Summers at The Academy: New programs offer fun, learning

Ridgefield Academy's 15-foot water slide, The Patriot Plunge, is a highlight for campers.
Ridgefield Academy’s 15-foot water slide, The Patriot Plunge, is a highlight for campers.

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For kids, summer camp is about new experiences, more time with friends, and, of course, having fun.

For parents choosing the right program, it’s also about safety and finding trusted staff that can help children continue to grow and learn through school vacation.

Summers at Ridgefield Academy hit all those marks and now offer more variety than ever for children ages 3 to 14. This year, the school’s restructured summer programs — open to the public — have an even broader array of options, all set on the idyllic 42-acre Ridgefield campus.

Basil Kolani, director of The Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning at The Academy, helped with the new summer program development. He explains Summers at The Academy have several advantages over other programs.

“Our summer staff are experienced teachers who know the age groups they are working with,” Kolani said. “Especially for our middle school range, and for all age groups, we really listened to kids and families about what they wanted. We did our homework and came up with programs they would be excited to attend.”

For the youngest campers, Camp Landmark allows families to get a glimpse of what goes on during the regular school year in a fun, condensed summer opportunity. Each week will comprise a different theme and will run from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Ridgefield Academy’s Patriot Camp is designed for children entering kindergarten through Grade 5. This year, the program will be split with three weeks operating as a traditional day camp, including activities such as swimming, sports, cooking, science, technology and games.  The other three weeks will be themed weeks including Trip Week, Science Week and Art Week. Campers can choose camps that appeal to them most or sign up for the full six weeks.

“We took a look at some of our most successful camp weeks and decided to create weeks with more variety, so campers are exposed to a range of activities,” Kolani said.

This season, both Camp Landmark and Patriot Camp offer extended care hours until 5 p.m.

For middle school students in Grades 5-8, Ridgefield Academy offers Explorer Programs, with a broader variety of topics this year. Workshops run in the morning and afternoon, so children have the choice of staying for half day or full day, depending on the workshops that interest them.

“Middle school students are starting to find those passions they want to pursue,” Kolani said. “If there is something they are interested in, we likely have a program for it.”

A choice of workshops, such as soccer with the New York Red Bulls Soccer Program, musical theater, coding, movie making, lacrosse, cooking, robotics, 3D design and printing, fiber arts and summer outreach and leadership are just a few of the offerings available for middle school students.

“Summer isn’t school but it is a chance to do try some pretty cool programs, all centered around having fun,” Kolani said. “All of our programs take advantage of our beautiful campus.”

Ridgefield Academy summer programs start June 18 and run for six weeks.

For more information, contact Summer Program Director Donna Kauth at 203-294-1800 ext. 106 or at [email protected] Find more information at RidgefieldAcademy.org.

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