Did you know that Fairmont Schools started as a summer program almost seven decades ago? The legacy continues this June, as Fairmont kicks off a summer ed-venture for students of all ages and abilities. Whether your child is looking to strengthen their academic skills, recoup credits, or simply enjoy jam-packed weeks of fun and friendship, Fairmont has a program for you! Enroll before April 30th for 10% off your child’s camp experience.

  • Summer camp is a traditional “day camp,” brimming with activities which go along with weekly themes. This award-winning experience accredited by the ACA is available to grades P-8 from June 7 – August 6.
  • Summer school is designed to keep kids connected, curious, and challenged — whether by strengthening them in foundational subjects or by providing an opportunity to get ahead for next year. Join remotely or in-person at one of our Orange County campuses. Summer school runs from June 21 – July 23 for grades K – 8 (five weeks) and June 21 – July 30 for grades 9 -12 (six weeks, 2 semesters).
  • Over 20 high school courses are available for students with for-credit options–remote and in-person instruction available.

This year’s theme, Never Stop Exploring: Let the Adventure Begin! evokes a summer of outdoor learning and discovery. We recently sat down (virtually!) with Chris Keramidas, Fairmont Summer Program Director, to learn about the great things that are in store for our students in summer 2021.

First of all, tell us a little bit about this year’s theme. What’s the inspiration behind it?

In October, our team got together to begin discussing what this year’s program might look like. We had just finished up a season of camp, in the age of COVID, about two months earlier. That was a hard road, but we did it! The kids had a great experience, and everyone stayed safe and healthy. Although just a couple of months had gone by since we wrapped up, there was an incredible eagerness among the team to get back to camp … to get back on the road … to begin the adventure … to start exploring! Thus, “Never stop exploring: let the adventure begin!”

We also loved how the theme connected back to Fairmont’s earliest days as a summer program that grew into a school. Fairmont’s founder, Mr. Holt was a pioneer when it came to education and we were all so proud of how the school continued to forge ahead in spite of COVID.

There are still lots of unknowns with COVID. How are you adapting programs in light of the pandemic?

Safety is always the priority for a camp, and it’s even more so the case now because of COVID. We use intensive safety guidelines as a roadmap for everything we do — following federal, state, and local guidance on masks, social distancing, sanitizing equipment, keeping kids in small groups, etc. We collaborate with other members of the camping community, sharing information and best practices. We’ve actually had a number of camps reach out to us to learn what we’re doing, because we had such a successful experience with our in-person camp last summer.

What types of activities are you planning for this summer?

We have a COLOSSAL list! We’re constantly pushing the envelope to bring campers new and engaging activities. This year, we’re really emphasizing technology. But in addition to “out of the box” camp experiences (like coding), we also hold onto beloved camp traditions, such as arts & crafts, games, and visual and performing arts.

Camp should never be stagnant. And the kids should be the driving force behind it. You learn over years of watching them what they enjoy, what inspires them, and what puts a spark in their eyes. THOSE are the things you offer to them. That way, camp becomes what kids want, and not necessarily what they “need.” One of our goals this summer is to let kids be kids again.

This program has been named “Best Day Camp” in Orange County several times. It also holds the distinction of being accredited by the American Camp Association (ACA). What is it about Fairmont’s program that makes it worthy of these high honors?

It’s the discipline and attention to details that Fairmont brings to the equation that elevates our program to such a high level. We don’t just follow best practices, we exceed them. The ACA and, more importantly, parents are looking for programs which go above and beyond in every facet of what they provide — from the programming itself to the people who implement the program; from the facilities we use to the measures taken to protect the health and safety of campers.

One thing that clearly separates our program from others is its educational focus. All camps provide fun activities and games. But at Fairmont, we are intentional about what we plan for our kids. Yes … they have a great time! But they also learn a lot in the process. One of Fairmont’s main tenets is instilling a love of learning. We help move students in this direction by blending academic learning opportunities with fun and play.

In a nutshell, we’re very proud of the accolades our program has received, but we don’t take them for granted. We are in a perpetual state of self-study and continually looking for ways to improve.

Can students participate in both summer school AND camp?

Yes! We offer a combo package for our elementary and middle school students. They attend school for three hours in the morning and then join with other campers in the afternoon.

Let’s talk about summer school. What makes Fairmont’s summer school special?

At the younger grades, summer school is a perfect opportunity to spend a few hours a day staying sharp over the summer months. Traditionally, students can experience the “summer slump,” but this year many students in California experienced the “COVID slide”. Thankfully, our students at Fairmont reversed the COVID slide and continued to see improvement even after we transitioned to remote learning. Our summer school classes are taught by Fairmont instructors who are pros at differentiating instruction to help each child feel comfortable and make progress. And we use a number of assessment tools to meet students where they are.

Fairmont has a long list of high school courses. Why should high schoolers take summer school?

First of all, Fairmont’s summer courses are very competitively priced! Secondly, summer is a great opportunity for high school students and incoming ninth graders to take courses for credit. Whether it’s courses like Physics and Calculus or something less brainy like Health, summer can help high schoolers boost their transcripts as they prepare for graduation and college acceptances.

For more information about our Summer Programs or to register, visit the Fairmont website. Contact Camp Director Chris Keramidas for more information at summer@fairmontschools.com.