How to Become a Member

Blue Lake Campers
Blue Lake Summer Camp students apply for the International Program during camp.  There is no obligation to participate when applying.  Campers can direct any questions they have to their counselor or stop by the International Outpost during any free time.  More than 1,700 campers apply each season for approximately 400 student positions.

During camp, students sign up for a Question and Answer session in the International Outpost.  Invitations are offered based on a student’s answers during this session, their written application, counselor and faculty  evaluations, as well as their audition ranking from the summer camp ensemble they were placed in on opening day.  Only those interested in the International Youth Symphony Orchestra must perform an additional audition. 

Artistic ability, maturity, manners, and character play an important role in a student’s acceptance.  Members of the International Program, not only perform at a high level of proficiency, but also serve as ambassadors for Blue Lake, the United States, and their own families.  Students enrolled in the International Exchange Program are expected to exhibit a high standard of maturity and self discipline.

Non Blue Lakers
Although limited positions are available, the Blue Lake International Exchange Program accepts participants from outside the summer camp population.  Openings are based on instrumental need and include an application, interview, recommendation and audition process.   Positions open to students between the ages of 13 to 18 are available at: http://www.bluelake.org/international/opportunities/current_openings.html 
When possible, preference is always given to current and former Blue Lake Campers.

The Enrollment Process
Enrollment in the International Program is by invitation only.  An invitation, contract, and supplemental materials are sent from the administration office once a student has been accepted.  Invitation contracts include basic information regarding tuition, payments, and refunds, as well as an extensive explanation of the International Program’s behavioral expectations for the student in the form of a student pledge.  Families are given approximately two weeks to read the materials, discuss this opportunity, and call with questions before the contract is due.  The signed contract and pledge, along with a deposit, must be received by the International office in order to ensure enrollment.

Tuition
Tuition for the International Program consists of a non refundable deposit in combination with monthly payments.  A deposit is due with the invitation contract two weeks after the invitation is sent from the Blue Lake International Office.  Monthly payments are structured in the invitation contract.  Full payment for the international exchange program is due by June 1 of the student’s traveling year.  A generous discount is available if tuition is paid in full at the time of enrollment.

Fundraising
Many students who travel with the Blue Lake International Program have substantial portions of their tuition covered by fundraising efforts.  Family, friends, local businesses, and service organizations understand the value of such a program for high school students in today’s society and are willing to help if asked.  Students who choose to write personal letters to these people are encouraged to submit contact information to the Blue Lake International Office.  The International Office will then send a follow up letter on the student’s behalf to reaffirm the student’s participation and to stress the value of the International Program.

In recent years, students have become very creative in grass roots style fundraising.  Beyond the typical bake sale and pop can drive, students have performed in fundraising play-a-thons, recitals, craft sales, and partnerships with local restaurants for sales proceeds sponsorships.  Creativity is the key!