Winter has just begun but summer is on everyone’s mind. Breathing Space finalizes our camp schedule during the first couple weeks of January and we post details as soon as we can.
We anticipate Summer 2020 registration opening for returning campers the week of January 20 and for everyone by February 1.
Returning campers will need a code to sign up before February 1. The code will be emailed out as soon as registration is open.
Get Notified When Camp Registration Opens
If our messages are not coming through, there are several things you can do to fix this:
1) Make Sure Your Registration Account Accepts Email
This is where we get the list of former campers. Make sure your account is set to receive email messages.
Also accept SMS messages if you’d like last-minute schedule and logistics notifications to come in by text: things like “Tuesday is a water play day; don’t forget your camper’s suit.” or emergency cancellations.
3) Keep Breathing Space Messages Out of Spam
Add firstname.lastname@example.org to your contact list to ensure your email client recognizes you know us.
4) Keep Our Messages Out of the GMail Promotions Tab
If you’ve turned on sorting, GMail tries to guess which messages in your inbox are really important and may be sorting Breathing Space messages into your “promotions” tab. You can teach Gmail not to do that by selecting the message and dragging it back to the “Inbox” tab. You’ll get a message something like:
“The conversation has been moved to “primary”. Undo
Do this for future messages from “email address x”?Yes”
Say “Yes” to see Breathing Space messages when they come through.
More Camp Frequently Asked Questions
- 8:30 – Drop-off and free play
- 9:30 am – Morning snack
- 10 am – Morning Yoga class and/or themed activity
- 11:30 am – Outside time – walk/bus to park, playground for lunch and free time
- 2 pm – Yoga class or themed activity (K+) or stories and rest time (PK4)
- 3:30 pm – Closing circle
- 3:30-4 pm – Freeplay and pickup for campers not staying for games
- 4 pm – Afternoon snack
- 4:30 pm – Games Club
- 5:30-5:45 pm – Pickup
We love outings. Past camps have visited the following public-transit accessible destinations:
- Smithsonian Air & Space Museum,
- Museum of Natural History, and
- American History Museum,
- the Renwick Gallery,
- the National Gallery of Art,
- the DC DOE Aquatic Resources and Education Center,
- the Botanic Garden,
- the fire department,
- Capitol Hill Arts Workshop,
- Kingman Island, and even
- the National Zoo and
- gone on an Anacostia river boat tour with RiverKeeper!
We take metrobus, metrorail, and our feet to these destinations. Campers should be prepared for a decent amount of walking and for carrying their backpack/lunch wherever we go.
We plan to do outdoor time and/or eat lunch off site nearly every day.
Our favorite playgrounds are Peabody, Brent, Watkins and Tyler Elementary schools and Marion and Garfield Parks (All walking excursions). We have visited both Canal Park and Yards Park for water play (The Circulator bus takes us there from 8th Street).
Drop-off can begin at 8:30 am, though we are unlikely to begin any structured programming until after 9 am.
Please don’t drop off early. Our staff really do need the time between 8-8:30 am to prep for the day.
Unless we have a field trip scheduled and have notified you in advance, we’ll be at the camp location through mid-morning. Activities usually begin by 9:30 am, so campers arriving after that may miss something.
• 8:30 am-3:45 pm – Yoga Camp,
• 3:45-5:45 pm – Aftercare with Games Club class by Labyrinth Games & Puzzles
Campers not staying for games should be picked up between 3:45-4 pm so we can start snack promptly at 4 pm. Thanks.
Campers enrolled in extended day programming will have an afternoon snack between 4-15 pm (we provide air-popped popcorn to supplement packed snacks) followed by Good Moves Games Club by Labyrinth at 4:30 pm. Extended day pickup is between the end of that class at 5:30 pm and 5:45 pm
Please let us know in advance when you have a camp conflict so we can flag any challenges this may pose on a particular day. Camp schedule is somewhat fluid and we are usually out of the church for at least part of every camp day, so pick-up for and drop-off after doctor’s appointments or other conflicts may mean meeting us at an outing destination. Please check confirm with your camp director on the morning of camp.
Please note that yoga camp does not allow for regular half-day pickup and is not appropriate for campers not up for significant walking and activity during the day. All our outing destinations are reached by public transportation and/or walking.
