NEMC Camper Leave Policy: What it all Means!

NEMC’s unique program allows for a more flexible leave policy than most traditional camp programs. In order to ensure that your child is able to fully participate in the NEMC program, it is very important that the Permission to Leave form is filled out correctly.  The following examples will help you understand the different opportunities your child will have to leave the NEMC grounds and help you determine how to complete your individual form.  It is not possible for us to contact a parent each time an exception is requested so please take time to consider each of the following circumstances.


  1. NEMC supervised trips: Every camper is required to have permission to leave camp for regularly scheduled events indicated on the camp calendar. This includes our monthly trip to the beach at Reid State Park.


  1. Members of immediate family: If you anticipate that any member of the immediate family will visit and want to take your camper out during designated times, please check this box.


  1. Parents of other campers: Quite often, campers request to take some of their friends out for a meal when their parents are visiting. This is especially important to check if you do not plan to attend Parent’s Weekend, so your child will have the opportunity to leave camp during the extended Saturday afternoon period.


  1. Camp faculty: Sometimes, members of our faculty will graciously offer to take students in their studios off camp for a treat! They will travel in the faculty member’s private vehicle.


  1. Attend Sunday religious services: We regularly transport campers to Sunday morning Catholic Church services, if requested. Additionally, we can provide transportation to Mormon weekly Sunday meetings.


  1. Other persons/restrictions: Please use this section to indicate specific persons or extended family members who may request to take your child off camp when they visit. Anyone not included in any of the sections above should be indicated in this section. Additionally, if there are specific people to whom you do NOT want to grant permission, please indicate here. 


Without appropriate written permission, we cannot allow your child to leave camp under any circumstances. Again, it is not possible for us to contact a parent each time an exception is requested, so please take the time to complete this form thoughtfully. Also, please be sure to share this form with your child, so they know with whom they can and cannot leave camp; this will help us all avoid the disappointment when permission to leave cannot be granted. Thank you in advance for carefully filling out this form!

Camper Cabin Assignments: Why we do what we do!

Cabin placement is something that almost every camper thinks about before coming to NEMC and it is one of the policies we are asked about most frequently. NEMC campers are assigned to their living cabins by chronological age. There are 2 primary reasons for this decision:

  1. As camp professionals, we know from research that specific developmental needs for campers are determined by their chronological age. Our program is designed very methodically in order to provide a high quality music education while still addressing the developmental needs and growth of each individual camper. The living areas are the only aspect of our program where campers are separated by age. Our counselors go through extensive training and are placed in cabins specific to their skills and ability to meet the specific needs of each individual camper.
  2.  Cabin placement by age is the only truly fair way for us to determine cabin placement. We are committed to making sure that new campers as well as those returning have equal access to the appropriate cabin. The reality is that there will always have to be a youngest and oldest camper in every cabin!


Our camp roster and cabin assignments are not finalized until several days prior to the beginning of each camp session; therefore, we are unable to announce cabin placement until you arrive at camp.

There are several ways you can help your child adjust to camp life and feel comfortable with their cabin placement at NEMC. First, by sharing the above information with them and helping them to understand the rationale behind why we do what we do. Second, please do not ask for exceptions to this policy. Our experience shows that when a parent supports our policies it is much easier for the camper to accept and adapt.  We are committed to providing a safe, warm, and developmentally appropriate camp experience for each camper and our cabin assignment policy has proven to be the best way to ensure this.

Our cabin policy is one that has not changed over our 78 years and every year we watch NEMC campers make lasting friendships with like-minded kids from all over the country-and the world!

Arrival at Camp – What happens?

Here are some specific details for the arrival of campers on opening day:

Dropping Your Camper Off at NEMC:

1.     Park in the NEMC parking lot.

2.     Registration begins at 1:00 pm on the porch of the Lodge, the main building on the NEMC campus. There you will receive your cabin assignment, camper handbook, music schedule and camper banking checkbook.  Staff members will be around to answer any and all questions!

3.     Check in at the Infirmary. All medications, prescribed or not, must be left in the Infirmary.

4.     Move into your cabin. You may drive directly to your cabin to unpack.

5.     Camp tours will begin every half hour, leaving from the flagpole in front of the Lodge. Tours normally run for about twenty minutes, and are a great way to get to know your surroundings – we highly recommend going on one, especially if you’re new to NEMC!

6.     Visit the Canteen, where you can enjoy complimentary cookies and lemonade, and browse our collection of NEMC attire. We’ll also have our brand new NEMC maple syrup bottles for sale, courtesy of one of our local business partners, Bacon Farms in Sidney.


