Summer Seminar Frequently Asked Questions

What is Summer Seminar?

Summer Seminar is a once-a-year learning opportunity appropriate for beginning to advanced collectors. All courses are led by philatelic experts who are accomplished writers, exhibitors, expertizers, dealers, and specialized collectors.

Where is Summer Seminar held?

The APS Summer Seminar on Philately is a yearly event held at the American Philatelic Center (APC), the home of the American Philatelic Society (APS) and the American Philatelic Research Library (APRL). The APC is located in central Pennsylvania at 100 Match Factory Place in Bellefonte, PA.

What are the dates for this year’s Summer Seminar?

The 41st Annual Summer Seminar runs from Sunday, June 21 to Thursday, June 25, 2020.

What courses are being offered this year?

The course catalog can be viewed on-line or downloaded. Contact the APS Education Department if you would like a course catalog sent to you by mail.

How much does Summer Seminar cost?

Costs for APS members registering prior to March 31, 2020

$565 for one 4-day course or two 2-day courses (price includes Distinguished Philatelist Reception & Dinner Ticket)

$300 for one Monday/Tuesday, 2-day course

$365 for one Wednesday/Thursday, 2-day course (price includes Distinguished Philatelist Reception & Dinner Ticket)

Costs for APS members registering after March 31, 2020 but prior to May 1, 2020

$590 for one 4-day course or two 2-day courses (price includes Distinguished Philatelist Reception & Dinner Ticket)

$325 for one Monday/Tuesday, 2-day course

$390 for one Wednesday/Thursday, 2-day course (price includes Distinguished Philatelist Reception & Dinner Ticket)

Costs for non-APS members registering prior to May 1, 2020

$690 for one 4-day course or two 2-day courses (price includes Distinguished Philatelist Reception & Dinner Ticket)

$425 for one Monday/Tuesday, two-day course

$490 for one Wednesday/Thursday, two-day course (price includes Distinguished Philatelist Reception & Dinner Ticket)

All registrations received after May 1, 2020 will be assessed a $50 late fee and will only be accepted if there is room in the course(s) chosen 

What is included in my registration fee?

Your registration fee covers seven hours of learning opportunities each day, all course materials, daily general sessions and electives on a wide variety of topics, and access to the American Philatelic Research Library, circuit sales, stamp & cover gift shop, and the expertizing reference collection. Some meals and daily snacks are also included. The Summer Seminar registration fee does not include lodging.

How can I register?

Registration begins January 1, 2020 and can be done on-line, by phone, or by mail.

Why should I register early?

Class sizes are limited and often fill up quickly. If you see a class that interests you, sign-up early to reserve your seat. Additionally, you will save $25 by registering prior to March 31, 2020.

What food will be included?

Registration fees for Monday-Tuesday students will include: a Sunday evening welcome reception, lunches on Monday and Tuesday, and snacks during break times. Registration fees for Wednesday-Thursday students will include: Lunches on Wednesday and Thursday, Wednesday Distinguished Philatelist Reception & Dinner, and snacks during break times. Daily menus will be posted closer to the event.

What if I have special dietary needs?

Indicate any special dietary needs when you register.

What is the Wednesday evening “Distinguished Philatelist” dinner?

The Summer Seminar Distinguished Philatelist is recognized at the Distinguished Philatelist reception and dinner. The Distinguished Philatelist award recognizes an individual who has contributed to the hobby for many years while displaying dedication, leadership and commitment. The evening begins at 4:45 p.m. with a social hour/reception at the “Big Spring Spirits”; followed by a buffet dinner and address by this year’s Distinguished Philatelist. Students registered in courses that meet on Wednesday, June 24, 2020 receive a Distinguished Philatelist Reception and Dinner ticket as part of their registration materials. There are a certain number of dinner tickets available for purchase prior to June 1, 2020. Should you wish to purchase a ticket, the price is $65.

What is the daily schedule (Monday – Thursday)?

