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Shows under consideration, rights pending.


Welcome to Summerstock VTC

A Performing Arts Intensive: Vanguard Summerstock Sleepaway

July 28-August 18, 2024

Dear Performing Artists, Parents and Guardians,

Welcome to Summerstock Sleepaway Intensive!!

Summer is my favorite time of year because, among my other favorite activities, I LOVE Summerstock VTC!

Musical theater in the woods with teenagers is truly one of my favorite parts of summer - and I really mean that! Beyond rigorous training and amazing performances, it’s a time for them to step away from their school-year personas and re-discover or re-invent themselves. Most importantly, it's a time when they have the opportunity to meet, work, and live with people from outside their bubbles. This experience helps prepare them to step into the Fall and enter a new school year having grown in confidence, gained new awareness, and made lasting friendships.

Our top priority this summer is to learn and grow as performing artists and, at the same time, enjoy and receive the benefits of the full Vanguard experience. Your Production Team is led by professional actors and directors, and many of our counselors have been campers themselves! Past Summerstock performing artists have left every summer saying it was the best weeks of their lives!

In addition to rehearsals, we have amazing workshops including Songwriting, Shakespeare, Musical Theater Dance, Riffing, Character Analysis, Rock the Runway, Hip Hop, Belting for Broadway, Tap, 10-minute Musicals, and so much more! Summerstock recreational activities include swimming, boating, archery, hiking, movie nights, dance parties, and of course nightly campfires that perfectly round the best experience for everyone.

Students who have participated in our Summerstock Intensive have been accepted in the most prestigious Musical Theater programs including: University of Michigan, Pace University, Syracuse University, Ithaca College, Boston Conservatory, Ithaca College, NYU / Tisch, Emerson College, Northwestern, Berklee School of Music, HARTT, Montclair State University, Webster University Conservatory, and many more.

I can’t wait for a fantastic experience this summer, and look forward to working with all of you!

Artistically yours,


Founding Artistic Director Vanguard Theater Company







Off-Book Policy




Check-in Procedure



Household Cohorts

Daily Schedule and Programming



Performing Artist Information Form

Medical Form



What happens on the first day?



Laundry Service




Canteen Account



Swimming Policy


Missing Performing Artist

Procedures for Summerstock Emergencies & Drills





Medical Form


Dental Care

Head Lice

Special Considerations







Emails will be answered within 24 hours

Summerstock Camp Director: Terri Gorgone

Summerstock Administrator / Parent Liaison: Melissa McHugh



There will be an in person and virtual orientation for students and parents on June 9, 2024


For all students attending Summerstock VTC Intensive. Parents are encouraged to attend.

Sunday, June 9th

9:00 AM - 11:00 AM

180 Bloomfield Ave, 2nd floor

Montclair, NJ


* If you cannot attend in person, we will send you a Zoom link. Please RSVP using the form.





This season’s shows are Alice By Heart, Mean Girls, 13 the Musical, and She Kills Monsters.  

Scripts will be distributed at Orientation on June 9th.

Off-Book Policy

All Performing Artists are expected to show up to camp – “Off-Book.” This means, all of your character’s dialogue and all of your character’s songs are MEMORIZED prior to the first day of camp. Actors who do not follow this guideline are in danger of losing their role. You should also be familiar with the ensemble numbers. Exact vocal parts (Soprano, Alto, etc.) of those roles will be assigned at a later time, but knowing lyrics and basic melody of all ensemble songs is essential. Since we are treating this like a professional Summerstock experience, we’d like to follow the same protocol.

Parents/Guardians, please assist your camper in learning their material by rehearsing with them at home. If your child has access to a private voice instructor, please ask that they help him/her to prepare all solo material.




Hands In 4 Youth - Home of Vacamas Camps

256 Macopin Road West Milford, NJ 07480

* Please note: the road up the mountain to the campsite is narrow with shoulders available on the side to allow oncoming traffic to pass. The speed limit is 15 MPH

Arrival and Check-In

Location: Camp Vacamas Literacy Building

Date:  Sunday July 28th

Time: 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM.

** You will be assigned an arrival time via email prior to opening day

Check-in Procedure

• You will meet with our Nurse to complete your check-in and turn-in prescribed medications (if any). All medications should be in their original prescription bottle.

