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Camp Caboose 2022

Join us this summer for an unforgettable camp experience.

Camp Caboose is a summer day camp program for children entering 1st through 6th grades. Summer camp offers an unmatched opportunity to foster community and social-emotional development.

Five Star Values

IMG_5389Monday: Community
At Camp Cabooose, we are truly one big family. We laugh, sing, struggle, and succeed together. We welcome and celebrate all of our Campers and look forward to learning about each of their stories.

Tuesday: Respect
At Camp, respecting each other, our things and our environment, allows us to do all the exciting and fun activities we have planned each week. We will work on developing our self-confidence and speaking up to share our opinion.

Wednesday: Communication
At Camp, we recognize the importance of letting our friends know how we are feeling. We try our best to use our words when we are happy, upset, frustrated, and sad. When problems arise, we also listen carefully and try to find a solution that makes everyone feel better.

Thursday: Leadership
At Camp, there are times when we have to make the choice between what our friends are doing and making the right choice. Leaders understand that it is important to learn from our mistakes, take ownership of them, and try and make different choices in the future.

Friday: Flowability
At Camp, it is very important to go with the flow. Sometimes rain, heat,  or another surprise can add a new challenge to your day, but here at camp we try our best to problem solve a different way to accomplish our goals.

Shooting Stars

image3 (2)The Shooting Stars program is designed for Campers who are entering 1st and 2nd grade. Campers will get the opportunity to explore and use their imagination all summer long!

Week One | June 14 – 17 | All Aboard!

Camp Caboose is leaving the station! Get ready to kick off a great summer with a week of all the camp activities we look forward to all school year! Classic Camp Caboose stuff, like water balloons, tie-dying, All Camp Dodgeball, and walking field trip to get ice cream. Don’t let the camp train leave without you!

Week Two | June 20 – 24 | Spy School

Can you take on the Hardy Boys, Encyclopedia Brown, and Nancy Drew when it comes to solving mysteries, and finding clues? Sign up for Spy School and learn some secret codes, decipher messages, play Mission Impossible, and complete an escape room. Complete the Mission of the Day without detection and, for a field trip we’ll go the School Forest in Verona for a scavenger hunt and team challenges.

Week Three | June 27 – July 1 | My Mandala

This week we’re going to take it easy and relax with some peaceful exercises. We’ll learn about listening to our bodies for what they need: food, breath, exercise, and rest. We’ll paint and color art projects, and practice different ways of keeping our minds calm, and our bodies relaxed. We’ll take a field trip to Holy Wisdom Monastery in Middleton to take a peaceful nature walk around the grounds.

Week Four | July 5 – 8 (closed July 4th) | Messfest

Mess Fest is a Camp Caboose tradition that lets you get good and dirty, and attempt your grossest challenges. We’ll roll the dice and Eat It or Wear It. We’ll put our creativity to the test to try special recipes that you have to decide if you’re brave enough to attempt. Have you tried Kool Aid flavored pickles? Played Frozen Toes? Painted with spaghetti? If you’re up for a shaving cream battle, we’ll see you for a week of messy, gross, and daring challenges. We’ll also take a field trip to Legacy Academy.

Week Five | July 11 – 15 | Adventure Week

Get ready for a week full of maps, riddles, puzzles, and adventure! Meet challenges and overcome obstacles to complete scavenger hunts and put your skills to the test. It’s all about how far you’ll go to answer the call of adventure this week. We’ll all take a field trip to explore the Madison Children’s Museum.

Week Six | July 18 – 22 | Half a Hundred

It’s a week of challenges, puzzles, and riddles. We’ll create scavenger hunts, play math games, and maybe try an escape room. We’ll see how many different challenges we can come up with around the number of years Red Caboose has been around. We’ll round out our experience budgeting our dollars at the county fair.

Week Seven | July 25 – 29| StoryVenture

What are your favorite books and things from in stories you’ve always wanted to do? Play Quidditch like Harry Potter? Croquet with hedgehogs and flamingos like Alice in Wonderland? Eat Turkish Delight like in Edmund in Narnia? We’ll take trips to the public library, get library cards, and potentially travel to meet the Dream Bus. We’ll build reading  forts and read 20 minutes a day, while designing parties around our favorite stories. It will be a story adventure…a StoryVenture! We’ll take a special field trip to Central Library for story filled activities.

Week Eight | August 1 – 5 | Medieval  Times

Camp Caboose will travel back in time to the age of heraldry this week. We will create our own armor, build and “defend” castles, try pool noodle fencing, and attempt to joust. There will be games, stories, lots of creativity, and maybe a quest! We’ll take a field trip to Monona Dream Park to explore a castle and maybe battle a dragon.

