Adventure Camp Summer 2014
Dates of Operation
Week 1 June 30 – July 4th (off July 4th)
Week 2 July 7th – 11th
Week 3 July 14-18
Week 4 July 21-25
Week 5 July 28th – Aug 1st
$300 8-6:00 (with aftercare)
$250 8-3:00 (without aftercare)
Each additional sibling is half price.
$25 nonrefundable deposit
To learn more about adventure camp
Adventure Camp at a Glance
I have been running Adventure Camp on Capitol Hill for the past 9 years. When I realized that with my salary as a teacher, I could not afford the camps I wanted for my own kids, I was inspired to start one of my own with a few community friends. That first year, we had just 6 campers for a two-week summer session. Each year since then, the program has grown. This past summer, we reached around one hundred campers per week.
Practically speaking, we keep an 8 to one staff-to-kid ratio on our trips. Staff members carry a Metro Card for each camper so we can use public transportation. We love the city bus. We take groups on the bus to many of our destinations. This allows us to keep costs much lower than at camps where they charter busses to every away event. The program is insured by Westpoint Insurance Group and has been certified to operate out of DC Public Schools.
Why ADVENTURE Camp?
Adventure Camp’s main goal is to get out to have an ADVENTURE every day. This means seeking out and exploring real nature (2 days/ week), splashing around in an exciting and varying water adventure (2 days/ week), and also taking in a wide array of the city’s shows and exhibits carefully chosen to appeal to our campers (1 day/ week).
We believe in making use of public transportation and walking. Living in amazing Washington, DC we have SO many Adventures to choose from!
We believe strongly in creating a supportive and loving community environment. Staff will model kindness and demonstrate positive interactions with each other and with campers. Through physical challenges, our little Adventurers gain confidence and a positive sense of team and group identity. In the past we have had Ninjas, Pirates, Superheroes, and Magic groups and we want campers to love and be proud of their group and supportive of their friends in it.
We believe that campers should be in mixed age groups. We have campers from three to eight years old. We deliberately assign some older kids and some younger kids to every group. When we go out on an Adventure, campers are paired and expected to help their buddy. We strive to arrange pairs so that campers who need extra help can get it, and those who are able to provide help can contribute. Our mixed age groups allow campers to demonstrate responsibility and caring in new ways – a unique experience that is beneficial to all.
One special thing about Adventure Camp is that we rely on walking and public transport. This is an opportunity to heighten our campers’ sense of responsibility (as well as their awareness of community and environment). When we are on the move, we teach campers that safety and following directions is VERY important. We show with tone of voice, manner, and group talks that there is a difference between fun time and safe travel time. We are serious about safety. When we get to our destination we can play, be silly, and find fun everywhere. Campers learn to look up fast when they hear the “serious about safety voice.” We like to tell campers that they will have MORE fun if they are being good listeners, and we make sure that this is true.
Although occasionally our staff does organize a game or activity, we mainly feel that kids today need to learn to play without being given toys and directions. They need the freedom to be bored until they decide to make fun happen. These days, many places are too regimented to allow for this much-needed creative skill-building time. Our campers learn that on our Nature and Water days, once we arrive at our destination they can be self-directing. On our cultural excursion days, we split into small groups and the staff focuses on getting the kids to work as a team to figure out how to see and explore together.
We believe that campers can learn to be brave, to keep their optimism when things are not quite as they would like, for example to stay positive during a long, hot walk. We believe that when campers learn these skills it helps them to be confident in other amazing ways. Adventure Camp helps foster healthy bodies, good social skills, and city living skills. Our aim is for campers to become self-guided learners, good team members, and to have a brave spirit of Adventure in their hearts.
Why Eliot Hine?
Eliot Hine is an undiscovered gem on Capitol Hill which NEEDs more good middle school options. In talking to many Capitol Hill parents and friends I realized that many have never even been inside. When I found out that our usual summer location, Miner School, would be closed this summer to do some scheduled maintenance at first I was not sure where to look. I knew I needed to find a location that would provide us with the basics that we would need to run a camp (bathrooms, water, power, access to transportation) but I also wanted to find a location that we could help Capitol Hill discover. As part of our effort to have a community camp we want to bring the community to Eliot Hine. I know that when camp parents come and have personal and positive experiences in and around Eliot Hine that we will help the school on the path to becoming an accepted and embraced school in our community.
Another way we aim to enrich our community is to hire a certain number of Junior Staff who are often working in their first jobs. This year we will also be recruiting some “Junior Staff” from the 8th Grade class of Eliot Hine students who are highly recommended by Principal Tynica Young. These staff members are given a small honorarium but are not counted in the staff-to-kid ratio we keep on our trips. I hope that by providing positive job experience for Eliot Hine students, we can forge a closer connection between the school and our community. (In past years some camp parents have found some AMAZING baby sitters from our Junior Staff as great connections have been made.)