Registration for 2019 is now closed

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the camp?

Launched in 2009, Herndon High School’s Summer Grand Musical Theatre Experience is a camp for rising sixth graders to graduating seniors, with varying performing arts backgrounds and interests.  Inspired by the magic of the reveal behind the main curtain, also known as the “grand” drape, the charter of the Summer Grand is to stage a fabulous production of a popular high school musical with just a few weeks to pull it all together!  This popular camp aims for a careful balance of artistic excellence, discipline, comradery, and fun, and it values process as much as the product. Students learn and apply skills and talents to create an entertaining show. Equally important, they also experience a memorable artistic journey, filled with trying new things, making friends, and working as a team as they grow in confidence and ability.

When is the camp?

The Summer Grand for Performing Artists runs July 1st-28th, and the Summer Grand for Tech and Crew runs July 8th-28th.  Both camps run 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. on weekdays, excluding July 4th. On select weekends and/or evenings, students will have opportunities to perform hands-on work, like set construction/painting, as well as the culminating activity—three full-length performances of a family-friendly musical.

Where is the camp?

As Herndon High School is under construction, the camp will be held at nearby Dranesville Elementary, 1515 Powells Tavern Place, Herndon, VA  20170.

How many performances are there, and where are they?

The three performances will be held on July 26th, 27th, and 28th at Herndon Middle School, 901 Locust Street, Herndon, VA  20170.

Is there before/after care?

The camp does not offer before/after care.

What do students do for lunch?

Students bring nut-free lunches and eat as a group.

How many staff does the camp have?

The number and type of camp staff vary per production and attendance, and the number complies with required FCPS staff to student ratios.  Adults in Director positions have significant education, training, and experience in their fields. Students in Counselor positions are mature, hardworking, self-starters committed to sharing their love of the performing arts.  All are current FCPS employees and/or undergo FCPS employee processing prior to the camp. Additionally, the camp relies on volunteers. Those who are not volunteering family members of Summer Grand students undergo FCPS volunteer processing.

Are any of the staff trained for emergencies?

At least one staff member, with training in first aid and CPR, will be present during the regular camp hours of 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

What is a typical day like?

A typical day begins with a whole-group warm-up, after which students break off into smaller groups, where, as applicable, they will learn/practice acting, singing, dancing, and/or technical theatre skills.  Students eat lunch together, and they end the day as a whole group as well. Closer to the performances, cast members and tech/crew students rehearse scenes together. As with any production, there is downtime when students are not called for a particular scene.  During this time, students choose among rehearsing independently/in small groups, playing theatre arts games, watching the rehearsal process, or completing hands-on projects in support of the production.

What should students wear to camp?

Students should wear comfortable clothing, such as T-shirts and shorts, in which they can move easily and discreetly in all directions.  They also should wear closed-toe shoes, such as tennis shoes. When working with heavy tech and/or construction, students should also wear gloves and clothing in which they may paint, handle lumber, etc.  Tech certified students who work with any saws under adult supervision must also wear protective goggles.

What information and fees must participating students provide?

Students and/or their parent(s)/guardian(s) complete the high-level online registration form and submit a non-refundable $35 registration fee.  At that time, they receive a reminder about the full camp fee, which must be paid no later than May 1st. Camp fees are non-refundable.

Performing Mentors (Rising 11th to Graduating 12th Graders with Experience): $200/student + $35 registration

All Other Performers: $500/student + $35 registration

Tech/Crew Mentors (Rising 11th to Graduating 12th Graders with Experience): $35 registration

All Other Tech and Crew: $375/student + $35 registration

They also receive a request to complete a Commitment Form and the FCPS Emergency Care Information Form.  Performing Artist campers turn in these forms at audition time, which is in late May/June. Tech/crew campers turn in these forms at that time and/or arrange another time to do so at least one week before the Summer Grand begins.

Students also provide their own lunch as well as their own personal makeup and undergarments to wear under costumes, as and if directed.

What does it mean to be a mentor?

Highly experienced students who are rising Juniors to graduating Seniors are eligible to serve as camp mentors.  Those with significant performance experience and/or performing arts training may serve as Performing Mentors.  Those with significant tech/crew experience—particularly proven expertise in lighting, sound, set design, prop/set construction, costume design/construction, or makeup design and application— may serve as Tech/Crew mentors.  Mentors receive discounted tuition, and, in exchange, they not only participate fully in all camp aspects, but also they practice leaderships skills by setting a superb example for all, introducing new students to others, facilitating small groups, sharing their expertise, and assisting Directors and Camp Counselors upon request.   Being a mentor is a privilege; a student doesn’t become a mentor simply because he/she has reached a certain grade.  The Director will consider all who apply to be mentors and approve those who have proven to be responsible, committed students who get along well with others, stay on task without supervision, and maintain an excellent work ethic.  If, for some reason, an approved mentor does not uphold these highest standards, the Director will reassign his/her camp status to a regular Performer or Tech/Crew Member, which will entail an increased camp fee due to the student’s lack of expected contribution and additionally-required supervision.

What is included in the camp fee?

The camp fee covers students’ participation in the camp and performances.  It also includes a camp T-shirt and two free tickets to one of the performances.

What organization does the camp benefit?

The camp benefits HHS Drama Boosters Club, Inc., which is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that directly supports Herndon High School Theatre Arts.

Will there be additional information about camp drop-off, pickup, etc?

All Summer Grand families will receive email updates from

I still have questions. Who should I contact?

Feel free to e-mail us anytime with questions at: