Founded in 1966, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp is a summer community of the fine arts serving over 5,200 elementary, junior high, and high school students each season through its varied programs. Blue Lake annually employs over 500 faculty and staff, who work together to provide a diverse and enriching learning experience for campers. Although Blue Lake is a fine arts training center, it strives to maintain a "camp" atmosphere in as many ways as possible through the environment, facilities, and camper activities.
Blue Lake's primary goal is to motivate campers with two weeks of intensive instruction, sending them home with an incentive to pursue their art with new enthusiasm. A well balanced set of values -- maturity, citizenship, and appreciation of formal study -- is encouraged by all faculty and staff. Members of the Blue Lake faculty strive to make the campers' stay meaningful by teaching them how to become good artists and citizens. Enthusiasm is contagious at Blue Lake as campers discover, learn, experience, progress, and succeed. Because our teachers have the potential to serve as positive and motivational influences for our students during their short stay at camp, faculty are encouraged to maintain a visible presence throughout non-instructional activities. Faculty routinely attend evening performances and events.
Faculty Ensembles & Performances
An integral part of the Blue Lake philosophy is that faculty members not only teach, but are expected to demonstrate mastery of their craft through performance. Faculty master classes, workshops, exhibits, and demonstrations play a significant role in the campers' educational experience. Instrumental faculty may also perform regularly in chamber recitals, Festival Band, Festival Orchestra, or Faculty Jazz Ensembles as a part of Blue Lake's Summer Arts Festival.
Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp is situated on Little Blue Lake in West Michigan's Manistee National Forest. The campus consists of 270 rustic cabins, structures, and shelters spread throughout 1,300 acres of wilderness. Located 12 miles north of Muskegon and an hour northwest of Grand Rapids, Blue Lake is within minutes of Lake Michigan beaches and parks. Sailing, fishing, hiking, biking, golfing, canoeing, and swimming are all trademark summer activities of our area.
A Typical Day
Blue Lake faculty members spend approximately 4-5 hours per day teaching students in a variety of settings. Those involved in performing ensembles rehearse an average of two or three hours daily, depending on schedules and performance commitments. Non-music disciplines also have regular time for personal development. Evening commitments consist of recitals, concerts, master classes, workshops, and/or free time.
Summer Arts Festival
Blue Lake offers over 175 performances each summer to camper and public audiences. Performances regularly feature our faculty and consist of Blue Lake’s Festival Orchestra, Festival Band, jazz ensembles, opera, ballet, faculty showcases, the Blodgett Recital Series, and a variety of other special events.