Creative Writing Summer Camp
When registering, please pay attention to grade level, rather than age range:
Lower Elementary: Rising 3rd-4th grades
Upper Elementary: Rising 5th-6th Grades
Middle School: Rising 7th-8th Grades
High School: Rising 9th-12th Grades
Three-Week Camps / $475
Early-Bird Discount through March 15
Session 1: June 5-23 / 9AM-12PM
The Meridian School (Round Rock)
Session 2: June 12-30 / 9AM-12PM
The Girls' School (Central/West Austin)
Austin International School (Northwest Austin)
First Baptist Church Oak Hill (South Austin)
Session 3: July 17-August 4 / 9AM-12PM
The Griffin School (Hyde Park)
Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church (Westlake)
Headwaters School (Downtown)
Austin International School (Northwest Austin)
One-Week Camps / $200
Our Lady's Maronite Catholic Church (Mueller)
June 19-23 / 9AM-12PM
The Magellan School (W. Anderson)
July 10-14 / 9AM-12PM (Rising 3rd-8th Graders)
*New Afternoon Program at Magellan School: Austin Book Arts Center*
July 10-14 / 1PM-4PM (with supervised lunch from 12-1)
Learn More & Register
What is Creative Writing Summer Camp?
Each summer, Badgerdog hosts three-week writing workshops for rising 3rd- through 12th-graders. These intensive writing workshops allow students to work closely with a professional writer as they explore the arts of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and playwriting. All campers experience the joy of performing and publishing their original work.
How Summer Camp Works?
Lessons are designed to be creative, surprising, and engaging. From 9 a.m. to noon each morning, campers learn through discovery, practice, mentorship, and collaboration. Each day, campers encounter the work of classic and contemporary writers, and they study the techniques these writers use to craft artful poetry and prose. Campers author numerous creative pieces in various genres, sharing their work along the way with their workshop colleagues. These summer workshops emphasize all aspects of the writing process, from idea generation to revision to publication.
Not Just Writing for Writing’s Sake
In and of itself, writing is a worthy pursuit, but at Badgerdog, we allow writers to take their work from the insides of a spiral notebook out into the world. That’s why each camp session culminates with a reading on-site, where students perform an original poem or story before an audience of fellow writers, parents, family, and friends.
At the end of the summer, all students will have their work published in one of two professionally produced anthologies—Rise, for elementary-aged writers, and Emerge, for middle- and high-school writers. In September, Badgerdog hosts an end-of-summer reading, where selected campers from each camp location perform their work at the annual Austin Teen Book Festival. All summer camp writers are invited to attend, and the reading coincides with an anthology-release party and book-signing event that includes all campers.
What Do Parents and Campers Say About Summer Camp?
- 66% of 2013 campers said they like writing more as a result of Badgerdog.
- 71% of campers said they are better writers as a result of Badgerdog.
- When asked how campers felt when writing, 94% used a positive phrase, such as "energized," "alive like a bird," "like I have a workable outlet for all of my ideas," or "like a balloon of happiness has just gotten blown up inside me.
What do campers like most about Badgerdog?
- small, supportive classes
- expressing themselves without being judged
- hearing other classmates share their work
- different types of writing exercises to "get us out of our comfort zone"
- meeting new friends and fellow authors
- the creative ways "we learned to write"
Here's what we heard from parents:
- 92% of parents say Badgerdog has a positive impact on their children's writing skills.
- 94% say Badgerdog has a positive effect on their children's attitudes toward writing.
We asked parents to identify the most significant positive effect of summer camp:
- "Attending Badgerdog was the best activity C. participated in this summer. I was so impressed with the high quality of his instructor. The class was well-organized, with engaging, creative activities each day. And she created a safe space for C. to do something he finds pretty terrifying -- explore his own talent. It's a mark of how safe he felt that he actually participated in the end-of-camp reading with very little resistance."
- "Badgerdog drastically reduced writing reluctance, increased writing fluency, and increased interest in sharing writing with others."
- "The green light for self-expression."
- "Sam woke up before 10 AM, didn't play video games, and sometimes continued writing after camp."
- "Having a positive experience with a subject my child doesn't like."
- "It was great seeing and hearing my daughter describe each day of camp -- what she did in class, seeing her so enthusiastic about writing and speaking."
- "Exposure to different forms of writing. My older child was only interested in writing novels before attending camp, and this experience really opened her eyes to other forms."
- "Excitement about being published and having a 'real' author work with my daughter."
- "Exposure to creative writing in a low-pressure environment. My daughter thought Ms. Tobin was 'the nicest teacher ever' and this helped her so much to be at ease and be creative."
- "My son lacks confidence in his writing. His attitude has changed greatly over the past three weeks."
- "Exposure to different writing styles, thinking outside the box, using humor in writing, developing self-confidence."
- "My son started publishing his work on a blog. We are so proud of him."
- "My daughter is dyslexic and has always been very negative about writing. However, she has had only positive things to say about her experience at camp."
Cost, Discounts & Refund Policy
The $475 registration fee includes a writing journal for each student, a water bottle, a Badgerdog T-shirt, one copy of Rise or Emerge, and a writing field trip or a visit from an author or a teaching artist in another discipline.
Refund Policy: Full refunds, minus a $50 processing fee, will be granted for requests made more than 30 days prior to the start of the summer session. A partial refund of $200 per registration will be granted for requests made between 7 to 30 days prior to the start of the summer session. Refunds are not granted for requests made within 7 days of the start of the summer session.
Early Bird Discount: A discount of $25 will be applied to each three-week summer camp registration before March 15.
Sibling & Friend Discounts: Parents registering more than one camper will receive a $25 discount per registration. This discount can not be used with other discounts and will be available after the early bird discount expires on March 15.
Scholarships: A limited number of full and partial scholarships are available. For more information about summer camp scholarships, email Programs Manager Cecily Sailer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can Any Young Writer Attend?
Of course! Both eager and reluctant writers find Badgerdog’s workshops engaging and empowering. Our creative approach to the craft of writing allows hesitant writers to practice an essential skill in a no-fail, supportive environment—while also having fun! For more advanced writers, Badgerdog’s teaching artists provide challenges and offer personalized feedback.
For more information about Badgerdog’s summer camp program, contact Programs Manager Cecily Sailer: email@example.com.
Read students' poems and stories on our blog, Unbound.