Camp Policies, Information and Scholarships

Camp Policies

Health Information

We use an online service called Camp Docs to safely and securely collect residential camper health information. After you register, we will contact you via email to begin the process of submitting camper health information via Camp Docs.


Our counselors are instructed not to provide campers with any medicines, not even routine over-the-counter products. If your child is likely to need any medications, please be sure you have sent these with them. For any serious medical problems, parents will be consulted by telephone as soon as possible, and the camper will be attended by a person with medical training. All medical bills are the responsibility of the camper’s legal guardians.

Visitor/Guest Pick-up Permissions

  • Parents are required to provide notification in writing of any unscheduled pick-up of campers during the week.
    • The letter should provide details, such as the name of the person picking up the camper, as well as pick-up and drop-off date and times.
    • You may email this ahead of time to or drop it off at registration
  • Be prepared to show identification to camp personnel at the time of pick-up.
  • Camp staff have been instructed that a camper is not to be released with advance written permission. This is for your camper's safety.

Cancellations and Refunds

Before Camp

A full refund is provided if NIU cancels the camp or if the camp is full. A full refund may be allowed for campers who withdraw because of illness or a family emergency. These situations are decided on a case-by-case basis, and documentation from a doctor or other professional is required.

A camper who withdraws more than 28 days before the start date of the camp receives a refund of all but $50. A camper who withdraws 15-27 days before the start date of the camp receives a refund of all but $100. A camper who withdraws 14 days or less before the start date of camp does not receive a refund.

During Camp

A camper who leaves camp during the week because of illness or a family emergency may receive a prorated refund. Documentation from a doctor or other professional must be provided within one week of the date the camper left. If the camper leaves camp during the week for any other reason, the camper does not receive a refund.

All refunds are issued by the same method of payment that was used to make the payment. Credit card refunds are credited to the same credit card used for the payment within two to three days of the request. Refunds by check can take four to six weeks.

Housing - Gilbert Hall

Residential campers stay in Gilbert Hall, a recently renovated residence hall located on the east side of campus close to the Music Building and adjacent to the Art Building. Campers usually sleep two to a room, although occasionally an uneven number of girls or boys makes this impossible. A roommate of the same or similar age is assigned to campers who did not specify the name of a roommate on the registration form. Male and female counselors sleep on the floors with the campers in a ratio of at least one counselor for every 13 campers. Additional professional staff lives in the residence hall overnight. Each room has a micro-fridge (includes a microwave, freezer, and refrigerator), closet, and drawer space. The rooms are air-conditioned; it is recommended that campers bring a fan and a sweatshirt. Security is tight in the residence halls with a key card needed to access the hallways with camper rooms.

How to Find Gilbert Hall

Travel north on Annie Glidden Road, turn right onto Lucinda Road and right onto Gilbert Drive. You can find maps and more detailed directions to campus and the residence halls on our website at For GPS, use 383 Gilbert Dr. as the address.

Linens and Meals

  • All campers need to bring towels, sheets, pillowcase/s, a blanket, and a pillow. The beds are standard length.
  • Campers eat all three daily meals in Gilbert Hall. Campers may eat an unlimited amount of food from a cafeteria-style service. Food may not be taken out of the cafeteria.

Replacement Key Cards

The cost of replacing a lost key card is $10. This amount will be billed to a camper's family at the conclusion of camp.

Contact Information

  • The lobby desk of Gilbert Hall is staffed each day 7 a.m. – 11 p.m. The number for the main desk of Gilbert Hall is 815-753-3110
    • Calls are forwarded to Stevenson Hall when the lobby desk at Gilbert is not open.
  • If parents need to reach a child during the day, call the Office of External Programs at 815-753-1450 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
  • Mail should be sent to campers in care of Office of External Programs, College of Visual and Performing Arts, Northern Illinois University, 1425 W Lincoln Hwy, DeKalb IL 60115. Be sure to write the name of the camp and the camper on the envelope.

Parking for Parents and Campers

Sunday (Monday for Percussion Camp) and Friday

  • Parents arriving with campers may park in Lot 3, the lot immediately south of the Music and Art Buildings. There is no fee and no need for a pass if you park in Lot 3.
  • There is limited parking in front of Gilbert Hall (on Gilbert Drive) for luggage drop off/pick-up only
    • Be prepared to move your vehicle to Lot 3 immediately after unloading/loading.
  • On pick-up day, it is recommended that you either use Lot 3 (free) or the Visitor's Lot (paid) near the Holmes Student Center, as all other lots on campus allow parking by permit only until 5 p.m. Monday – Friday.

Campers' Cars

  • Residential campers who drive themselves to camp are not permitted to drive cars during the week and must request a visitor's parking pass from the office at least a week before camp begins.
  • It is recommended that campers park in Lot 2E (near Anderson Building across Lucinda Rd.) until the end of camp.
  • Campers who request a visitor's parking pass ahead of time will find one waiting at check-in.
    • Those who do not do this must request that a counselor go to Parking Services with them on Monday to purchase one for $10.

