Programs
Kids walking through the entrance of camp
Home / Programs

PROGRAMS

Summer belongs to U. 

 

Grade

Age Division

Programs Offered

K and 1

Discovery

Classic: Discovery

2 and 3

Partners in the Arts

Classic: Partners in the Arts, Rec Camp

4 through 6

Junior

Classic, Rec Camp

6* through 12

Senior

Classic, Rec Camp (6–8 only)

*6th grade students may choose to go into the Senior division if their schedule allows.

 

Classic

(Grades 2–12 | 4- and 8-week sessions)

Usdan’s Classic program provides an immersive arts experience and fosters friendship and shared enthusiasm among young artists in grades 2 through 12. Our program offers instruction by experienced educators and professional artists in five art disciplines—Art, Creative Writing, Dance, Music, and Theater—and three specialty areas—Chess, Nature & Sustainability, and Recreational Arts. All that is needed to attend is an open mind and an excitement for the arts. 

Students in our Classic program choose a two-period Major, a one-period Minor, and a one-period Recreational Activity for four or eight weeks. Each period includes approximately one hour of instructional time, during which students immerse themselves in an area they are passionate about. Some of our campers love being able to explore two different Departments for their Major and Minor, while others choose to focus on one. The Recreational Activity supports campers’ creative development by encouraging movement and play. Daily Festival Performances by professional and student artists in Usdan’s 900-seat McKinley Amphitheater enrich their day, bringing art to life for campers in thrilling new ways to delight, surprise, and inspire. Most Majors and Minors culminate in a performance or celebration of student work. 

Students attending our 8-week session have the opportunity to change their courses after the first four weeks. While most Majors are divided into four-week increments, select performing-arts Majors, including the Usdan Troupe, are eight weeks long. Please visit our Classes page for more information on your child’s Departments or courses of interest. 

Students attend courses with similarly aged peers; the age divisions are called Discovery, Partners in the Arts, Junior Division, and Senior Division. Discovery students have just completed grade K or 1 (see more below), Partners in the Arts students have just completed grade 2 or 3 (see more below), Junior Division students have just completed grade 4, 5, or 6, and Senior Division students have just completed grade 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, or 12. Students who have just completed grade 6 may choose to be in either the Junior or Senior Division.

A sample student schedule (start and end times may vary):

10:00 a.m.–11:55 a.m.: Major

12:05 p.m.–12:25 p.m.: Lunch

12:35 p.m.–12:55 p.m.: Festival Performance

1:15 p.m.–2:05 p.m.: Recreational Activity 

2:15 p.m.–3:05 p.m.: Minor

3:05 p.m.: Ice Cream and Dismissal

 

Classic: Partners in the Arts

(Grades 2–3 | 4- and 8-week sessions)

Partners in the Arts is a special summer arts program for Usdan students in grades 2 and 3 that supports their growing independence. Partners campers are in Usdan’s Classic program, just like older campers, but are escorted from class to class by counselors. Counselors are high-school-age students who are familiar with Usdan’s campus and programs. They are chosen for their maturity and rapport with young campers. Partners in the Arts participants meet their counselors at the McKinley Amphitheater each morning of camp and then proceed to their classes together. The Partners in the Arts program helps our younger students feel comfortable and confident as they learn, make friends, and have fun.

 

Classic: Discovery

(Grades K–1 | 4- and 8-week sessions)

The Discovery program provides a fun and exciting exploration of the arts for students who have just completed kindergarten or 1st grade. Surrounded by Usdan’s woodland campus, and using the Discovery Center as a base, children have experiences in Music, Art, Dance, Nature & Sustainability, and Recreational Arts led by professional artists and educators. Two college-age counselors help guide each small group throughout their adventurous day, while also creating diverse and engaging activities that are tailored to students’ interests, fostering a safe, nurturing, and positive atmosphere. 

After completing their 1st-grade summer at camp, children from the Discovery program head into Usdan’s Classic program feeling confident and excited because they have spent their summer getting a taste of its many opportunities.

Typical Day (start and end times may vary):

9:30 a.m.: Children are welcomed by their counselor when they arrive on their bus.

10:05 a.m.–10:40 a.m.: Music

10:45 a.m.–11:00 a.m.: Snack

11:05 a.m.–11:45 a.m.: Art / Nature & Sustainability  

12:00 p.m.–12:45 p.m.: Swim

1:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m.: Lunch / Supervised Play 

2:05 p.m.–2:45 p.m.: Dance

3:05 p.m.: Ice cream and children are walked to their bus by their counselor

 

Recreational Camp

(Grades 2–8 | 1-week sessions)

Usdan’s Recreational Camp program provides an opportunity for students to experience the beauty of Usdan’s wooded campus and recreational spaces, including it’s swimming pools and archery range, and to join Usdan's welcoming and inclusive community, while having fun, being active, and making new friends. 

Students have one period of swimming, one period of archery, and one period of general recreation, including activities and games such as cornhole, four-square, badminton, and more. Our Recreational Camp students also get a taste of Usdan’s Classic program with one period of Art or Nature & Sustainability, taught by experienced arts and nature educators and professional artists, as well as a daily Festival Performance by professional and student artists to delight, surprise, and inspire them. Each group is guided through their days by one or two counselors.

A sample student schedule (start and end times may vary):

10:00 a.m.–10:50 a.m.: Archery

11:05 a.m.–11:55 a.m. General Recreation

12:05 p.m.–12:25 p.m.: Lunch

12:35 p.m.-12:55 p.m.: Festival Performance

1:15 p.m.–2:05 p.m.: Swim 

2:15 p.m.–3:05 p.m.: Art or Nature & Sustainability

3:05 p.m.: Ice Cream and Dismissal

 

Artists in Residence Program

Every summer, Usdan brings world-class teachers and visiting artists—actors, directors, playwrights, painters, sculptors, musicians, composers, dancers, poets, and novelists—to teach and collaborate with Usdan campers ages 5 to 18. It’s a two-way exchange, with experienced artists and young creators learning from each other and contributing to one another’s work and development. Usdan has developed a program for students that builds on this premise. 

The goal of the Artists in Residence program is to harness the creativity, concerns, and intelligence of youth in contemporary art-making—by involving youth in the creative process as collaborators in the generation of a new work. Each Artist in Residence collaborates with a group of students through research and creative sessions to create a new piece. You can learn more about the program by visiting our Artists in Residence page.

Our current Artists in Residence are The Knights. This summer, they will be working with Instrumental Ensemble Majors in the Music Department and students in our Dance Department.

 

BLOG

Our blog is a collection of news, musings, and creative recommendations to help the community stay creatively engaged. 

 

Visit Our Blog

 

enroll