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Summer Program Registration for Elementary Students

Elementary Summer Program

•  Lower Elementary: 5 - 8 year olds (children who have finished kindergarten – 2nd grade)
•  Upper Elementary: 9-12 year olds (children who have finished 3rd – 5th  grades)
•  Jr High - 11-15 year olds (children who have completed 6th grade)

-Friday Morning Mountain Bike Club with Steve
Bike Club info here
-Jr. Counselor Program
Jr. Counselor info here

Enrollment preference is given to current TCH students through March 1st and TCH alumni from March 1st - March 15th. After March 15th, registration is open to the greater community. 

A Typical Week:

Base Camp – 5-12 year olds
TCH Base Camp provides a home base and consistent schedule for campers during the times they are not involved in the rotation of morning workshops. Base Camp activities include athletic and social skill building games, creative problem solving activities, and crafts. A daily quiet period after lunch includes time for chess, board games, and quiet reading.

Off-Campus Excursions (M, T, W, TH)  9-12 year olds
Our older campers like an adventure and also like to participate in planning the adventure. The off-campus excursions with Steve Maas take the campers on day-trips to many of the spectacular attractions in our area. Last summer they visited beaches, Sleeping Bear Dunes, lighthouses, trails, nature areas, Raven Hill Discovery Center, Pirate's Cove, the library, and downtown T.C. They collaborate weekly with Steve to choose their destinations. **Note upper elementary excursions are Monday through Thursday this summer. We are adding a $10/week excursion fee that covers transportation and admittance fees, when applicable (not charged for Bike Weeks). We encourage all upper elementary campers to participate in the excursions. 

Morning Workshops  Each morning, campers rotate through three activity sessions that center around a weekly theme. The three sessions include a workshop often led by a guest instructor, a physical activity, and a cooking or craft event. See below for specific age groups, topics, and schedules.

Afternoon Craft Club with Norie Warnke - All Ages
Afternoon craft creation lessons span the ten week summer program. Children register with Norie for specific lessons one week prior to the class.

    • Weeks 1, 2, and 3: Hand Sewing -  Learn the basics of this useful skill by making decorative cards, felt animals, and stuffed toys.
    • Weeks 4, 5 and 6: Cross Stitch and String Art - Simple beginner samplers and more!
    • Weeks 7, 8 and 9: Crochet - Norie will teach you the basics of this traditional technique to create a variety of items. 

Fitness and Play - All Ages
A focus on personal fitness and nutrition is supported through healthy snacks and practicing different forms of exercise and a variety of sports. This routine is built into each day to help establish lifelong healthy lifestyles. 

Fantastic Fridays
Friday at TCH summer camp is a blast! Every Friday enjoy Moomer’s Ice cream along with field and outdoor activities including sprinkler and water fun (weather permitting).

Hit the Trails, Bike Weeks
By popular demand, we are adding a third bike week! If your child can ride a two wheel bike that has at least 20'' wheels and they can stop and start independently, register below. Please choose one bike week (if your child would like to participate in more than one bike week, please add this to your comments and we will put you on our waiting list for additional weeks). These weeks are popular, so we like to make sure everyone gets to participate before we allow duplicates. During these weeks, Steve Maas will take the kids on the TART, Heritage Trail, Betsy Valley Trail, and Lost Lake Pathways, totaling over 60 miles of beautiful riding! These weeks are open to lower and upper elementary children who meet the mentioned requirements. 


Camp Directors:

Jodie Tasch Lower Elementary:
Jodie Tasch (weeks 1-5) 
has worked at The Children’s House since 2003 with children in our infant through elementary programs. She directed TCH Primary and Elementary Camps as well as many art classes over the past several years. Jodie studied Family Community Services and Child Development at Michigan State with an emphasis in art.
Tony Colombo Anthony Colombo (weeks 6-10) has worked at The Children's House since 2010 with children in our elementary program. Anthony studied Social Studies and Elementary Education at Grand Valley State.
Steve Maas Upper Elementary:
Steve Maas
Steve has worked at The Children’s House since 1992 as a classroom Montessori guide, summer camp director and, since 2002, director of physical education.