• Parents have the option to deposit spending money BEFORE opening day by using this CANTEEN ACCOUNT LINK. We recommended $150 - $200 for the 3-week camp session. Canteen Funds can also be deposited during check-in (cash or card), and parents have the option to replenish their camper’s balance during camp by contacting the Summerstock Administrator.

• Once check-in has been completed with the Nurse, Performing Artists will meet their counselors and be escorted to their bunks

(parents are not permitted beyond the Literacy Building).

Departure Day: August 18th

• All Shows will have a final performance on departure day, and all are welcome to attend. Detailed information regarding

showtimes, ticket reservations, and parking will be emailed under separate cover.

• We ask that families that plan to attend the final performance pick up your child’s belongings PRIOR to the beginning of their

last show, so that they can say their goodbyes to one another without the stress of packing.



Household Cohorts

Household cohorts are small groups of performing artists and staff who stay together in a bunk. VTC is assigning household cohorts based on age and gender. Cohorts will not be permitted to share items such as towels, toothpaste, or personal care items.

VTC recommends labeled large or jumbo sized ziploc bags for personal items. It is extremely important to label all of your child’s



Daily Schedule and Programming

We have planned a creative and fun-filled experience! In addition to show rehearsals and workshops, all will have the opportunity to swim, hike, play games and explore our beautiful home away from home. Below is a typical day.

• Wake-up Call 7:30 am

• Breakfast 8:00 am

• Morning Rehearsals 8:45 am - 12:30 pm

• Lunch 12:30 pm

• Free Period 1:00 - 3:00pm

Summerstock store open, games, swimming, boating, archery, hiking, arts & crafts

• Workshops 3:35 - 5pm

Includes Songwriting, Shakespeare, Musical Theater Dance, Riffing, Character Analysis, Rock the Runway, Hip Hop, Belting for Broadway, Tap, 10-minute Musicals, and so much more!

• Dinner 5:00 - 5:45 pm

• Evening Rehearsals 6:00 – 9:00 pm

• Summerstock Snack Bar & Store 9:00 - 9:30 pm

• Campfire 9:30 – 10 pm

• Lights out 11:00 pm


Indulge in a delightful culinary journey with three well-balanced and scrumptious meals prepared daily by our exceptional Chef in Residence, Mama June! Renowned for her Soul Food Sundays featuring mouthwatering delights like Mac & Cheese, Fried Chicken, Collard Greens, and more, Mama June brings a touch of home to our dining experience. We believe that sharing a delicious meal is a powerful way for campers to connect and forge lasting friendships.


In addition to our regular meals, campers can explore "The Bodega," inspired by In The Heights. This on-site store offers a variety of snacks, drinks, and merchandise providing campers with options to satisfy their cravings throughout the day. please refer to SPENDING MONEY. At DREAM Summerstock VTC: A Sleepaway Musical Theater Intensive, we not only nurture creativity on stage but also ensure that every meal is a memorable and enjoyable part of the overall camp experience. Campers with food allergies and special dietary needs will be accommodated.

Those with food allergies and special dietary needs will be accommodated using information supplied in the Performing Artist Information Form.



All paperwork must be received no later than June 28, 2024. You can access both forms using the links below.

• The Performing Artist Information Form should be completed online

Print out the Medical Form. Both parents/guardians and a physician must complete and sign this form. The Medical Form

must be completed and submitted before arrival day to be eligible to participate in Summerstock VTC

Performing Artist Information Form - To be submitted online

Medical Form - Print out, parents and physician signatures required on completed form.




Family and friends are invited to attend all performances of ALL shows. A link for tickets will be emailed under separate cover.


What do Performing Artists do the first day?

After unpacking, our Opening Act/Dinner will take place at 6:00PM, then we’ll get our Artists busy right away with an organized

evening activity. We want to know if there is anything about your child regarding their emotional health and wellness that we should

know. Use the confidential information section in the Performing Artist Information Form to share anything you think could benefit

your child. This information will be used to help us provide the best possible camp experience for your child and is only shared with

select staff, such as your child’s group leader. If you anticipate a severe separation problem please let us know so we can make a plan together. Please contact our Summerstock Administrator directly if there is information you do not wish to be shared with any other staff members.


