THE BIG PICTURE
DASAC: PORTALS 2020 IS AN ONLINE VERSION OF CAMP THAT WILL ENGAGE CAMPERS THROUGH A MIX OF ENGAGING, FUN, AND WEIRD ACTIVITIES IN A WIDE ARRAY OF VISUAL AND PERFORMING ARTS STUDIOS, WITH OFFERINGS SIMILAR TO PREVIOUS YEARS OF DASAC.
KEEPING THE VALUES OF THE CAMP WE KNOW AND LOVE, SPECIAL EMPHASIS WILL BE GIVEN TO BUILDING A THRIVING COMMUNITY OF TEENS AND PRE-TEENS FROM ACROSS THE VALLEY AS WE UNDERTAKE A HOST OF NOVEL PROJECTS TOGETHER.
DASAC 2020 WILL RUN TWO, THREE-WEEK LONG SESSIONS THAT MATCH THE ORIGINAL 2020 CAMP CALENDAR*:
- SESSION I: JULY 7-24
- SESSION II: JULY 28-AUGUST 14
FAMILIES WILL BE ASKED TO CHOOSE THEIR PREFERRED SESSION UPON ENROLLMENT.
*Please note that running both sessions depends on camper registration numbers in June.
- CERAMICS (HAND-BUILDING)
- MIXED MEDIA
- DIGITAL ART
- CREATIVE WRITING
- OUTDOOR EDUCATION
- AND MORE!
ALL CAMPERS WILL RECEIVE A SPECIAL "SNEAKY BOX" FULL OF ART SUPPLIES, SPECIAL MATERIALS, AND A DASAC SKETCHBOOK FOR THEIR ART-MAKING ENDEAVORS ACROSS THE SUMMER.
- 10-10:30 MORNING MEETING
- 10:30-11:00 BLOCK CLASS SIGNUPS & FOCUS PREP
- 11:00-12:00 FOCUS, PART I
- 12:00-1:00 LUNCH BREAK
- 1:00-1:45 FOCUS, PART II
- 2:00-3:00 BLOCK 1
- 3:30-4:30 BLOCK 2
- 4:30-5:00 OFFICE HOURS
Every Friday: DASAC's "Kauffee Haus", that highlights camper work made that week in block classes, will run as a special 7:00pm event for campers and families.
SAMPLE BLOCK CLASS OFFERINGS
- Portraiture (drawing and painting)
- Coil pots (ceramics)
- Animation Home Studio
- Outdoor Sculpture
- Location-sensitive audio immersive theater
- Acting for the camera
- Music lessons
- Song writing
- Real-time epistolary novel
- Photographing flying miniature cheeses
- Goon vs. Gremlins art history lesson
- Group choreography for 90s pop stars
- Outdoor survival kit (knot-tying, plant identifying, shelter building)
- MTV Cribs Pillow Fort
- Strengthen Your Mind
- The Return of Shlumpy the Snowman
DASAC 2020 WILL PRESERVE MANY OF OUR CAMP TRADITIONS, INCLUDING FUNKY DAY, KAUFFEE HAUS, AND FESTIVAL, USING ONLINE FORMATS AS A FOUNDATION, WITH AN EYE TO INNOVATING THESE EVENTS FOR THE LIMITATIONS OF THE ERA.
NEW EVENTS FOR SUMMER, MADE POSSIBLE BY WORKING THROUGH A VIRTUAL MODEL, WILL BE OFFERED TO KEEP THIS SUMMER FEELING SPECIAL FOR OUR CAMPERS AS WELL.
DASAC endeavors to treat campers like serious makers, thinkers, and artists. Our programming emphasizes choice and creative agency on their behalf.
For a decentralized version of camp to work, campers will need to take active shared ownership of DASAC this summer for our community to become everything it can. That shared ownership will also help us provide flexibility to individual campers that might find a full day of camp to feel a little too full.
We've learned to trust our campers in their sincerity and love for DASAC and will want their active help this summer to build this place we love together.
Before deciding to register, campers should be prepared to show up for morning meeting and their Focus meetings (a large, collaborative project done in small groups) every day (10am-1:45 pm, with breaks). A full camp day includes afternoon block classes that offer campers one-time activities and experiences that change each day, as well as time to socialize with other campers outside of classes. The last block class ends at 4:30.