Camp Check-in

Residential camp check-in for packets, t-shirts, schedules, etc. is in the Music Building and for room keys is in Gilbert Hall. Details about how this works are in the camper letter.

Camper Rules

Please read these rules carefully. Conduct that is in violation of any of these rules or that is considered detrimental to the operation of the camp will result in disciplinary action that may include the camper's expulsion from the camp. Campers who are expelled from the camp do not receive a refund. Final decisions about expulsion are made by the camp's conduct committee.

  • All campers must respect the needs and feelings of others and show kindness to all with whom they come into contact.
  • Campers must show respect for camp staff through their attitude and behavior including following directions.
  • Use of physical violence, violent language, or threats, which are disruptive or unlawful, including but not limited to:
    • Fighting or using "fighting words"
    • Roughhousing or wrestling
    • Physical or verbal threats
    • Bullying or intimidation
  • Use of weapons or other objects as weapons is expressly prohibited and can result in expulsion from camp.
  • Engaging in behavior which is sexually inappropriate, threatening, or harassing is expressly prohibited and can result in expulsion from camp. This can include but is not limited to these behaviors:
    • Sexual misconduct
    • Exposing one's body
    • Inappropriate nudity
    • Inappropriate sexual comments
    • Touching oneself or others in a sexual manner.
  • The use of drugs and alcohol is not permitted at camp. Campers found with either in their room or in their possession will be sent home at once. The police will be notified.
  • Bringing items which are unlawful or prohibited, including but not limited to:
    • Weapons of any kind
    • Fireworks or explosives is not permitted at camp.
  • Campers found with either in their room or in their possession will be sent home at once. The police will be notified.
  • In compliance with the Illinois Smoke-Free Campus Act, cigarette smoking is not allowed on the Northern Illinois University campus. Vaping and E-cigarettes of all kinds are also prohibited.
  • Campers may not have guests in their rooms without the express consent of camp staff. Parents are allowed in the room when dropping off or picking up campers, but the door must remain open during this time.
  • Campers may not bring video gaming systems, laptop computers, or televisions unless otherwise specified by camp staff.
  • Campers may only leave the camp with a person who has provided a signed letter (with specific pick up and drop off times) to the camp director or administrator before camp begins or at registration. The person must be prepared to show identification.
  • Campers are required to attend all sessions and activities listed on the schedule, and to make a strong effort to engage in camp programming and constructively work and interact with other campers. Disciplinary action will be taken if a camper's actions cause serious disruption to a camp's routine; the result may be the camper's expulsion from camp. Campers who leave camp under these circumstances will not receive a refund.
  • Campers are expected to be on their residence hall floor or in a camp activity at 10 p.m., in their own room by 10:30 p.m., with lights out by 11 p.m. unless expressly otherwise directed by camp staff.
  • Cell phone use is allowed during free time, at meals, and during the periods campers are walking between buildings. At other times, it is strongly discouraged.
  • Cell phones may be taken from campers who use them during planned camp activities.
  • Campers must demonstrate a high-level of responsibility and care with university property (including room keys), and the property of others. The destruction or defacement of property will result in disciplinary actions and monetary compensation for the damaged items.
    • Any damage found to a residence hall will be billed to the campers housed in the room. Any items found to be missing from a residence hall room at the end of camp will be billed to the campers who were staying in the room.
  • Campers who drive to camp must park in a designated lot near the residence hall for the entire week; call the office at 815-753-1450 and there will be a parking permit waiting for you at registration. Use of the car during the week is prohibited.
  • Campers must wear clothing that is appropriate and shows respect for themselves and others. Clothing will be size-appropriate, modest, and not display inappropriate or disruptive slogans, gestures or brands.
  • Campers must always maintain language and decorum appropriate for a classroom setting.


NIU offers a limited number of need-based scholarships worth $350. Scholarships are applied as a discount to registration fees. Recipients are expected to pay the balance owed. Scholarships are available for all Summer in the Arts camps.

How to Apply

To apply for a scholarship, submit your completed scholarship application form (PDF) by May 2.

You may request a paper application by calling 815-753-1450. Do not include the $100 deposit with your completed application.

Incomplete applications will not be considered. Scholarship recipients will be notified in mid-May.

Some campers receive financial assistance from their schools, local booster clubs, PTAs, community theatres and local service organizations. We recommend contacting groups in your area in early spring.

Contact Us

College of Visual and Performing Arts
Office of External Programs

Music Building 132

Kristin Sherman

Online Office Hours

Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
(lunch from noon – 1 p.m.)

To protect the safety of our staff, students and families, we will operate remotely until further notice. Our staff will be available at their remote offices during normal NIU business hours and can be contacted via phone or email.

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