The Leelanau School - Review #5

The Leelanau School

About the Author:

College Enrolled Olivet College
Home Town, State (Country) Flossmoor, IL
Years Attended Boarding School 3
Activities During Boarding School Baseball and Soccer Team. Various Groups in Student Activities.

Reflections and Advice:

1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
There is no doubt Leelanau located in the Sleeping Bear National Dunes is an incredible place to learn and be lucky enough to go to school. The school is amazing and do not take any of the beauty that surrounds the school for granted, it becomes a major part of the staff's teaching and enviornment. Students learn at a great level. College was a breeze thanks to the fantastic preparation that I had. 31 years later and Leelanau still occupies much of my own thoughts and positive experiences that I feel. Amazingly some of the same staff remain and are still just as active. Leelanau School had a positive and major impact in my own life socially, in education, and in life experience all surrounded by one of America's most beautiful surroundings on Lake Michigan.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
Growing so much from young child to young adult and really preparing for the next level of school and to build an appreciation for the outdoors. Being away from your parents and siblings can be a challenge but the staff and our friends being so strong allowed us to grow independently and really find out about ourselves and to develop that as well.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
I think for me it all went really smooth and really well. Of course everybody is nervous at first but if you are positive and find things to become a part of it is fun and easy. I think personally there is not much differently that I would have done. I took advantage of everything that was offered and that I found an interest in.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
Location and being able to be a part of it. Not just to look at it, but to actually learn and socialize within it.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
Take advantage of it all. Be outside and learn. Dorm life is a blast and the teachers are amazing. In youth we may not realize it all, but in looking back it was the best experience for me and shaped a big part of my life.


1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
Learned in an atmosphere that was not only in a classroom. Our teachers were amongst the best of the best and always found creative ways to learn. Much of our learning was outside, on the river, on the beach, in the woods and in the classroom. The workload was a challenge but with madatory study hours during the evening and no pressure of "missing out" on anything we all fell into it and enjoyed the work. The level was high but the excellence of our teachers made it work and truly helped us to be fully prepared for college.


1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
We had mandatory participation in something, it did not have to be a specific sports team and the options were deep. Personally I played soccer in the fall, skiied in the winter, and played baseball in the spring. Being a smaller school we had our challenges but did very well. The facilities were nice and the coaches cared about the players and the team. We did very well.

Art, Music, and Theatre:

1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
There were always productions and a play to watch. Personally I did not participate but had many friends who did and were excellent.

Extracurricular Opportunities:

1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
There were outdoor courses, camping, and spring break trips that were always fantastic options. I enjoyed the outward bound programs where we learned to repel, cross rope bridges, canoe, camp, sail, hike dunes, and spend time in the woods. We had day trips to Traverse City, MI and other places. There was never shortage of programs and trips we could attend.

Dorm Life:

1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
Dorm life was great. The rooms were suites with a roomate and 4 to a bathroom in the boys dorms. We could chose a roomate and we always had fun. Mandatory study time for 2 hours in the evening and then a few hours of social time. The rooms were pretty large and clean. We had a staff person in the dorm as well to be sure all was good.


1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
We had 3 meals a day in our beautiful student center overlooking the Cyrstal River in an A frame style building with huge glass windows and a boardwalk leading into it. On Sunday evenings we had a formal dinner wear we had to wear formal clothes and the quality of the food was better on Sundays! We did not have assigned seating. The meals were a big part of our social life as well.

Social and Town Life:

1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
Glen Arbor, MI. Truly a beautiful place right on Lake Michigan. The Crystal River is amazing and the mouth of the river was just off campus where it meets Lake Michigan. Glen Arbor has nice shops, a grocery store, and Glen Lake which was easy to bike to and spend time around as well. Huge forest land and biking roads allowed us to really explore this beautiful area.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
Just being free with friends in the Sleeping Bear atmoshphere was great. The outdoor life was awesome and the options we had to do so much both in winter and in spring/fall. Truly beautiful.

Daily Schedule:

6:30 AMWake up
7:30 AMBreakfast
9:00 AMClasses
12:00 AMLunch
3:00 PMClasses End
3:30 PMSports Practice
5:30 PMDinner
7:15 PMStudy
9:15 PMFree Time
10:30 PMLights Out
8:00 AMWake Up
9:00 AMBreakfast
11:00 AMSports Match or bus trip to ski or go to Traverse City
3:00 PMSpend time on Lake Michigan, at Dunes, or on river
5:00 PMDinner
6:00 PMSchool Outdoor Activities or total free time
10:00 PMBack in dorm
11:00 PMLights out

Alumni Reviews
  Review School

  • Review Description
  • The Leelanau School Alumni #1
    Class of 2002
    5 Stars   2/21/2005
    Western Michigan University
    The setting of this school is absolutely amazing, sitting between the sleeping bear dunes with the crystal river running through campus. The small class sizes and small school size is a plus. . .
  • The Leelanau School Alumni #2
    Class of 2000
    5 Stars   10/5/2012
    Wayne State University
    I believe there are many different aspects of this school that make it unique. The small class size, the location, the access to teachers, and the hands-on approach to education and the variety of. . .
  • The Leelanau School Alumni #3
    Class of 1999
    5 Stars   10/5/2012
    Leelanau is a small school situated in the woodlands of Northern Michigan. It has an intimate atmosphere and very peaceful setting. . .
  • The Leelanau School Alumni #4
    Class of 1984
    5 Stars   10/5/2012
    Oakland Community College
    Students come to boarding schools for all different reasons. College prep, life experience, broken homes, etc. I was failing in the public school system. I was just a number. Boarding school was not my choice. . .
  • The Leelanau School Alumni #5
    Class of 1981
    5 Stars   10/5/2012
    Olivet College
    There is no doubt Leelanau located in the Sleeping Bear National Dunes is an incredible place to learn and be lucky enough to go to school. The school is amazing and do not take. . .
  • Show more reviews (2 reviews)
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