Levine's Summer camp is one of the area's most popular camps. We have grown from a small short program of 30 campers in one location to a broad, local institution of over 800 campers each year, at least four, sometimes five locations, over 150 teen apprentices and more than 70 faculty.
More than anything, camp feels like a family. The majority of campers, teen apprentices and teachers return each year and that helps sustain our community, now in its 26th year. We have a reputation for quality of teaching, breadth and depth of experience and sheer wealth of learning – campers receive an incredible education during the three weeks they’re here, all in a fun and collaborative environment.
- Camp Overview
- The Faculty
- Teen Apprentices
- The Program
- The Curriculum
- Class Size and Make-Up
- Medication, Allergies, Health and Special Needs
- Lunch and Snacks
- T-Shirt and Dress
Camp is built on a love of music and children and a commitment to fostering a lifelong love of music in all those involved in camp - campers, their families, apprentices, teachers and staff.
We are grounded in the same philosophy as our Early Childhood & Elementary Music program: we nurture the total musical child in a supportive and stimulating environment. This means that through singing, dancing, playing instruments and sharing artistic experiences, children develop skills for creative expression and aesthetic awareness that will last their entire lives. Campers gain invaluable experience as they are introduced to instruments in small groups, learn complex musical structures using the Orff instrument range and sing in harmony in large and small groups. Rising 3rd graders and above receive daily instruction on an instrument of their choice and play at the end of session performance. Each session ends in a concert featuring campers' musical and dance performances and art.
Read more about a typical day for each of the three main age groups and learn about camp from a different perspective in testimonials from camp families and staff.
The quality of our faculty is one of the main reasons families say they return each year.
We strongly believe that summer camp is a wonderful learning opportunity for children and a time for them to explore their learning styles in a fun environment with trained professionals. All our faculty are qualified with specialized degrees and teaching experience. We never hire college students to teach. Instead, summer camp instructors are drawn from our popular Levine School faculty, experienced area elementary school music teachers and special guest teachers and artists. Our faculty are one of our best assets - they bring abundant professional experience of working with young children and every year amaze us with what they bring out of the campers. We're proud to say they offer some of the finest teaching in the area. Faculty are selected by interview, teaching assessment and review. 87% of our teachers returned to teach last year.
Teens Apprentices are integral to the overall success of camp.
Faculty are assisted by Teen Apprentices. These are students between the ages of 13 and 19 who have special interest in working with children and the arts and very often were campers themselves. They are assigned in pairs to each class of campers, ensuring that all campers are with two teens and a teacher in all classes (except for small group instrument lessons). Teen Apprentices are a hugely important part of camp, helping faculty and campers alike and ensuring that campers get the most out of their experience. That can mean helping them learn the steps to a dance, or encouraging them to join in at Sing. Teen Apprentices are selected from area schools and further a field, through an application and interview process. They receive training before and during camp and are managed by a Teen Apprentice Coordinator who meets with them daily. Registration for the Teen Apprentice Program will open at the end of January.
Each year the Half Day Program (9:30-1) revolves around a theme. This year the theme is Water Water Everywhere - Splish Splash! The curriculum is the same at all camp sites and in both sessions.
The day begins with an all-camp Sing, where we learn some of the main songs of our theme, hear daily greetings from the Director and welcome guest artists. Campers then have classes in music, song, dance, art, percussion and instruments. Preschool and kindergarten campers also have free play indoors and outdoors.
The Full Day Program (1-3:30pm) switches to "Afternoon of Fun & Music" for preschoolers and kindergartners and "Afternoon of Music Theater & More" for 1st through 6th graders. At the end of each session, these campers put on a a Music Theater show for families and friends.
You can read more about the program for different age groups on our Daily Program page.
Campers are grouped by age, and/or grade entering Fall 2013, in classes of between 10 and 12. Each class has two Teen Apprentices assigned to it and these apprentices stay with the class throughout the session. Requests to be with friends are almost always managed, except when friends are different ages. Campers in PreK and K classes stay in their homeroom and usually have visitors come to them. Campers in grades 1 and above travel, accompanied by their apprentices, to each of their classes.
All campers must complete an online medical form on file before camp begins. This does not need to be signed by a physician. These forms will be available electronically on this website in May.
- Medication: We will not administer medication during the camp day. If your child needs such medication, you need to specify this on the Health Form and arrange to come to the campus and adminster the medication in person (with the knowledge of the Camp Director). Please make sure that you list all medications that your child routinely takes (even if they are not taking them at the time of camp) on the health form.
- Allergies: We cannot guarantee a peanut free environment. For campers with allergies requiring an Epipen, inhaler or other allergy medication we must have this information and the medication at the camp site PRIOR to the start of camp. This includes not only nut allergies but also any other food, insect bite or other allergies. We do screen our snacks for nuts and processing plants which indlue nuts. However, we cannot exclude other possible allergy sources such as sugar, gluten, wheat, etc.. Please call to discuss your child's specific situation as alternative arrangements can usually be made.
- Behavior and Health: It really helps us to know if your child has any behavior or health issues that we should be aware of, not only for his/her safety, but to help us place your camper with the best possible group, teachers and apprentices. All campers must be fully toilet trained.
- Special Needs: We know music can be a powerful influence in a child's life but camp does not have fully trained staff nor facilities to accommodate all special needs. Our camp staff, along with Levine's Music Therapy Director Leanne Belasco, are available to discuss with you whether camp is the right environment for your child and how we can help him/her through the camp experience.
- Campers bring bag lunches from home. Refrigeration may not be available so please do not have your child bring perishable items.
- Campers in the afternoon program and extended PM, and PK and K campers, are given a small snack of crackers or pretzels. Campers with wheat allergies are advised to bring a snack from home. We cannot guarantee a nut-free environment.
- One brightly colored camp t-shirt is provided to each camper. Additional t-shirts can be purchased separately.
- Casual, comfortable clothing is important. Its best to wear cool clothes that can get messy. Campers wear name tags each day so clothing may get small holes in them.
NW DC, Washington (Levine School of Music campus)
MD, Strathmore (Levine School of Music campus)
MD, Levine at St Bartholomew School, Bethesda (summer location)
VA, Arlington (Levine School of Music campus)
Want to learn more?
- Check out our website of photographs from 2010, 2009, 2008 and 2007 camps from DC, Maryland and Virginia.
- Read about Sally Mennel, the Camp's Director (and heart and soul)
- Read about the history of the Levine School's camp.