Summer Camp

waterplay sandbox

At Eastern Ridge, children experience summer the way it was meant to be: fun, active and full of adventure. Joyful — and often muddy — children and teachers are outside most of the day enjoying uninterrupted play, exploration and child-inspired projects.

The Eastern Ridge School is the perfect setting for the long, lazy days of summer. Children work in the gardens, explore our natural habitats, tell stories, sing songs, splash and play in our mud pit, and work with inspirational and messy art materials.

In the midst of all of that old-fashioned fun, we work with them to develop projects they are passionate about. Our camps are staffed by our highly respected teachers and are an extension of our school-year programs, where our mission is to inspire independence, creativity, and a lifelong love of learning. 

The core day is 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Before (8 a.m.) and after care (until 5 p.m.) are available for an additional charge.

2017 Summer Camp Programs

Acorn Summertime (ages 1.5 to 3)
Our youngest campers spend their days working with their hands and exploring their friendships. They will be gardening, painting, immersing themselves in water and mud play, climbing, exploring, and working with nature-based art materials. We will offer 9 weekly programs from June 26 through August 25. Children can attend two days (Th-F), three days (M-W) or five days (M-F).
Note: Acorn campers new to ERS must register for a minimum of three weeks of camp to ensure they have ample time to transition into the group and fully benefit from our program.

Early Childhood Explorations (ages 3 to 5.5)
Join us for a child-inspired summer! Our campers will spend the majority of their days outside, exploring our natural surroundings, harvesting from the gardens, creating with art materials, and most definitely getting wet! Our projects will be inspired by the children’s passions and curiosities, engaging their bodies and minds. Past activities have included: journal making, bird study, mask creation, fort building, fairy houses, recycled creations, building animal habitats, dramatic play and much, much more! We will offer week-long programs from June 26 through August 25. For children new to ERS, we strongly recommend registering for two or more weeks to allow your child to form new friendships and become immersed in our program.

K-1 & Elementary Adventures (various ages)
Week 1: Leap into Summer – June 26-30 (rising K-1st grade)
The season of fireflies and watermelon and sunshine has arrived. It’s summer and time to make new friends and embark on new adventures. We’ll get the season off to a great start with art projects, visits to the garden, meadow play, water and mud, and tree climbing. Come explore the summer world here at ERS!

Week 2: Outdoor Explore – July 3-7 (rising K-1st grade)
What does summer mean for you? Maybe it’s about climbing trees, picking flowers and eating tomatoes fresh off the vine. Bring your ideas and your enthusiasm to this week of camp, where we’ll dive into summer at Eastern Ridge. We’ll spend time in the vegetable garden, build forts or forge paths at Faraway Hill, get wet and muddy, climb trees, experiment, watch birds, create art, ask and answer lots of questions and so much more. Camp will be closed on Tuesday, July 4th for Independence Day.

Week 3: Nature in Motion– July 10-14 (rising K-1st grade)
The natural world is in constant motion, from the water flowing in the sandpit creeks, to the wings of a Black Vulture flying over the meadow, from maple seeds sailing in the breeze to the quiet fox feet sneaking at Faraway Hill. We’ll run, climb, jump, tumble, crawl, leap and zoom as we discover nature’s transportation.

Week 3: Wilderness Skills– July 10-14 (rising 2nd – 5th grade)
Do you ever wonder what it would take to survive in the wilderness? Do you love hiking, stream stomping and exploring? Come to wilderness skills camp and build shelters, forage for wild edibles, become a knot-tying expert and practice other tricks of the trade. Over the course of this camp we’ll explore the wilderness of Fairfax County through excursions to several regional and national parks, and spend time at ERS. Most days, we will be off-site, exploring and learning in a park or natural area. (On these days, drop off and pick up will be at the location, not at ERS) 

Week 4: Outdoor Explore – July 17-21 (rising K-1st grade)
See week 2 description

Week 5: Cooking & Garden – July 24-28 (rising K-1st grade)
Yum! Food is tasty, but have you ever wondered how it got on your plate? In this camp, you’ll follow the journey of food from seed to belly. We’ll try out a new recipe every day, featuring ingredients harvested from our garden. And we’ll take responsibility for the garden—planting, watering, weeding, harvesting and enjoying! Gain skills in the kitchen, eat delicious food that you make, and get out into the garden to connect with your food on a whole new level.

Week 6: Outdoor Explore – July 31-August 4 (rising K-1st grade)
See week 2 description

Week 7: Nature Crafts Camp – August 7-11 (rising K- 1st grade)
The world outside your door is filled with so many beautiful things, and they can inspire beautiful crafts. Collecting materials from nature, we’ll collage, construct, sculpt, design and more! If you are a collector and are constantly spotting a pretty pebble or a colorful leaf, this camp is for you! That keen eye will come in handy on our collecting expedition and your creativity will soar! 

Week 8: Wondrous Water – August 14-18 (rising K- 1st grade)
Do you like water? Playing in it, splashing in it, drinking it. Have you ever wondered where all that water comes from? Where does the rain come from? What’s a wetland? Come investigate these questions and more in a wet, wonderful, water-filled week of camp! We’ll build rivers in the sandbox, conduct experiments, answer your questions, and of course have water play!

Week 9: So Long Summer – August 21-25 (rising K-1st grade)
There’s so much left to do before the end of summer! Climb that tree one more time, paint a few more pictures, visit Faraway Hill, harvest in the garden, pick wildflowers, and maybe even try your hand at some cooking. End the summer right with your favorite outdoor things, and experience a few new adventures too!

Costs (includes afternoon snack)

Acorn Summertime: $435 for a full week, $305 for Monday to Wednesday, $205 for Thursday and Friday. Please note that if your toddler is new to ERS, we require a minimum three-session camp commitment.
Early Childhood Explorations: $395, full week only
Elementary Adventures: $395, full week only 

Registration is now open!
Please print, complete, and mail the registration form (signed by both parents or legal guardians) with deposit payment to enroll. You will receive a confirmation email upon receipt.