Arrival & What to Bring

Slam Poetry Camp

Dear Camper,

As the director of the Gustavus Adolphus College Institute of Spoken Word and Poetry Slam I want to take the chance to welcome you to our sacred space this summer. I cannot tell you how excited we are that camp is quickly approaching. As I sit and write I realize this letter will be sent to familiar faces who I have missed dearly and cannot wait to see again. I also realize this letter will be sent to new faces I have never seen, and I look forward to meeting you and hearing your stories. Regardless of whether you have been here before, the participants of our camp always seem to form an indescribable bond of friendship and mutual respect; it has been thrilling to see our past graduates support each other both during camp and after, and I know this year will be full of just as many wonderful stories, poems and laughs.

In order to facilitate your planning, I thought it would be good to share with you some important logistical information. First, you are free to check in anytime between 1:00 and 3:30 pm on Sunday, June 21st. Please enter campus via College Avenue where you will find signs clearly indicating the direction to the Jackson Campus Center. You will find parking lots located directly in front of the Jackson Campus Center. Please report to the lower level of the Jackson Campus Center to obtain your room key, housing assignment, and institute mementoes. Once you have checked in, a staff member will escort you to your dorm room. Our first official function will begin at 4 pm. Sunday’s schedule will be as follows:

  • 1:00-3:30 pm:Registration and Final Payment (Jackson Campus Center)
  • 4:00-5:00 pm:Institute of Spoken Word and Poetry Slam Orientation
  • 5:00-6:15 pm:Supper (Jackson Campus Center)
  • 6:30-7:30 pm:Getting to know ya activities
  • 7:30-8:15 pm:Warm-ups
  • 8:30-9:30 pm:Skills Workshop
  • 9:30-10:00 pm:DQ Dilly Bars

First, when packing, you will want to consider bringing the following:

  • Casual summer attire is appropriate for Saturday-Friday. The academic buildings utilized during the day are air-conditioned and can be a bit chilly. Please plan accordingly.
  • Laptop (If you own a laptop, you will have access to our wireless network, but not the printers. It is not a requirement to bring a computer, as you will have access to computer labs. Having a laptop will provide you with more flexibility.)
  • USB Stick/Jump drive
  • Fan
  • Alarm Clock
  • Pillow
  • Blanket (Sheets will be provided.
  • Toiletries
  • Towel
  • Cash for snacks or a trip to the Gustavus Bookstore
  • Notebook and writing utensils
  • Camera
  • Sunscreen

Second, we believe in fostering an atmosphere of spirited competition where students can have fun sharing their art while receiving constructive feedback on their work. Therefore, every night we are going to host a youth poetry slam where students can breathe life into the literature they’ve created during the workshop process. Teams of students will compete in a different themed slam at the close of every evening, and the cumulative points will add up until we crown a championship team at the end of our intensive. Poetry Slam is an empowering and fun way for students to express themselves, and we believe this daily event will be a highlight for students.

Third, we have assigned a staff member to take high quality pictures for the week. We will load roughly 500 pictures onto a 4GB flash drive for you to take home at the conclusion of the institute. The cost is $20. You will also have the opportunity to purchase an institute photo featuring all staff and students. These photos will not be on the flash drive. The cost per photo is $5. These items need to be ordered at the time of registration We will also have an institute store featuring snacks, etc. that you may purchase during the week.

Fourth, the daily schedule and faculty biographies are accessible via We have assembled a nationally recognized staff comprised of some of the best slam poets in the country.

Fifth, your remaining tuition balance is due on Sunday, June 21st when you register on campus. We accept checks (made out to Gustavus Adolphus College), cash, and credit card. Credit card transactions will require a $15 processing fee. We accept Visa, MasterCard, and Discover.

Sixth, if you are flying in to the Minneapolis Airport and have requested our shuttle service, please make sure to send your flight itinerary information to by Friday June 12, 2015. A member of our staff will contact you the week of camp to confirm all flight information and to provide an emergency contact number should a flight be delayed.

Seventh, due to the Twin Cities Poetry extension, camp check-out times will be as follows:

  • If you are NOT attending the extension, you will check out at 2pm on Saturday, June 27th.
  • If you are attending the extension, you will check out at 9am on Sunday, June 28th.
  • Students taking the shuttle to the airport will check out when the shuttle departs for the airport.

Finally, while we will have fun dedicating an entire week to slam poetry, our goal is for you to leave Slam Camp with a leg up on the competition. Be prepared to have fun, work diligently in order to maximize the opportunities afforded to you throughout the week, and never be tired. Positive attitudes make us happy!

Needed at the time of registration:

  • final payment
  • order for flash drive with camp photos - $20
  • order for camp group photo - $5 each

Should you have questions about logistics or accommodations, please do not hesitate to contact Kris Kracht, Director of Summer Academic Programs at Gustavus at I look forward to seeing you on June 21st.

In the coming weeks I want you to set some personal goals for yourself regarding what you want to accomplish in our week together. In what ways do you want to grow as a writer? As a performer? As a listener? As a friend? Although we plan on having a lot of fun during camp, we also plan on pushing ourselves, stretching our boundaries, improving our craft, and growing in a safe literary space. This institute is a retreat for us counselors as well, and we look forward to improving together as a collective literary community. If you have any questions about your goals or our curriculum, please do not hesitate to e-mail me at I also urge Facebook users to join the “Gustavus Adolphus College Institute of Spoken Word and Poetry Slam” group page if you want to introduce yourself to fellow campers and make friends ahead of time. Until then, I will see you the end of June!

Adam D. Henze
Curriculum Director