Camps are like a sea voyage on a rainbow ship, with a tight-knit crew that learns to solve problems together.

In many ways, camps are the culmination of everything that Assemble strives for. Spending full days or weeks with a group of children creates opportunities for really strong bonds and a whole lot of learning. Camps are always based on a theme, and they're chock full of art and science projects, hyperlocal adventures, and visiting makers and artists, all of which explore that theme. Teamwork and community building are big at camp: more time together means lots of opportunities for collaboration.

We host camps when school is not in session: on in-service days, some holidays, vacation weeks, and (of course) in the summer. Camps are designed for specific age groups and built around topics that are relevant to our kids.

Over the course of a week, campers do at least three big projects and two mini projects. They build bonds, make friends, gain knowledge, and challenge their brains as they overcome problems and imagine possibilities together.

<aside> ⚠️ If you were looking for our most intense program, you just found it. Beginners beware! Camps will test your mettle, set your teeth on edge, twist your knickers, and burn your candle at both ends. But once you have the hang of it, you'll have developed nerves of steel, and had the time of your life.

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Why try Camps?

We started running camps because parents asked for them! Many parents have to work during school vacation days and those summer months. They want somewhere fun and engaging to send them. If you have the time, capacity, and space, you can be that place.

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Camps are also an amazing way to form deep and meaningful relationships. When you have a group of kids coming back every day for a week, everyone really gets to know each other. You and your teachers will have better relationships with each kid, which will make you better mentors. To top it all off, kids build great camaraderie not just with you, but also with each other during camps.

Let's get down to the details

When it happens:

From 9am to 4pm on the days, weeks, and months that our local public schools are closed (optional before-care starting at 8am and after-care ending at 5pm, for a small fee)

Class size:

10-20 campers

For these folks:

Budding engineers, curious astronauts, and soon-to-be leaders; kids that like to ask questions, try new things, and prepare for a world that doesn't exist yet

Parents who don't know what to do with their kids when there isn't school!

How to participate:

Register ahead of time for a single week of camp; Each week has a theme and serves a specific age group (i.e. ages 6-8, 9-11, or 12-14); $200/week full price, $100/week no-questions scholarship, FREE for Garfield residents

<aside> 🕑 Run of show for one day of Camp: Assemble runs 6-9 weeks of camps during the summer, weeklong camps during school breaks, and single-day camps on some holidays and in-service days

8-9am Relaxed, informal before-care for kids that need to be dropped off early

9-10:15am Icebreaker, morning activity, snack, and discussion

10:15-45am Discuss community agreements

10:45-11:30am Work on big project #1

11:30am-12pm Lunch (outside if it's nice!)

12-1pm Recess (outside if at all possible!)

1-1:15pm Review community agreements

1:15-2:15pm Introduce and start in on big project #2

2:15-2:30pm Snack break

2:30-3:30pm Work on mini project

3:30-3:45pm Clean up

3:45-4pm Wrap up, reflect, and review

4-5pm Chilling out (and/or continuing to make) for kids that need to be picked up late

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<aside> 🦋 Over the course of a single week of camp, campers might: do hands-on STEAM activities, brainstorm and design experiments, record data and photos on computers, contribute to collaborative collages, use the scientific method, create a piece of public art, extract DNA, do research at the library or museum or public garden, journal, record a podcast, use scientific tools, prepare presentations, meet local artists and scientists, and more!

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How does this connect to Assemble's . . .

Pedagogy ?

Every week of camp has a specific theme, usually one that's responsive and chosen based on the interests of the kids. In our experience, younger students like exciting things like superheroes and slime, and older kids enjoy technology and media topics.

Over the course of the week, we dig into the theme about a million different ways: through expansive science experiments and imaginative art projects, on computers, using tools, by dancing. That's interdisciplinary (a.k.a. STEAM) learning in action!

<aside> 🚀 A few of our favorite camp themes: Space Camp ****Mixtape: Raise Your Voice Doctor Discovery Superheroes Assemble! Urban Eco Explorers Top Secret! Maker Mission Survival of the Futurist Creative Creatures Tech + Textiles

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Many of our themes, and the projects large and small that activate them all week long, have a social emotional element to them. They're designed to help students learn about themselves, reflect on their experiences, and relate the things their learning to their own lives. We build in lots of opportunities for the campers to take the lead and make meaningful decisions about how projects should be approached and problems should be solved. Oh, and there are plenty of opportunities to practice 21st century skills like collaboration and communication with fellow campers.