Drop in at any time during the two hours to meet our staff and learn more about Connecticut’s premier summer camp.
Held in the Watkinson School gymnasium, 180 Bloomfield Avenue, Hartford
Fifth- through ninth-grade campers select a schedule consisting of three recreational activities in the morning and two enrichment courses in the afternoon. All three-session classes are listed below.
Want to write computer code, explore the world, or become a citizen scientist? Want to be a filmmaker and make stop motion animations? If so, join us at All About Apps, where we will use iPads to learn, explore, and create. Along the way, you will earn badges for writing lines of code, using game apps, creating holograms, and "hiking" rainforests, ancient ruins, and glaciers. We will even hold an Angry Birds tournament, projecting the game on screen, and then head outdoors to play a life-size version of the game!
Have you ever thought of becoming a wildlife biologist? An animal trainer? A veterinarian? Through up-close and hands-on experiences with animals from The Wildlife Sanctuary at The Children’s Museum, you’ll learn how to care for various exotic pets; design and test “enrichment activities” for animals; and gain an understanding of the differences between pets and "wild" animals. And you’ll meet some unusual creatures that you’ll probably never see at the local pet store, from a Diamondback Terrapin to a South American boa constrictor. Note: Appropriate behavior, maturity, and patience are required to guarantee a safe and rewarding experience for all.
In the nine realms lies the Six Infinity Stones ... it is your mission to obtain them before Thanos does. In this class, you will have to master a task and meet a challenge for each of the stones— Power, Reality, Space, Mind, Time, and Soul Stone. Create your own Avengers superhero in our crusade for justice and explore the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In the end, if you are worthy, you will create your own Infinity Gauntlet!
Imagine … You’re in a room; a bomb in the center is slowly counting down to detonation. You’re shut in a lab with a zombie, trying to stay out of his decaying reach while looking for a way out. You’re sealed in a bank vault scrambling to exit before you run out of air. You will solve puzzles, search for clues, and break your way through locks to escape the scary situation and find freedom. Escape is the challenge!
Ever go camping and get really hungry but there is no restaurant close by? Want to learn how to start a campfire then cook yummy treats? Well, this course will help you do both! You will learn how to build and start a campfire and then create delicious treats to cook over the campfire. Treats will include S’mores, campfire bundles, banana boats, berry cobbler, and many more!
Have you ever played Candy Land, watched Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, or visited an old-fashioned candy store? If so, you might have found yourself wishing you could make your own delectable treats. This class will take you to a whole new level of sweet temptations, guiding you through the basics of candy making. Learn to mold, marbleize, dip, drizzle, and paint your sweet concoctions. Mix, cook, and stretch some tasty taffy, too!
You could be the next Summer Place chess champion! Whether you’re a chess enthusiast or just a beginner, come play tournament-style chess in this exciting class. Learn how to strategize and hone your skills to wipe the opponent’s board of every knight, rook, and pawn with ease. Play will be organized by ability level and previous experience. Become a whiz at the game of kings and queens, which has entertained people all over the world for more than 2,000 years.
Do you dream about doing the backstroke in Willy Wonka’s chocolate river? This class will get you pretty close! Dig right in to chocolate of all sorts—milk, dark, white—while we learn how to cook and bake with it to create decadent chocolate treats. We’ll try a new recipe each day, making sure to satisfy every sweet tooth!
Are you an expert in the kitchen? Do you know what to do with a basket full of mystery ingredients? Imagine competing against other teams of Summer Place campers for the Summer Place Cleaver Award. If you answered yes, then Chopped might be for you. Join us as we chop it up!
Medieval war is a dangerous thing; goblins and trolls lurk in the woods and the soldiers of enemy clans take advantage of every weakness. To survive, an army must have the best-built swords and axes, and the sturdiest shields and armor. They must know the tactics of moving together, and they must individually be masters of swordplay. As one of the warriors, you’ll learn to build your own weapons and armor, fight with swords, axes, and shields (all safe and properly padded, of course), and maneuver on a battlefield, fighting the enemy in tactical combat. You’ll also venture into the wilderness to defeat monsters. Raise your sword and heed the call to battle! Glory awaits!
Join in the fun as you pound, poke, and roll clay into fabulous, handmade creations. Learn how to use slab, coil, and pinch techniques to make a variety of exciting and functional ceramics projects-everything from vessels to votives. Roll up your sleeves and experiment with a variety of textures and glazing techniques. You’ll be amazed when your finished work comes out of the kiln!