Week Nine | August 8 – 12| Camp’s Greatest Hits

What is your favorite part of Camp? The field trips? What about swimming? Captain vs. Campers Dodgeball? Well whatever it is that makes you love Camp, this is the week when we replay all our greatest hits of the summer, and bring out all our favorite activities again!

Comets

IMG_3495The Comets program is designed for Campers entering 3rd through 6th grade. What fun it is to be a Comet! You get a chance to choose your favorite Camp theme each week!

Week One | June 14 – 17

All Aboard: Camp Caboose is leaving the station! Get ready to kick off a great summer with a week of all the camp activities we look forward to all school year! Classic Camp Caboose stuff, like water balloons, tie-dying, All Camp Dodgeball, and a walking field trip to get ice cream. Don’t let the camp train leave without you!

Here We Grow: Some of the most fun places to explore and learn are kitchens and gardens. We’ll be harvesting herbs and vegetables and trying different recipes with fresh ingredients. We’ll try composting, planting, and learning about our local pollinators and other things that make a garden ecosystem function. We’ll visit local community gardens and farmer’s markets while exploring the freshest week of Camp Caboose!

Play Ball: We’ll dive into the National Pastime out on the baseball diamond with popcorn and crackerjacks. We’ll attend a Mallards game and have a classic tailgate party, while celebrating other baseball traditions like Casey at the Bat or Who’s on First. We’re sure to have a ball!

Week Two | June 20 – 24

Let’s Ride: We’ll be learning about bike safety and group riding techniques, signaling left and right. We’ll decorate our bikes and put them on parade. We’ll also visit different local parks, and try games and obstacle courses. Please bring a bike, lock, and helmet to camp every day. If you don’t have a bike (or helmet), you’re in luck: Camp has some to borrow. We end the week with a ride around the lake and a stop for ice cream.

Live Action Games: You’ve played Candyland and Chutes and Ladders, but have you ever set up a giant version and played live action versions of your favorite games? We will play everyone’s favorite yard games plus take board games outdoors and make them a big deal! In addition to a field trip to a live action obstacle course we are going to play master level hide and seek!
Spy School: Can you take on the Hardy Boys, Encyclopedia Brown, and Nancy Drew when it comes to solving mysteries, and finding clues? Maybe sign up for Spy School and learn some secret codes, decipher messages, play Mission Impossible, and solve an escape room. Complete the Mission of the Day without detection! We’ve got a top secret field trip planned we are sure you will love!

Week Three | June 27 – July 1

On The Water: We love life on the lake. In addition to hitting the beaches, we’ll be boating on MSCR Pontoon rides, fishing, and learning about water safety. We’ll visit nearby parks on the water and do some beach yoga. There’s also canoeing, and all things water, from water balloons, to the water cycle, and weather!

My Mandala: This week we’re going to take it easy and relax with some peaceful exercises. We’ll learn about listening to our bodies for what they need: food, breath, exercise and rest. We’ll paint and color art projects, and practice different ways of keeping our minds calm and our bodies relaxed. We’ll explore a field trip to Holy Wisdom Monastery in Middleton to take a peaceful nature walk around the grounds.

DodgeR: It’s ever popular dodgeball week. Can you make it without getting out? You’ll sharpen all your dodgeball skills and try several versions of the game. Versions of dodgeball you never knew existed! There will also be Capture The Flag, and potentially water dodgeball on our swimming trip. We’ll go on a special dodgeball themed field trip this week to Keva Sports Center.

Week Four | July 5 – 8 (closed July 4th)

Pajama Party: Pack your pillow and your jammies! We’ve got a week of making pillow forts and stuffie picnics. There will be games like telephone, charades, and comfort foods like personal pizzas and Chex Mix. We’re going to have tons of fun, and in the morning, we’re making waffles! We’ll also take a field trip to Legacy Academy.

Mess Fest: Mess Fest is Camp Caboose tradition that lets you get good and dirty, and attempt your grossest challenges. We’ll roll the dice and Eat It or Wear It. We’ll put our creativity to the test to create special recipes that you have to decide if you’re brave enough to attempt. Have you tried Kool Aid flavored pickles? Played Frozen Toes? Painted with spaghetti? If you’re up for a shaving cream battle, we’ll see you for a week of messy, gross, and daring challenges. We’ll also take a field trip to Legacy Academy.

Catch a Wave: Pools, beaches, splash pads, sprinklers and water balloons. If it’s got water, we can do it this week. We’ll take field trips to a splash pad, pools, and beaches (weather permitting). If you want to get wet, suit up and don’t forget your towel!