Our camp venues have evening programing most nights of the week. Additionally, camp counselors often have their own evening commitments. Please help us be good community members and avoid staff and camper distress by picking up on time.
Campers picked up after the designated pickup time (4 pm or 5:45 pm) will be charged a flat $15 late fee (per child). Parents will be expected to pay on pickup.
Campers picked up more than 15 minutes late (4:15 or 6 pm) will be charged a flat $50 late fee (per child). Parents will be expected to pay on pickup.
If you think you might be late to pickup, please call.
Campers should wear clothing for movement – shorts under skirts please! – and layers appropriate for the weather. Camp is very active and your camper may be warm during our yoga classes.
Your camper should also have walking and playground appropriate shoes – No flip-flops, no open-healed crocs or clogs, no ballet flats. If your camper arrives in in inappropriate shoes, you may be asked to bring an alternative pair before lunch.
Your camper needs weather-appropriate outer wear. Unless weather is dangerously terrible, we are going outside. In winter, that means hats, gloves, coats, long pants (yes, we’ve had campers show up with bare legs mid-winter), rain gear etc. If they are inappropriately dressed, they are going to be cold and/or wet.
All PK4 campers need a change of underwear, pants and socks! Even if you think they are completely reliable about their bathroom needs, accidents happen. We find campers caught up in the fun of camp don’t want to stop and go to the bathroom. Even with regular reminders, PK4 campers (and sometimes older ones) tend to overestimate how long they can wait, especially when we are out on the playground and bathrooms are not convenient.
Campers do not have to bring their own yoga mats, but are welcome to do so. In addition campers need the following supplies:
- Morning Snack;
- Lunch; **no tree nuts or peanuts please**
- optional afternoon snack (if staying for games);
- Water bottle;
- Yoga class – shorts under skirts please – and outdoor weather-appropriate clothing;
- Walking shoes – no flip-flops, open-heal crocs/clogs or ballet flats;
- Sunscreen should be pre-applied if needed;
- Swimsuits and a change of clothing on water play days (typically 2 days Tuesday-Friday depending on weather);
- A backpack in which your camper can comfortably carry their own lunch, water bottle and towel (for waterplay days).
PK4 campers need the following additional items:
- A change of underwear, pants, and socks. Even typically reliable children can have bathroom accidents when they get distracted and don’t want to stop playing to visit the restroom and PK/K campers have a tendency to have non-bathroom messy accidents as well, for which a change is helpful.
- **summer only** Nap mat or blanket for rest time (K campers can opt into nap during PK-4th weeks too);
We know that some camps have dozens to a hundred campers in a week.We consciously create a small, intimate camp experience, hopefully allowing campers to let their guard down and truly relax.
We have 14-18 children in most camps. Some camps are dual class and we break into two age-based groups of about that size. For that level of enrollment, we hire two lead teachers and an assistant. At least one of the lead teachers is a certified yoga instructor specializing in children.
Age requirements vary by camp and by season. During the school year, grade designations are the grade in which your camper is currently enrolled. During summer, grade designation is the grade in which they will enroll that fall.
We have limited space available for 4 year old (PK4) campers. We love 4 year olds, but they have different needs and abilities than 8 year olds in yoga class or arts and crafts and they require more attention and assistance for things like bathroom visits, managing shoes, following directions, staying with the group on outings, keeping track of and carrying their belongings, etc.
School Year Camps
Overall, our day camps are small – 16-20 kids. When we enroll just a few 4 year olds, we find everyone has fun. The older campers and staff are able to help the little ones keep up during activities and outings while still doing the activities that the older campers enjoy. When we enroll lots of 4 year olds, it completely changes the camp dynamic. That’s why we limited the number of 4 year olds – same camp, separate roster – during single-class camps during the school year.
Please note we do not have a dedicated rest time scheduled during school-day-off camps, so yoga camp is best for non-nappers. Our school year camps are most appropriate for younger siblings (used to tagging along with older kids and being helped by them) or PK campers with Breathing Space experience (so know our routine and we know them).