Comedy Improvisation is the hilarious type of acting where you fly by the seat of your pants, making up your scene as you go along like the comedic actors in the popular TV show Whose Line is it Anyway? Learn the clever tricks that make improvisation so much fun to watch and practice the art of unrehearsed entertainment! On the last day, we’ll perform our own comedy improv show for special guests.
You love watching cartoons online, but have you ever thought that you could actually make your own? Well, you can—and will—in this ultra-digital class. You’ll learn how to produce simple (and not-so-simple) computer animations, ranging from two-dimensional cartoon sequences to more exotic three-dimensional masterpieces. Unleash your creative energies as you sample some of the hottest computer applications around!
Calling all cornholers! Grab a saw, sander, and some paint and meet us in the woodshop where you will make your own cornhole set. What design will you paint on your set to make it distinctly yours? Measure, cut, fill, and stitch your bean bags and finally participate in a cornhole tournament at the end of the session. This is the “hole” package!
New summer … new crimes! Who tried to ruin Popsicle break? Who stole the Summer Place golf cart? Become a crime scene investigator by learning to analyze fingerprints, test chemicals, ID blood types (using simulated blood), and use many other forensic techniques. We will collect evidence and solve a different mystery each day. Inspired by the investigations, we will film our own episodes of CSI: Summer Place. Note: All cases involve nonviolent crimes and non-hazardous materials.
Do you love music, remixes, and dubstep? Ever want to be the one creating the beats, and not just the one listening and dancing? Think you can create beats better than the pros? Slip on your headphones and get ready to experiment on a digital DJ turntable to make remixes of your favorite songs! We’ll listen to mixes and samples by famous DJs and producers. Then using a DJ software program, we’ll make beats and samples by digitally scratching, beat matching, crossfading, and cutting songs. Think you have what it takes to bring down the house? Let’s find out.
No more boring dinners of frozen chicken nuggets or boxed mac-and-cheese for you! Learn lots of recipes that will bring the whole family to the table, eager to feast on your culinary creations. We’ll begin with appetizers, salads, and soup, and continue with entrées like lasagna, pizza, and quesadillas—and, of course, delicious desserts. You’ll walk away from this class with a cookbook full of mouthwatering new recipes to try!
Come and help fight a Demogorgon just like the characters in Stranger Things as we play the classic Dungeons and Dragons game. Create your own character … will you be an elf, magic user…orc? We will go forth on our own campaign to fight monsters and find treasure with a Dungeon Master. You will even have a chance to create your own dungeon maps! So, grab your spells and we will see you at the entrance to the Dungeon!
Playing with your food can be a lot of fun! Explore the many ways to make food into amazing works of art. From vegetable faces to mummy hotdogs and Chewbacca Noodles to meatball birds in a pasta nest—you are guaranteed to have fun creating food art in this class. Take home a book of the best edible creations to share with your family and friends, but better than that, you get to eat your artwork!
Have you ever dreamed of designing your very own computer game—one that combines the elements of your favorite adventures, battles, and races? Now you can! Together, we’ll create games with animated graphics, build backgrounds, and incorporate sounds. You’ll start out with simple games built from a template and advance to creating your own game to bring home and share with your friends!
Are you ready to become a Jedi? Come join us as we try to bring freedom to the galaxy through the Star Wars universe. You will begin your camp adventure as a mere Padawan—by the end, become a full Jedi knight! Build your own light sabers, create aliens and chart a path for your X-Wing fighter to take through the stars (or would you prefer the Millennium Falcon?). We will even stop by the Mos Eisley Cantina from the original Star Wars and create an out-of-this-world treat.
Climb, tug, roll, and swing your way like Tarzan through the challenges of the University’s ropes course. Take this opportunity to test your own limits, gain self-confidence, and learn to work cooperatively with others—all while having lots of fun! Play unusual New Games, solve seemingly impossible group problems, work and grow as a team, set “world records,” and push personal limits, both mental and physical, in activities. Orienteer and hike through the woods, jump/fall and dive into open air, ride zip lines and “flying squirrels,” walk treetop cables, and share powerful experiences.
