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Summer Camp 2020

The Institute for American Indian Studies is planning to offer six weeks of summer camp focused on the lifeways and lessons of Native Peoples! Join experienced educators and camp staff on a journey through one, or several, of the themes listed below.

Each week, while hiking in the woods, playing games, doing crafts, and making friends, campers will work together to complete a group project. By doing so, campers will not only learn valuable life skills, but will also have a positive impact on future visitors, students, and campers.

Summer Camp Mission:

Encourage children to practice team building skills,

 increase their appreciation for nature, and connect with

 a culture that has more than 10,000 years of history.

Interested camp families: Please read our camp policies for 2020. IAIS has developed updated policies for our camp this year, based on guidelines released by the Centers for Disease Control, Connecticut’s Office of Early Childhood, and the American Camp Association. As of right now, we are planning to run six weeks of camp starting June 29. We will incorporate the general themes listed on this website, as much as possible. Given the fluid nature of the CoVID-19 situation, families should be aware
that we might be forced to change our plans, with little notice. We appreciate your support and understanding as we together navigate this unprecedented situation.

Important Update:

As of June 24, there is a list of states for which there is a 14-day self-quarantine directive when returning to Connecticut. The most up-to-date list can be found here: If your camper or someone in their household has traveled, or will have traveled, to one of these states less than 14 days before camp, we ask that you keep your camper home until the 14 days have expired, unless you can provide proof of a negative test. If your camper is unable to attend the week they signed up for due to these restrictions, we can attempt to find a space in a later session, or issue a refund on your deposit.

Details, Details!

Who: Children Ages 6 - 13

When: When: Monday – Friday (9:00am – 3:00pm), starting June 29 through August 7, 2020*
*Dates subject to change.

Where: The Institute for American Indian Studies in Washington, CT.

Pricing: $279 for IAIS Members; $310 for Non-Members.Camp pricing includes a Refundable Deposit of $100 is encouraged at the time of registration. NOTE: Deposit is not required for registration. 

Due to the generosity of our patrons during the 2020 Give Local campaign, our museum has scholarship money available for camp families. Please contact our Camp Director for more information on how to apply.

Camp Sessions and Dates:

Wonderful Wildlife: Woodland and Wetland Ecology (June 29 - July 3)

The forests and rivers of the Eastern Woodlands are teeming with life! The Native inhabitants recognized long ago that all living things are connected. These beings depend on each other and their adaptations in order to survive. In this week’s session, children will play games, complete activities, and create crafts as they learn about our four-legged friends (animals), winged friends (birds), and the finned ones (fish), as well as our standing tall, one legged friends (trees).

From Dirt to Dinner: Gifts of the Natural World (July 6 - July 10)

Native Americans have long recognized that people could not survive without the natural world. Microbes, fungus, and worms help to keep the soil healthy so that plants can grow. Plants and animals provide food and resources for making items that we need to survive. Campers who attend this week will explore how Native cultures used their understanding of the natural world to thrive for thousands of years in the Woodland ecosystem. Try some tasty treats, help our garden grow, and harvest a healthy appetite for knowledge of the natural world.

Outdoor Adventures: Survival Skills (July 13- July 17)

How long do you think you could survive outside without access to modern technology? Perhaps you want to be prepared for hiking, camping, and other outdoor adventures. If so, sign up for this week’s camp session and practice basic outdoor living skills, such as knot tying, navigation, and safe use of fire in an outdoor setting. Explore different techniques from the past and present that people use when they need to survive in a woodland environment with ever-changing weather.

Arrow Dynamics! Not So Primitive Technology (July 20 - July 24)

How do you use technology in your daily life? In today’s Digital Age, with access to computers, cell phones and electricity, it is pretty easy to think that technology of the past was simple. In fact, people of the past figured out creative ways to move around, construct shelter, find food, and make tools that allowed them to thrive in their surroundings. In this week’s session, campers will explore traditional technology and skills that people in this area have been using for thousands of years.

Time Travel: Archaeology and Geology (July 27 - July 31)

How do people today figure out what life was like for Native Americans a long time ago? Until someone invents a time machine, we have to carefully look for clues. Campers who attend this week will travel through thousands of years of history, from a time before the first people lived here until the present day. Learn about a variety of tools and techniques that scientists, historians, and cultures throughout the world use to make meaning of the past, in order to better understand the present, and plan for the future. Participate in mock digs, uncover hidden history, and piece together puzzles from the past!

Testing Your Limits: Survival Plus (August 3 - August 7)

For campers who want a bit of a challenge, this week’s camp session is next level. Campers will put their outdoor survival skills to the test with longer hikes, orienteering courses, knot tying and fire building competitions. By working together, understanding the natural world, and staying active, the Native inhabitants of the Eastern woodlands thrived for thousands of years. In order to get the most out of this week, campers will need to connect with their inner selves, fellow campers, and the natural world as they complete activities and projects that test their physical limits.

Have questions? Please contact us, or fill out the general information request form below.

Register today to secure your child’s spot. Full payment due a week before the first day of your child’s camp session.

Our Camp Director is Gabriel Benjamin. He can be reached at [email protected]