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July 2, 2016 
Vol. 46 No. 7
Cooperatively Speaking
The Latest News from PCPI


Welcome to the latest issue of Cooperatively Speaking!  In celebration of summer, this issue is all about summer camps that are happening real-time in our member schools.

Does your school have a story to tell?  I'd love to hear from you!    

Warmest wishes,

Dianne Rose
Editor, Cooperatively Speaking

Summer Fun, Cooperative Style!
For some of us, school is out for summer.  But many of our member schools operate summer camp programs during the break from regular school.  Oswego Playschool, Brooklyn Preschool, New Morning Community School, and Portland Kinderschule were kind enough to share a little about how each of their programs works.

Oswego Playschool
Oswego Playschool is a parent cooperative located in Lake Oswego, Oregon.  

Camp History
Oswego has been offering summer camps for as long as anyone there can remember - that adds up to a pretty long time since the school has been around since 1953!  Some years went without camps due to parent interest, but overall the summer camp program has been a consistent tradition for at least the last decade.  

The fun th in g about camps at Oswego is that they change from year to year depending on the parents and their  expertise.  Camp Run-a-Muck has been a favorite for years, hosted by Tots Teacher, Phoebe Fillmore.  But  in the past Oswego has also had Spanish camp and all variations of crafty camps.  

Oswego Playschool 2016 Fairy Camp

The initial summer program idea was to host a "Ge tting to Know You" camp in August for families new to Oswego Playschool.  That camp was so much fun that it made sense to open up the school earlier in the summer for other camp programs.  

Oswego is unique comp ared with many PCPO sister schools in that they own their building and are not leasing from a church or other community space.  This allows them the opportunity to make a little extra income over the summer by offering camps.  Otherwise, the space would just sit vacant for the summer break.  

Oswego Playschool 2016 Fairy Camp
Making it Work
Oswego's tots teacher, Phoebe, hosts a few camps over the summer .  Her Camp Run-a-Muck is one of their most popular and longest running camps over the last seven years; it has a camping theme to it.  She also hosted a Fairy Garden Camp this summer that was so popular, she had to host a second! 

Oswego's regular preschool teacher, Teenie MacLeod, typically hosts the Getting to Know You Camp in August.  

A really exciting twist to Oswego's summer program is that any interested parents can offer a camp to members.  This summer, for example, the school has two dads who partnered-up to offer a Super Hero Camp, and two moms who are working together to put on a Craft and Cooking Camp.  Last year an ESL family offered a Spanish Camp and another family offered a Cultures of the World camp.  The opportunities are endless because the inspiration comes from their members!  

To make it work, parent leaders are paid for teaching the camps.  After reimbursement for supplies, it typically averages out so that the parents receive half the profits from camp tuition and the preschool benefits from the other half.
Oswego Playschool 2016 Fairy Camp

Camp Is A Cooperative Effort
Oswego operates camps cooperatively much like their year round program.  P arents who sign their child up for a camp are expected to parent help for one day of camp.  Camps are capped at 10 kids, which creates a more laid-back environment as compared with the school year.
Oswego Playschool 2016 Fairy Camp

Camps at Oswego are attended only by preschool members (incoming tots families are not eligible), but they can be both incoming  and outgoing members.  Therefore, some summer camps will have incoming 3 year olds mixed with soon-to-be Kindergartners, which makes for a fun and diverse mix of campers.  

Many thanks to Lisa Decker for contributing to this article!

Oswego Playschool 2016 Fairy CampOswego Playschool 2016 Fairy Camp
Brooklyn Preschool
Brooklyn Cooperative Preschool is located in Southeast Portland, Oregon.  The school was founded in 1971, but their summer camp program is relatively new.

Part of the inspiration to start a brief multi-age summer experience stemmed from Merry Enriquez's experience as an after-school arts activity teacher.  It had become sadly clear to Merry that by age 8 kids were typically concerned about getting a project 'right' vs. the fun of following their own intuition or exploring ideas.  Her thought was that  allowing former students to 'come back' to preschool could also take them back to the natural exploration that is a part of early childhood.

2016 Brooklyn Summer CampBuilding The Camp Program
Brooklyn is in  year three of offering a two-week summer camp.   In the first two years of camp, the primary teacher (Merry) and a former teacher staffed the camp along with one or two parent teachers, much like the year-round program at the school.  As the program grew it was adjusted.  

This summer  Brooklyn hired two parent members of the school, both of whom happened to be the classroom substitute teachers in the past school year, to run the camp program.  A camp committee provided the direct planning support for the camp this summer.

Brooklyn's camp is a cooperative model. In order to be able to run under the umbrella protection of the school, the summer camp needed to operate in a similar fashion with parent teacher participation. Tuition was scaled to allow families to opt out of parent teaching if they wished; families who chose a parent teaching shift enjoyed a lower rate for the camp week.

