Summer Camp Frequently Asked Questions
Please note that the majority of the below information pertains to our planned 2020 camp season. We will be releasing our 2021 camp program on December 1, 2020. For Usdan updates, please visit our Usdan Updates page.
With so many exciting programs, classes, and sessions to make sense of, we have compiled a list below of the most frequently asked questions and answers regarding how Usdan works.
If you did not find answers to your summer camp questions here, you are always welcome to reach out to us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by chatting us live on our website in the lower right corner. Prospective students and their parents or caregivers are also encouraged to visit Usdan to tour the campus and learn more about our programs first-hand. Information about arranging a campus tour can be found here.
WHEN IS USDAN’S SUMMER 2021 SEASON?
Usdan's Summer 2021 season will begin January 28, 2021. We will update our community with session dates before enrollment opens in December, 2020.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO ATTEND USDAN?
7-week session - $6,300*
*Some 7-week classes are an additional $600.
4-week session - $4,500*
*Some 4-week classes are an additional $350.
3-week session - $3,400*
*Some 3-week classes are an additional $250.
All tuition prices include bus transportation. Bus transportation is required.
Is tuition beyond your budget at this time? Get in touch with us. Additional discounts and scholarship opportunities may be available to your family. We would like to make the decision to send your child to camp this summer an easy one. Email email@example.com or call us at 631-643-7900.
WHY DO SOME CLASSES HAVE PREMIUM FEES?
While all of Usdan's classes are designed to give students a deep artistic experience, some classes require extra materials, costumes, sound design, computers and other equipment, additional faculty, or safety training to do so. The premium fee allows us to offer these classes at the highest level.
HOW WILL MY CHILD GET TO CAMP?
Information on transportation will be updated before enrollment opens in December, 2020.
WHAT IS A MAJOR?
Students choose one subject in which they have the greatest interest or desire to participate as their major. Students spend two periods (2 hours total) on their major each day. A musician, for example, might choose Piano as a major, a dancer might choose Ballet, and an art student might choose Ceramics.
WHAT IS A MINOR?
A minor is a student’s secondary subject interest. Students spend one period (1 hour) on their minor every day. Usdan believes that students should enjoy a variety of interests and learn skills across subjects, especially art forms they’ve never tried before. Minors may be entirely different from majors: for example, a Ballet major might minor in Vocal Ensemble.
WHAT IS A RECREATIONAL ACTIVITY?
Usdan students participate in a daily 1-hour recreational period, to give them an active day that embraces total mind and body health. Recreational courses include Swimming, Tennis, Yoga, Archery, Dance, Chess and U Time for Seniors.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN JUNIOR AND SENIOR DIVISION STUDENTS?
Students attend courses with similarly aged peers; the age divisions are called Discovery, Partners in the Arts, Junior Division, and Senior Division. Discovery students have completed K through grade 1, Partners in the Arts students have completed grades 2 through 3, Junior Division students have completed grades 4 through 6, and Senior Division students have completed grades 6 through 12. Students who have completed grade 6 may chose to be in either the Junior or Senior division.
WHAT’S A TYPICAL DAY AT USDAN LIKE?
Camp runs from 10:00 a.m. to 3:05 p.m. every weekday.
Students attend one 2-hour course (a major), one 1-hour course (a minor), and a 1-hour recreational activity*. They also attend a daily Festival Concert where renowned artists or student groups perform for the camp. At the end of every day, students are rewarded with an ice cream snack.
A sample student schedule:
- 10:00 a.m.–11:55 a.m. Major.
- 12:10 p.m.–12:30 p.m. Lunch.
- 12:35 p.m.–12:55 p.m. Festival Concert.
- 1:15 p.m.–2:05 p.m. Recreational Activity.
- 2:15 p.m.–3:05 p.m. Minor.
*Discovery students will have a different schedule, and do not choose a major, minor or recreational activity. See more here.
DO I HAVE TO AUDITION?
While most courses do not require an audition, several do. Usdan Troupe, Piano Majors, Advanced Jazz Ensemble, Rock Band, and the 3 week Chamber Ensemble are the only classes that require an audition for entrance. Other classes may have pre-requisite experience, a placement audition. See our class page for more information. For audition information, please contact Usdan's New York office at 212-772-6060.
IS USDAN AN OVERNIGHT CAMP OR A DAY CAMP?
Usdan is a day camp. We do not offer overnight facilities for students. All campers are transported to and from campus by bus daily.
WHAT IS PARTNERS IN THE ARTS?
Partners in the Arts is a special program for Usdan students in grades 2 and 3 that supports their growing independence. Partners campers study a major, minor, and recreation just like older campers, but are escorted from class to class by counselors. Partners in the Arts participants meet their counselors at the McKinley Amphitheater each morning of camp and then proceed to their classes together. The Partners in the Arts program helps young students feel comfortable and confident as they learn, make friends, and have fun.
DO STUDENTS SWIM?
Swimming in Usdan’s magnificent outdoor pools is one of many courses students may choose for their daily recreational activity. Some students choose to enroll in swimming instruction leading to American Red Cross certification. All Discovery students participate in a daily swim period, while Junior Division students have instructional swim Monday through Thursday and free swim on Fridays. Senior Division students who choose swimming as their recreational activity have a choice of either free or instructional swim. Board games and cards are available poolside for students who opt not to swim. Click here for more details about Usdan's swim program.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN IT RAINS?
We recommend that all students carry an umbrella, rain jacket, or poncho with them in case of wet weather. Students will be held in their classes if there is severe weather or lightning, however, Usdan is open every day, regardless of weather conditions.
ARE SCHOLARSHIPS OR FINANCIAL AID AVAILABLE?
Tuition Assistance is available. These grants are awarded based on family need.