If you’re coming to NEMC via the Boston Bus:

Counselors will be meeting campers in both Logan Airport and at Boston’s South Station – keep an eye out for the folks in NEMC Staff tee shirts!

Arriving in Boston

Airline: An NEMC staff member will make every effort to meet your son/daughter at the security gate. In the event that many flights arrive simultaneously, a NEMC staff member may not be at the security gate when your child arrives. Therefore, please instruct your child to remain at the security gate until they are met by NEMC staff. Together they will proceed to United Baggage

Amtrak (Train or Bus): Meet NEMC staff member at South Station Amtrak information booth.

Car Drop Off:

·      Logan Airport meeting location: United baggage claim area in Terminal B.
·      South Station meeting location: Amtrak information booth.

All campers must report to these locations by 1pm so that the bus can begin the trip back to NEMC for arrival before dinner. Campers arriving on the Boston bus will check in upon arrival at Camp.

No matter how you’re arriving at NEMC, we look forward to welcoming you to what will be a fantastic summer of music making and friendship! See you soon!

What is the placement audition at NEMC?

Trumpet AuditionsThis is the time of year we begin to field lots of questions about the first day of camp placement auditions.

Why do I have to audition?

If you are attending NEMC you have already proven that you are a good fit for our program. We hold short auditions at the beginning of each camp session in order to place campers in the appropriate performance groups based on experience and playing level. This also allows us to program appropriate repertoire that will provide an enjoyable yet challenging experience for each camper.

What should I play, and who will I be playing for?

You will audition for the faculty members in your instrumental area. We recommend you choose a piece of music that best showcases your playing ability. You may be asked to play a scale or two and will be asked to sightread a few musical excerpts. Try not to be nervous – this audition is simply meant to make sure campers are placed in the appropriate performing groups.

What if I have a “bad day”?

We all have “bad days” or fall victim to nerves at one time or another. If this happens to you, your teacher will discover it very quickly and appropriate adjustments will be made.

If I’m a full season camper do I have to audition again second session?

Camper performance levels change from session to session; therefore, it is necessary to audition each camper at the beginning of each session. Seating and/or group assignments will change accordingly. This is a great opportunity to practice your audition skills and showcase the progress you made during the first session!


Meet the NEMC 2015 Boys Counselors

Meet the 2015 NEMC Boys Counselors!

dave-holinger-150x150David Holinger, Boys Head Counselor
Hometown: Belgrade, ME
When not at camp: 9th grade Earth Science Teacher at Lewiston High School in Lewiston, ME.




Mike CollettiMichael Coletti, Boys Assistant Head Counselor
Age: 25
Hometown: Fairfield, CT
College/University: University of Michigan (Bachelors), Indiana University (Masters
Instrument(s): Percussion
Connection to or Years at NEMC: 10 summers spent at NEMC since 2002
Fun fact that most people would be surprised to know about me:  I absolutely love to cook!  I am always trying new recipes and learning new techniques to cook my favorite dishes!


NIck AndreanoNick Andreano
Age: 20
Hometown: Shrewsbury, Massachusetts
College/University: Towson University (Towson, MD)
Instrument(s): Voice, Saxophone
Connection to or Years at NEMC: 0, I’m completely new to the whole experience!
Fun fact that most people would be surprised to know about me: Contrary to the myth that it is an impossible feat; I can lick my elbow.



Lucas CallahanLucas Callahan
Age: 19
Hometown: Ipswich,MA
College/University: Gordon College
Instrument(s): violin, and voice
Connection to or Years at NEMC: 5 years a camper
Fun fact that most people would be surprised to know about me: My Korean name is the same as a major league pitcher, Chan-Ho-Park.



Charles CizekCharlie Cizek
Age: 24
Hometown: Frederick, MD
College/University: Towson University
Instrument(s): Voice
Connection to or Years at NEMC: Third years as counselor
Fun fact that most people would be surprised to know about me: I’ve been sky diving and have done three Tough Mudders.



Alex ConleyAlexander Benjamin Conley
Age: 20
Hometown: Sayreville, N.J
College/University: Montclair State University
Instrument(s): Trombone
Connection to or Years at NEMC: 3 sesions (2012-2013)
Fun fact that most people would be surprised to know about me: I have 16 blood related siblings.



Daniel GibsonDaniel Gibson
Nederland, TX
Southern Methodist University
Years at NEMC:
2 as a camper, 2nd year as a counselor, this summer is my fourth summer at camp overall!
Fun Fact:
I like to sing and I enjoyed performing with Chorale and the musical theater workshop as a camper.



