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Summer Camp 2018 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. Great Beginnings Summer Day Camp offers a variety of adventures within four distinct camps: ages 2-3; ages 3-6; and ages 6-9. 

Additionally, we are proud to partner with the Bozeman Circus School for a Circus Camp in August for ages 10-13.

What do you LOVE 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!


Week 1: June 18 - 21st

Food, Flowers & Farms
What grows in Montana and where does our food come from?  Campers tend tomatoes and basil in the Pizza Garden, learn about composting, and Yurt Campers pull carrots and visit baby animals on local farms. Get your hands dirty!

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


Week 2: June 25-28th

Caterpillar Crazy!
Go on a bug safari through the micro-world of bugs, insects and butterflies.Butterflies and caterpillars are incredible creatures with many lessons to enjoy. Monarchs, mimicry, and metamorphosis. Campers will use butterfly houses at GBMS as a laboratory to connect the dots of a caterpillar’s life, and Yurt Campers will explore local trails to find bug, black, fuzzy caterpillars.

Local connection: Lewis and Clark Caverns

Yurt Camp: Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park is Montana's first and best-known state park featuring one of the most decorated limestone caverns in the Northwest. Naturally air conditioned, these spectacular caves lined with stalactites, stalagmites, columns, and helictites are electrically lighted and safe to visit. Above ground, a self-guided nature trail provides opportunities to understand the natural surroundings.

Green theme: Native plants


Week 3 (2-day week): Monday, July 2 and Tuesday, July 3 (Closed July 4th and July 5th)

Wildly Creative

Art, Animals and Nature! If nature inspires your little budding artist, then join us for a creative camp! Both days include an art project for reflecting on the wonderful aspects of nature and wildlife. Each day will be a blend of creativity and outside activity. Kids will get a chance to hike, draw, paint and meet some animals. Includes an offsite natural art field trip!

Local connection: Emerson Center for the Arts and Culture

Green theme: Food waste


Week 4: July 9-12th 

Feathered Friends

Did you know that birds have hollow bones, and may have descended from dinosaurs? Abundant, colorful, and beautiful birds make an excellent gateway to discovering nature. Each day will be filled with bird themed activities and exploration, including birds of prey. 

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

Burdock Eradication Project with the Gallatin Valley Land Trust

Green theme: Everything is connected


Week 5: July 16 - 19th

Animal Olympics

Run as fast as a cheetah! Jump higher than a bullfrog! How do different animals move with four legs, two legs, or no legs at all? Learn about our animal and insect neighbors this week, and try your best impersonation for the Animal Olympics! Meet Montana’s amazing animals and learn about their gold medal adaptations.

Local Connection: Madison Buffalo Jump State Park

Big Sky Country State Fair

Green theme: Solar energy and other renewable sources of energy


Week 6: July 23 - 26th

Aquatic Adventures & Fun with Fish

Our adventures in cool water – from sprinklers to mountain streams - will help us beat the heat. Campers will venture to aquatic habitats for some muddy, squishy fun. Be prepared to get wet each day.

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 7: July 30 - Aug 2nd

Water, Water Everywhere!

As the name implies, water will flow through every activity in this week of camp. 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: Hyalite Reservoir day trip and Crescent Lake hike.

Green theme: Rain water harvesting


Week 8: Aug 6 – 9th

Summer Safari
Take a trip through the animal kingdom! I
nvestigate everything from wild animals to our pets, and learn about kindness and compassion for animals. We will trek through the wilds of Bozeman in search of local creatures and meet live animals each day! Walk in the woods, fields, and wetlands to see what we can learn from other creatures’ nests, dens, and hideouts. 

Local connection: Montana Grizzly Encounter - a Grizzly Bear Rescue & Education Sanctuary

Green theme: Biodiversity is good


Week 9: August 13 - 16th

Working Together: Love Where You Live

Our most popular camp of the summer. We will work together to make Bozeman a more beautiful, happier, and cleaner place to live with a variety of projects to help local charities. Learn about all the ways that we can help make the world a better place and little things we can all do to help those in need, enjoying the satisfaction that comes from a job well done. 