Is tuition beyond your budget at this time? Get in touch with us. Additional discounts and scholarship opportunities may be available to your family. We would like to make the decision to send your child to camp this summer an easy one. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 631-643-7900.
ARE THERE COUNSELORS?
The Discovery program (for younger students who have completed kindergarten or first grade) has full-day counselors. Similarly, the Partners in the Arts program has counselors who guide students through their day. As students progress, they gain independence and the responsibility to walk to class on their own, supervised by staff members stationed across campus.
DO STUDENTS NEED TO BRING THEIR OWN LUNCH?
Yes. Lunch is not provided; each student is required to bring their own. We recommend packing your child’s lunch in an insulated bag with an ice pack. An ice cream snack is provided to all students at the end of each day. If your child needs lactose-free or gluten-free frozen treats instead of ice cream, they can pick them up at the nurse’s office. Discovery and Aftercare students are required to bring an additional snack.
ARE THERE VENDING MACHINES ON CAMPUS?
As part of Usdan’s commitment to sustainability, there are no vending machines on campus. Students are advised to bring their own reusable water bottles; water filling stations are located throughout camp for student use. Water bottles are available for purchase in the Administration Building.
WHAT HELPFUL ITEMS SHOULD STUDENTS BRING OR WEAR TO CAMP?
- Reusable water bottle
- Swimsuit and towel (if enrolled in swimming class or Aftercare)
- Sneakers or walking shoes (please do not wear flip¬ flops or sandals)
- Snack (Discovery and Aftercare students)
- Mosquito spray
- Umbrella, poncho, or raincoat
DO STUDENTS NEED TO BRING THEIR OWN INSTRUMENTS?
Yes. Students studying all instruments except pianos, percussion, and string bass must bring their own instrument. String players may rent violin, viola, or cellos from Murphy's Music. For the convenience of musicians, Usdan provides 24-hour instrument storage at Instrument Check.
CAN STUDENTS BRING THEIR CELL PHONES?
Yes, but use is restricted to certain times. Usdan believes that mobile devices such as phones and tablets can be incredible tools for creativity. We even offer classes in social media and mobile photography. But Usdan is also a place to disconnect from the frenzy of technology for a summer of discovery amidst the camp’s natural beauty. Students are permitted to use mobile devices on the bus, during passing periods, and during lunch. Students are not allowed to use mobile devices during class unless authorized by teachers, while walking on campus, or in the amphitheater during a performance.
WHAT ATTIRE DO STUDENTS NEED FOR CLASS?
Some departments require dress conducive to course activity (see list below). Please note that Usdan does not discriminate based on gender identity, and encourages students to dress in the attire they feel most comfortable in.
A smock or old shirt to protect clothes.
White shirt or blouse, black pants or long black skirt, and black dress shoes for all concert performances.
Comfortable clothing without buttons or zippers that is easy to move in. Bring a yoga mat marked with your name.
All classes: Hair that falls to the shoulders or below should be pulled back, off the face.
Ballet: Female-identifying students: Leotard (any style), tights. Male-identifying students: “white shirt, black leggings or athletic pants.” Gender non-conforming may choose any articles of clothing from the female- and male-identifying options. All: Feet: Ballet shoes (no color preference for all).
Broadway Jazz: Comfortable non restrictive clothing i.e, shorts (no jeans), leggings, dance pants, Yoga Pants, sweat pants, t-shirt, tank top, leotard, tights. Feet: Jazz shoes.
Choreography: Comfortable non-restrictive clothing i.e. shorts (no jeans), leggings, dance pants, Yoga Pants, sweat pants, T-shirt, tank top, leotard, tights. Feet: to be determined by the instructor on the first day.
Contemporary: Comfortable non restrictive clothing i.e, shorts (no jeans), leggings, dance pants, Yoga Pants, sweat pants, t-shirt, tank top, leotard. Feet: Barefeet.
Dance Adventure: Comfortable non restrictive clothing i.e, shorts (no jeans), leggings, dance pants, Yoga Pants, sweat pants, t-shirt, tank top. Feet: Barefeet.
Hip Hop: Comfortable non restrictive clothing i.e, shorts (no jeans), leggings, dance pants, Yoga Pants, sweat pants, t-shirt, tank top, leotard. Feet: Sneakers.
Tap: Comfortable non restrictive clothing i.e, shorts (no jeans), leggings, dance pants, Yoga Pants, sweat pants, t-shirt, tank top. Feet: Tap shoes. Any brand or type is ok. Capezio and Bloch are affordable options. Students may wear socks or no socks depending on comfort.
ARE THERE SPORTS?
While Usdan is an arts camp, we do offer one period of recreational activities every day. Students can additionally enroll in Tennis, Yoga, Archery, or Swim. Senior division students will have the opportunity to choose various sports during U Time including Quidditch, basketball, and Gaga.
WHAT IS THE WITHDRAWAL AND REFUND POLICY?
Refunds will be made according to the following rules. *
A student withdrawing:
- A. On or before February 14, 2021: Full refund
- B. Between February 15 and April 30, 2021: Usdan keeps an administrative fee of $100.
- C. Between May 1, 2021 and two days after the start of your child’s session: Usdan keeps $750 deposit.
- D. No refunds thereafter
Credit card fees are non-refundable.
* Usdan will reassess these policies on an ongoing basis.
WHAT IS YOUR POLICY REGARDING VACCINATIONS?
With a focus on maintaining health and protecting the camp community as a whole, Usdan now requires all students, faculty, and staff to be up-to-date with all standard immunizations in accordance with the update in Public Health Law 2164, passed by the New York State Legislature and signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo on June 13, 2019. Usdan will not accept any exemption other than a doctor issued medical exemption. All health forms are required by May 31 for pre-screening.