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Creative Arts and Sports Camp

Creative Arts and Sports Program

The Chestnut Hill School Creative Arts and Sports Program provides a fun, safe, and enriching environment, where campers build positive attributes as they pursue activity interests, learn and strengthen skills, and collaborate with friends. Camper groups and lessons are led by our experienced, engaging, and caring staff, many of whom return each summer and hold teaching degrees.

Camper Divisions:

  • Lower (ages 3-5/entering preschool-Kindergarten)
  • Intermediate (entering grades 1-3)
  • Upper (entering grades 4-6)
  • Senior (entering grades 7-8)

Fostering School Readiness

In a structured and supportive environment, lower campers (ages 3-5) develop activity and social skills through hands-on art, music, sports, science, art and swim lessons. These activities, along with our weekly special events, will be centered around our 2020 summer themes: Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Camping Under the Stars, Calling all Superheros, and Country Western. Each day provides creative opportunities for campers to move, play, explore, and learn.

Design your own schedule!

Campers entering grades 1-8 (with guidance from their families) create their own camp activity schedules for each session. Schedules consist of six 45-60 minute class periods each day. Within each period campers can choose from a range of art, swim, drama, STEM, and sport experiences, allowing them to be artists, engineers, athletes, actors*, Chess Wizards, musicians and more. New activity offerings are added to our core classes each year. Our optional three-day a week (M, W, F) Learn-to-Scull and Rock Wall Climbing classes will be offered to our Upper and Senior Campers (grade 4-8); additional fee will apply.

*Please note that for campers (grades 1-6) to enroll in our drama/musical program, they must register for the following four week period(s): Session I and II (June 22-July 17) and/or Session III and IV (July 20-August 14).  Please contact us with any questions.

See more details and sample schedules below.

Creative Arts and Sports Camp 2020 Dates:

  • Session 1        June 22 - July 2*
  • Session II        July 6 - July 17
  • Session III       July 20 - July 31
  • Session IV      August 3 - August 14**
  • Week Nine    August 17 - August 21**

*Camp closed on Friday, July 3rd (Independence Day Observed)

**Camp closes early on Friday, August 14th​ and August 21st

“My child and I were thrilled with the opportunity to pre-select  activities. I particularly loved the variety between arts/crafts type activities, dance class, instruments and sports. Truly something for everyone!”

Additional highlights include:

  • American Red Cross Certified Swim Program
  • Daily community gatherings
  • Special guests/artists
  • Weekly performances
  • Camp-wide theme days such as Boston Sports Day, Super Hero Day, etc.
  • Field trip options (once per session) for upper camp. Past trips have included: Boda Borg, McGolf, Bowling, Puzzle Break, Launch, and Laser Quest
  • Field trips for senior camp 2020 - click here.
  • Friday Lunches - Each Friday camp provides a hot BBQ, Pasta, or Pizza lunch.
Lower Camp - Age 3 through entering Kindergarten

Our lower camp group (caterpillars, butterflies, crickets, bumblebees, dragonflies) boasts a 4-to-1 ratio. Each group has a staffing team of one lead teacher, three assistant counselors, and one counselor-in-training. Staff members are hired based on their experience, passion for working with children and favorable references/background checks. Lead teachers must hold a college degree. Each day, staff provides a nurturing and supportive environment where campers can feel comfortable building new skills, confidence, and friendships.

Half Day / Full Day / Combo

Lower campers may choose the half-day, full-day, or combo program.  All campers have lunch in their respective homerooms at noon.

Half Day (9:00am-1:00pm) includes a rotating schedule of art, instructional swim, playground time, story time, music, STEM, and sports (gross motor play). Instructional swim is taught daily for a 30-minute period by our Red Cross certified staff. Campers can expect a balance of outdoor and indoor activities.

