Frequently Asked Questions

What is the process for assigning classes?

There are five class periods a day and each student will selects their 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th choice for each period. Students are placed in classes in the order that they register for camp with the exception of photography and ceramics classes, which are assigned by a random lottery for any student who registers on January 1. This means that the earlier a student registers the more likely they are to receive their first choice of class. Please note that priority is not based on the date that the student submits their class preferences. The class catalog is released in mid-January and students have until February 1 to submit their preferences. Students who do not submit their class preference form and health history form by the February 1 deadline may lose their class placement priority.

What if my child is homesick?

It is not unusual for students of all ages to miss home and family in the first few days of camp, especially if it is a student’s first extended time away from home. Camp staff are trained to recognize homesickness and work especially hard to keep students busy and engaged in the camp atmosphere. When homesick campers are able to engage with new friends and activities at camp, they discover that camp is fun and safe, providing them with a new, profound sense of independence and discovery. We recommend that parents allow their child to work through homesickness without too much contact with home (parent/friends), so it is easier to engage in the camp environment.

Can friends and family members visit students at camp?

Family and friends are welcome at the evening artshare performances and the final performances, as well as for short visits on the main campus. Visitors must check in with the counseling office upon arrival. Please keep in mind that students are busy and frequent or lengthy visits can make it difficult for students to fully engage in the camp experience.

Can my student receive mail at camp?

Yes, please address mail to:

Student Name and Session (example: Mary Smith, Middle School Camp)

c/o Sitka Fine Arts Camp

110 College Drive Suite #111

Sitka, AK 99835

SFAC is unable to forward camper mail that arrives after the recipient’s camp session.

What kind of adult supervision do students have?

The primary responsibility of all camp staff is the safety and well-being of each student. The counselor to camper ration is 1:10. Students must check in twice a day with their counselor and attendance is taken for each class period. During recreation time, students occasionally have the opportunity to go downtown. Middle school students must be accompanied by a counselor. High school students may go downtown in groups of 3 or more without a counselor.

Who are the counselors?

The counseling staff consists of a diverse group of talented people whose primary objective is helping students get the most out of the SFAC experience. The majority of our counselors are art students or graduates from various colleges and universities throughout the country.

How can my child get the most out of camp?

The single most important aspect in getting the most out of camp is to attend classes well rested and healthy. Students should get plenty of rest, drink lots of water, and make healthy eating decisions.

What is the dormitory like for dorm students?

Students are housed in dormitories on the Sheldon Jackson Campus and will share a room with one other student. Rooms are equipped with bunk beds and desks. A shared bathroom is a short walk down the hall. Dorm rooms lock and each student has a key to his or her room. Each student is responsible for keeping his or her room locked and for holding on to the key. There is a $25 fee for lost keys. Students are housed on floors by gender. Students may submit the name of one friend on the roommate request portion of the registration form. Lights out is at 9:30 pm for Middle School Students and at 10:00 for High School Students.

Do dorm students have the opportunity to do laundry at camp?

Yes, dorm students have the option to do laundry. Students should bring quarters and soap is provided. The cost is $5.00 per load which includes washing and drying.

What is the camp cell phone policy?

Most students find their experience more enjoyable without the distraction of a cell phone. If there is an emergency at home, parents can contact their child by calling the Camp office 907-747-3085.

Students who come to Camp with a cell phone may call their family to let them know they arrived safely, but are expected to turn it off and store it in their room for the remainder of Camp except during approved calling hours. Approved calling hours are from 6:00-7:45am and in the evening during free time between 8:00 pm and lights out. We have a two-strike policy – the first time a cell phone is used outside of approved calling times it gets taken away until the next day, the second time it gets taken away until the end of camp. Some usage may be allowed during classes for photography, music reference, etc., though devices are required to be in airplane mode

What if I have dietary restrictions?

Vegetarian options are available and there is an extensive salad bar. Cooks are happy to accommodate most dietary restrictions, be sure to include any requests on the Health History form during registration.

What Health Services are on site?

There is a registered nurse on call 24 hours a day to provide health services to students.

How do I take my medication at Camp?