Kevin HammillKevin Hammill
Age: 23
Hometown: Clarence New York
College/University: Fredonia University
Instrument(s): Saxophone
Connection to or Years at NEMC: Friends with Tasha Dotts, she went to camp for 7 years.
Fun fact that most people would be surprised to know about me: 
I own an accordion, bagpipes, and a unicycle. I am anosmic which means I lack a sense of smell.



Steven HoffmanSteven Hoffman
Age: 19
Hometown: Wynnewood, PA
College/University: Brandeis University
Instrument(s): Bass Voice, Tuba, Clarinet, Alto Recorder
Connection to or Years at NEMC: My former Middle school band teacher (Ms. Neff) conducts the Concert Band at NEMC.
Fun fact that most people would be surprised to know about me: Most people are surprised to find out I’m a math major because I do so much singing, arranging, and recording music.


Christian LampkinChristian Lampkin
Age: 22
Hometown: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
College/University: University of Northern Colorado
Instrument(s): Flute and Piccolo
Connection to or Years at NEMC: This is my first year at NEMC!
Fun fact that most people would be surprised to know about me: I could easily survive on a diet consisting of Dark Chocolate and TCBY Frozen Yogurt.



Evan PfeifferEvan Pfeiffer
Age: 20
Hometown: Alexandria, Virginia
College/University: College of William and Mary
Instrument(s): Violin
Connection to or Years at NEMC: 3 years as a camper, 3rd year as a counselor 
Fun fact that most people would be surprised to know about me: I want to teach middle school history, and this summer, before NEMC, I will be teaching English in Quito, Ecuador for three weeks


Jamie PowellJames Powell
Age: 19
Hometown: Collegeville Pennsylvania
College/University: Ithaca College
Instrument: Jazz Percussion
Connection to or Years at NEMC: Since birth (my mother has been on the faculty for over 20 years)
Fun fact that most people would be surprised to know about me: I have an extensive collection of shoes


Max RosenzweigMax Rosenzweig
Age: 19
Hometown: Acton, MA
College/University: NYU
Instrument(s): Voice
Connection to or Years at NEMC: 3 years
Fun fact that most people would be surprised to know about me: I’m really good at making tea, and if you ask me I will make you some!



Tighler TrumanTighler Truman
Age: 19
Hometown: Jackson, MI
College/University: Eastern Michigan University
Instrument(s): Cello/Bass Guitar
Connection to or Years at NEMC: 3 years as a camper
Fun fact that most people would be surprised to know about me: I was voted most charismatic in high school.





The Benefits of Unplugging at Camp

We live in a networked, plugged-in, constant communication world. Our kids are using technology at school, at home, and everywhere in between. The thought of leaving electronic gadgets behind for weeks at a time when going to summer camp causes angst for some and relief for others. Regardless of which way our parents and campers lean prior to coming to NEMC, we can say with confidence that by the end of the season the majority of them champion our no electronics policy. Past campers report the ability to connect on a more personal level and to experience things and learn in ways that they don’t outside of camp. Our campers have become the strongest proponents of maintaining the policy and are often heard explaining to new campers why it is an important part of the NEMC experience.

Our program is designed to keep campers engaged, busy, and having fun making new friends. One of the greatest benefits of a summer camp experience is the opportunity to develop and grow important social skills. Every child has a different level of comfort in this area and interaction for all of these kids is much easier and more natural without the distraction of computers, video games and other electronic devices.

When you choose to send your child to summer camp you spend a considerable amount of time researching the environment, the track record, references, and values of the camp you will trust with your children. You are essentially transferring the primary care of your child to our staff and counselors and we take that very seriously. We are here to provide a save and guided environment for kids to learn and grow, and ultimately navigate their own challenges. When a child has to rely on themselves to seek out answers and solve their own problems, the independence they develop boosts their confidence in a variety of ways.

So, what about cell phones to call home? We encourage letter writing and provide phones outside the main office for camper use during their free time. We also encourage parents to check in with our head counseling staff if they have concerns. By keeping telephone communication restricted to the phone booths we can minimize temptation and also provide a distraction-free environment for all of our campers. We collect all cell phones when the campers arrive at camp, and store them in a secure location until it is time for the campers to return home.

We are a music camp and our core program includes a morning full of rehearsals and classes designed to inspire discipline and a love of music, free from the everyday distractions kids are exposed to. We are committed to providing a safe and nurturing environment for our campers and part of this includes our communication with you so don’t hesitate to contact us!

