If you’ve got a little visionary and or mini explorer, one with an exploding imagination and fearless ideas, you may have found that the regular old summer camps aren’t doing the trick.  Enter Galileo Innovation Camp, a beloved Bay Area summer camp that has arrived in LA just in time for summer. The imaginative curriculum and nurturing environment instills confidence alongside the learning, and it’s so much fun kids beg for an extra week.

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Welcome to the City of Angels
The camp founder, a SoCal native, was happy to bring his camp back to his roots, and felt like it was a great fit. “LA is a hotbed for creativity and innovation and we felt like our program would be a perfect addition to that ecosystem,” said Glen Tripp, Founder and CEO, Galileo Innovation Camps for Kids. “Plus, having grown up in Southern California, I wanted to bring home the camp I developed and would have loved to attend when I was a kid.”

A Day In The Life
Camp Galileo is for kids from PreK-5th Grade.  Each week, budding innovators explore one of four themes, such as “Galileo Rocks” where they will get to unleash their inner rock star or virtuoso while creating their own works of art and experimenting with frequency and vibration. Each theme combines art, science and outdoor activities, and is cleverly adapted for three different age groups.

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For example, within the theme “Destination San Francisco” one one day you’ll find Nebulas (Pre-K to K) constructing a richly-textured bison collage inspired by a imaginary trip to the Golden Gate Park, then building a mini version of the country’s first public playground (built in San Francisco) and finally taking part in a city-themed scavenger hunt. Meanwhile, the Stars (1st and 2nd Grades) bring the sea lions of Pier 39 to life using oil pastels and engineer their very own miniature cable car system with working pulleys. The big kids, Supernovas (3rd to 5th Grades), are working on more advanced concepts such as building a skyscraper that can stand up to a simulated earthquake or using paper-folding techniques to create a robust, three-dimensional cardboard structure.

Choose Your Own Adventure
Galileo Summer Quest is for big siblings, grades 5-8.  They can direct how they choose to explore their passions, picking from more than a dozen majors including Fashion Design, Mod Design with Minecraft®, or Chefology: International Eats. Whether these up-and-coming visionaries are designing their own mini-collection to be featured at the end-of-session runway show or inventing a signature dish to serve at the camp-wide international food festival, they can dive into a new major each week or return to a major that they love and try even more ambitious projects.

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All work and no play, you say? Aside from spending four hours a day working in their majors, big kid campers will have plenty of time to participate in camp-wide activities and games, build new friendships and relax with some of Galileo’s inspiring leaders.

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Feed the Brain, Feed the Body
When these future inventors are working and playing this hard, they get famished. Here kids have the option of packing their own lunches or parents can sign them up for a nutritious lunch program provided by Choicelunch for $36 a week. The lunch program offers more than five entrée options every day and includes a morning snack, a big lunch, a healthy afternoon snack and fresh-cut fruit. Health-conscious parents can rest assured that all ingredients are organically and locally sourced (whenever possible) 100% trans-fat free and that no artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners are added.  Just add water, and you can send kids off for the day, without a care (or a packing frenzy) in the world.

Investing In Your Innovator
Camp Galileo starts at $379 and Galileo Summer Quest starts at $489 for the first week. Save $20 if you sign up for a second week, $30 for a third week and $50 for a fourth and subsequent week(s). Extended care is $40 for the morning session and $80 for the afternoon session. For the Nebula campers, there is also a part-day program option from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., if they’re not ready for a full day.

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How Soon and Where Do We Send Them?
Camps are held Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. with extended care available starting at 8 a.m. and available until 6 p.m., at the following locations:

Camp Galileo (Pre-K to entering fifth grades)
Brentwood at Kenter Canyon Elementary: Jun 15–Jul 24
Culver City at Turning Point School: Jun 22–Jul 31
Manhattan Beach at Robinson Elementary: Jun 22–Jul 31

Galileo Summer Quest (Entering fifth to eighth grades)
Culver City at Turning Point School: Jun 22–Jul 24
West LA at Wildwood School: Jun 22–Jul 31, closed Friday, Jul 3

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Registration has already begun, so you can sign up online now at galileo-camps.com.

So if you’re tired of the same-old same-old (or you missed the hour window you had to sign up for Zoo Camp—that sucker filled up fast!), there’s a cool new camp in town.  And we think it will fit right in.

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Do you have an innovative camp that your kids love?  Let us know in the comment section; we’re always looking for a fantastic find that will keep kids busy and happy all summer long.

— Judy Park

All photos courtesy of Galileo Innovation Camps for Kids