Homesickness can strike artists and staff of all ages and experience levels. Like most “sicknesses,” it usually disappears by itself within a few days, but may persist longer. Since all problems are individual, we evaluate each situation separately and plan the appropriate response. Reassure your child that homesickness is not abnormal and is not voluntary. Almost all children (and adults) experience a degree of homesickness at some moment.

When communicating with your child, ask about friends and activities. Encourage them to speak with counselors. Congratulate

him/her/them. Do not, however, make any “deals.” Try not to back yourself into a corner or create self-fulfilling prophecies. Avoid such messages as, “If you don’t like it, you can come home.”


Performing Artists especially appreciate a letter from home waiting for them upon arrival. Let them know how proud you are and how much fun Summerstock is going to be. Focus on the activities you know they are excited about. Avoid sending letters about the wonderful trips/times you are enjoying (without your child) or how much you miss him/her. Do not overreact to a negative letter or phone call. It may reflect a difficult moment or something that happened days ago. Do let us know so we can follow up with both you and your child.


One (1) large suitcase, a backpack, and one other small item (sleeping bag, tote bag, etc.) is permitted. On opening day, once emptied, all luggage will be removed from the cabins and safely placed in storage (no suitcases or duffle bags will remain in the cabins as extra storage). Please label each piece of luggage (including sleeping bags and hand luggage) with two sturdy name tags.

Laundry Service

Parents have the option to purchase our laundry service in advance for a $50 fee. Laundry service occurs mid-session and includes a VTC Laundry bag that should be labeled with your child’s name. Use this LAUNDRY SERVICE LINK to sign up. Bed linens are provided by our host camp.



In addition to items on the packing list, you can bring:

• Music players that have screens 2.5 inches or smaller to be used only to play music or record music (BRINGING A RECORDING


• Small, battery-operated fans for next to the bed

• Blow dryers and other hair appliances are allowed

• Cell phones can be brought and your children will have access to them on call-home Sundays. All cell phones

will be collected and safely stored Mondays - Saturdays by the supervising cohort counselor.

By leaving these items at home you are supporting our camp culture:

• Any device (including iPads, Nooks and Kindles and hand-held games) with a screen larger than 2.5 inches.

We don’t want our Artists to have access to the internet, to electronic games, or to videos.

• Electrical appliances, such as fans and hot pots, and cooking equipment of any kind.

• Weapons or explosives of any kind, including BB guns and fireworks.

• Animals or pets.

• Water guns, super-soakers, or water balloons. (these are supplied for activities when necessary). First-aid medications, such as

Tylenol or aspirin (the Health Center stocks these).

• Food or beverages of any kind, including bottled water and juice boxes.



• undergarments & socks

• t-shirts/tank tops

• long sleeve shirts (for cool evening, hiking)

• sweatshirts

• shorts (gym, cargo, Soffes, etc.)

• long pants, sweatpants, and/or jeans (for cool evening, hiking)

• 1 raincoat/poncho

• 1 light jacket

• 4 pairs of pajamas

• 2 pairs of sneakers

• 1 pair of rain boots/hiking boots

• 2 bath towels & washcloths

• Toiletries (nail clippers, shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.)

• 2 beach towels

• swimming goggles

• sun hat

• 1 pair of water shoes (optional, if you want them for the lake, boating)

• 1 pair of sandals/flip-flops

• swim shirts / bathing suits

• blanket or sleeping bag

• flashlight

• string bag to carry water, snacks, flashlight, script, etc.

• plastic bin or drawers to store clothing



Summerstock is CASH-FREE. Parents have the option to deposit funds into their child’s Canteen Account HERE prior to arrival, or on opening day, with cash or card at check-in. $150 - $200 for the 3-week camp session is recommended, and funds can be replenished as needed online.

Canteen spending money can be used in the Summerstock Store and Snack Bar and the Store Manager keeps precise records regarding spending. Money in cabins is not permitted and VTC is not responsible for any cash brought to camp. Please reinforce with relatives that Summerstock is CASH-FREE. We will let your kids know before call-home day how much money they have left in their account, and parents can decide if they’d like to add funds.



Items for purchase include: Snacks and drinks, toiletries, and fabulous swag, including Sweatshirts, T-shirts, and more!



Swimming Policy

Buddy checks

While swimming, everyone will have a buddy for safety while in the water. Buddys will swim together and watch out for each other, and lifeguards will conduct a buddy check before and during lake time.

