“The world is not made of atoms. It is made of stories.” –Muriel Ruykeser
WHAT WE DO
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:
A GLANCE AT A DAY OF CAMP
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.
THE WEEK’S ROUTINE
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 ritual for camp has continued to remain and evolve over the past twenty years of camp and is an important closure to camp.
Color Groups are how we organize campers. Campers are divided into individual grade-peer groups that are roughly grade equivalent and commonly mixed. Each color group consists of 23-26 campers (less in the smaller 3 day camps), two counselors, and 1-2 counselors-in-training.
This system helps us manage a secure daily sign-in and sign-out process as well as keep track of campers and their artwork. Your child’s Color Group assignment will be emailed to you the week before your child’s assigned week of camp. The exact age-range for each Color Group varies from week to week. Grades and colors can 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.
For children who have friends assigned to other color groups, note that Color Groups remain together solely for Monday’s orientation schedule, the T-Shirt Studio, and for the Sign-In and Sign-Out process. Children in color groups, other than Orange, may join each other during lunch, recess, and studio times.
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.
WE ARE NUT FREE . . .. . . even when we all feel a little nutty! Please help keep Grace Art Camps a nut free community for the safety of those with severe nut allergies by refraining from sending any kind of nut products to camp with your child. Camp provides all campers nut free mid-morning snacks: they are not free of other allergens. If your child’s tolerance level is low, we recommend that snacks be sent from home.
Lunchtime is supervised and campers who end up with nut products in their lunches will eat away from assembly areas with a counselor. Children with life-threatening allergies may eat with friends slightly apart from the main group in a “nut-free zone.”
Allergy information concerning campers with specific life threatening allergies, or other medical needs, along with symptoms and specific treatment recommended by parents, are shared with all staff on a weekly basis. Several staff members are trained to use epi-pens. Be sure to include all vital information on your camper’s registration form and email us to set up a phone conversation in special situations. You are welcome to discuss specific medical needs and meet with the Director or the Registrar before your child’s week at camp begins.
ART CAMP PROGRAMS
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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.