The Umbrella Retools "At-Home Summer Camp" Options

June 10, 2020 by Rachel Olson

With Covid Closure, Flexible New Virtual Arts Camps Keep Kids Creative and Busy at Own Pace

The Umbrella Arts Center has opened registration for its "summer camps," completely reimagined as virtual experiences. Following a multiyear, multi-million-dollar renovation, 2020 summer camp was to have been the first in The Umbrella's newly constructed classrooms, ceramics studios, makerspace, mainstage and black box theaters, film facilities, and airy new dance studio. Under Covid-19, The Center has launched a robust array of at-home programming, from a successful livestreamed virtual gala to Zoom staged readings to virtual 360 gallery tours, and now a variety of online classes and camps.

With "arts adventures for every type of creative kid," The Umbrella's virtual summer camp programs offer visual, digital, performing arts, and arts & nature experiences all delivered via a combination of distance learning and video conferencing platforms, using project-based class outlines developed by experienced teachers.

Weekly Summer Arts @ Home, Performing Arts @ Home, and Ninjas in Nature @ Home camps are built around "treasure boxes" – collections of mostly asynchronous art activities and optional supply kits designed to keep kids creatively busy at home, but at your own pace.

According to Jason Springer, Director of Arts Education, the camps are designed to be "modular, flexible, competitively priced, and more mix-and-match" than The Umbrella's traditional in-person half- and full-day camps.

In Summer Arts @ Home, a "treasure box" of 10 basic activities for ages 5-9 and 10-14 can be enhanced with add-ons like Ceramics with curbside dropoff/pickup access to clay, glaze and firing services; recorded Cartooning lessons; and teacher Zoom consultations.

For older kids (10-14), bi-weekly Performing Arts sessions are highly collaborative, emphasizing Monologue, Improv, Dance and Music through frequent interaction with teacher Katie Speed.

Adventuresome kids 7-12 also balance "screen time" with outdoors activity in Ninjas in Nature, a national program combining nature skills, creativity, and arts of the ancient ninja. Daily check-ins with sensei book-end independent "backyard skills-building and awareness missions".

All camp sessions have exhibitions or other recognition on completion, and contribute to a summer-end showcase of camper work and accomplishments.

Find more information at or 978-371-0820 x204.

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