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A Camp That’s Poles Apart

Steve and Kate's Camp is unlike any other with its self-directed learning and flexible timetable

By FRANZ A.D. MORALES
Published: Thursday, May 23, 2013 | 11:52 AM

Summer camps thrive in following a strict schedule and system. If not, the sheer number of kids and the organization of activities would overwhelm the camp.

Steve & Kate’s Camp is diametrically opposite, and therein lies its unique and genius setup.

“There’re two things that have really distinguished us from the rest since the start of the camp in 1980. One is the educational philosophy of [the] camp where the kids choose their own activities; and one where the activities are set up to promote self-directed learning,” says Mike Saperstein, Director of Business Development and Marketing at Steve & Kate’s Camp.

What this means is that kids are not pressured to do activities they are not interested in, nor are they forced to work with a time limit.
“The kids work at their own pace and develop skills at their own pace which is much more comfortable to them. The counselors who are in the studios, instead of leading a class with a particular agenda, they’re working with the kids individually at their respective paces,” says Saperstein.

The counselors find out what the kids need and give them the resources they need. Whether the kid needs basic help or a long mentorship, the counselors do what it takes to help the kids complete their projects.

“The counselors interact with the kids differently according to their ability and different levels,” adds Saperstein.

Another unique system that the camp employs is more for the parents’ benefit.

“We have this unique model where parents can buy any number of days, and attend any time they’d like during the summer. They’re guaranteed space at camp and if they don’t use all of their day passes during the summer, they get a full automatic refund for any unused days,” Saperstein explains.

Families with plans to go on summer vacation will find this very useful, where they don’t have to plan summer outings around the summer camp’s schedule, but rather schedule the summer camp around the family’s timetable.

Typical days at the summer camp are “really defined by each child individually. So no two days will look exactly the same since the kids chose for themselves” says Saperstein.

Aside from the activities, the camp also has Show Specials every once in awhile to provide entertaining distractions for the kids.

“It can range from something like a stage combat workshop to an educational show on reptiles,” Saperstein says, “it can also be pure entertainment like concerts at camp and people who do magic shows.”
Parents who worry about their kids’ nutrition will be glad to know that lunch and snacks are included with the fee, and the lunch program itself is “designed by our in-house chef who used to be the executive chef at Google [and] we’re offering a whole range of really great diverse lunches,” says Saperstein.

Steve & Kate’s Camp have 34 locations all across Northern and Southern California, Washington State and Illinois. To find the location nearest to you, visit http://steveandkatescamp.com or you can email at la.pasadena@steveandkate.com.

 

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