The Learning Zone is an enrichment course option offered to Summer Place campers who could benefit from small-group academic instruction in reading, math, written expression, and study skills. The class is offered to students entering grades one through nine. Groups meet in a relaxed, air-conditioned space that is highly conducive to learning.
The Summer Place learning-skills specialist focuses on an individual plan for each student, based on the needs of the child. The Learning Zone teacher will contact each parent prior to the summer to gather the information needed to develop an educational plan. The specialist will then teach, model, and reinforce the concepts and learning strategies necessary to achieve each student’s specific goals. At the end of each two-week session, parents will receive a written report that summarizes progress made and current achievement levels. This report may, in turn, be passed on to the student’s teachers in the fall.
Summer Place campers may enroll in a Learning Zone course in each session they attend. A nominal fee of $250 per Learning Zone course is charged for this individualized program. For additional information on this special option, please call the Summer Place office.
The world of Minecraft is full of dangers. Adventurers require the quickest wit and the deepest thinking in order to survive. In this class, you’ll learn about Redstone creations and building schematics that can help you thrive in those dangerous and blocky lands. Best of all, you will create a world together, working as a team to complete challenges and conquer your Minecraft missions!
Think you have what it takes to master minute to win it challenges? You will race the clock to win out-of-the-box challenges and exciting daily prizes! Compete in games like Dizzy Mummy, where you have 60 seconds to wrap your team member in an entire roll of toilet paper, or how about Card Ninja, where you have one minute to get your playing cards to stick in watermelon halves. Join this class if you like to win challenges that test your speed, balance, and brain! Think you can crush these competitions and be the top team? Question is, are you in it to win it?
Have you ever seen colorful, intricate walkways or walls made of tiny pieces of tile, glass, or stone? Mosaic art got its start more than 4,000 years ago, and it’s still amazing! In this course, you’ll not only discover how mosaic masterpieces are created but make your own—by arranging colorful clay and glass tile pieces to design useful and decorative flowerpots, picture frames, and serving platters. Both beginning and advanced artists are welcome!
Do you have an idea for a short film, game show, or music video? Turn your vision into reality in Movie Maker! Write storyboards and scripts, develop your acting skills, discover new filming techniques, and learn how to use iMovie to bring your movie to the big screen! At the end of the session, share your creations for a chance to win a Summer Place Oscar!
The TV show may be over, but Summer Place is just getting started busting myths! Combining science, creativity, safety goggles, and a few (safe) explosions, you will decide if popular myths are actually true or need to be busted. How explosive are Pop Rocks? Does the 5-second rule work? Test the limits of building just about anything out of Duct Tape? You will work in teams to pick a myth to test and film your own segment of MythBusters to keep forever!
No boxes of bow tie pasta and jars of Ragu needed for this class. We’re going to make our own favorite pasta varieties from scratch! We’ll do as the Italians do and learn how to make homemade pastas like spaghetti, ravioli, and gnocchi. And, of course, pasta is naked without sauce to swim in, so we’ll also be cooking up a variety of tasty sauces to accompany our pasta creations. Delizioso!
In this “picture-perfect” course, you will be introduced to the basic elements of black-and-white photography. Using a 35mm single-lens camera (provided by Summer Place), you will shoot pictures on campus and then learn how to develop and enlarge them. Your prints will be mounted and matted for a professionally finished product.
Would you like to “dip” into making amazing art with plaster of paris? Experiment with different dipping methods to transform everyday objects, from your favorite flowers to special shells you found at the beach, into lasting pieces of art to admire forever. You will use molds to capture form in plaster then perfect your piece by adding color and carving detail to ensure your treasures last a lifetime.
Experience the excitement and satisfaction of successfully launching rockets that soar into the atmosphere to heights of close to 1,000 feet—that’s skyscraper height! You’ll assemble and paint each rocket that you make before shooting it up to the clouds! Both beginning and experienced rocketeers are welcome on the launch pad.
Relax at the Summer Place Spa! Pamper yourself using common ingredients found right in your kitchen, from olive oil and sugar to avocados and frozen cucumbers. Uncover the secrets of the professionals as you perfect your manicure and pedicure skills, learn healthy skin tips, and make bath bombs, lip gloss, and lotion bars. Learn the secrets to treat yourself or a friend to an at-home spa day, any day!
Come learn how to build and program a robot! Using the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Robotics System, you will experience the latest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) concepts in a fun, hands-on, and interactive setting! By the end of the session, you will know how to program the robot to perform tasks, collect data from its environment, and even make it dance!
