Frequently Asked Questions
Blue Lake is located four hours north of Chicago, one hour northwest of Grand Rapids, and 15 minutes north of Muskegon. The campus is approximately 10 miles from Lake Michigan. There is an airport in Muskegon (25 minutes away) and Grand Rapids (60 minutes away). Visit our “Find Us” page for more specific details, https://bluelake.org/directions.
The Suzuki Family Camp administration has worked with Blue Lake personnel to review program, classes, facilities, and activities with the goal of providing a healthy and safe environment for all participants and faculty. As summer camp guidelines evolve in preparation for the upcoming season, the Suzuki administration will continue to evaluate and adjust. For a general overview of updated health and safety measures at Blue Lake, please visit https://bluelake.org/coronavirus-updates/
Check-In is from 8:00 - 11:00 AM on the first day of each session. Family orientation follows at 11:00 AM in Stewart Shell, and classes begin at 1:00 PM. Classes end at noon on the final day. Piano recitals end by 2:30 PM and String concerts end by 4:00 PM on the final day of the session. Teacher training, classes begin at 6:30 pm for pianists and 3:00 pm for other instruments. Adjustments in scheduled events will be announced later in the spring as we continue to refine plans related to COVID-19 safety precautions.
No. You will be required to first complete the health screening process, which will require proof of a negative COVID-19 test for each family member over the age of six. Once you are cleared, you may proceed to check-in and then may move into your housing area. For more information on Blue Lake’s ’21 health and safety protocols, visit https://bluelake.org/coronavirus-updates/
Cabin check-out time is 11am. Many families will pack up early on the last day and leave immediately after the final performance. If you are in a cabin, plan to vacate by 11am.
Upon arrival, cars will be directed to the central parking lot, across from Marek Hall North. Blue Lake’s health staff will greet you at your car and complete the health screening with family members. Once cleared, you may proceed to Check-In across the street at the Student Arts Center. All families are expected to attend the session’s orientation at 11am at Stewart Shell in Central Park.
- CABINS: Cabins and facilities are rustic. Cabins have cot-sized beds and bunks and simple shelving. The cot-sized beds are slightly narrower than a standard twin size. Cribs are not available. Cabins have electricity, but do not have heat or air conditioning. Campers provide their own linens and pillows. Self-contained cabins have bathrooms within. Shared facility cabins use a shared restroom/shower building. Families may not share cabins in ‘21.
- CAMPSITES: Blue Lake offers 22 campsites are available with a 20 amp, 120 volt receptacle and a picnic table. There are three different areas of sites within the campus. Visit www.bluelake.org/suzuki/housing.php for specific site information. Additional, non-designated sites for tents in the forest are also available. For these rustic sites, there is no electric hook up or picnic table. Shared bathrooms are nearby.
- Campfire rings and laundry facilities are available throughout the camp.
While families are not required to stay on campus, we strongly recommend it as a way to embrace the full camp experience. Should you choose to commute, we ask that you make every effort to adhere to COVID mitigation strategies including mask-wearing, physical distancing, and avoiding crowded indoor settings. For more information on local accommodations, For more information on local accommodations in the White Lake area, visit http://www.whitelake.org/. For Muskegon accommodations, visit http://visitmuskegon.org/.
We attempt to honor housing requests that are submitted early. However, there are no guarantees.
Enrollment and housing requests are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. The self-contained cabins are limited and in high demand. They typically fill by mid-February.
The Suzuki Family Camp provides daily meals in Marek Hall North. Meal times and a menu will be provided upon arrival. Vegetarian options are always offered, but Blue Lake is unable to provide gluten- or nut-free menus. Families dine together in a typical school cafeteria setting, and are responsible for taking care of their trays following their meal and helping to keep the community dining space tidy. For 2021, Blue Lake will implement adjustments in menu and dining to facilitate a COVID-safe environment. Adjustments include: appropriate distancing within the serving and seating areas, replacing community service features (ex: salad bar, beverages) with single-serve grab and go options, and increased frequency of cleaning and disinfecting. There are picnic tables throughout the camp for those wishing to take their meals outdoors.
No. The meal plans are not mandatory. You may dine off camp or bring your own food in a cooler. Portable grills are allowed. Blue Lake’s existing campfire rings must be used for any fires.
Yes. You can pay for individual meals at the information table in Marek Hall. Cash or check only.
Limited grab and go snacks (fruit, supplies to make PB&J sandwiches) will be available daily in Marek Hall. The Happy Camper, Blue Lake’s camp store located in Central Park, offers a wide assortment of snacks, ice cream, and refreshments as well as souvenirs, gifts, uniform items, and basic camp supplies.
No. We do not have staff on hand to facilitate an early check in. There is another session immediately following and we cannot accommodate an extra night’s stay.
- Lake Michigan beaches, White Lake, Big Blue Lake, and the White River.
- Parks: Meinert Park, Duck Lake State Park, Muskegon State Park, Pioneer County Park, Hoffmaster State Park.
- Michigan’s Adventure: Michigan’s largest amusement and water park.
- The White Lake Area: Restaurants, beaches, golf, White Lake Theater, shopping. www.whitelake.org/.
- Muskegon Area: Farmer’s Market, Frauenthal Center for Performing Arts, Restaurants, shopping, Art Museum, Beaches. http://visitmuskegon.org/.
Each student has 3 or 4 classes daily. Parents attend lessons with their children. Drop-in fiddling classes are offered most hours with no additional cost. There are optional student recitals and parent discussion panels most afternoons. There is an activity or performance each evening at 7:00.
A highlight of the Suzuki Family Camp is the Art Barn, where different art projects can be created morning and afternoon. There are pools, recreational fields, a large basketball court, gaga ball pits, volleyball nets, and picnic/campfire areas throughout the campus. Swimming, soccer games, and parent led activities round-out most days. Fishing from the shore of Little Blue Lake is allowed. Parents may register for piano lessons or attend a parent orchestra session. Activities and capacities will be adjusted in order to accommodate COVID-19 restrictions.
The best option for students who currently study two different instruments is to register for two sessions.
Blue Lake does not provide public Wi-Fi. Those needing internet access while in residence should plan to use their cell phone as a hot spot.
Camp scheduling is an intensive process. Honoring requests would significantly complicate the scheduling. We make certain that students do not study with their home teachers while at Suzuki camp.
All students perform on the last day of camp. Piano students perform in solo recitals, string students in group concerts. Piano Chamber Music students perform on an afternoon recital the third day of camp, and String Chamber Music students perform on the last day of camp. There are afternoon solo recitals on the second and third days of each session for students who would like an extra performance opportunity. Students must have the permission of their home teachers to participate in the afternoon recitals. Recital information is sent in the spring.
Yes! Look for the “Apply to Camp” button on the Suzuki page.