Local connection: Gallatin History Museum

Green theme: How can you make a difference?


The last day of the week is our Summer Celebration party, with a bounce-house and ice cream open for all summer campers on Thursday, August 16th. All invited!

Why Great Beginnings Summer Camp?

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!

Rainbow Camp (ages 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 is a camp for our younger campers, and includes a nap after lunch. Children in this camp learn age appropriate social skills, crafts, and there is an emphasis on toilet learning.

10 children per camp with 2 instructors.  

Sunshine Camp (ages 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.  

8:1 ratio with 16 children per camp with 2 instructors. Two camps available.  

Yurt Camp (ages 6-9, rising 1st - 3rd grade) 
 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! 

Please note: Children will be transported for daily field trips by van for this camp.

13 children per camp with 2 instructors.  

Circus Camp

New this year! Your children will jump for joy when they learn you've signed them up for Circus Summer Camp, and you'll do a flip or two when you see just how much fun they're having! Great Beginnings Montessori School is proud to partner with the Bozeman Circus School to bring laughter and joy to the children of Montana this summer.

Circus Camp is where your children create wonderful memories, make new friends, and experience a wide variety of circus skills. Children at all skill levels are welcome! 

WHAT: Your children get to participate in real circus activities - Trapeze, tightrope, juggling, partner acrobatics, even a pie-throwing contest!!!

WHO: Led by Paul Gomex, a professional Circus Performer, musician and director born in Venezuela, currently living in Bozeman. Paul has his MA in physical theater from the Academy Dimitri in Switzerland and currently collaborates with Clowns Without Borders, an organization which "aims to relieve the suffering of all persons, especially children, who live in areas of crisis including refugee camps, conflict zones and other situations of adversity."

Learn more about Paul here:

• Week 1: July 30 - Aug 2nd (Ages 10-13)
• Week 2: Aug 6 – 9th (Ages 10-13)
• Week 3: August 13 - 16th (Ages 8-13)
• Week 4: August 20 -23rd (Ages 4-9, with kids ages 10-13 as circus assistants)
Sign-up for one week or all four!

Monday – Thursday, 7:45am – 3:15pm

Circus Camp FAQ's:
•16 children/ supervised by 2 instructors.
•Kids will be outside - working on juggling, gymnastics, acrobatics, stilts - and additionally working on how to perform, how to make people laugh, and how to speak publicly. The final component will be a back-to-school fundraiser to give back to refugee children around the world through Clowns Without Borders.
•Back-to-School Family Circus Day, 5:30 – 7:00pm, Friday, September 7th
WHERE (Circus Camp only): 4000 Springhill Road, Bozeman 59715


All Camps: Ages, Times and Location 
Great Beginnings Summer Day Camp is for children in Pre-K through rising 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. There is no camp on Friday. (If you need Friday camp, Dino Drop-In has an excellent one-day program!)

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

Tuition: 2018 Summer Camp Fees:

$225 per camper for members, $235 per camper for non-members

Aftercare: $10 day/or $25 week

Members: Enrolled GBMS students, alumni GBMS students, alumni summer campers

Week of July 4th: $115 per camper for members, $125 for non-members

Aftercare $15 (both days)

Limited scholarship funds are available for summer camp programming.
For more information contact us at 406-587-0132. 


Available discounts:

*Early bird discount: 5% for summer camp paid-in-full prior to April 1st.

*Sibling Discount: Second, third and fourth (etc.) children receive 5% reduction. 

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

(Only one discount per family, multiple discounts do not apply)


Program Highlights:
 **Great Beginnings Montessori School 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!”




Summer fun - on and off our Springhill campus!


Vermiculture - loving worms and the dirt!


Hiking the "M"