Students who take prescription medications should bring their medicine to Camp in its original packaging inside a ziplock bag labeled with the student’s name, medication name, dosage directions, and the name and phone number of the prescribing physician. Students are required to turn in all medication to the Camp nurse on the first day and are expected to go to the nurse’s office as needed to receive their medication. Medication will be returned to students on the last day of Camp. Sitka Fine Arts Camp operates under the Centers for Disease Control guidelines regarding H1N1.

Can I get school credit?

University of Alaska Southeast offers SFAC ART 093, which is considered a college preparatory class. The 093 designation does not count toward a college degree, but can be applied toward high school graduation (if the High school allows). Be sure to contact UAS before the Camp session to make arrangements. Contact UAS for details at 907-747-7700.

Is it ok to book the 6am flight for my child’s departure on the final day of camp?

Absolutely! In fact, the majority of our campers leave on the 6 am flight.

There are no travel options to get my child to Sitka by 3 pm on the first day of camp. Is it better to have my child arrive late on the first day or to come a day early?

It is better for students to arrive later on the first day of camp. Your child’s counselor will make sure he or she is caught up with orientation and that any auditions are rescheduled. If it is not possible to arrive on the first day of camp and your child must come a day early, please be sure to indicate the arrival day and time on the travel form as well as email the office at office@fineartscamp.org. There is an $85 fee for students who arrive a day early or depart a day late from campus (this fee includes a shuttle from the airport or ferry terminal). All early arrivals and late departures must be noted in the students travel form and arranged with SFAC’s Main Office by calling 907-747-3085 or emailing office@fineartscamp.org.

How does my child get from the airport or ferry terminal to camp?

Sitka Fine Arts Camp offers complimentary shuttle service to and from the Sitka airport or ferry terminal on all program arrival and departure dates. For students arriving and departing on other dates or at other locations there is a $15 fee for shuttle service. Sitka Fine Arts Camp does not provide shuttle service for parents or other family members. Be sure to fill out the Travel Form to let the camp office know when and how your student is arriving. It is your responsibility to provide SFAC with this information.

My child is traveling to camp as an un-accompanied minor. Whose name and contact information should I give the airline for the person meeting my child at the airport in Sitka?

Paul McGlew (Director of Students), 907-747-3085, office@fineartscamp.org 

Does my child need to bring his or her instrument to camp for music classes?

Yes, students should bring their personal instruments to camp with the exception of: drums and piano. Rock band students should bring guitars but Camp will provide amplifiers. If your student plays an instrument that is difficult to transport to camp, contact the camp office during registration to see if any loaner instruments are available, office@fineartscamp.org.

Can my child begin music lessons on a new instrument at camp?

The two-week intensive camp experience is best suited for students with some prior experience/instruction on their instrument. There are plenty of exploratory opportunities in other disciplines such as theater, writing, and the visual arts.

My student is signed up for a photography class. What kind of camera is needed?

Students need manual SLR cameras. The Camp has a limited number of loaner cameras available for students who don’t have personal cameras to bring. To use a loaner camera, email office@fineartscamp.org to arrange rental before the session begins.

Can my student leave campus during camp?

Students can be checked out through the counseling office by a parent/guardian or a pre-approved adult, 18 years of age or older. Counselors must know when the student is expected back and have a contact phone number for the adult. It is best to call the office the day before to alert the Head Counselor.

Is there a camp lost and found?

The counseling staff does its best to reconnect students with their missing items during Camp. Families are responsible for the shipping and handling expenses should an item need to be returned after the session is over.

What is the weather like?

In Sitka it can rain for days on end or be sunny for the entire camp. Be prepared for both extremes. Summer temperatures can range from 40-80 degrees. Dressing in layers is recommended. The average temperature is in the 50s.

My student has previously attended camp, does he or she still need to turn in a teacher’s recommendation form this year?

Yes. We do not keep the Teacher’s Recommendations forms year to year.

Is financial aid available?

Need-based financial aid is available for qualifying students through an application process. Please visit the financial aid page of our website for more information here.

What should I do if I cannot access my camp account or forgot my password?

Call the camp office 907-747-3085 or email office@fineartscamp.org. Please do not create a new account.

What is the refund policy?

Students who cancel their registration by June 1st will be refunded the full amount, less the non-refundable deposit. Tuition is non-refundable after June 1st. Please let us know as soon as possible if you intend to cancel so we can make your slot available to another student.

Is there a wait list?

Yes. Students are accepted off the wait list based on class availability and housing.