Summer vacations can be challenging for working parents at the best of times. The effects of the pandemic continue to be felt as uncertainty surrounds this year's camp offerings. Below you will find information about summer and school vacation programming. Be sure to contact the program directly to see if it’s a good fit for your family.
Summer Camps and Programs
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many summer camps are still offering limited hours and options. Benefits-eligible faculty and staff can use Harvard's Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to help locate in-person camps that meet your family's needs. The EAP will provide a list of summer camps that meet your specific criteria, free of charge. Call 877-EAP-HARV (877-327-4278) for assistance.
Camp Kinda is Underway for 2021
Benefits-eligible Harvard employees can sign up for Camp Kinda free of charge. Use your Harvard email address and enter the code when prompted. Codes can be found on this flyer.
This summer, we know many parents are trying to find engaging activities to keep their kids busy — never an easy task, especially this year, with pandemic restrictions still leading to uncertainty at camps and other summer programs. Provided by Ed Navigator, Camp Kinda is an exploratory learning experience designed to keep kids ages 3-13 engaged, curious, and having fun over the summer — even if they're stuck at home. It’s like summer camp (kinda).
Camp Kinda was initially an invention born from the necessity of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has become a flexible, virtual summer learning experience that fills the gaps between parks, pools, in-person camps, and dinnertime. It’s not summer school. No worksheets. But kids cannot help but learn.
The week of June 7, adventures include Treasure Troves, Unexplained Artifacts, Vanished Civilizations, Alien Encounters, and Dinosaur Extinction. Details can be found on this page. This is also the first week for Camp Kinda Jr, Ed Navigator's new program for learners aged 3-6. With the theme of “Things That Roar,” junior campers will tackle everything from lions to airplanes to monsters. Both programs run through August 13.
Developed by education professionals and parents, it includes more than 250 hours of daily on- and offline activities that kids can complete on their own schedule, as well as special “CK Jr.” adventures specifically for younger children (ages 3-6).
Harvard Campus Programs
Various summer programs typically operate on Harvard’s campuses:
The Harvard Museums of Science & Culture weeklong summer science programs, taught by the museum's professional educators, will run virtually this year! Offer your 1st to 6th grader a chance to learn something fun about the world around us, like earth sciences, ecology, and animals, in a short morning program featuring small-group zoom sessions. Advance registration required: https://hmsc.harvard.edu/calendar/upcoming.
- Harvard Athletics facilities typically host various sports-focused summer camps, most of which are operated by coaches’ associations and other private entities. Many of these are canceled for 2020, but check the list for details.
- Harvard generally offers a one-week School Vacation Program during the last week of August (depending on school district calendars and when Labor Day falls). This is cancelled for 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Other resources for identifying summer programs include:
- The American Camp Association allows you to search accredited camps by geography or interest area, as well as access a wealth of camp-related resources and information.
- Boston Summer Stuff provides information on sports, jobs, courses, internships, volunteer opportunities, recreation programs, projects, and activities for Boston youth, produced by the Boston Public Schools.
- The Cambridge Department of Human Services provides information on summer programs, camps and services in Cambridge.
School Vacation Programs
For benefits-eligible faculty and staff, Harvard has previously offered a School Vacation Camp program for children ages 5 to 12. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are unable to offer the camp in 2021.
Other organizations to consider include:
- Arlington Children’s Theater, Arlington
- Arlington Center for the Arts, Arlington
- Boston University School Vacation Program, Boston
- Brookline Center for the Arts, Brookline
- Drumlin Farm and Wildlife Sanctuary, Lincoln
- East End House, Cambridge
- Gymnastics Academy of Boston, Cambridge
- Harvard Museum of Natural History, Cambridge
- Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House, Cambridge
- Mass. College of Art, Boston
- Museum of Fine Arts , Boston
- New Art Center, Newton
- New School of Music, Kids’ Cabaret Program, Cambridge
- Newton Indoor Sports, Newton
- Parts and Crafts, Somerville
- Wheelock Family Theatre Classes, Boston