This summer, our two- and three-week campers will enjoy a slower, more organic pace to the afternoon. Rather than zipping between THREE completely stuffed periods, campers in two- and three-week sessions will take only TWO activities each afternoon.
Whoa. Only two activities?
Yes, only two! We think both our new and returning campers are going to love it. By moving to two activities each afternoon, campers will get to spend more time each day in the activities they love.
We are really excited about it, too. We spent the last year studying our activity program and thinking about how we can strengthen its role in our mission. We built this new afternoon schedule based on lots of feedback from staff, parents, board members, and campers. Our favorite part our study was a focus group we held with a crew of three-weekers. We have some smart, insightful, and hilarious campers!
Here’s how the new two- and three-week afternoon schedule will look. (One-week campers will keep the classic schedule.) Each activity period will gain 10 minutes, so it’s a full hour long. Then, knowing that it takes a while to get from one activity to another, we’ll expand the break time before each activity to 15 minutes.
Check out the schedule below, and then read on for some more updates and answers to some big questions.
One-Week Schedule (Originally all sessions)
New Schedule for Two- and Three-week Sessions
Campers may have lots of questions. We’ll answer some big ones below. If you’d like more information or have feedback to share, we’d love to hear from you. Is your camper excited about more time in activities? Does a longer Free Time blow their mind? Email
It began with a feeling. After years of hustle and bustle each afternoon, we began to notice that our campers and staff alike were feeling rushed. When we asked campers, they said they wished they had more time in each activity. When we asked staff, they told us that campers rarely had time to finish more complex projects or exciting adventures.
This made us think. Isn’t GRP all about slowing down, digging deep, and connecting with one another?
We sensed an opportunity. For the next year, we studied how we could enhance our activities and make our afternoons more enjoyable and mission-centered. Our research brought us three main conclusions:
When we documented these practical issues, we realized that our afternoon schedule could more strongly channel our mission. Adding 10 minutes here and there isn’t a gigantic change, but we think the whole feeling of the afternoon will meaningfully slow, with more time to focus, socialize, and play.
This experience is increasingly rare for all of us. That’s what makes GRP so important in this world! We think our new schedule will add depth to learning, be more social, and augment the sense of joy and rejuvenation we all feel after camp.
We hope so, but not always!
Shifting to two activities means that each activity is offered less often. It’s a tradeoff – more time in one activity means there are fewer activity periods, which creates a limit on the number of campers who can take each activity. Because some classes are fiercely popular, some campers may not get each and every one of their top choices.
To help make the GRP experience interesting and rewarding each year, we will schedule campers with the most years at GRP first. If your camper isn’t assigned to their top choice of activity this summer, they will get to experience it next year.
Something we heard over and over again from campers was that they just…didn’t care about the last few activities they signed up for. We think the new schedule changes this feeling for the better. It means that campers’ choices for activities really matter!
Talk with your camper to come up with a well-thought-out list. Of course, we are happy to make adjustments as we can during the summer. If we can’t get your camper into their most earnestly desired activity, please let us know and we’ll make a note for next summer.
In two-week sessions, campers will take 6 activities. In Session 3, campers will take 8. Activities will still happen over two days as usual. When filling out the Activity Preference Form online, please select the same number of activities as usual. This will help us learn your camper’s priorities.
Yes! There are a few smaller improvements that we think campers will enjoy.
And two changes that might take some getting used to:
Campers in our different sessions have unique needs and interests. Our one-weekers are mostly new campers and mostly younger. A younger average age might mean a shorter average attention span, but it definitely means that our one-weekers haven’t tried most of our activities in their lives, ever! Since they’re only here for a week, we want to give them the chance to try as many new things as possible. When they move to a two-week session, they’ll have a wider experience to inform their choices.
Since our past schedule was implemented in 2013, we’ve gotten REALLY good at the behind-the-scenes work it takes to make activities run well. We want to give ourselves the chance to understand the new regime, give campers time to get used to it, and continue to study its impacts on campers’ experiences. We hope to maintain and monitor this schedule for the next few years.