Guest Instructors:

Craft Club:  Norie Warnke

Science and Special Topics: Amalia Fernand

Theater: Laura Mittelstaedt

Camp Fees
Weekly Session Rates

*Note: $10.00/week transportation fee for Upper Elementary off-campus excursions with Steve Maas, billed at registration. This covers transportation and admittance fees, when applicable. 

Wednesdays we offer a pizza lunch to students on campus. 

3 mornings
3, 3/4 days
4 mornings
4, 3/4 days
5 mornings
5, 3/4 days
Upper El Excursion Fees:   $10.00 per week, billed at registration  (not charged for bike weeks)
  • Requests for prearranged childcare before 8:30 and after 3:30 should be noted in the comments section of the form below. Prearranged childcare noted at registration is included in camp fees with a discount applied. Contact the summer admissions office for specific rates.
  • Add-on childcare is available at $8.50/hour.
  • A 10% discount is applied to schedules of all 10 weeks.

How to Register:

  • Scroll down to the weekly descriptions.
  • Select a class.
  • Select a schedule.
  • Note special requests or schedules in the space provided.
  • Complete the personal information at the bottom.
  • Submit your form.

Need help with registration?: Call 231-929-9325 for assistance

Choose your weekly schedule here:

Week 1: June 17-21

Forts and Structures (5-9 year olds)
Jodie Tasch
Imagine you are stranded in the wilderness. How would you survive? Learn to use materials found in nature to build shelters with your gathered supplies, as well as other valuable outdoor lessons.

UE Excursions (M,T,W,Th 9-12 year olds)
Steve Maas

Choose a class:

Choose your schedule:

Week 2: June 24-28

Become a Rock Hound (5-12 year olds)
Jodie Tasch
Discover the beauty of rocks found in our own northern Michigan. Learn to drill, polish and paint to create works of art using treasures found on our lakeshores. 

Hit the Trails, Bike Week 1 
teve Maas
Join us for a week of trail riding on the Rails to Trails system around Traverse City. We’ll ride between 8 and 20 miles a day. Because adult support is available to accommodate a variety of ability levels – beginning to experienced riders are invited. Time is spent daily learning basic bike safety and maintenance. This session is a favorite that is worth repeating every year. Parents are welcome to ride along. (We will limit this session to 18 children.)

Choose a class: Hit The Trails is FULL 

Choose your schedule:

Week 3: July 1-3 (closed July 4th and 5th)   

Hooray USA and Traverse City!  (5-9 year olds)
Jodie Tasch
Celebrate our country's independence and Traverse City, the nation's Cherry Capital. The week ends with our traditional bike parade and picnic – complete with hot dogs and lemonade.

Upper El Excursions (M, T, W 9-12 year olds)
Steve Maas
The excursion on Wednesday this week will be to a local park with a picnic pavilion where we will enjoy an independence day BBQ complete with  hot dogs and lemonade!

Choose a class:

Choose your schedule:

Week 4: July 8-12  

Smile for the Camera! Photography Week (5-9 year olds)
Jodie Tasch
Back by popular demand, learn to capture the world around you through photography. take pictures, make a camera and learn how to transfer photos onto wood. 

Theater Workshop with Laura Mittelstaedt! - Join Interlochen theater instructor Laura Mittelstaedt for some dynamic, dramatic, delightful activities. 

Upper El Excursions (M,T,W,Th 9-12 year olds)
Steve Maas

Choose a class:

Choose your schedule:

Week 5: July 15-19 

Discover your Inner Artist! (5-12year olds)
Jodie Tasch
You are never too young to appreciate art! Be inspired by art history and create projects using new techniques. Paint, color, draw and sculpt your own masterpiece. 

Hit the Trails, Bike Week 2 (See description above).
Steve Maas
This is a repeat of Hit the Trails - Bike Week 1. Please limit your registration to one trail week to ensure enough space for all interested to join. Campers may attend more weeks of Hit the Trails if space allows.

Choose a class: Hit The Trails is FULL 

Choose your schedule:

Week 6: July 22-26

Take a Trip Around the World (5-9 year olds)
Tony Colombo
Travel to a different continent each day. Learn about the culture, food and art from a variety of countries.

Upper El Excursions (M,T,W, Th 9-12 year olds)
Amy Belovich

Choose a class:

Choose your schedule:

Weeks 7, 9 and 10 

Amalia Fernand has spent a year and a half living and teaching on the other side of the world. She brings her experiences of caring for orphaned orangutans, following Komodo dragons, releasing sea turtle hatchlings, and so much more to life in these unique camp experiences. Children creatively explore the sciences through hands-on activities with a specific focus on zoology and earth science. 

