Diversity & Inclusion

After a rocky launch, Tyler’s Camp enters its biggest summer yet

The heat kept campers indoors for the July 3 field day event, but Tyler's Camp has only just begun.

The jamboree did not go as planned.

Thanks to this week’s heat wave, the Tyler’s Camp field day event at McCullough Middle School in New Castle had to be moved indoors. Counselors looked frazzled, but the 400 kids, for the most part, made the best of it, dancing in the lobby as a DJ spun records and socializing on the stage of the air conditioned auditorium.

In the cafeteria, a band of high school students played rock music as the campers were served free burgers from The Farmer & The Cow, who learned that kids prefer burgers that are well done rather than the more gourmet medium-rare.

The launch may have not gone according to plan, but Tyler’s Camp is full of promise this year, as it enters its biggest summer yet, with new locations, new partnerships and new opportunities.

An offshoot of the successful SummerCollab program founded by Catherine Lindroth and operated out of 1313 Innovation, Tyler’s Camp is a collaborative middle-school academy offering a range of activities including athletics, STEM, the arts and social-emotional development. The majority of the campers attend for free, after being recommended for a scholarship through schools and community centers (qualified students may also request a scholarship on the website). This year, for the first time, the camps have also opened enrollment to all middle-school-aged kids in the community, for a weekly fee. This is intended to diversify the camps by adding kids of various socioeconomic backgrounds.

While it’s too late to sign up for many summer camps, there’s still time for non-scholarship enrollment to Tyler’s Camp. “We’ll continue to accept kids through the session,” said Lindroth. The last week starts on July 30. (Register here.)

Program partners for this year include MicrosoftStrive, Ground Up Computer Science, Dream ChasersExplo StudiosHigh Tech High and Coded By Kids.

“For the first time, Tyler’s Camp is introducing SummerLabs,” said John Himics, a partner with First Ascent Design who works with Tyler’s Camp. “SummerLabs is a hands-on STEM program that will give middle school students opportunities to build, problem-solving, and experiment with 21st-century skills through robotics, coding, engineering, and more.”

In athletics, US Lacrosse Delaware, which started the first lacrosse program of its kind at the Ferris School correctional facility, returns to teach campers the sport. “This year, US Lacrosse is doing the training for the counselors and are providing all of the equipment,” said Lee Powers, president of the Delaware chapter.

The camps are located at Salesianum School in Wilmington, Sussex Academy in Georgetown (where campers last year built a boat), and the new McCullough Middle location in New Castle. First launched through an honorarium to SummerCollab from the Salesianum SALSthon, Tyler’s Camp was founded in 2016 in honor of the late Tyler Brown.


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