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Happy Campers

The Steward School
Summer program offers endless opportunities
School’s out, and that means … summer camp!

The Summer Experience program at Steward is in full swing, and the campus is buzzing with activity. Summer Experience offers a variety of fun, enriching opportunities for children in junior kindergarten through grade 12. Open to Steward and non-Steward children, this popular summer treat is a great way for students to spend time with friends (and meet new ones) as they explore hobbies, brush up on academic or athletic skills, or collaborate on community service projects. In all, Steward offers nearly 100 full-day, half-day, and single-session camps this summer!

A Camp for Everyone 
Students can choose from a variety of themed camps: crafts, sports, science, hobbies, test preparation … and much more. A small sampling: 

In the Bryan Innovation Lab’s professional kitchen, young chefs learn how to follow recipes, measure ingredients, and prepare delicious treats. (Bonus: They get to eat what they make!) On the Athletic Center gym floor, students tumble and cartwheel their way through gymnastics camp. And in cozy spots all across campus, wordsmiths enrolled in a creative-writing workshop put pen to paper, dabbling in the art of poetry, flash fiction, scriptwriting, and literary criticism. 

A Summer to Remember 
Director of Auxiliary Programs and Camp Director Chuck Robinson said, “Summer Experience is a great opportunity for students to try new things … or return to old favorites.” He added, “In addition, at least half of our campers attend other schools during the school year, and that speaks volumes about Steward’s commitment to connecting to the wider community.” 

Layton Marie LeCompte ’32 smiled broadly when she talked about her participation in Summer Experience camps. She started off the summer with World of Wizards camp, where she and her fellow campers designed wands, made magic potions, and went on a magical creature hunt.

“World of Wizards was amazing!” said Layton Marie. “I met a BUNCH of new friends, played games, and created maps. We also crafted treasure boxes … and we used a lot of glitter glue!”  After World of Wizards, Layton Marie dove into a brand-new interest at Volleyball camp. 

“It was really, really fun,” she said, noting that her favorite parts of the week included short-court games, meeting new friends, and “the amazing counselors.” Layton Marie is signed up for three more camps: Book Club, Basketball, and School-Prep Strategies. “I can’t wait!” she said excitedly. 

Helpful Stewards 
Steward student-volunteers in grades 6-11 who undergo Spartan Counselor Apprentice (SCA) training are an essential part of the success of Summer Experience.  

“Learning to be helpful, empathetic stewards is an important component of the early teen years, and this program is a fantastic way for students to take on leadership roles,” said Mr. Robinson. “SCAs show up bright and early each day, lead younger groups around campus, and help instructors as needed.” With additional training, students who have served as SCAs may go on to serve as camp counselors. “Having students in these roles aligns well with Steward’s commitment to encouraging students to be leaders and to serve others,” said Mr. Robinson. 

Caleb Morrison ’26 is a second-year SCA whose tasks include assisting with carpool, playing games such as four-square and tag with campers before they start their busy days, and joining campers on Afternoon Adventures (daily excursions to a variety of destinations, including museums, arcades, and water parks). 

“Being an SCA is a great experience because I get to practice my leadership skills and help kids have fun,” said Caleb. “I love seeing them enjoy themselves!”

Ryan Tyndall ’25 is a proud fourth-year SCA who helps with carpool, walks campers to their camp locations, hands out color-coded wristbands to students who are going on Afternoon Adventures, and delivers snacks. 

“In this role, I’ve learned that patience and kindness are really important,” said Ryan, who noted that his SCA training helped him become a more empathic communicator and leader. “For example, I learned that, when talking to a shy child, it helps to take them aside, get down to their level, and connect with them by talking about shared experiences,” said Ryan. His favorite part of SCA life? “Every day is a new experience!” 

Elise Gresham ’24 is a Summer Experience counselor this year; she served as an SCA for two years before taking on this new role. She puts in lots of steps on campus, taking attendance and serving as a liaison between SCAs and teachers for roughly 12 camps each day. Thanks to her work as an SCA and counselor, Elise has learned a lot about herself. 

“I hadn’t worked a lot with kids before serving as an SCA. I learned how to talk to them, and that helped me gain confidence,” she said. “Being an SCA or counselor helps you understand how you want to be treated. It has helped me come into my own … and I’ve met a lot of new people!”  

A Beloved Tradition 
Steward’s first summer camp program was launched in 1984 by Grade 4 Teacher Herb Lord. After his departure, Catesby Jones directed summer camps for several years, and in 1995, Head of the English Department Brenda Turner took over as director. In 1996, the program was rebranded as the Summer Experience. In 2024, the program will celebrate its 40th anniversary.  

“It’s a fantastic program,” said Mr. Robinson. “Each day, campers arrive eager for a jam-packed day, and when they leave in the afternoon, they’re the best kind of ‘tired-happy.’ Participants tell us all the time how much they enjoy their Summer Experience adventures. It’s something they’ll never forget.”


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Richmond, VA 23238

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