While we will always plan enough block classes for everyone to have an exciting array of options, we will work with families on a personal basis if a full day of DASAC is a not the best fit for their camper. We want you and your camper to have the experience you want!
HEALTH & SAFETY
CAMPERS WILL ENGAGE WITH ONE ANOTHER ONLINE IN PASSWORD-PROTECTED ENVIRONMENTS IN SESSIONS WITH MULTIPLE STAFF MEMBERS PRESENT AND TRAINED IN ONLINE SAFETY PRACTICES.
PHYSICAL MATERIALS AND ANY OTHER NON-DIGITAL ELEMENTS OF CAMP WILL BE MANAGED WITH CURRENT HEALTH AND SAFETY MEASURES RECOMMENDED BY LOCAL, STATE AND FEDERAL GUIDELINES.
FOR MANY, THE DASAC STAFF ARE A MAJOR PULL FOR CAMPERS TO RETURN TO CAMP YEAR AFTER YEAR.
OUR STAFF, COMPRISED ENTIRELY OF RETURNING MEMBERS FROM 2019, IS A DEVOTED GROUP OF YOUNG ARTISTS AND EDUCATORS WITH A COMMITMENT TO POSITIVE SOCIAL CHANGE.
STAFF MEMBERS WILL TEACH DAILY BLOCK CLASSES, RUN OUR "FOCUS" PROJECTS, AND OFFER OPPORTUNITIES FOR ONE-ON-ONE INSTRUCTION IN A VARIETY OF STUDIOS.
CAMPERS CAN REGULARLY CATCH UP WITH STAFF IN SMALLER SETTINGS BY SIGNING UP FOR DAILY "OFFICE HOURS" SLOTS ACROSS THE SUMMER.
DASAC: PORTALS 2020 WILL BE OVERSEEN BY JOHN BECHTOLD, THE CAMP'S ADMINISTRATIVE DIRECTOR SINCE 2003. NINA ALEXANDER, OUR ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, WILL RETURN FOR HER THIRD YEAR IN THE ROLE.
A MESSAGE TO OUR FAMILIES
WE KNOW THAT THESE ARE CHALLENGING TIMES, BOTH INSIDE AND OUTSIDE HOMES ACROSS THE VALLEY. WE HOPE TO OFFER DASAC 2020 AS A GIFT TO OUR FAMILIES TO HELP NAVIGATE AND ENJOY THE SUMMER AHEAD WITH THEIR CHILDREN WHILE PROVIDING OPPORTUNITIES FOR THEIR CREATIVE AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT.
DASAC 2020 will:
- Offer a regularly-scheduled, structured camp experience that engages your children during a challenging summer.
- Offer campers the a wide array of daily choices for classes and projects across a wide array of studios.
- Maintain the familiar “feel” of DASAC with a focus on community-building, new friendships, artistic growth, and social development.
- Emphasize art-making methods that help campers learn to create with modest materials and novel approaches.
- Offer flexibility to campers and families with daily screen time and afternoon block class participation.
- Engage campers in projects that bring joy, magic, and the creative spirit to others in and beyond camp in these uncertain times.
What will be expected of families to support this version of camp?
Our goal is to ask for your help at the start of the session to help set up your camper; then, we'd like to take care of the rest! Your camper will need the following support to get them going with us for the summer:
- a reliable, consistent internet connection for daily conferencing and other camp activities
- a quiet, well-lit space where your camper can interact freely online with us and make work on their own
- a desk or table that can be covered and used as a work station for visual art (details will be provided in the family handbook following registration)
- access to stationary items commonly expected for school: pencils, pens, paper, scissors, etc.
On occasion, we may offer site-specific opportunities at nearby locales (an audio-guided walk in a park, collecting natural materials for a project, etc.) These would be solo outings, not camp gatherings.
We know that a virtual program inherently asks more of families than a traditional one. To that end, we will make sure to provide easy communication with us across the summer and will offer flexibility in our programming where needed.
