Frequently Asked Questions
At what age is my child eligible to attend?
Any teenager entering 9th grade through the age of 19 is eligible to attend. Deciding which age is most appropriate to send your student is up to the parent, depending on the maturity level and whether or not the student can handle the rigorous schedule and challenging curriculum.
What is the average age of the first-time students?
First-time students vary in ages from 13 to 19. Over the years, there has always been a good balance of older and younger participants. The first-year students are split into committees and caucuses, and each group is purposely made up of students of all ages, so no one group has any advantage over another during debates on Friday in the Capitol.
Is there any way I can participate in SSI with my child?
Yes! We can almost always use more chaperones. Visit the volunteer section of our website for more information. Parents are also welcome to sit in on any session at SSI. Please contact us to let us know if you’ll be visiting.
What if my child is reluctant or does not want to attend SSI?
This is a common question because SSI is very unique and the experience is very different than what most teens expect. As it turns out, the vast majority of parents who chose to send their children in spite of their objections expressed their amazement with the 100% attitude change and were glad they made the decision. Countless teens have said that SSI is “…the best thing my parents ever made me do,” and “…the most fun I never thought I’d have.”
What are the housing arrangements?
We house everyone, students, staff and chaperones, in the guy’s and girl’s dorms. Dorm rooms are not assigned, but are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. During our opening orientation meeting, all the students learn about the invisible barbed wire separating the two dorm buildings, patrolled by invisible guard dogs, and aided by two invisible watch towers, complete with invisible snipers. While we spoof a bit here, we are very serious about knowing where everyone is at all times and who is chaperoning. Additionally, a watchman patrols the campus each night during SSI.
Do you assign dorm rooms?
No. SSI does not assign dorm rooms. However, students can easily ensure that they wind up in the same room. Rooms are filled on a first-come, first-served basis by students writing their names on provided sheets of paper on the room doors. If two students want to room together, but will be arriving at different times, have the first one to arrive put both names on the paper.
What if I need to contact my child during the week?
Don’t worry! We provide every family with emergency numbers they can use to contact us at SSI. Students may not have cell phones, mp3 players, or similar devices anywhere but in the dorms. However, most chaperones and ADCs do carry phones in case of emergency, there is a phone on campus that accepts calling cards that students can use to call home, and, of course, they may use cell phones in the dorms.
Is there a swimming pool or lake?
No. No need to pack a bathing suit. There is a small pond at Great Lakes Christian College, but it’s off limits to fishing, swimming, snorkeling, water-skiing, shark hunting, ice-skating, deep sea diving, etc.
Is a sport coat/blazer/full business suit required for Friday’s final session?
No. Business attire is required for the final legislative sessions, trials, business meetings, media’s on-air anchors, etc. While a sport coat or suit is not required, the guys should at least wear dress slacks, with a dress shirt and tie. However, those wishing to dress it up a bit more should feel free to do so!
To find a detailed description of the dress code, go HERE.