class to play an instrument they do not play or signed up for a class where they don't meet the prerequisite. An error could also look like seeing a class listed twice on your student's schedule. If your student does not have an error on their schedule, class changes are not usually possible.
- What if my student doesn't want to take a class on their schedule? Students are required to attend all of their scheduled classes. If your student is new to a subject or not excited about a particular class, we recommend learning more about the subject matter before camp, learning about the faculty member who is teaching the class, coming to the class each day with an open mind, and discussing any concerns they may have with the faculty member. Camp is all about trying new things and taking risks as well as learning how to ask for help or discuss concerns with a faculty member. If a class is not challenging enough, we also recommend that students ask for more challenging work from their faculty member.
- Does my student need to bring their instrument to camp for music classes? Yes, students should bring their personal instruments to camp. Percussionists and drummers should bring a stick bag complete with the full set of sticks and drum set sticks. Rock band students should bring guitars and guitar cords. Camp will provide amplifiers. If your student plays an instrument that is difficult to transport to camp, contact the camp office during registration to see if any rental instruments are available, firstname.lastname@example.org. The cost to rent an available instrument is $75.00 per camp session.
- What type of camera will my student need for photography class? For dark-room photography class, students will be provided with a camera. For digital photography class, students should bring a digital camera with a memory card. Recommended: DSLR camera (Nikon D3500, Canon Rebel, or equivalent). Please contact 907-747-3085 or email@example.com for more information.
- Can I get school credit? High School Camp students can enroll in University of Alaska Southeast ART S093, which is considered a college preparatory class. The 093 designation does not count toward a college degree, but can be applied toward high school graduation. This course would be $25 a credit hour and students should check with their high school to see if it will count on their transcripts. Musical Theater Camp students (in grade 9 or higher) can enroll in the University of Alaska THR S219 T01: Theater Performance, which is 3 credit hours. The cost for the class is $90.00. Be sure to contact UAS before the Camp session to make arrangements. Contact UAS for details at (800) 478-6653. Registration Form.
HEALTH & WELLNESS AT CAMP
- What health services are available to students? SFAC partners with SEARHC (Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium) for health care. SEARHC has a Primary Care Center, a full Community Access Hospital, an emergency room, and an urgent care center. In addition to an on-call nurse who dispenses medications and addresses health concerns as they arise, SFAC also has access to a 24/7 nurseline, and a helpline offering mental health resources.
- My student has a specific health issue I’m concerned about, who should I contact? SFAC recommends parents and guardians consult their child’s medical provider to assess their risk factors in attending camp. Our registrar can also help connect you with appropriate resources. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 907-747-3085.
- What is SFAC doing to minimize the risk of getting sick at camp? All staff are required to be up to date on their vaccination against COVID-19. Up to date vaccination against flu and COVID-19 is recommended for students.
CAMP NURSE & MEDICATIONS
- What Health Services are on site? A registered nurse is on call 24 hours a day to provide health services to students. In addition, the nurse’s office has open hours during meals and after evening Art Shares.
- How does my student take their medication at Camp? Medication should be brought in its original packaging inside a ziplock bag labeled with the student’s name, medication name, dosage directions, and the name and phone number of the prescribing physician. Medication should be turned into the Camp nurse upon arrival and students are expected to go to the nurse’s office to receive their medication.
CELL PHONE POLICY
What is the camp cell phone policy?
MIDDLE SCHOOL CAMP
HIGH SCHOOL CAMP & MUSICAL THEATER CAMP
If there is an emergency at home, parents can contact their child by calling the Camp office 907-747-3085.
MIDDLE SCHOOL CAMP
- Like many schools and camps around the country, Sitka Fine Arts Camp is now an electronics-free camp model for its middle school camp. An electronics-free camp allows our students to be present and engaged in their experience and allows camp staff to provide safe supervision of camp students.
- Students may bring their cell phones to camp, but they must check in their phones to counseling staff at the beginning of camp. Dorm students may check their phone out to call home for 15 minutes before lights out.*
- Day students are advised to leave their cell phones at home, unless they are needed for travel. Day students who bring their phones to camp may keep their devices in their possession, but are not permitted to use their devices during the camp day (classes, meals, passing periods, rec time, or Art Shares). They may use their cell phone to contact their parent(s)/guardian(s) before or after classes to arrange transportation plans.
- Students should leave other electronic devices at home. Devices brought to camp will be turned in to counselors at the beginning of camp and
- * Students who live on the East Coast can visit the Student Support Center during lunch to call their families.
HIGH SCHOOL CAMP & MUSICAL THEATER CAMP
- Students are welcome to bring their cell phones to camp, but are expected to approach cell phones as would an artistic professional. Students may use their phones as required by their teacher for class and practice/outside of class work as well as during evening free time. Dorm students may use their phones to make calls from after Art Share until lights out (excluding hall meetings). Students who use phones inappropriately or outside of these parameters will receive a warning, and afterwards their phone may be confiscated for the remainder of camp.
- Students should leave other wifi-enabled and gaming devices at home unless needed for travel. Devices brought to camp will be treated with the same policy as cell phones.
If there is an emergency at home, parents can contact their child by calling the Camp office 907-747-3085.
Tuition is non-refundable after the payment deadlines posted on your student's enrollment checklist. That means the deposit is non-refundable after registration. For Young Performers Theater, monthly payments are non-refundable after the payment date. For Middle School, High School & Musical Theater Camps, half of tuition is non-refundable after March 1. Full tuition is non-refundable for all summer programs after May 1.
All SFAC policies stated in this FAQ are subject to change at any time as determined by SFAC staff, based on the needs of the organization to provide a safe, fun, and sustainable learning environment for our students.