Registration Information

How to Register:

Class sizes are limited. Early registration will help ensure that you get the class or classes you want. You may register for classes by mail, online or phone. Internet registrations will be available beginning March 2. A minimum $300 deposit is required.

To Register Online: You can register online by visiting the Summer Program Class Page and clicking on a specific class title. This will take you to the class description page. Click the ‘Register’ button at the bottom of the page.

In an effort to reduce the amount of time participants are on the phone, class registration is divided into four separate ‘start dates’.

Registration Start Date #1: February 25, 2020
Registration for classes held between May 3 and August 1 begins Tuesday, February 25 at 8:00 a.m. Central Time.

Registration Start Date #2: February 27, 2020
Registration for classes held between August 2 and October 24 begins Thursday, February 27 at 8:00 a.m. Central Time.

Life Member Registration Start Date #1: February 18, 2020
Friends of The Clearing Life Members may register for classes held between May 3 and August 1 beginning on Tuesday, February 18 at 8:00 a.m. Central Time.

Life Member Registration Start Date #2: February 20, 2020
Friends of The Clearing Life Members may register for classes held between August 2 and October 24 beginning on Thursday, February 20 at 8:00 a.m. Central Time.

On Registration Start Dates #1 and #2 (see above), an individual may register for him/herself and one other person. On the Life Member Registration Start Dates #1 and #2 (see above), a life member may register for him/herself and one other person who is also a life member.

Please Note: Registrations that are received in the mail or via email before the registration start date will be processed after all of the other registrations from that day have been processed.


A minimum $300 deposit is required when registering. The balance is due no later than three weeks before the class begins.

Fees and Pricing:

Information on fees and pricing is listed at the end of each class description. These rates are per person and include tuition, lodging, meals and sales tax. Sales tax is on the meals only. Some classes require an additional materials and/or shop fee. These are noted at the end of the class descriptions.

Guaranteed Single Rooms:

There are three guaranteed single rooms available each week. They are available on a first-come-first-served basis. However, as a given class week approaches, if there are rooms available, we may be able to accommodate more than three guaranteed singles. This will vary from week to week. Therefore, if you were not able to reserve one of the guaranteed single rooms when you first registered, we encourage you to have your name placed on the waiting list for a single room. We cannot guarantee that you will get a single, but we do use our waiting lists extensively.


Reservation priority is given to students who stay at The Clearing (resident students). Jens Jensen believed that, in order to gain the greatest benefit from the experience, students and instructors should “live” at The Clearing. The Clearing holds to this belief today. However, in order to accommodate Door County residents, and to meet the needs of a broader cross section of Clearing students, one commuter student registration is accepted for each class, beginning on the registration “start dates” (see registration form). As classes fill, those wishing to register as commuter students are strongly encouraged to have their names placed on the waiting list for their chosen class. Many times, as a given class approaches, space becomes available for more commuter students.

The commuter student registration fee includes class tuition, supper on Sunday, all noon meals, supper on Friday, and sales tax. Sales tax is on the meals only. Commuters are invited to all other meals. These are billed on a per-meal basis at the end of the week. Gratuities are not included.

Shop Fees:

Classes held in the Workshop building that use The Clearing’s power tools, hand tools and other shop supplies are assessed a shop fee of $10-$30 for a week-long class. (check individual classes for details) Shop fees help defray the cost of maintaining tools and equipment, replacing worn or damaged equipment and maintaining and cleaning the workshop and studio spaces.


Gratuities (tips) for the kitchen and dining room staff are not included in your registration fee. Most guests choose to leave a tip, although it is of course optional. For those who do decide to leave a tip, it’s helpful to know the meal portion of the registration fee. That portion is $230 for those who lodge at The Clearing and $125 for those who commute.

Check-In & Check-Out

Check-in on Sunday from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. in The Clearing’s Lodge. A Clearing staff member will be in the Lodge during that time. Those checking in after 4:00 will find their information, room assignment and name tag on the check-in table in the Lodge. A member of The Clearing’s office staff will host supper, and should be in the Lodge by 5:45.

Check-out is by 9:00 a.m. the following Saturday.