Lake Rules

• No Swimming if a lifeguard is not present.

• No diving into the lake

• Lifeguards will review procedures with all regarding emergencies and protocol that will be followed in the event swimmers need to

exit the lake.


Everyone has the option to mask if desired and will be fully supported.

Missing Performing Artist

If a child is missing, the counselors and Summerstock director will be notified immediately. All staff will be on hand to conduct a search. In groups of three, all will check previously assigned locations. The police and the child’s home will be called by the Summerstock Director within 20 minutes if anyone is determined missing.

Procedures for Emergencies & Drills

On the first day, we will have drills for emergency situations so ALL attendees of Summerstock will know what to do, and where to go in the event of an emergency.



We like being accessible to you. We will reply to emails as quickly as possible, usually within 24 hours. We like being plugged into your kids instead of electronics so we apologize in advance if you don’t receive an immediate response to a request.

In order to strengthen our partnership with you, we ask that you contact our Administrator, Melissa McHugh, with any questions about your child via email - If you wish to receive a phone call, include the best number and time to reach you. Counselor cell phone use is restricted and not allowed for the purpose of communicating with parents. We can make arrangements for you to speak with the Summerstock Director, Terri Gorgone, and/or your child’s counselors.



Performing Artists who have birthdays during the summer will receive a cake and special acknowledgments throughout the day. Those with summer birthdays can receive a call from parents. Please email the Administrator to set up a time. Please make sure you indicate campers’ birthday on the Performing Artist information form.



Performing Artists are able to receive packages and send and receive mail. WE DO NOT ACCEPT FOOD IN CARE PACKAGES


Vanguard - Summerstock VTC

℅ Camp Vacamas/Hands in 4 Youth

256 Macopin Road

West Milford, NJ 07480

VTC Number: 862-205-3525



The Medical Form, linked HERE, must be completed by a parent or guardian and reviewed by a physician within twelve (12) months prior to arrival at camp. As per NJ State law, a child may not attend camp without a completed, current form. Please

print out the Medical Form, have it fully completed, and be certain both your and your camper’s physician sign the



If your child takes any medications, they MUST be in their original bottles and registered with and given to our Nurse upon arrival.

Medication will be stored in a locked cabinet and given as prescribed by our Nurse.

Dental Care

Children should visit the dentist far enough in advance of Summerstock to complete all dental work, including braces, prior to opening day. If your child is undergoing treatment, place any special instructions on the Medical Form and include the phone number of the orthodontist.

Head Lice

Please do your part in helping us start the summer lice-free by screening your child right before arrival, especially if there’s been any exposure, and by indicating on the confidential form the dates of exposures and treatment(s). We will do our own screening the afternoon of Opening Day.

Special Considerations

We have licensed medical professionals in residence. If you have any concerns you need to discuss with them, please let us know. In addition to any emergencies, you will be contacted in the following instances:


• Referrals to outside providers or X-rays

• If prescription medications are needed

HIPAA (The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act)

We comply with this statute, which limits the release of medical information. On the medical form, you can provide authorization for

health care providers to share information with the directors or your child’s counselor about your child’s medical condition, treatment, and/or prognosis, when the health care providers believe such communication to be in the best interest of your child.


Vanguard does not maintain medical insurance for your children. A copy of your medical insurance card, front and back is required, and if you have it, a copy of your FSA or credit card. You will be charged for visits to off-site medical providers, lab tests, and medications.



  1. Respect for All: We believe in treating every camper, staff member, and visitor with dignity and respect, regardless of differences in background, identity, or abilities.

  2. Zero-Tolerance for Bullying: Bullying of any form, including but not limited to physical, verbal, emotional, and cyberbullying, will not be tolerated at our camp. Every camper and staff member has the right to feel safe and supported.

  3. Inclusive Environment: We are committed to fostering an inclusive environment where everyone feels welcomed, valued, and supported. We celebrate diversity and promote understanding and acceptance of differences.

  4. Empathy and Compassion: We encourage empathy and compassion towards others. Campers and staff are encouraged to consider the feelings and perspectives of their peers and to support one another in times of need.

  5. Open Communication: We promote open and honest communication as a means to address and resolve conflicts. Campers and staff are encouraged to speak up if they witness or experience any form of bullying, and to report incidents to camp leadership promptly.

