We’ve spied hints of its return: a few warmer days and the sun still shining on our dinner tables. The inevitability of time’s march assures us that it will one day be summer, and we will again fill our days with ice cream and swimming and summer camp.
Summer at the Woodstock Day School (WDS) is packed with adventure. Between the nature center and the café, the outdoor stage and the two campus swimming pools, there’s a ramble of colorful buildings around a central green with views of Overlook Mountain. Science happens in the garden and at the pond, and campers swim twice a day in organized lessons and during free period. Three days a week, there’s African drumming and dance. Every Friday there’s an All Camp Gathering with student-led showcases of the week’s activities and ice cream (sometimes from a visiting ice cream truck).
Summer programs practice the Woodstock Day School’s signature Tribes program, where five agreements emphasize appreciation, and there are often two circle times each day to build community. Understanding the importance of role modeling, the counselors and camp director meet each morning before the campers arrive to set the tone for the day. Every age group is headed by a trained teacher with experience in educational settings. Most are at the school year-round, and teen counselors and visiting teachers all receive special training in the Tribes method. “It’s idyllic and not always evident in the outside world,” says summer camp director Pam Camara, “But we give them the skills to find a solution when they hit an impasse.” With campers from France, California, China, and a large population from New York City, being open to new people and learning intentional social skills for group interactions is an important piece of the WDS summer experience.
New to WDS summer programming are expanded offerings for upper age groups. Adding to long-running media, photography, music, and Wayfinder specialty camps, this year there are also options in writing, drama, fairy magic, art, engineering, and nature-based ecology and survival skills. It springs from campers who are aging out of the regular summer camp, which is geared for 3-11-year-olds, and who don’t want to stop spending their summers at WDS. The weeklong experiences extend the adventure up to age 14 with focused workshops in fields of interest.
Woodstock Day School Summer Adventure and Specialty Camps on Glasco Turnpike
between Saugerties and Woodstock: July 4th-August 12th, Monday through Friday 9a-3p (with some exceptions), ages 3-14, $390-740. Register early for best choice. Learn more at their website. Ask about pre-care, after-care, After Camp Swim Lessons, and day rates for your children’s summer visitors.