8:30 – 9:15 a.m. General Session

9:15 – 9:30 a.m. Break

9:30 a.m. – noon Courses in Session

noon – 1:00 p.m. Lunch

1:00 – 3:15 p.m. Courses in Session

3:15 – 3:30 p.m. Break

3:30 – 4:30 p.m. Electives

What is a “General Session”?

General Sessions run from 8:30 – 9:15 a.m. each morning of Summer Seminar and are held in Sundman Hall. A different speaker and topic will be featured each day. All Summer Seminar participants, instructors, and Per Diem attendees are invited. General announcements will also be made during this time. This year’s general session speakers and their topics will be announced when the schedule is complete. General session topics and presenters will be described in the Summer Seminar program booklet that each participant will receive with their registration materials.

What is an “Elective”?

Electives run from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Monday – Thursday of Summer Seminar. Summer Seminar participants and Per Diem attendees will be able to select from a list of presenters and topics each day. Elective topics and presenters will be described in the Summer Seminar program booklet.

Do I need to sign up for electives (or general sessions) in advance?

There is no need for Summer Seminar participants to sign up for daily electives or general sessions, just show up and enjoy! Presenters spend a lot of time preparing their programs, so please support their efforts.

Can I visit Circuit Sales during my visit?

Circuit Sales will be open for extended hours, just for Summer Seminar participants. You will be able to purchase items and save on shipping costs.

Will the American Philatelic Research Library be open?

The Library will be open for extended hours, just for Summer Seminar participants. You will be able to browse the library’s open stacks, search the online catalog, and receive reference assistance, plus purchase items at greatly reduced prices.

Will there be opportunities to purchase items from Stamp Store or APS Specialty Items and Publications?

Yes! You will be able to purchase items from Stamp Store and/or APS Specialty items and publications during your visit and save on shipping costs!

Will there be tours of the facility?

Yes. Dates and times of tours will be announced closer to the event and published in the Summer Seminar program booklet.

Where can I stay?

There are many lodging options available in close proximity to the American Philatelic Center, many with special pricing for APS members. To see a complete listing go to: stamps.org/Lodging

What should I bring?

You may want to bring your favorite pair of tongs and a lighted magnifier. If a course has specific items that students need to bring, you will be notified via email.

What should I wear?

Business casual or casual attire is acceptable for all Summer Seminar attendees. Dress with comfort in mind. Some rooms may be warm or cool, so dressing in layers is recommended.

What if I arrive prior to the start of Summer Seminar?

A local stamp club is hosting a stamp show, SCOPEX, at the APC on Saturday, June 20th and Sunday, June 21st. You are encouraged to attend!

I am bringing a guest; will there be things for them to do?

Visit the Bellefonte Area Chamber of Commerce website for ideas on “things to do” in the area: http://bellefontechamber.org

If your guest would like to participate in conference meals, general sessions, electives, and/or evening activities (not including the Distinguished Philatelist Reception and Dinner), they can register as a “Per Diem” attendee of the conference. The “Per Diem” attendee cost is $30 per day and based on availability,. Tickets for the Wednesday Distinguished Philatelist Reception and Dinner are $65 each and must be purchased prior to June 1, 2020. The number of these tickets is limited.

What is the refund policy if I find I can’t attend after registering?

Registrants canceling on or before May 1, 2020 may receive a refund, less a $50 cancellation fee.

Registrants canceling after May 1, 2020 are not eligible to receive any refunds.

Registrants who fail to attend Summer Seminar will forfeit all funds.

Requests for refunds must be made in writing to: Director of Education, 100 Match Factory Place, Bellefonte, PA 16823; e-mail education@stamps.org.

In the case of a medical emergency after May 1, 2020, contact the APS Director of Education.

Refunds will only be issued in the same form of currency used for the payment; i.e., if your registration was paid using a credit card, the refund will be issued to that same credit card.

How can I get more information?

Contact the APS Education Department at education@stamps.org or call 814.933.3810.

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