Full Day (9:00am-3:45pm) is comprised of additional periods of swimming (free swim with staff), playground, art and/or music. Campers will also have a quiet or resting period from 1:00-1:30pm. During this time, campers (based on developmental needs) will have the opportunity to play quietly with assorted toys or nap/rest in an adjoining classroom.

Combo Program is 3 full days and 2 half days; families determine which days are full and half.

Communication Directors and group counselors are available during arrival and dismissal to answer any questions and to share stories about the day. Our weekly newsletters also capture lesson highlights. Newsletters from each group along with swim reports will be sent at the end of each session.


Lower camp families are welcome to join us during their campers group performances, which take place from 9:15am-9:30am on the last Thursday or Friday of each session. The dates and times are listed on each group's schedule, which are mailed to families in June. During their stage performance, campers present an art project and a song.

2020 Lower Camp Themes: Planes, Trains & Automobiles, Camping Under the Stars, Calling all Superheros, and Country Western.

Please click here to see what a day in the life of a Lower Camper looks like!




Intermediate Camp - Entering grades 1, 2 and 3

Art , basketball, clay, drama, dance, movie making, piano, pillow making, science, soccer, swim instruction, tennis, woodworking, science, and so much more.


Grade 1 - Grade 1 combines the structure of lower camp with the growing independence of intermediate camp.  Each first-grade group consists of 15-20 campers and a staffing team of one lead counselor, three assistant counselors, and one counselor-in-training.  Staff are hired based on their experience, passion for working with children and favorable reference/background checks. First grade campers start and finish each camp day engaged in hands-on activities with their assigned group. During the morning, first graders have instructional swim and either science or art. During the middle of the day, first graders have the opportunity to select three activities of interest.  The selection process is done online prior to each session, thus allowing for family input and guidance. See sample schedule below to view the variety of indoor and outdoor options. Selected classes run for the full two-week session. Each session, campers will have a chance to make new selections; new activities are added each session. At the end of the day, first graders come together for a community-building opportunity ("Mixers"). These activities are developmentally designed to provide first graders with collaboration, team building, problem-solving skills, etc.

Grades 2 and 3 - We continue to build campers' self-confidence as they learn and strengthen skills while engaging with peers. A wide range of activity offerings allow our second and third grade campers to follow their interests, try something new, and to challenge themselves.  Activity selection is done online prior to each session allowing for family input in making choices. Selected classes run for the full two-week session. Each session, campers will have a chance to make new selections from new activities rotating throughout the summer. The average class size is 10-12 campers with a 6-to-1 camper-to-staff ratio. An experienced adult staff member leads classes. Swim instruction is not mandatory; campers may choose one 45-minute swim instruction period per day.

Please click here for a sample intermediate camp schedule.


Upper Camp - Entering grades 4, 5 and 6

Archery, basketball, drama, dance, free swim, movie making, rock band, set design, swim instruction, tennis, woodworking, engineering, wheel working, and so much more.

Upper campers look forward to strengthening talents, building friendships, and designing their camp schedule. Offerings include technology, performance, visual arts, and athletics. The selection process is done online prior to each session, thus allowing for family guidance. Selected classes run for the full two-week session. Rowing and Indoor Rock Wall Climbing are held off-campus on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays; campers participating in these courses will make on-campus selections for Tuesdays and Thursdays. Each session, campers will have a chance to make new selections with new activities rotating throughout the summer. The average class size is 8 to 12 campers with a 5-to-1 camper-to-staff ratio. Our creative, warm, and engaging adult staff lead classes. Swim instruction is not mandatory; campers may choose one 45-minute swim instruction and/or free swim period per day.

Archery, swim, and tennis lessons are taught off-campus at the nearby Pine Manor College campus (400 Heath St. Brookline, MA). Campers are transported to and from PMC by the CHS camp shuttle or by Local Motion Transportation buses.  Families are required to indicate permission to travel off-campus when signing up for any off-site activity or field trip.