Wanted: Creative, curious, committed campers to help publish Summer Place's own newsletter, The Summer Place Post! We will use online software to piece together a collection of interesting articles to distribute to your fellow campers and counselors. The content and format of each newsletter is up to you--want to interview a counselor, observe another class, write a summer movie review, or create a comic strip? The Summer Place Post is your opportunity to get creative, have fun, and get a taste of the world of journalism.
Not all heroes wear capes…sometimes they wear Summer Place shirts! Whether you want to save the sea turtles, end world hunger, or anything in between, you can become an activist and create positive change. Make flyers, posters, campaign commercials, and more to be the change you want to see in the world and compete for a chance to become Summer Place Peace Prize certified!
Experiment with how we can remix and reinvent old electronic devices into artistic masterpieces, or assemble old toys into something new that works even better than it did before! In this class, we will have electronics on hand to use—or bring in your own broken old computers, radios, cell phones, and other electronic toys. We’ll disassemble them and delve into how they actually work. You’ll be amazed at what we can turn them into!
We’ll be tie-dying like crazy and we’re not just talkin’ T-shirts! Dip and dye in bright, bold colors using sunbursts and wild patterns as you discover new ways to make your tie-dye project one of a kind. Incorporate your favorite pop song lyrics or inspirational quote into your piece by using fabric paint and markers. Try the accordion knot technique to make a wall hanging, a T-shirt, or a colorful pillowcase that your friends can sign at your next sleepover.
What if you could build, design and play with your very own custom-made house? The sky is the limit in this Tiny House building class, where you’ll be the architect and decide if you want a pool, elevator, basketball court, or gardens. Create your own furniture and décor using salvaged objects. This session will spark problem solving, innovation and imagination! Come flex those creative muscles within the four walls of your new Tiny House!
What could be more fun than creating a TV show? Get hands-on opportunities to practice in front of and behind the camera. Experience the thrill of creating TV shows in the University’s state-of-the-art television studio. Practice being the next Lester Holt or Ellen, or learn to do camerawork, audio, teleprompting, directing, and many other vital functions in a real, fully equipped TV facility. At the end of this class, you’ll have a better understanding of how programs are made—and a DVD copy of your program to share with family and friends.
News Workshop Week 1 of each session
Learn all the different aspects of becoming a newscaster, sportscaster, or weather reporter—from writing to reporting to delivering an effective and engaging story.
Talk Show Workshop Week 2 of each session
Learn to become an effective talk-show host and discover how it feels to be on each side of the interview as both journalist and guest.
Are you a Survivor fan? This hands-on class will teach you to welcome and appreciate the challenge of survival without the comforts of home. Learn how to build a weatherproof shelter; build, start, and maintain a fire (without actually starting one!); use a compass to find a treasure; and tie knots. Find out how not to get lost (and what to do if you do). Learn the most important needs in a survival situation, how to prioritize them, how to obtain them, and how to stay safe with rudimentary first aid while still having fun.
Come and enter the wizarding world of Harry Potter! Experience a Hogwarts education firsthand. You will master magical potions, create your own wand for spell duels, compete in an intense Quidditch match, participate in the Tri Wizard Tournament, and then sip butterbeer with friends. You’re in for a magical time!
Burn and etch your creative ideas into wood by learning this "hot" hobby. Discover techniques for drawing, shading, and adding color to your wood-burned projects. Transfer your original drawings, favorite sports team logo, or cartoon characters to a work of art that you can proudly hang on your wall or give as a gift! Note: Due to safety issues, maturity and appropriate behavior are necessary to guarantee a safe and rewarding experience for all.
Use your mind, muscle, and creativity as you turn wood into something wonderful! Design and build your very own piece of furniture, whether it is a table, chair, stool, or something you come up with on your own. Anyone can make an awesome piece of furniture—no experience needed. You will learn how to use hammers, saws, sanders, drills, and other hand tools. You will gain new skills and confidence and are guaranteed to have lots of fun. Both beginning and experienced woodworkers are welcome!
Sports and recreational activities—along with arrival and dismissal—will take place at Watkinson School, located adjacent to the University. Watkinson offers Summer Place a modern sports center, expansive playing fields, fitness room, dance studio, and state-of-the-art amphitheater.