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Summer Camp

Summer Camp 2017 at Great Beginnings: 

Love Children. Love Nature.

Welcome to Great Beginnings day camp - where kids explore their roots in western Montana’s ecosystem. Campers spend summer days gardening, doing art and getting up close and personal with local soil and streams, fields and forests.

Think about it – what do you want to know about the local outdoors? Fish, rivers, lakes, streams, insects, rocks, minerals, mammals and more. We have 9-weeks of connected programming. Come for one week, or stay for the summer!

Great Beginnings Montessori day camp helps your camper develop a love for being outdoors while making memories and creating friendships that last a lifetime. Everything we do is centered around the outdoors, unplugging ourselves from our screens (no iPads here!) and connecting to our surroundings. Weekly themes place emphasis on exploring the world around us – right here in Montana. Each week also has a “green theme” to discover all the things we can do for a healthier environment. At Great Beginnings, we prefer natural crafts, lots of group play and group challenges, team building, natural exploration and, of course, lots and lots of time outdoors – after all, this is summer camp!

Program Highlights
 · Great Beginnings Montessori School has designed a special summer program based on Montessori ideals and principles for children ages 2 – 9 years old. Our summer camp program is designed to nurture curiosity, creativity, and imagination and is a great way to experience a taste of Montessori education over the summer, to transition new students entering our program in the fall, or to introduce young children to their first camp experience.
 · Highly qualified certified Montessori teachers and staff, experienced in the developmental needs of young children.
 · A flexible and convenient schedule for busy families; parents may choose individual weeks as needed.
 · We provide all campers a continuity of Montessori fundamentals - respect for self, others, and the environment.
 · Our campers are enchanted by changing weekly themes, special guests, story tellers, and other special events we bring to the program throughout the summer.
 · Each week includes an art activity – from pointillism to outdoor art.
 · Healthy snacks and healthy habits incorporated into each day
 · Each week also has a “green theme” to discover all the things we can do for a healthier environment. What does it mean to reduce, reuse and recycle? How can we pack a trash-free lunch? What are some alternate energy sources? Learn about the different ways Great Beginnings is “going green!”

Rainbow Camp (age 2-3)

Toddlers get to experience our rich, engaging (and slightly quieter) 2 -3 year old program, and they have a play area of their own. Each day, your toddler will explore nature, and engage in a variety of art projects, games and special classes. Special guests visit all of our campers and provide plenty of entertainment for the children. And there’s plenty of FUN too, with outdoor play in our school’s natural outdoor space when we crank up the sprinklers most afternoons!

This camp includes afternoon naps and diapers/ toilet learning.

10 children per camp with 2 instructors. 

Sunshine Camp (age 3 - 6)
 A feast for all of your young child’s senses. Campers see the vivid colors of produce ripening in the garden, discovering new tastes and fragrances while picking and preparing veggies. They enjoy the special flavors of food cooked with friends. Campers learn to listen carefully for the sounds of the birds and insects. They have fun getting their hands dirty and getting to know animals at their own pace. In their own specially prepared classroom and around campus, these campers will explore topics in zoology, botany, art and geography. Counselors offer the gentle guidance that comes from years of experience being with young children in the outdoors. We keep it simple so your camper can make big discoveries in the wide world.

This camp has rest-time and children should self-sufficient with toileting.  

24 children per camp with 3 instructors. 

Yurt Camp (ages 6-9)
 Join us each morning in the yurt, and then we depart on daily field trips for our adventures. Think of what your child will learn when visiting a local farm, cooking fresh food with a local chef, creating natural crafts, enjoying local music, playing outdoor games, exploring local streams and more. Explorations are unified by the interrelated themes of Love Where You Live – be it food, fish, health, environment and culture. For Yurt campers, each day offers a variety of adventures: chicken care, meals prepared from the garden’s latest gifts, investigating signs left by garden critters, or seeking the best wading spot!

10 children per camp with 2 instructors. 

Ages, Times and Location
 Great Beginnings Summer Camp is for children in Pre-K through Grade 3. Campers are placed with children of a similar age in a coed group.

Camp starts each day at 7:45am and ends at 3:15pm. Extended hours from 3:15 until 5:00 are available.

There are 9 weeks of programming. Weeks are from Monday – Thursday.

All children are welcome and campers do not need to have attended a Montessori program previously.

Week 1: June 19th - 22nd

Flowers, Food & Farms 

What grows in Montana? Help prepare garden beds, plant salsa and pizza gardens, and learn about local herbs and flowers. Discover why it is important to plant gardens and learn about composting. Yurt campers will visit local farms, and get a chance to get your hands dirty!