Proceeds from the camp benefit the Brooklyn Preschool Scholarship Fund.

The Campers
Brooklyn's camp was originally designed to accommodate recent students and alumni and siblings up to age 8, as the school's insurance allows for that upper age limit.  Eighteen campers per week can attend, and while registration is first come, first served, priority registration is given to children of parent volunteers.

Camp themes this year were Up, Up and Away and Animal Habitats.

2016 Brooklyn Summer Camp
2016 Brooklyn Summer Camp 2016 Brooklyn Summer Camp
2016 Brooklyn Summer Camp
2016 Brooklyn Summer Camp 2016 Brooklyn Summer Camp 2016 Brooklyn Summer Camp

Many thanks to  Merry Enriquez, Brooklyn Preschool Education Director and Classroom Teacher, for her contribution to this article!

New Morning Community Preschool

New Morning is a family cooperative, service-learning based preschool in Atlanta, Georgia.  The school has offered summer camps for five years.

NMCP had expenses during the summer months that they needed to cover.  A summer program solved that problem, but also offered an opportunity for an 'intensive' on a few themes that were inspirational to the community during the year. 
2016 NMCP Summer Camp Making It Work
The program at NMCP this summer included four sessions, each  being four days per week (9am - 12:50pm).  Camp themes included Music and Drums, Wilderness, Mad Science/Tinkering, and Sports.  

NMCP offers some cooperative spots during camps by inviting parents that love being cooperative during the school year to be 'camp co-op parents'.  In exchange for a parent volunteering their time, their child can attend camp for a reduced rate or free depending on the number of days they are there. 
The age range accommodated at the camps was broad:  3 year olds through rising fourth graders. Anyone can attend NMCP's camps, but the majority of the campers are current or past families or friends of those families.  An unexpected benefit was that school age alumni could re-capture their NMCP experience a little, and the staff had the chance to see their graduates as they grew.

2016 NMCP Summer Camp

2016 NMCP Summer Camp

Huge thanks to Christina Lane for her contribution to this article!

Portland Kinderschule
Portland Kinderschule is a German language immersion cooperative preschool program in Portla nd, Oregon.  The school has operated summer camps for 4 years.  

The inspiration for Portland Kinderschule to start the summer camp program was two-fold: parent feedback and financial.  Parents had expressed a desire for their children to continue to be exposed to the German language during the long summer break, lack of similar affordable programs in the community, and need for some childcare coverage.  At the same time, the school also faced a significant increase in rent and needed to find a solution to generate additional revenue.  The summer camps have proven to successfully address all of these issues and been met with a positive response.

Nuts and Bolts 
The program structure includes one-week camps based around specific themes (e.g. gardening, building, pottery), and four to six sessions are offered each summer.  Camps sessions are open to children ages 3 to 8.  The camps are German language immersion (much like the preschool program) but prior knowledge of German is not required.  For next summer, they are considering a camp targeting older children to continue to serve their growing number of alumni students.
2016 Portland Kinderschule Summer Camp
One of the school's year-round teachers serves as the lead teacher for the summer camp. Substitute teachers also le nd a hand to make the program work. In order to create more continuity each week and build relationships with the students, Portland Kinderschule hires one summer camp assistant for each camp session.   Sometimes this role has been filled by a parent who receives a fee waiver for their child for the week.  Other times the school has hired a paid assistant with German-language skills.  

This year the school was excited to bring in a German-speaking science teacher and talented artist to support two camp sessions.  The program was spearheaded by their membership coordinator and other board members provided support as needed.  To manage their growing program, the school has created a new board position, Continuing Education Coordinator.

Happy Campers
Camps are largely attended by current, prospective and alumni Portland Kinderschule students, but the camp also attracts other children interested in German language and culture.  Word about the camp program has spread through general publicity, social media, and word-of-mouth. 

While it wasn't necessarily a part of their plan, the school has found that the summer camps provide a good introduction to the preschool and they help families become familiar with Portland Kinderschule before committing to fall enrollment.  This year the school is offering a new junior camp for 3- and 4-year-olds to specifically target prospective students.

Wir danken Alexa Heinike für ihren Beitrag zu diesem Artikel!
(Many thanks to Alexa Heinike for her contribution to this article!)

2016 Portland Kinderschule Summer Camp 2016 Portland Kinderschule Summer Camp
2016 Portland Kinderschule Summer Camp 2016 Portland Kinderschule Summer Camp 2016 Portland Kinderschule Summer Camp 2016 Portland Kinderschule Summer Camp 2016 Portland Kinderschule Summer Camp 2016 Portland Kinderschule Summer Camp
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Parent Cooperative Preschools International (PCPI)