During the summer, we offer a PK-1st grade camp completely focused on the needs and interests of 3.5-6 year olds. During those weeks, we run with different expectations and on a different schedule, enabling our younger campers to have lots of fun, but also have dedicated afternoon rest time, for example. (Rising PK3 younger siblings are welcome during these camp weeks with prior approval.)
We also offer a few camps that will be noted as double-class camps when we enroll a full class of PK/K and 1st-4th grade. During those weeks, we will do some activities as a big group, but also lots in our smaller groups. PK/K campers will be offered rest or quiet time activities in the afternoons while 1st-4th campers will do longer outings and themed activities in the afternoons.
Requirements for 4 year olds
PK4 campers should have a year of full-time schooling under their belt and be reliably potty trained and bathroom independent. Campers must have the stamina to walk to public transportations and outing destinations while carrying their own backpack/lunch.
Our camp is not appropriate for students unable to follow basic safety instructions or with a strong tendency to run away from the group or leave a designated area without permission.
Please respect our age minimum. We recognize that it is challenging to find an enriching camp experience for preschoolers, but need to be sure we are offering a quality experience for all our campers. The needs of a 3-year-old – attention-span, interests, verbal abilities, physical coordination, stamina – are very different for that of a 7-, 8-, or 9-year-old. A 3-year-old needs more assistance with nearly all tasks and is unlikely to be able to do – or be interested in – the same craft projects as older campers, pay attention to the same stories, or follow the same game rules . . . . Our only exception is 3-year-old younger siblings and we require pre-approval before enrollment. Thank you.
Younger Siblings: We do take a very limited number of younger siblings, one year younger than the stated age range, so PK4 for camps marked K+ or PK3 for camps marked PK4+. Pre-approval is required. Contact us if you are interested.
School Year / Day-off Camp
Registration may be rescheduled or credited to a future camp or class (minus $5 processing fee) until 21 days before a scheduled camp. Rescheduling is subject to space availability.
Within 21 days of a camp day, credits are only available if a waitlisted camper takes the spot (processing fee still applies). Camps often sell out well in advance. The further in advance you tell us about your camper’s change of plans, the more likely it is that we fill your spot.
Registrations cancelled before May 31 will be issued as a refund minus the $100 non-refundable portion of tuition or credited to any other available camp week or program for a $5 processing fee.
Refunds and credits will only be issued after May 31 if a waitlisted camper takes the available spot. Switching weeks is still be option, space permitting, but the $100 deposit is non-refundable and non-transferable at this point.
If Breathing Space cancels a camp due to under-enrollment, inclement weather, or other emergency, registrants will have the option of applying a credit or taking a refund.
Because your reservation represents a space in camp that was held for you and not available for purchase by other campers, there are no refunds issued after the dates listed above.
Edit 01/07/19: We’ve had a rash of refund requests for day off camp right at the previous 14-day deadline, which was very disruptive because that is also our final staffing and camp-cancellation deadline. Within two weeks of camp, parents need to know that we have sufficient enrollment to run and staff need to confirm their work plans. We do not want campers holding a spot in camp unless they are planning to use it. Consequently we ended refunds for day off camps, credit only, and pushed the deadline back by a week.
Refunds will usually be issued by check mailed to the address on your account profile within 30 days of refund request receipt.
If your refund is dependent on another participant taking your spot in a program and the spot isn’t immediately filled, refunds will be issued within 30 days of the scheduled program start date rather than request receipt.
We sometimes fill cancelled spots, but sometimes don’t. When we hit our refund deadlines, the vast majority of possible participants – even those who put themselves on our waitlists – have made other plans and filling vacant spots can be challenging. At that point we are counting on our registration numbers to cover our costs. If we allowed last minute refunds, we’d have to raise the price of camps and classes for everyone to compensate.
Managing changes to class and camp rosters, waitlists and refunds actually takes up a lot of staff time. While we understand that life isn’t always predictable, we don’t want clients registering to “hold their spot” while they firm up plans. Processing fees discourage this and compensate us for staff time.
We hate to cancel camp. We know parents are counting on camp and our staff are counting on the work. If we cancel camp, we issue refunds.
School Year Camps may be cancelled due to low enrollment 14 days in advance of camp. Within 14 days, we would only cancel due to weather or another emergency.