We also know that distance learning, extended screen time, and cabin fever have been notable parts of everyone's school experiences this spring.
While we'll use Zoom as a core medium for communication, this will not be a glued-to-your-screen kind of camp.
Regular activities set away from devices, communication through non-digital means, and engagements with the world around you will be central to our approach.
CITs in 2020
Our CITs - 16-year old campers with a desire to be peer leaders for the summer - are an essential part of DASAC's success. We know that this year's CITs had to bear especially difficult news when we confirmed that the DA campus would be closed for the summer.
To that end, we are inviting all 2020 CITs to join us in those roles for both sessions of DASAC: Portals 2020. In addition, our offer for CITs to join us again in the summer of 2021 still stands. A CITs choice of how they spend this summer has no bearing on our offer to them for 2021.
Camper tuition for this summer is $500 per camper. CITs will be offered a $350 discount for the second session, for a total summer tuition cost of $650.
All DASAC: Portals 2020 registrations are due by the end of the day, Friday, June 5.
- In families with more than one child attending, the first child’s tuition is $500; each additional sibling cost is $400.
- CIT registration (see above) is $650 for both sessions.
- Tuition covers three weeks of daily classes and projects, loads of art supplies, a camper sketchbook, and a 2020 edition DASAC t-shirt.
Tuition payments are due in full to DASAC by June 30.
Let's get you registered!
All campers will need to complete the following liability form in addition to their registration. Please sign and return to Sue Neal at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If my camper was waitlisted back in March, what is their status with registration for DASAC: Portals 2020?
- All campers, regardless of their registration status this spring, will be offered a spot in DASAC: Portals 2020.
- I did not register a camper earlier this year for DASAC. Can they register for DASAC: Portals 2020?
- YES. Campers that registered with us earlier this spring will be offered priority, but we anticipate being able to offer some spots to brand new campers!
- You mentioned a box of art supplies that campers will receive. How will that work?
- On the Monday before the camp session, families will be able to pick up a (clean and disinfected) box of art materials for camp. We will then provide additional materials for campers partway through the session once our larger projects, like Focus, have gotten underway. Families that might have trouble picking up these materials can request delivery by the staff to their homes instead.
- What is the online platform you plan on using to connect camp?
- We will use Zoom as our primary platform for connecting campers and staff for the summer. All meetings will be password protected and will always have DASAC staff (often more than one) on the call. As in previous summers, families will need to sign liability waivers that cover camp interactions, including online communication.
- Can you say more about campers and daily screen time?
- Yes! We will use Zoom for our daily morning meeting and to manage our classes and projects. That said, we will offer campers frequent opportunities to be offline when they work. Our block classes will notify campers up front how much screen time is involved for each class, and our Focus projects will layout clear online meeting expectations. In addition to this flexibility, we have regular breaks between classes to get people off of their devices as they wish.
- Sounds like a full daily schedule! Is there any flexibility for my camper if they need to take a step away?
- We know it's an unusual summer, and flexibility is a valuable commodity for many right now. Our goal is to ensure that campers and their families commit to being engaged with DASAC for the bulk of it to make sure our community can grow together. However, we will be happy to work with families on a case-by-case basis if the full camp day feels long for your camper. Please contact John with your questions and thoughts.
- We will not be able to manage camp without financial aid. What can we expect?
- We strive to keep camp accessible to as many families as possible, and will provide financial aid to families wherever we can. If you'd like to discuss your family's circumstances in regards to financial aid, we encourage you to reach out to our Registrar, Sue Neal, who can guide you through those questions.
- Do we pay up front?
- We will not require full tuition until June 30th. Please feel free to contact our Registrar, Sue Neal, to discuss tuition payments if you have further questions.
- We don't live in the Pioneer Valley. Can we register our camper?
- YES! We are opening our doors to any camper that can hang in our time zone. This might be a unique opportunity to invite a camper's distant friends or family members to attend camp together.
- I have more questions. Who should I talk to?
- Registration questions should be brought to Sue Neal at email@example.com. Camp operations, offerings, schedules, and other day-to-day questions about camp should be brought to John at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will also supply all families that register with a detailed Family handbook that will answer the smaller nuts and bolts questions about camp as well.