ExploreStar (Grades 6 – 9)
DC Campus

ExploreStar is the ideal program for our older campers looking to gain independence while participating in awesome summer activities!  Campers customize their daily schedules to create their ideal camp experiences.  Choose 4 workshops from a wide range of exciting options in the areas of sports, arts, academics, enrichment, and more. ExploreStar is like 4-camps-in-1!

We believe that providing each camper with individual workshop choices as well as the opportunity to travel from workshop to workshop in a supervised manner promotes camper independence and fosters decision-making skills and personal responsibility.  Each workshop is created to provide a fun and enriching camp experience while preparing our campers for Middle School and High School.  Campers won’t leave empty-handed!   Their imaginative creations, fond memories, and life-long skills will carry them through to next summer.

It’s all happenin’ here in the Explorer Programs!

ExploreStar - Day Camps - Sidwell Summer Camp

Location: 3825 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington DC 20016

2018 Dates
Week 1 June 25 – 29
Week 2 July 2 – 6 (4-day week, No Camp Wed, July 4th)
Week 3 July 9 – 13
Week 4 July 16 – 20
Week 5 July 23 – 27
Week 6 July 30 – August 3
Full Day 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Full Day $445 ($360 for 4-day week of July 2-6)
Sample Daily Schedule
*Workshop Changes are available up until noon on the Thursday prior to the start of each camp session. Please email any workshop changes to explorerprograms@sidwell.edu*

8:45 AM – 9:00 AM Drop Off
9:00 AM – 9:30 AM Homebase (Collection on Tuesdays and Fridays)
9:30 AM – 10:25 AM Workshop 1
10:25 AM – 11:15 AM Workshop 2
11:20 AM – 12:00 PM Lunch
12:15 PM – 1:20 PM Workshop 3
1:20 PM – 2:35 PM Workshop 4
2:35 PM – 3:00 PM Homebase/Pack Up
3:00 PM – 3:30 PM Dismissal
Homebase & Workshop Information

Homebase – ExploreStar participants will be assigned to a homebase upon arrival each Monday morning.  Each homebase will serve as a “homeroom group” for campers, allowing them to check in with specific teachers and store their belongings in assigned classrooms.  Each homebase will engage in collection games and whole-camp competitions.

*Please note: friend requests for homebases cannot be accommodated.  We apologize for the inconvenience.

Workshops – ExploreStar participants will select 4 workshops to participate in for each week of camp.  All workshop content changes daily and weekly, so campers are welcome to participate in a workshop for multiple weeks!  Check out the great workshops offered each week!

*Workshop changes are available up to 12:00pm on the Thursday prior to the start of each camp week. Please email any workshop changes to explorerprograms@sidwell.edu*

Workshop Offerings

*Current workshop offerings listed below are from 2017. Stay tuned for our 2018 offerings!*

Workshop 1 Workshop 2 Workshop 3 Workshop 4
Creative Writing Art-rageous Computer Programming Digital Cinema
Engineering Journalism Tennis Ceramics
Minute to Win It Science in Motion Culinary Arts Yoga
Digital Imaging Science* Science* Science*
Rock the Runway Shark Tank Darkroom Photography Amazing Race
Baking Chef’s Corner Sports Mania Gameboard Mania
Camp Crafts Summer Spa Adventures in Art Musical Theater
Chinese Digital Photography Cooking


