Summer Camp

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

To 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: IAIS has developed up-to-date policies for our summer camp in 2021, based on guidelines released by the Centers for Disease Control, Connecticut’s Office of Early Childhood and the American Camp Association. Given the fluid nature of the COVID-19 situation, families should be aware that these policies are subject to change. We appreciate your support, understanding and patience we continue to navigate this challenging situation.

Important Update

For the safety of all staff and campers, we request that all families observe the CDC guidelines regarding travel. Any unvaccinated individuals, including children, should get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after returning to the States and self-quarantine for 7 days after international travel.

Details! Details!

Who: Children Ages 6 – 13

When: Monday – Friday (9:00am – 3:00pm). Specific dates listed below.

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


$289 for IAIS Members; $320 for Non-Members

Camp pricing includes a Refundable Deposit of $100 is encouraged at the time of registration. 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

Stories of Survival: Native Lifeways in the Eastern Woodlands

June 28 – July 2

What lessons can we learn from Native cultures? By working together, developing new technologies, and passing down their traditions from one generation to the next, they have been able to survive through many changes and challenges over thousands of years. This week’s camp session will feature activities that focus on the value of teamwork, adapting to change, and honoring our unique differences as campers learn about the diverse and dynamic cultures of Native Americans. Hear from Native voices in the present about the importance of caring for the land and its resources for future generations.

Outdoor Adventures: Survival Week

July 5 – July 9

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.

Being Resourceful: Gifts of the Natural World

July 12 – July 16

The hunt is on for some resourceful campers! Long ago, before there were supermarkets, restaurants or online orders, cultures throughout the world developed different skills and technologies to help themselves find food and make tools using natural resources. Even today, plants and animals provide food and resources for making items that we need to survive. In this week’s session, campers will practice animal tracking and plant identification, while making tools and learning skills that could be used for survival situations. Along the way, they will explore how Native cultures used their understanding of the natural world to thrive for thousands of years in the Woodland ecosystem.

Two Eyed Seeing: A Different Way of Thinking

July 26 – July 30

How do we know what we know about the natural world or people living in the past? Based on a Native American word Etuaptmumk, the name for this week’s session refers to learning how to see the benefits of both traditional Indigenous knowledge and Western scientific thought. Through hikes, mock digs, and group projects, campers will be introduced to sciences such as archaeology, anthropology, geology and ecology. Through traditional Native American stories and Campers will also learn about indigenous explanations of the world passed down through generations. All in all, this week’s camp session will be a fascinating adventure for curious and creative minds.

All Our Relations: Flora and Fauna of the Eastern Woodlands

August 2 – 6

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).

Testing Your Limits: Survival Plus

August 9 – 13

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.

Please Note

Our museum has scholarship money available for qualifying camp families. Please contact our Camp Director at [email protected] for more information on how to apply. Deadline to apply for a scholarship is June 15, 2021.

In order to provide a more personalized experience for all campers, space is limited each week. Currently, several of our camp sessions are full and have waiting lists. Please check for availability before registering by emailing our camp director at [email protected]

Registration Form

If you're ready to save a space, please fill out this form. There is a suggested $100 deposit due at the time of registration. Full payment is due the week before your child's session begins. Once you submit the form, you will be brought to Paypal in order to make your payment.
If you are claiming the IAIS Member full price, please list your member details in the comment box for confirmation.

Contact Us

Gabriel Benjamin, Camp Director - [email protected] - 38 Curtis Road, Washington, CT - (860)868-0518

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]