University of Hartford partners with Hartford, Bloomfield, Windsor, and West Hartford to provide scholarships for campers to attend the Summer Place this year.
By Sophie Christensen
The Summer Place, founded almost 40 years ago and located at the University of Hartford in West Hartford, is a unique camp experience for kids aged kindergarten to ninth grade, offering 75 different enrichment courses and 20 sports and recreation options, and thanks to scholarships those opportunities were offered to many children who may not have otherwise had been able to attend.
Unlike a traditional one-size-fits-all experience, the Summer Place has nearly 100 different engaging and educational activities.
Woodworking 101, Wilderness Survival, STEM Academy, Chef Academy, and Summer Place Theater are just a few of the interesting programs offered. A typical year would also include a leadership and training program and an adventure ropes course.
“[Our program] works really well because campers are actually in a program of interest to them,” said Director Craig Diamond.
This year, the University of Hartford partnered with Hartford, Bloomfield, Windsor, and West Hartford to provide scholarships for local children to attend Summer Place.
“We were thrilled to partner with local school districts to welcome campers from the greater Hartford area to Summer Place, particularly after such a challenging year,” said Barbara Haines, who oversees the camp. “The summer innovation grant allowed deserving students to engage in enrichment and recreational activities.”
The core program runs for kids in grades 1 through 9, and the Little Place is offered for children as young as 4.
Many of these kids “have been with us since they were four years old,” added Diamond, which begins to build a sense of community.
During a typical year the Summer Place runs for a full day, but they switched to a half-day schedule this summer due to COVID-19 restrictions. Other COVID modifications included implementing cohort-based organization for each activity, and wearing masks when inside. The camp has had a successful summer with zero COVID transmission incidents.
The camp offered six one-week programs throughout the summer, with the last program ending Aug. 7.
“We look forward to returning to a traditional full day camp model for next year. Still, we feel proud to be able to offer such quality courses during a year when our campers could really benefit from a chance to get outside and experience real activities and build relationships,” said Diamond.
A link to the courses offered this summer can be found here. Summer Place plans to return to their traditional pre-pandemic programming next summer.
Like what you see here? Click here to subscribe to We-Ha’s newsletter so you’ll always be in the know about what’s happening in West Hartford! Click the blue button below to become a supporter of We-Ha.com and our efforts to continue producing quality journalism.