Workshop Descriptions

*Current workshop offerings listed below are from 2017. Stay tuned for our 2018 offerings!*
Amazing Race - Use mental strength and physical toughness to complete a series of scavenger hunts and challenges.  Improve your teamwork skills and leadership abilities as you work with peers to accomplish your challenges.
Art-rageous - Engage in a variety of art activities through the use of different mediums like pastels, water colors, print making, multi-media and more.  Let your creativity run wild as you design original masterpieces!
Baking - Mix, whip, and taste-test your way into delicious recipes!  Campers are encouraged to try new foods and experiment with flavors in different ways.  Baking isn’t just for desserts anymore!
Blast Off! (Physics and Rockets) - Learn the in’s and out’s of rockets, physics, and more in this exciting, hands-on workshop where campers learn about parts of rockets and how every part serves a purpose to the greater design.  Create and  test your own rockets, learn scientific skills and knowledge that factor into creating moving objects, and test your creativity as you decorate your own rocket!
Camp Crafts - Engage in a variety of activities such as paper mache, paper folding, jewelry making, and other activities to improve your knowledge of color and design.  Expand your creativity and enhance your mind!
Ceramics - Explore the exciting worlds of hand building and wheel throwing in this outstanding workshop designed to teach campers the basics of bowl, pot, and vase design.  Have an original idea in your head?  Awesome- turn it into a reality!
Chef’s Corner - A dash of creativity, a pinch of seasonings and a dollop of deliciousness will cap the delicious recipes you will make in this newly added cooking class!
Computer Programming – Put your computer skills to the test in this class that focuses on the design and implementation of computer programming.  Interested in scratch programming?  This class is for you!
Cooking - Be a master in the kitchen while you chop, stir, measure, and saute your way to delicious foods.  Learn the basics of kitchen safety as you sanitize your work stations and utilize stoves, ovens, and kitchen utensils.  
Creative Writing - Creative thinking and excitement are highly encouraged in this workshop where campers improve their writing techniques through multiple mediums like fiction, non-fiction, poetry and more.  Dream up your own topic, interview peers, teachers, directors, campers, and create your own masterpiece to be published in our state-of-the art Mac lab. 
Culinary Arts - Expand your palates by trying foods from all different cultures and incorporate those seasonings into your complex dishes.  Become a master chef and sample all your creations in this incredible hands on workshop.
Darkroom Photography - Learn about a camera’s design and function, the rule of thirds, composition, image development, and more as you complete projects on black and white photo development, color photo development, action shots, still life, and anything else you can dream up.
Digital Imaging - Campers will be taking digital photos and adding a professional touch to them.  Photoshop will be used to perform many routine and no-so-routine touchups to a variety of photos.  Got friends who’re always making funny faces in pictures?  We’ll show you how to remove them!

Digital Photography -  Use digital cameras and camera phones to explore surroundings and capture compelling images.  Learn to capture a story within an image and craft captions!
Digital Cinema – Want to dream up your ideal movie? In Digital Cinema we’ll be creating a variety of short films, such music videos and commercials.  Write scripts, determine costumes, capture all your scenes with video cameras, do the editing, and marvel at your final product!
Engineering (E2) -Explore the field of engineering by working in teams to construct solar-powered cars, magnetic-levitation vehicles, catapults, Rube-Goldberg machines, hovercrafts, underwater robots, and whatever your mind can dream up!
Game Board Mania - Learn new reasoning strategies, create original games, and challenge your peers to a wide variety of games in this workshop designed to foster a new way of thinking.
Journalism - Write, edit, and publish your way to a front page editorial on the cover of our Sidwell Summer post!  Interview subjects, pull together the pieces of a story, and make magic happen with your words.
Minute to Win In- Use your excitement and all the materials you can gather to tackle the 60 second brain-busters and challenges that will test your wit, creativity, and flexibility.
Musical Theater - Sing, act, dance, and perform your way onto the Sidwell Summer stage by turning common texts into Musical Productions.  Design the set, create props, and showcase your acting growth!
Rock The Runway-  Campers will gain hands on experience learning if they have what it takes to make it in the fashion world.  Each week will be packed with a range of challenges providing campers an opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills of industry pros with an occasional twist or surprise. From designing a clothing line for guys or girls, to planning a fashion show from beginning to end campers will have a boat load of fun using all they have to Rock the Runway.
Science - Out outstanding science classes require campers to use their minds as they explore the wonderful, wacky, and messy world of science.  All ExploreStar science classes are themed and listed above.
Shark Tank - Develop and implement your latest entrepreneurial invention by working individually or with your peers!  Design your business pitch and prove its value to our own panel of sharks as you hope to gain investments for your product!
Sports Mania - Learn how to play a variety of different sports and games while understanding the intricacies of teamwork and fair play.  Play kickball, football, 4-square, dodge ball, ultimate frisbee and more!
Summer Spa – Explore the ‘menu’ of spa treatments, create your own soaps and scents, develop your own color palette and more!
Tennis - Improve your tennis skills – fourhands, backhands, lobs and serves –  and the rules of the game in this fun workshop where campers will build up to daily match play.
Yoga - Increase your confidence and comfort with yoga by by increasing your awareness of your body, mind, and the world around you.  Improve your physical fitness, explore your flexibility, and become stronger through gentle physical movement. 
What to Bring & What to Wear

Please label all items with camper’s first and last name.

  • A Backpack (for transporting lunch/other belongings)
  • Comfortable Shoes
  • Sneakers (for sports workshops)
  • Comfortable Clothing
  • Sunscreen
  • Water Bottle
  • Snack
  • Lunch (labeled with camper’s name)
Campers will not need lunch on Friday.  ExploreStar will have pizza and Italian Ice every Friday at no cost to the campers.

*In an effort to build the kind of community that is so integral to a memorable camp experience, we ask that cell phones, music players, and personal gaming systems be left at home.

Drop Off & Pick Up

Drop Off: 8:45 AM – 9:00 AM

Pick Up: 3:00 PM – 3:30 PM

Please review the procedures below and let us know any of questions.  We realize the process can seem overwhelming, but our families become pros after a few days and the flow of traffic works well.

