About Art Camps

“The world is not made of atoms. It is made of stories.” –Muriel Ruykeser



“Everything is held together with stories. That is all that is holding us together, stories and compassion.” 
– Barry Lopez

Stories are the heart of every Grace Art Camp. Since 1997, Grace Art Camp has been celebrating countries, landscapes, and cultures around the world through the art of story. Holding the imaginations of people all over the world and through all of time, stories are a powerful way to develop cultural literacy and build community.

In developing awareness through storytelling and art, we are creating opportunities to communicate across the boundaries of our differences and experience humanity as a single entity. Community is the core of camp  and provides a safe place where campers can discover something about themselves and their purpose in this world through their own creative process.

The Grace Art Camp Summer Program is designed for children in Pre-K through 6th grade (or ages 4 – 12 as of January 1 of the year the child will be attending camp).  Children 4 – 5 years old must already be attending a full-day program and use the bathroom independently. Winter Peace Camp is designed for children in 1st – 7th grade and  Spring Break Camp for children in K – 6th grade.


All of our camps  center around celebrating  a story through a variety of art forms and follow a similar routine and flow. Professional working and teaching artists lead individual studios that campers choose from daily: animation, theatre, music & dance, fused glass,  ceramics & sculpture, drawing & illustration, fiber arts, bookmaking & paper arts, printmaking,  and t-shirt design, to name a few.

Youth and young adult counselors provide leadership and role modeling for campers throughout the week alongside camp songs and games — we all practice the “Four R’s” of Community: respect, responsibility, resourcefulness, and receptivity.

The larger summer Grace Art Camp  basic routine includes daily studio choices; the smaller 3-day Spring and Peace Camps follow a condensed format where campers stay together in color groups rotating through two studios each day:

8:45 –
Campers gather in their assigned color groups for sign-in.
9:05 – Morning Assembly (our ritual for beginning each day with greetings, music, singing, stories, and daily studio presentations). Older campers choose their daily studios.
10:00 – Morning Studio, including a snack.
11:30 – Lunch/recess and Midday Assembly bringing everyone back together for songs and special guests.
1:00 pm – Afternoon Studios.
2:45 – Campers rejoin their color groups for Afternoon Assembly and the day’s sharing.
2:55 – Parents sign their children out for the day.

Campers rotate with their “Color Group” through six of the art studios to get a taste for different media. Campers get to know each other and connect with their Color Counselors, learn songs, and play community-building games.

One of the hallmarks of Grace Art Camp has always been the opportunity for campers to choose what studio they would like to participate in each day and what they would like to do. Each morning, the older campers choose their “AM” and “PM” studios. Learning how to make a choice and what to do when one’s first choice is no longer available are invaluable skills to develop and an important part of the camp experience. Being creative and resourceful can happen in a variety of ways!

Every camp program culminates into a celebratory tribute to the community cultivated over the week. Families are invited and encouraged to gather with us for the Celebration Parade at 2:45. This Camp ritual has evolved since camp’s inception and has continued to evolve as an important closure to each week of camp.

Color groups help us manage a secure daily sign-in and sign-out process as well as their art work and ensures an equitable age range of campers each week. Campers are divided into roughly grade-equivalent peer groups of 22-24 campers (less in the smaller 3 day camps), two counselors, and 1-2 CITs.

For friends assigned to different color groups, other than Orange, campers can join each other during lunch,recess, and studio times — Tuesday-Friday, campers choose and attend two daily studios whereby connecting with other campers from different color groups and ages. Color Groups remain together solely for Monday’s Studio Orientation schedule, the T-Shirt Studio, and for the Sign-In and Sign-Out process.

Your child’s color group assignment will be emailed to you the week before your registered and confirmed week of camp. The exact age-range for each color group varies from week to week as ages and grades fluctuate weekly depending upon any given week’s unique enrollment demographic.

Friends may request to be in the same color group at the time of registration and must be in the same grade by January 1 of the year they attend camp together. Only one mutual friend request per camper may be considered.

The Orange Color Group, also known as “Pod”
The younger campers (pre-K through K) are assigned to the Orange group and led by an experienced early childhood education professional.  When Grace Art Camp celebrated Pacific Northwest cultures 20 years ago, the term “Pod” was used  for this youngest group of campers after a pod of Orca whales, and the name has endearingly stuck ever since.

Pod has a routine designed specifically for young children and young Grace Art Camp first-timers. Their schedule and routine gives them the opportunity to partake in every art studio throughout the week without being overwhelmed.  They have lunch and recess together as a single smaller group. Pod joins the other Color groups for all Camp Assemblies which include story-time, singing, sharing, and special presentations.


Looking for more details?
For further information please visit:  Info for Parents

Statement of Non Discrimination
Grace Institute and grace Art Camps do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion or creed, gender, gender expression, age, national origin or ancestry, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, hiring and termination of staff, selection of volunteers and vendors, and provision of services. Grace Institute is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of its staff, volunteers, program attendees and their families.