Local Connection: Gallatin Valley Farm to School
Green Theme: Compost - Nature recycles everything


Week 2: June 26th - June 29th 

Butterflies & Bugs

Go on a bug safari through the micro-world of bugs, insects and butterflies. Create miniature worlds using plants and moss to create tiny toadstools, ladders, fairy houses, crystal gardens, and countless other possibilities. We will use a variety of upcycled containers and release lady bugs to live in them.

Local connection: Madison River Valley for the salmon-fly hatch

Green theme: Native plants


Week 3 (3-day week): July 5th - 7th (closed July 3rd and July 4th) Wed-Fri

Big Nature

Does your family love Montana in the summer? Learn to set up forts and tents, and picnic outdoors. Learn outdoor skills while exploring streams, forests, and fields. Join us in learning about stars, compass-making, animal tracking, knot-tying, and shelter-building. Let’s get outside and explore, in all of the ways we love.

Local connection: Lewis and Clark Caverns

Green theme: Food waste


Week 4: July 10th - July 13th

Water, water everywhere!

Make small waterways, dams, boats, pinwheels, streamers, kites, small hot air balloons, and more. Bring your curiosity, ingenuity, and a change of clothes - because we may get wet! Discover where our water originates, how we use it, and if our water is “healthy!” Yurt campers will explore local creeks and learn how they fit into the watershed.

Local connection: Missouri Headwaters State Park

Green theme: Rain water harvesting


Week 5: July 17th - July 20th

Something’s Fishy

Our adventures in cool water – from sprinklers to mountain streams - will help us beat the heat. Discover fish habitat, learn about water quality, and stream restoration. Yurt Campers learn how to fly fish this week and learn about casting, fly tying, knots, trout identification, stream etiquette and proper fish handling.

Local connection: Bozeman Fish Technology Center
Green theme: Water conservation


Week 6: July 24th - July 27th

A Dino-mite Trip Through Time

Put on your paleontologist hat and let’s get ready to dig! What are the unique characteristics of each dinosaur? How do scientists study dinosaurs? Touch fossils, investigate local birds and reptiles, and learn about different types of dinosaurs. Create dino fossils and dig them up, and we might even end our week with a volcano explosion!

Local connection: Museum of the Rockies

Green Theme: Pack a trash-free lunch


Week 7: July 31st - August 3rd

Birds of a Feather

Did you know that birds have hollow bones, and may have descended from dinosaurs? Learn about western Montana’s birds of prey, and locate wild birds outdoors on a birding safari. Learn what makes a bird a bird, study the science of flight, migration, beaks & feet, eggs, feathers, nests, and make art from eggshells.

Local connection: Montana Raptor Conservation Center

Green theme: Everything is connected


Week 8: August 7th - August 10th

Animal Planet

Love animals? This fun and fluffy camp is for you. Investigate everything from wild animals to our pets, and learn about kindness and compassion for animals. Walk in the woods, fields, and wetlands to see what we can learn from other creatures’ nests, dens, and hideouts. Yurt Camp will have opportunities to help orphan dogs and cats.

Local connection: Heart of the Valley Animal Shelter

Green theme: Biodiversity is good


Week 9: August 14th - 17th

Love Where You Live

Our most popular camp of the summer. Past camp visitors have included locals who “help” in Bozeman, including firefighters, police, search and rescue, helicopter pilots, ski patrol, avalanche dogs, paramedics and more. Instructors lead the groups though a variety of projects based on helping out local charities. The last day of the week is our Summer Celebration party, with a bounce-house and ice cream open for all summer campers.

Local connection: American Red Cross Pint-sized heroes

Green theme: How can you make a difference?


Tuition: 2017 Summer Camp Fees:

Rainbow(Toddler) Camp $235/ week

Sunshine (Preschool) Camp $225/ week

Yurt (1st - 3rd grade) Camp $225/ week

Aftercare: $10 day/or $25 week


Week of July 4th: Toddler Camp $175 /Preschool Camp $165/ 

1st - 3rd grade Camp $165/ Aftercare $20


Available discounts:

•Sibling Discount: 5% reduction of the total tuition of each sibling

•5% discount for families who enroll for 8 out of 9 summer weeks of programming. Contact the office for details. 





Summer fun - on and off our Springhill campus!


Vermiculture - loving worms and the dirt!


Hiking the "M"


Sandbox sunshine...