  6. Conflict Resolution: Conflicts will be addressed promptly and fairly, with the goal of finding constructive solutions that promote understanding and reconciliation. Mediation and counseling services are available to support campers and staff in resolving conflicts peacefully.

  7. Education and Awareness: We provide education and training on bullying prevention, including identifying different forms of bullying, understanding the impact of bullying on individuals and communities, and developing skills to intervene and support those affected by bullying.

  8. Accountability and Consequences: Campers and staff who engage in bullying behavior will be held accountable for their actions. Depending on the severity of the offense, consequences may include disciplinary action, counseling, and/or removal from camp activities.

  9. Supportive Community: We strive to create a supportive community where campers and staff feel empowered to stand up against bullying and support each other in fostering a positive and inclusive environment.

  10. Continuous Improvement: We are committed to continuously reviewing and improving our policies and practices related to bullying prevention. Feedback from campers, staff, and families is valued and taken into consideration in our efforts to create a safe and welcoming camp environment.


By adhering to this code of ethics, our goal is to create an environment where every camper and staff member can thrive, free from the fear of bullying and harassment. Together, we can build a community based on respect, kindness, and inclusion.


At Summerstock VTC, the safety and well-being of our campers and staff are paramount. Our dedicated staff members are equipped with extensive training, sound judgment, and counseling skills to effectively address any incidents that may arise. Under the supervision of the Camp Director and Guidance Counselor, our team carefully evaluates each situation to determine if it constitutes a serious breach of our Code of Ethics. 


While occasional conflicts between individuals are natural, any form of abusive or bullying behavior is not tolerated. Such behavior is promptly addressed and documented by our senior staff, including the Camp Director, Guidance Counselor, Camp Administrator, and Artistic Director. Should the behavior persist or escalate, parents/guardians will be promptly contacted to ensure transparency and collaboration in resolving the situation.


At Summerstock VTC, we are committed to fostering a safe, inclusive, and nurturing environment where every camper and counselor can thrive. Our proactive approach to addressing and preventing bullying and harassment reflects our dedication to creating a positive camp experience for all.


Response to Emotional Bullying and Harassment

At Summerstock VTC, we understand the profound impact emotional bullying and harassment can have on both campers and counselors. Upon receiving a report of emotional bullying or harassment, our staff takes immediate action. This includes separating the involved parties, speaking with witnesses, and conducting a thorough investigation. We prioritize providing support to the affected individual(s) and take appropriate disciplinary action against the perpetrator(s). Our goal is to ensure that all campers feel emotionally safe and supported. However, if the situation cannot be resolved and the emotional well-being of a camper/counselor is at risk, the individual engaging in such behavior may be asked to leave the camp.

Response to Physical Bullying and Harassment

Physical bullying and harassment have no place at Summerstock VTC. Upon receiving a report of a physical incident, our staff responds swiftly and decisively. Actions may include separating the involved parties, providing immediate medical attention if necessary, and conducting a thorough investigation. We prioritize supporting the affected individual(s) and take appropriate disciplinary action against the perpetrator(s). Our aim is to ensure that all campers/counselors feel physically safe and supported. However, if physical harm persists despite interventions, the individual responsible for the behavior may be asked to leave the camp to maintain the safety of all attendees.


Response to Emotional and Physical Bullying and Harassment

When incidents involve both emotional and physical bullying or harassment, we address them with the utmost seriousness. Our staff takes immediate action, including separating the parties involved, speaking with witnesses, and conducting a thorough investigation. We provide comprehensive support to those affected and enforce disciplinary measures against the perpetrators. Our priority is to create an environment where all campers feel both emotionally and physically safe. However, if the behavior persists and poses a threat to the well-being of campers/counselors, the individual responsible may be asked to leave the camp. This decision ensures the safety and security of all attendees, allowing them to fully enjoy their camp experience in a positive and inclusive environment.


DEPARTURE DAY, Sunday August 18th

All Shows will have a final performance on Departure Day (and the 3 days leading up to departure day!). Detailed information regarding ticket reservations and parking will be emailed separately. If families will be in attendance for the final performance, we ask that you pick up your child’s belongings PRIOR to their last show so that they can say their goodbyes to one another without the stress of packing!

Please note that Summerstock VTC Intensive policies, protocol, and procedures are subject to change.

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