Week 7: July 29-August 2

Dinosaur Week! (5-9 year olds)
Tony Colombo

Scales and Slime
Discover herpetology with Slimy the tiger salamander, and Lizzy the leopard gecko. Explore the similarities and differences between reptiles and amphibians while making amphibian slime, snake skin art, and working with turtle shells and alligator bones. Take a closer look at local herps through activities from Michigan Wildlife: A Coloring Field Guide  
Amalia Fernand 

Upper El Excursions (M,T,W,Th 9-12 year olds)
Taylor Vancil 

Choose a class:

Choose your schedule:

Week 8: August 5-9

Mad Science (5-9 year olds)
Tony Colombo
Have a ton of fun as we whip up potions and experiment with chemical reactions. Create eggs that don't break and ice that doesn't melt. Discover what those crazy scientists are really up to in their labs. 

UE Excursions – (M,T, W, Th 9-12 years old)
Steve Maas

Choose a class:

Choose your schedule:

Week 9: August 12-16 

Leathercrafting   (5-12 year olds)
Amalia Fernand
Gain skills in the ancient art of leathercrafting through tooling, punching, stitching, the mystery braid, and setting a rivet. Customize bracelets, notebooks, key chains, small bags, necklaces, headbands, and more! Amalia uses repurposed leather scraps from her father's shoe business. 

Hit the Trails, Bike Week 3 - see description above.
Steve Maas

Choose a class: Hit The Trails is FULL

Choose your schedule:

Week 10: August 19-22 (Closed Friday)

Earth Art  (5-9 year olds)
Create art inspired by the earth. Polish Petoskey stones for wall hangings, build a collaborative volcano, break open geodes, and dig for fossils. Make a land art sculpture on campus and learn how to identify signs of local wildlife through track prints. Use items that come from the earth for artistic expression that deepens our connection with the natural world.
Amalia Fernand

Tony Colombo
Celebrate another amazing summer! The children will plan an end of the summer celebration for students and family. They will harvest from the gardens and help prepare food for our elementary picnic. They will also come up with a performance for all to watch.

UE Excursions (M, T, W 9-12 year olds)
Steve Maas

Choose your schedule:


Please select a payment option:

How would you like to pay:

To complete your registration: Please submit the $100 deposit on the link that appears on this page after hitting submit.

This is a simple verification question. It ensures that this form is being filled out by a person rather than an automated software program.

Billing Information

  • DEPOSIT: A $100 non-refundable deposit is due for each camper at the time of registration. 
  • CONFIRMATION: Once your registration has been received, we will send you a confirmation for your schedule, a supply list, and health and emergency forms that need to be completed and returned to the business office. Campers who also attend during the school year should update their student forms online (SFO) through Children’s House online.
  • CANCELLATIONS AND SCHEDULE CHANGES:  All summer tuition except the $100 deposit will be refunded if enrollment is cancelled or modified in writing by June 1st. Neither the deposit nor the tuition will be refunded for cancellations after June 1st. Schedule changes will be accommodated based on class availability.
  • LATE PAYMENT CHARGE: A late charge of $15 per month is assessed when the balance due is $25 or more and payment has not been received by the 10th of the month it is due.
  • RETURNED CHECK CHARGE:  A charge of $20 is assessed for all checks or EFTs returned because of insufficient funds or invalid account numbers.
  • LATE PICK-UP CHARGE: A fee of $20 is charged for every 15 minutes (or increments there of) a child is at school after closing time (5:30 pm).
  • A LA CARTE CHILDCARE:  Childcare is available before and after summer classes as space permits. Arrangements may be made online using https://childrenshouse.boonli.com/login. Directions for using this system will be included in your welcome packet. The school opens at 7:30am and closes at 5:30pm. Childcare used in addition to the hours specified on the summer confirmation form will be billed at $8.50/hour.
  • SUMMER SESSION CALENDAR: June 17 to August 22, 2019 The school is closed on July 4th and July 5th for Independence Day
This is a simple verification question. It ensures that this form is being filled out by a person rather than an automated software program.