Songs of Hope™ is a six-week, overnight performing arts summer camp in Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA for kids aged 10 and older from around the world. More than just a performing arts camp, Songs of Hope™ offers participants a unique opportunity to live in community with kids from other countries and cultures while learning and performing music from everywhere around the world.
Each summer, a selected group of around 60 children and young adults venture to Minnesota from Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, and the U.S. They arrive as strangers but soon find themselves embraced in a closely-knit, supportive community as they learn popular songs and dances from each other’s cultures. They then take their songs of peace, love, and respect into neighboring communities in a joyous celebration of cultural unity, delighting their audiences along the way.
The lessons learned during these six weeks are profound. The friendships are enduring. And the stories are inspirational. Taking part in the Songs of Hope™ camp is a transformational experience. To learn why, please explore this website. We have a lot of details, videos, and photos so you can read, see, and hear for yourselves.
Every summer since 1991, a single Songs of Hope™ camp runs from the middle of June to the beginning of August, with slight variations in dates each year.
The Songs of Hope™ 2024 session will run from June 16 to July 30.
Because Songs of Hope™ is a global camp, it is impossible for us to schedule the project to fit all the school schedules of all the schools in the world. Therefore, we understand that some participants may need to arrive late or leave early. Don't let that stop you from applying!
We are happy to make special arrangements to the extent we can. Just send us an email to explain your scheduling challenges. Also, we have had many participants who miss some school to be in the camp. We are happy to arrange a study room for participants to keep up with studies while attending Songs of Hope™. Also, if you think some learning may qualify for off-campus credit, we can supply written information to schools about the learning activities during Songs of Hope™. And it is relatively easy for us to arrange video-conferences with faraway teachers, so be sure to ask us about arrangements, if needed.
IMPORTANT: It takes time to order passports and obtain a U.S. visitor's visa. International participants are responsible for airfare to and from the United States and for obtaining all needed passports and visas. We suggest you contact the U.S. Embassy early to check on dates and processing times and requirements.
Each summer, children and adults join Songs of Hope in different roles, such as:
Come Back Kids
Once you have been in Songs of Hope, you may be invited to return as a Come Back Kid.
Come Back Kids are a great resource for the program and our staff counts on their experience, knowledge, and familiarity with Songs of Hope to assist New Kids with the schedule, activities, rehearsals, etc.
CBKids are often assigned the title of “Big Brother” or “Big Sister,” serving as a responsible figure within the dorm rooms who becomes a roommate to New Kids and provides any needed guidance. Return CBKids may be invited to be Come Back Kid Leaders, or Youth Leaders, a specific role Songs of Hope introduced to teach leadership and responsibility to a selected number of older participants.
CBKids may be up to 16 years of age.
The Intern program is for anyone who wants to experience Songs of Hope but happens to be older than 16.
Interns in Songs of Hope are put in a position of leadership under the mentorship of our staff members and they are assigned tasks and jobs of different kinds that allow them to develop communication and social skills, while embracing the international and multicultural experiences of Songs of Hope.
We look for motivated, proactive people willing to be challenged and ready to support our staff and participants however needed.
Interns, too, perform on stage while assisting with aspects of our performance.
Because communication is fundamentally needed, we expect Interns to be confident with their English skills.
Send us an email if you would like to apply as an Intern!
Companions accompany New Kids and/or CBKids. They are sometimes teachers with school groups, but all Companions play an important role in supporting the Songs of Hope kids - especially while traveling with participants to and from Saint Paul, Minnesota.
Companions, who must be 21 years of age or older, are expected to communicate with staff about the participants they accompany.
As with everyone else in the Songs of Hope family, Companions may perform on stage and they may be asked to assist with our performances in other ways.
Because communication is fundamentally needed, we expect Companions to be confident with their English skills.
To cover housing expenses, the fee for companions to participate amounts to 1000 USD.
New Kids are young participants who join the Songs of Hope community for the very first time.
The age range is from 10 to 14 years old.
New Kids typically represent the largest category attending Songs of Hope each summer, performing on stage and participating in most activities.
Songs of Hope™ is a multicultural, growing, worldwide family!
Every year, participants come to Songs of Hope™ from many, many countries around the world, such as China, Vietnam, Italy, Finland, Germany, United Kingdom, Argentina, Guatemala, Jamaica, Israel, Turkey, USA, and many more!