Early Arrival: (Saturday Arrival)

Students have the option to check-in on Saturday rather than Sunday. The price for the extra night is $45 per person ($40 for Friends of The Clearing members). Meals are not included. The first meal served each week is Sunday supper. Students, especially first-time students who check-in on Saturday, are strongly encouraged to arrive between 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. A Clearing staff member will be in the Lodge during that time. (The Clearing cannot guarantee that all rooms will be ready before 2:00 p.m.) Those checking in after 4:00 p.m. will find written instructions on the front door of the Lodge directing them to their room.

Independent Study:

Those interested in “doing their own thing” for a week at The Clearing may register for a personal retreat or for independent study. This option is available every week for the full registration fee, or you can request to be placed on the waiting list to be called on “short notice” for this option, when space is available, at a reduced fee–$200 off the normal registration fee. Call anytime to be put on the waiting list for this option. We will notify you as weeks become available. Many weeks have openings. Call The Clearing office for information.

If you need work space during your personal retreat or independent study for a project on which you plan to work, please let us know in advance. We’ll do our best to accommodate you.

Waiting Lists:

Even though a class is full, there is still a chance that you can take the class. The Clearing maintains waiting lists for all of our classes. These lists are used in the event that registered students in a class need to cancel. While we can’t predict when a cancellation will happen, our experience shows us they can happen anytime, even the day before class begins. When someone cancels, we want to fill that vacancy with a new student right away. We do that by using our waiting lists.

You can be added to a waiting list at anytime. All we need is your name and a phone number. If we receive a cancellation, we will start calling names on our waiting list beginning with the first and continuing down our list until we fill the vacancy. If we call and you are unable to come, you can simply tell us ‘no’ and we will continue down our list.

Food Policy:

The Clearing’s kitchen staff does its best to accommodate individuals with dietary requirements, such as those dictated by food allergies, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. But the nature of preparing and serving family-style meals makes it very difficult for the kitchen staff to accommodate requests for separate meals or entrees based on food preferences, including requests for vegetarian meals and entrees. The Clearing staff believes that there is enough “choice” at all meals that one can skip a particular dish and still have a full meal. Therefore, The Clearing can only accommodate requests for separate meals or entrees based on a medical requirement.

Guests at Meals:

It is The Clearing’s policy to not allow students to invite guests to meals. This helps protect the retreat atmosphere, which is an important part of The Clearing experience. Also, some weeks, the dining room is at capacity, and there is no room for an extra person.

Cancellation Policy:

Cancellation fees help defray the cost of the staff time that is required to take, process and manage registrations. For cancellations that occur a month or less before the class is scheduled to begin, and especially those that occur a week or less before, it’s difficult and time-consuming for The Clearing to find someone to take the place of the person who cancelled.

For cancellations received more than 30 days before the Thursday prior to the week they are scheduled to arrive, there will be a refund of the amount paid, minus an $85 cancellation fee. If more than one class or independent study registration is cancelled, the fee is $85 per registration per person.

For cancellations received 30 or fewer days before the Thursday prior to the week they are scheduled to arrive, there will be an $85 cancellation fee, and:

  • Anyone registered for a residential package will receive a $215 refund certificate. Any amount over $300 that was paid will be refunded.
  • Anyone registered for a commuter package will receive a $65 refund certificate. Any amount over $150 that was paid will be refunded.

Refund certificates may be used for future classes, for purchases in The Clearing Bookstore and Gift Shop, for Friends of The Clearing membership payments and, in full or in part, as a tax-deductible donation.

No portion of the registration fee will be refunded for cancellations made after the Thursday prior to the week the class is scheduled to begin or for those who are already here attending a class, but decide, for whatever reason and at whatever time, not to attend the full class week.

If The Clearing cancels a class for which you have registered, you will have the option to receive either a full refund or to transfer your registration to another week-long class at a discount of $150. (If payment has already been made in full, you will receive a $150 refund.) This is a one-time discount, and the offer remains in effect through the following year.


