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The Episcopal School in North Philadelphia

Children wait excitedly outside the gates of St. James School every morning to start a day filled with academics and camp activities.

Camp St. James opens its gates at 8:30 a.m. for children grades 2-4, as well as current St. James School student campers. The day begins with breakfast before morning meeting at 9:00 a.m. for anyone heading into grade 5-7 come September. Staff and students share the lead in morning meeting — which starts each day before academic sessions — that includes: prayer, word of the week, “Where in the World is James?,” vegetable/fruit/herb of the week, etiquette tip of the week, and health type of the week. Campers recently learned the definitions of perpetual and vacuous, along with new and interesting facts about Spain and Belgium.

Campers attend academic lessons of math and English Language Arts (ELA) each morning. The lessons consist of two large sessions (beginners algebra, code switching and reading for ELA) and one small session (DEAR or Drop Everything and Read). During DEAR, campers pick out a book to read for the week and read silently during.

Academics lead up to lunch followed by the opportunity to enjoy many different types of activities both fun and educational. St. James School teams up with City Camp which allows the students to participate in physical or creative activities for the afternoon. Led by City Camp counselors, students play field games such as kickball and basketball or practice for the end of camp talent show, and have time for arts and crafts with organizations such as Claymobile. Students also have the chance to go swimming twice a week at the local city pool and end the day with water games.

Camp St. James winds down each day around 3:00 p.m. as the students start heading home after a full day of exciting new lessons and activities.