GVSU student devotes summer vacation time to fine arts camp

By Jackie Smith | 6/30/13 5:11pm


Courtesy / Interlochen Center for the Arts
A participant from performing as part of the Interlochen Center for the Arts program.

College students usually fill the gap between winter and fall semester by working at local fast food joints or at the mall. Some Grand Valley State University students, however, work over the summer to apply what they learn during the school year to their summer job. Several GVSU students majoring in music have the opportunity to work at fine arts camps over the summer, one being the Interlochen Arts Camp.

“The camp has an internationally recognized name and a renowned faculty from all over the place,” Gabe Reitemeier, GVSU student and Interlochen camp counselor said.

Located in the village of Interlochen, MI, Interlochen Camp was founded in 1927, as one of the first music camps in the country. Originally, the camp focused only on students who played in orchestras and was founded as The National High School Orchestra Camp. Later the name was changed to Interlochen when the nation’s first boarding school for the arts, the Interlochen Arts Academy, opened in 1962. Interlochen has a reputation as a respected fine arts camp. Several popular American artists have attended the camp, such as singer-songwriters Norah Jones and Josh Groban.

Gabe Reitemeier, a junior at Grand Valley State University and vocal performance major spends his summers, from mid-June to early August working at the camp. As a camp counselor at Interlochen Arts Camp, Reitemeier spends his summer with students interested in the performing arts.

“As cabin counselor, my main duty is to be in the cabin from call to quarters at 9:30 p.m., when the men have to return to the cabin, and lead a night closing bunk talk,” Reitemeier said. “We get up at 6:30 a.m., clean the cabin, and then the guys go off to their classes all day. Counselors also have secondary jobs. I also work in the attendance office.”

As a camp counselor at Interlochen, Reitemeier also gets to take advantage of the classes Interlochen has to offer.

“I sit in on the musical theatre classes because I’m hoping to go into musical theater,” Reitemeier said.

Reitemeier is just one of the many camp counselors at Interlochen who enjoy their jobs and opportunities to experience fine arts during their summers. Reitiemeier praises the camp, and enjoys his time there.

“I chose to work at this camp because I had a lot of friends growing up who attended the camp,” Reitemeier said. “Interlochen has some of the greatest teachers in the world.”

Interlochen is just one fine arts camp located in Michigan. Another notable camp is Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, located in Twin Lake, MI. Blue Lake is also a summer camp, offering classes to elementary, junior high, and high school students. Aside from music, fine arts camps such as these also offer students programs in dance, theatre arts, instrumental music and creative writing.

With camps like these available, students from around the world have the opportunity to hone their artistic skills, and experience the fine arts while being led by some of the greatest faculty members available. Combined with providing employment opportunities for college students who are also trained in the arts, and students can take advantage of a unique work experience that definitely beats flipping burgers.

For more information on either camp, visit http://camp.interlochen.org or http://www.bluelake.org.


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