Every summer young musicians from the United States, Canada, and a few other countries pack their bags and head to the International Music Camp (IMC) in the International Peace Garden, between Manitoba and North Dakota. Campers are immersed in a rich creative culture, which encourages individual expression, group interaction, and the development of independent thinking and decision making, skills that will help them throughout their lives.
In the summer, the camp employes 65 summer staff and around 185 faculty members, but only three full time, year-round employees: camp directors (husband and wife) Tim and Christine Baumann, and an administrative assistant, Sean Sprague. Christine shares more about what makes the International Music Camp so special.
Give us a little history of the International Music Camp.
The International Music Camp is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 1956 as a summer band and baton twirling camp. We will be in our 63rd season in 2018. Over the years it has expanded from those two original programs to over 40 different programs, all in the fine arts. Band, choir, and orchestra are our biggest music programs and some of the other programs include drama, musical theatre, dance, garage band, piano, guitar, music composition, creative writing, and visual arts programs, including drawing, painting, and digital photography. There are six sessions of one week programs for students who have just completed grades 5-12, and a half week of adult camp that is programing for folks 21 and up. Adult camp includes bands, orchestras, choirs, and more! We have around 2,000 campers come to IMC each season, for a grand total of almost 138,000 over the past 62 years. Campers from the United States and Canada attend IMC and we also have international students that come every summer. In 2017 we had 25 international students from 12 other countries. We are an accredited camp through the American Camp Association.
How are you different from other organizations like yours?
The International Music Camp is uniquely located between the United States and Canada in the International Peace Garden. The Peace Garden is a celebration of the largest unprotected border in the world and is beautiful in the summer. Visitors come to see the gorgeous gardens, the Peace Chapel, and you can even stand in both countries without a passport—passports are not required to visit the Peace Garden.
How can people contact you?
The best way to reach IMC is by phone or email. 701-838-8472 will reach our winter office in Minot as well as our camp office when we move at the end of May. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And to learn more, visit our website: internationalmusiccamp.com.
How can people donate or get involved?
There are many ways to be involved in the International Music Camp! We wouldn’t be able to do what we do each summer without the campers and their families, staff, faculty, volunteers, and donors that make our mission statement of “Enriching lives through artistic expression and personal growth.” Staff is needed each summer to cook meals, move equipment, keep things clean, and supervise campers. We have volunteers that help out at the beginning of each camp season to clean and prep all of the housing units for staff to move in as well as throughout the summer. The International Music Camp is made possible through support from the North Dakota Council on the Arts and the Province of Manitoba, but we also rely on private donors. Donors help provide scholarships for campers as well as for maintenance and items on our wish list. Our donors enable us to keep camp tuition low. Campers just pay for what it costs to hire the faculty and staff, food, and utilities. Our donors provide support to maintenance and capital purchases. Information regarding donations can be found on our website or by calling our office. Every little bit helps us continue our mission.
What are your needs right now if someone would like to help?
Contact us in the office! We are happy to help point you to volunteering opportunities, provide applications for work, and further explain how donations are used. The previous camp directors did a wonderful job building the 72 different buildings that are used for camp in the summer. We just completed a major re-roofing project but general building maintenance and upkeep continue to be large annual costs. We are grateful to those who have helped build IMC to what it is now and would love to have IMC continue to be in great shape for years to come.