Summer Camp cancellations are unusual and will be made based on enrollment projections by May 31.
Weather or emergency cancellations: Because we do not use DCPS facilities for camp, we are not obligated to follow their weather cancellations policies, but some of our venues do anyway. If staff can safely get to camp and the facility is available, we will try to hold camp. We are more likely to cancel if the federal government shuts down. We will send emails and post messages to social media if camp is cancelled or delayed due to weather. Make sure your registration email is one you check regularly and follow us on social media.
Each summer season, we need a signed liability waiver and photo release for each camper. This is a longer version of the waiver you complete when you register. Please bring a copy or plan to fill it out in the morning.
We also need you to update your participant information in your account profile. Include anything you think would be useful but especially:
- Allergies – Remind us about food allergies at drop-off on the first camp day of the week too please.
- Pickup notes/authorizations
- T-shirt Size
If your camper would like to have an extra shirt(s), please use this form to order them by noon on Tuesday, May 28.
Also, make sure you get updates about Breathing Space programming as well as messages from your counselor with additional information about your camp by opting into our email list in the registration system. If you choose not to get emails, you will only get receipts and emergency cancellation notices.
What’s this t-shirt thing? Order Extras!
Campers are required to wear either a camp t-shirt or bandana on all outings for safety reasons. No exceptions. Each camper will get a t-shirt during their first camp week of the season (one shirt per camper per summer, size requests are in your account profile).
But we do outings almost every day and t-shirts are unlikely to stay clean all week. We always have bandanas on hand (and those are required on water days because they can get wet), not all campers care for them.
If your camper would like to have an extra shirt(s), please use this form to order them by noon on Tuesday, May 28.
Extra shirts are $12 per child. We get a bulk discount because this is part of our annual order, so the order form will not take payment, only size requests. We will charge to the card on your account file or we will send a payment request if there is no card on file.
We put our Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) on all our receipts, so check there. The receipt may be all you need for reimbursement. If you can’t locate your receipt. Please send a request by email to have it resent.
If you need forms signed, you can
- Get them signed by any of our lead instructors on the day of camp. Please have them filed out with camper information, EIN, and date(s) of attendance.
- Mail them with a with a self-addressed stamped envelope for return to: Breathing Space, 713 14th Street SE, Washington DC 20003
Unfortunately, we cannot accept emailed forms or arrange for pickup of forms. We work with several hundred families and printing and mailing your forms adds up in administrative time.
Our registration system automatically creates waitlists for any fully enrolled camp or class. To get on the waitlist, you complete the registration process but do not submit payment.
If a camp fills way in advance, we will consider expanding staffing to accommodate waitlisted families.
If a spot opens up, we will contact you about submitting payment or for confirmation before we charge the payment method in your profile.
It is impossible to predict waitlist movement: Some camps we have several families change plans, sometimes at the very last minute. Sometimes when a spot opens, the first waitlisted family takes it. Other times, we call through the whole list and everyone has made other plans. So while we always recommend getting on the waitlist if you want to be called, we generally cannot make likelihood predictions.
Speed things upon confirmation up by saving a payment card to your account profile. We use NMI which is a secure, PCI compliant merchant processing gateway to store payment information.
Important: Do not include a waitlist registration on the same order as camp enrollment. The registration system will charge you in full for both camps even though your waitlist registration does not represent an enrollment. Tech support is working on fixing this problem. In the mean time, please do separate orders: one order for any camp with a waitlist and a separate order for any camp
Breathing Space has had a chronic problem of last minute additions to camp aftercare. While accommodating one or two campers isn’t usually a problem, sometimes we get half a dozen last minute additions in the week before a camp and sometimes several on the morning of camp.
We get that life is sometimes unpredictable and last minute changes happen and want to help, but we suspect a fair amount of the last minute additions are caused by parents not being sure of their after camp plan when they sign up and then forgetting to do anything about it until days before or even the day of camp.
Last minute additions to aftercare sometimes leave us or the Labyrinth education director scrambling to add staff to aftercare or push us over our desired camper to staff ratios.
Aftercare costs $15 per day until two weeks before camp. After that, it’s $20 per day.