Morning Drop Off

Beginning at 8:45 AM, campers arriving by car should be dropped off in the parking garage on the corner of Wisconsin Ave. and Rodman Street.  Camp staff will help open car doors and direct campers to the proper meeting location.  Campers should arrive no earlier than 8:45 AM. Parking spaces are available in the parking garage if you would like to park and walk your camper to the proper meeting location.  In the event of a rainy day drop off, all campers will meet under the overhang of the building next to the turf field that is located directly above the parking garage.

Late Drop Off

If you arrive late to drop off your camper, please walk your child to the Sidwell Summer Office to check in for the day.  All late arrivals will be escorted to their group by camp staff.  Please make every effort to arrive before 9:00am to ensure that your camper will have a full day at camp.

Pick Up

Early Pick Up

Please notify one of the program directors in advance by calling 202-537-8133 or emailing summer@sidwell.edu if you plan to pick up your child early from a camp program.  Campers should be picked up directly from the Sidwell Summer Office and a parent or designated adult must check out with the camp staff before leaving campus in order to ensure the safety of all campers. Campers will not be permitted to wait alone or in the front of the school or in other pick up locations.

*Note: For early pick up, please arrive before 2:00 PM. We cannot accommodate early pick ups after 2:00 PM due to carpool and scheduling constraints.* Campers will not be allowed to leave camp on their own without written authorization from parents. Please email summer@sidwell.edu to authorize campers to use public transit or walk home.

Pick Up/Carpool Information

Campers are escorted down the car lanes in the parking garage 3:00 PM.  This process can be tricky as we safely move campers through the garage but we would greatly appreciate if you follow the directions exactly stopping at each checkmark.  There is no parking on the upper level of the parking garage between 2:00 PM and 3:00 PM.  Cars may not back out of spaces on the upper level of the garage beginning at 2:30 PM.  If you would like to park and pick up your camper please park on the lower level of the parking garage.

Cars may begin entering the parking garage at 2:45 PM and line up in rows according to the carpool staff’s directions.  Please do not arrive any earlier as campers will still be enjoying the day’s activities.  Each driver must stay with his/her car and the engine must be turned off.  Please pull up directly behind the car in front of you so that we can fit as many vehicles as possible.  There will be cones in the parking garage to differentiate lanes, please stay to one side of the cones as directed by the carpool staff.  We will have camp staff and campus security in the garage directing traffic to assist you, please follow their directions.  If you are walking home, you should wait at the end of the garage next to the vending machines by the security office.  We will walk your child to meet you and guide you safely out of the garage.

At 3:00p PM, campers from all programs will gather in the carpool area.  Please do not walk up and take your camper early.  A staff member will take your name as you wait in the carpool line and lead your camper/s to his/her car. We ask that you not move your car from its lane once a staff member has given you directions or taken your child’s name as that will cause confusion as to where the camper needs to go.  We will walk your camper safely through the garage to your car.  Even though this process may seem confusing, it works quite well if everyone follows these guidelines. Campers will not be allowed to leave camp on their own without written authorization from parents. Please email summer@sidwell.edu to authorize campers to use public transit or walk home. We thank you in advance for your cooperation.  If you are running late, please alert the Sidwell Summer Camp Office as early as possible.  If you arrive after 3:30 PM you will need to pick your child up from the camp office.

Any camper not registered for Camp ‘til Six and who is not picked up by 3:30 PM is considered a Late Pick-Up. Please see Late Pick-Up Policy below.

Late Pick Up Policy at the End of the Camp Day

After 3:30 PM, campers remaining in the garage are considered late pick-ups.  At 3:30 PM, campers are taken to the camp office until a parent or designated person picks up the camper(s).

Late Pick-Up Fees:  Our staff’s time is valuable to us as is the time of our families. Therefore, late pick-up fees are incurred beginning at 3:30 PM.  Payment is due at the time of pick-up- no exceptions. Payments can be made by cash, check, or credit card in the office.  If a camper is picked up within 15 minutes of the designated pick-up time, there is a charge of $15.00. Campers picked up between 3:45 PM – 4:00 PM from the camp office are charged a late pick-up fee of $50.00. Please note charges are per camper and will apply to each child.

Please note: Campers are not taken to the Camp ‘til Six program. This program is for pre-registered campers only. Campers will be in the summer office for pick-up.  Serious infractions – either based on frequency of late pick-ups or duration of any single pick-up may result in dismissal from camp program.

Forms & Health Information
All mandatory medical information is captured through the online application. However, if your child has medication to be distributed while at camp, you would like the nurse to administer over the counter medications to your child during the camp day, or your child has allergies or asthma, please click here to access the necessary forms.