Prevent Homesickness BEFORE Summer Camp

summer camp

According to research conducted by the American Camp Association, as many as 96% of campers experience some form of homesickness at some time during a two week summer camp experience. It is perfectly normal to feel “homesick” when away from home! Fortunately, at NEMC, we have years of experience helping campers (and yes, parents too!) adjust to being away from home. While we know what works at camp, there are many things that you can do before coming to camp to help the transition and prevent or minimize feelings of homesickness.


1. Include your child in the decision making process when choosing a summer camp. Look through websites and brochures and encourage your child to point out things he/she thinks they’d like or not like about a specific camp. Since NEMC enrolls campers age 11-18, many of our campers find our website on their own while searching for a summer music camp. We find that campers who are encouraged to communicate with us and to ask questions via phone or email are less likely to become homesick. Getting to know our campers and families prior to camp time is helpful in so many ways.

2. Practice If your child has never spent a night away from home try scheduling a “practice” weekend with a family member or friend. Talk about any concerns beforehand and then discuss how it went and how it might compare to an extended overnight camp stay.

A day in the life3. Discuss what to expect. Take a look the daily schedule graphic in to the right and the calendar in our Camper/Parent Info Packet that describes special events and evening activities.  Go over the schedules with your child and talk about possible challenges and ways to overcome them. Having a clear picture of what the days and weeks will be like can often eliminate “fear of the unknown”.

4. Discuss what to do. What if your child does become homesick? What if they have a disagreement with a cabin-mate? Discussing these scenarios beforehand and letting your child know that their counselors are caring individuals who are trained to address any situation that arises helps us to foster strong trusting relationships in a short period of time.

5. Packing/Planning. All accepted campers have received our Camper/Parent Info Packet (you can access that here) that provides all the information you and your child will need to prepare for your arrival and stay at camp. Read this packet with your child and go over the packing list. Allow your child to shop with you for anything you may need to purchase. Being involved in the process will help your child feel comfortable later as they unpack and begin their camp routine.

6. At Camp: We truly believe that the overnight camp experience is one of the most important life experiences you can give your child. The growth your child will experience during their time at camp will impact their life for years to come. As parents, it can be very difficult for us to be away from our child but you’ve done your homework and you’ve chosen a camp that takes counselor training very seriously. Still, what should you do if you think or know that your child may feel home sick?

  • Don’t tell your child to call home within the first week of camp! Our experience has proven that campers who immerse themselves in camp life will feel little or no homesickness. If I child does feel homesick, taking time out to call home can stir up their discomfort, and that of yours! Keep in mind that a child will often embellish their feelings when speaking to a parent. Often, the same child that reports having made no friends has just come from the canteen where they shared a milkshake with their cabin mates!
  • If your child does call home and says that they are homesick keep the call short and encourage them to speak to their counselors for help adjusting. Use the counselors as a resource. If you have any concerns you can call and check in with the head counselors, Dave and Heather, or your child’s counselors at any time. We will observe how your child is doing and report back to you so that you can be assured that they are OK. Again, this experience is an opportunity for your child to learn independence in a safe and nurturing environment. Your patience in allowing them the time to adjust is a gift that will last them a lifetime.
  • No news Is good news!! Don’t worry if you do not hear from your child during the first week of camp. Really, no news is good news. We work very hard to plan a busy, challenging, and fun-filled camp experience. Busy campers are happy campers!


Have you ever experienced homesickness? Have questions? Leave questions in the comments and we’ll answer them!

3 Easy Steps to Recording, Uploading, and Submitting Your NEMC Audition

1. Recording:

  • Record using a video recording device, smart phone, or record directly on your computer.
  • State your full name and the date of recording.
  • State the composer and title of the pieces you will play.

**Audition recordings should be no longer than 5-7 minutes in length.

2. Upload Video:   

  • Click the Upload link at the top of any page.
  • Click the Upload video button to browse for your audition video. Select the file you want to upload and click Open.
  • As the video file is uploading, create video Title in the following format:

{Your Full Name} NEMC {year} (ex. “Jane Smith NEMC 20xx”)

  • Next, scroll to the Privacy section of the page. You will see the option to mark you video as “unlisted”, “public”, or “private”. Select unlisted – this will allow access to only those whom you choose to share the link with.
  • Click the Save changes button to save your updates
  • Copy and paste your audition link into the appropriate field below.

 3. Submit YouTube Link:

Email following information to the registrar, Dorothy Schmearer and you are all done!

Camper Name:
YouTube Link:
Playing Sample Material:

**For technical questions creating or uploading video please contact Fiona Bryan at fiona (at) nemusiccamp (dot) com or call 303-882-0543