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Summer Camp



 Environmental stewardship is at our core, and we are thrilled to offer young people, ages 5-12, two unique weeks of summer camp at FDR Park in South Philly that center this value in fun and engaging ways. We look forward to building another amazing camp experience!

Week 1: July 10-14, 2023

Week 2: July 17-21, 2023

CAMP Daily Rhythm:

9:00-9:15AM         Student Drop Off

9:30AM                 Set the Day + Intentions

9:45-11:30AM        Environmental Stewardship Offerings

11:30-12PM            Community Games

12-1:30PM              Lunch, Self-Directed Activities

1:30-2:30PM         Cool Off Offerings

2:30-2:45PM        Community Clean Up

2:45PM                 Afternoon Reflections + Gratitudes

3-3:10PM               Parent Pick Up

Camp offerings:

For an idea of the kinds of offerings we'll host at camp, take a look at the ones we planned last year. We'll include many of the same themes and some of the same kinds of experiences, and we'll be dreaming up some new ways to connect kids with our glorious planet.  

Environmental Stewardship Offerings:

  • Bugs and Plants: Young people will observe bugs in nature, learn safe handling of bugs, examine bug specimens with microscopes, and participate in plant dissection to gain a better understanding of pollination and the role insects play in making the magic happen. 


  • Foraging: Young people will hike through the meadows to forage for edible plants and learn the difference between native and invasive species. We’ll use tool to help identify plants and discuss the importance of clear identification before consumption. Edible plants will be foraged in ethical and sacred ways and young people will be supported in processing plants to make tea, soap, sacred smoke, and for cooking together.


  • Composting: Young people will learn about using food waste to improve soil conditions for planting and growing foods. They’ll have the opportunity to do some planting and harvesting in the community garden.


  • Caring for Plants in the Park: Young people will learn proper use of various tools to help care for plants in the park by weeding and cutting back invasive vines. 


  • Litter Clean Up in the Park: One of the most important volunteer jobs at FDR is litter clean up. This offering will begin with a safety lesson, and then young people will learn how to use appropriate tools (litter pickers, gloves, compostable bags). We’ll dig into systemic issues around litter control and sustainable practices for moving forward. Afterwards we’ll jump into a re-use art project to turn cardboard into fabulous creations with a professional art instructor.


  • Watershed + Fishing: FDR is one of seven main subwatersheds in Philadelphia. Our community partner, Let’s Go Outdoors, will bring their watershed simulation for young people to explore. We’ll also collect water samples to test for common pollutants. Additionally, we'll learn all the ropes when it comes to fishing and practice these new skills in the lake!


  • Intro to Backpacking: Moyamensing Trading Company will brainstorm with young people what they need to pack for day and overnight camping trips. Young people will have the opportunity to pack bags using equipment provided, and then they’ll hike into the meadows to set up their “camp” site and prepare a meal over a fire. 


  • Shelter Building: Young people will hike into the meadows to learn how to safely use tools to build stick structures out of found natural objects. We’ll use recycled fabric to create sunshields and reflect on what kinds of structures work best.


  • Natural Tie Dye: Using plants from the natural dye garden at FDR, young people will help harvest the plants and process them to create natural dyes. Young people will bring in light colored fabric items to tie dye.

Community Games: 

Young people and facilitators will come together to participate in large, gross motor games such as dodgeball, capture the flag, obstacle course building, etc. In these games, we’ll intentionally prioritize skill building in the areas of communication, teamwork, and understanding consent/non-consent.

Self-Directed Activities:

A number of open-ended, self-directed activities will be available for young people in between self-chosen time to eat lunch and reapply sunscreen. Activities will include things like: maker space, sensory activities, arts and crafts, and more.

Cool Off Offerings:

We’ll respond to the heat of summer afternoons with opportunities to play and connect while cooling off. We’ll dance under sprinklers, test out a slip and slide, make lemonade in the shady pine grove, and more.

Camp Tuition:

Summer camp is offered at a sliding tuition scale of $275-450 per week. With VELA Ed Funding, we have some tuition free spots available! Families can offer $0 in their tuition offer to access that funding. We ask that families who have more access to wealth offer higher tuition so our sliding scale can go even lower, making it accessible to more Philadelphia families.


Our program is entirely outdoors except for use of bathrooms; masking is optional. Upon enrollment, we will send you our updated COVID-19 policy that outlines our practices and the agreements we ask participants to commit to based on current conditions and information.


Families will complete the Summer Camp Registration Form to provide background information about their family and a tuition offer. The Dandelion Project will be in touch with enrollment forms and a summer camp invoice. Once we receive these items back, registration will be confirmed.


We are committed to balancing our need to fully compensate our staff for their committed time with our desire to refund families who need to cancel registration. To cancel registration for a refund, we kindly ask for 30 days notice. If you need to cancel within a shorter timeframe, we will do whatever we can to fill the camper's spot, which will allow us to refund your money, but we cannot guarantee it. If we fill your camper's spot at a different rate on our sliding tuition scale, we can offer a refund up to the diffence. All refunds will be less any processing fees. 

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