Although every reasonable effort has been made or is being made to make The Clearing’s buildings and grounds accessible for students with physical disabilities, some students may find our campus difficult to negotiate. (Note that The Clearing’s dining room is on the second floor of the Lodge.) Please call The Clearing to discuss any concerns you have regarding accessibility.

Buildings & Grounds:

The Clearing is a rustic, “natural” place. The buildings in which the sleeping rooms are located are made of log and stone. Several rooms, although modernized over the years, are in buildings that date to the late 1800s. The paths around buildings are flagstone. The paths away from buildings—in the woods, meadows and along the edge of the escarpment cliff—have either a sawdust or wood chip surface, or are bare soil. rocks and tree roots are at the surface in some areas on these paths, so care should be taken when walking. Good walking shoes and a walking stick are helpful.

What to Bring:

In addition to those items you are bringing for your class, you might also find it helpful to bring an alarm clock and a flashlight, book light and hair dryer. During warm months, mosquito repellent is helpful. If you plan to explore The Clearing’s property, make sure to bring good, sturdy walking shoes. A walking stick is also useful, although The Clearing has some walking sticks for guests to use.

Internet Service:

There is internet service in three of The Clearing’s buildings—the Schoolhouse, the Workshop and the Jens Jensen Center. At the Schoolhouse and Workshop, internet service was installed for class use. Guests are asked to limit personal internet use to the extent possible in order to maintain and protect The Clearing’s retreat atmosphere.


Camping is not allowed at The Clearing. This includes tents, pop-up campers and RVs.


The Clearing does not allow pets. This includes pets kept in cars.

Perfumes & Other Fragrances:

Chemicals in scented products can trigger serious health reactions, including asthma, in some people. Please be aware of this while at The Clearing, and please be sensitive to the fact that fragrances, especially heavy fragrances, can cause illness in others. The Clearing has fragrance-free shampoo, body wash and hand soap on hand for those who request it.


Smoking is not allowed in or near any Clearing building. Smoking is only allowed in the campus parking lot and the employee parking lot.


Clearing guests often gather before supper in the central campus courtyard or in one of the guest rooms to share snacks and have a glass of wine or beer. Drinking alcohol is allowed at The Clearing, but only in moderation and not in classrooms.

Cell Phone Use at The Clearing:

Cell phones and other digital devices can be an intrusion in certain places. The Clearing is one of those places. When used excessively, indiscreetly or without regard for others, they seriously diminish The Clearing’s retreat atmosphere. Those who frequently make or receive cell phone calls during their stay at The Clearing not only “remove” themselves from their retreat—the reason they are here—but also have a negative impact on others. Therefore, it is The Clearing’s policy that all guests and staff limit their cell phone calls to those that are truly necessary. In addition, when a cell phone call has to be made, it is The Clearing’s policy that all guests and staff make those calls from one of two places—the campus parking lot or the employee parking lot. Except for an emergency, cell phone calls are not to be made from inside any building, including lodging rooms, on hiking trails or from any of the outdoor sitting areas on campus. Except for emergency situations, cell phone ringers should be turned off at all times.

Jens Jensen Center Hours:

Weekdays: 8 – 4

Visitor Center & Bookstore
Weekdays: 8-4
Weekends: 12 – 4 (May – October)

Campus Visiting Hours:

For many years, The Clearing has had a “closed campus” policy while resident classes are in session. This means that the area west of the main road through The Clearing property – the area where the old buildings are located (the Lodge, Schoolhouse, Workshop and cabins) – is closed to visitors, including those participating in one and two-day workshops at The Clearing, from Monday through Friday. This closed campus policy is strictly enforced in order to ensure the privacy of resident students and instructors and to enhance the retreat aspect of The Clearing experience.

From May to October, The Clearing campus is open to visitors on Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 4:00 p.m. A member of The Clearing staff will be in the Lodge, during this time, to answer questions.

Admission Policy:

Students must be at least 18 years old to attend classes at The Clearing. All students are welcome at The Clearing.


We respect your privacy and will never sell, rent, lease or give away your information (name, address, email, etc.) to any third party. Nor will we send you unsolicited email.

You may opt out of receiving future mailings by clicking “Unsubscribe” in any Clearing eblast or by contacting The Clearing.