Additional highlights for Upper Camp include:

  • Team Building - Twice a week, campers work together in small 'house groups' as they encourage and lead others in wacky physical team challenges; the “shoe game” is always a group favorite.
  • Optional Field Trips - Each session, upper campers are invited to partake in one afternoon field trip. Past trips have included Puzzle Break, Laser Quest, Launch miniature golf, and bowling. Additional trip fee may apply.
  • New programs are added each summer and session - Expert Architects, Chess Wizards,  Learn-to-Scull, and Indoor Rock Wall Climbing will be offered again this summer. 
  • Lunches - Ever Friday, ​hot lunches are provided to the campers (i.e. BBQ, Pizza, and Pasta). 
  • Mid-day gatherings and games - Twice a week from 12:30-1:00pm, upper campers and counselors come together to share their creativity, knowledge, and talents. Twice a week campers and staff compete in a variety of friendly team challenges to earn points for their Hogwarts House.  Families are invited to attend our class performances (end of session) such as dance, guitar, rock band, piano and more. Families are notified in advance if their camper will be performing.
  • Special Guests - Twice a summer, we arrange for special artists to come in to provide fun entertainment for our campers.  Past artists have included, musicians, scientists, and magicians.                                                 

Please click here for a sample of an Upper Camp schedule.


Senior Camp - Entering grades 7 and 8

This program is designed specifically for young teenagers, with a focus on leadership, increased peer engagement and skill development. Senior campers form special bonds as they share common experiences and participate in off-site excursions (Tuesdays and Thursdays) and on-site class electives (Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays).

Each summer, the locations of our field trip destinations change to ensure new experiences for all our returning senior campers. On-site class electives include: gaga, swimming, basketball, archery, art, cooking, poetry, wood burning, portrait art, squash carvings, Learn-to-Scull, Rock Wall climbing, tennis, and more. Senior campers have the option of continuing with their initial selections for the full session (two weeks) or changing them each week. Activity choices are sent to campers and families prior to each session.

Senior camp off-site programs/trips such as Boda Borg, zip-lining, indoor skydiving, and beaches, provide a unique opportunity for our campers to learn new skills, collaborate with peers, and to model leadership. Each trip destination is selected with careful attention to attention to high safety standards (staff training, certified personnel, staff background checks, and approved safety equipment).

Senior Camp enrollment is limited to 30 campers per session. The senior camp group is led by the senior camp director and four adult counselors. We provide a 6-to-1 camper-to-staff ratio on all trips, plus a certified lifeguard on all beach trips. Beaches are selected for their cleanliness, ample facilities, medical station, and on-duty lifeguards.

Please click here for a sample of a Senior Camp schedule and click here for a Senior Camp Trip list.





CIT program - Entering grades 9 and 10

CIT’s are important members of our team. Once approved to participate in the program, CIT’s will be placed in an age-appropriate division, receive pre-camp training (June Meeting) and ongoing support during their time with us. CIT's can expect to collaborate with staff, engage with campers, attend weekly meetings (individual and whole group), partake in field trips (optional), and receive weekly feedback and mentoring from experienced staff and directors.

Weekly meetings provide CIT’s with individual feedback and goal-setting opportunities. CIT's may have the opportunity to teach a brief lesson during their camp experience and will be evaluated by their director. Online registration, an application, interview and reference checks are required for all new and returning CIT positions (see steps below). On-line Registration (see below); deposit of $100 is refundable, if the applicant is not accepted into the program.

All interested CIT candidates (new and returning) are invited to apply for a position, as follows:

  1. Register for the CIT program (see link below).
  2. Complete the CIT Application in the registration system.
  3. New CITs will be contacted to arrange an interview.
  4. If accepted into the program, log into your account to pay the balance and complete all required forms.

CIT positions are limited to these four-week blocks:

  • CIT Block 1 (June 22 - July 17*)
  • CIT Block 2 (July 20 - August 14)

*Camp closed on Friday, July 3rd.

Assignments are based on availability. Space is limited; we encourage interested candidates to apply early.

Click here to register