Week Five | July 11 – 15

Culture Club: What are your favorite traditions, foods, and games? Where do they come from? This week we’ll discover diverse cultural traditions across families, the USA, and around the world. We’ll learn about recipes, folklore, art, and music. We’ll take a field trip to central Madison food carts to explore the cuisine of several different cultures.

Gold Rush: (Priority will go to Campers entering 5th and 6th grade.) Gold Rush is one of our favorite traditions at Camp Caboose! The Campers take over to create the Ultimate Gold Rush Friday Fiesta Scavenger Hunt! The other Comets and Shooting stars will compete to collect the most gold. But, gold isn’t just “discovered,” it’s earned through the challenges the Gold Rush group sets up when they blaze a trail for the younger adventurers. Then, we will all take a field trip to explore the Madison Children’s Museum.

Camp Caboose Has Got Talent: Prepare to take the stage. You’re going to write the script this week, and be in the spotlight. This week is all about performances, so bring all your talents to put on display. We’re going to tour the new Madison Youth Arts building and see their theaters, and dance spaces. We can put on a talent show, write a play, and make up dances. We’ll take breaks from singing, dancing, and games to make costumes and crafts puppets as well! And we’ll get to be the audience for special guest performances.

Week Six | July 18 – 22

Feeling Groovy: Red Caboose is turning 50 this year, so this week we’re going to celebrate every decade between the 1970s and 2020. We’ll explore games, foods, music, and arts and crafts from the past. And, to really celebrate Red Caboose, we’ll have a camp-wide 70s dance party to get our groove on, then finish the week at the county fair!

Half A Hundred: It’s a week of challenges, puzzles, and riddles. We’ll create scavenger hunts, play math games, and try an escape room. We’ll see how many different challenges we can come up with around the number of years Red Caboose has been around. We’ll round out our experience budgeting our dollars at the county fair.

Our Community: We’ll learn trivia and facts about our city and state, and see what makes a community. We’ll tour the State Capitol and set up a service project to give back to our community, as well as volunteer to help out in our neighborhood. We’ll take a trip to the county fair and take pride in the local agriculture.

Week Seven | July 25 – 29

StoryVenture: What are your favorite books and things in stories you’ve always wanted to do? Play Quidditch like Harry Potter? Croquet with hedgehogs and flamingos like Alice in Wonderland? Eat Turkish Delight like in Edmund in Narnia? We’ll take trips to the public library, get library cards and potentially travel to meet the Dream Bus. We’ll build reading forts and read 20 minutes a day, while designing parties around our favorite stories. It will be a story adventure, a StoryVenture! We’ll take a special field trip to Central Library for story filled activities.

Everything Outdoors: All the best of a camp out without bringing your sleeping bag! We can go hiking, bird watching, and exploring local parks and green spaces. There will be scavenger hunts and campfire cooking while we discover Wisconsin native animal facts and identify tracks. We’ll be making camp at the MacKenzie Center for a field trip, where we will learn more about nature and survival skills.

Dino Might: We’re going to become amateur paleontologists, and explorers of past millennia! We’ll explore geological features of our local environment, while we dig for fossils and complete dinosaur scavenger hunt. We’ll assemble a dinosaur size puzzle to be displayed in the new Red Caboose building and go on expeditions to the UW Geology museum and MacKenzie Center.

Week Eight | August 1 – 5

Record Breakers: Every camper knows that Camp Caboose belongs in the Guinness Book of World Records! We are going to attempt to make the world’s biggest cardboard marble run, tube, or sculpture. Every day we’ll have different engineering challenges, from making cardboard bridges, Lego boats that hold the most marbles, to spaghetti structures. It will be a week of friendly competition and team challenges within your group. We’ll also take a field trip to see Dr. Evermore’s Forevertron, the biggest scrap metal sculpture in the world!

UpCycled Art: Why make something one time when you can make it again into something new? We’ll take cardboard, paper, and plastic and make it all into art projects and new creations. We can make art out of found objects in our environment. There’s nothing old we can’t make new while we get our creativity on! And we’ll make a scavenger hunt trip to Dr. Evermore’s Forevertron and sculpture park full of art made of repurposed materials.

Medieval Times: Camp Caboose will travel back in time to the age of heraldry this week. We will create our own armor, build and “defend” castles, try pool noodle fencing, and attempt to joust. There will be games, stories, quests, and lots of creativity! We’ll take a field trip to Monona Dream Park to explore a castle and maybe battle a dragon!

Week Nine | August 8 – 12

Camp’s Greatest Hits: What is your favorite part of Camp? The field trips? What about swimming? Captain vs. Campers Dodgeball? Well, whatever it is that makes you love Camp, this is the week when we replay all our greatest hits of the summer, and bring out all our favorite activities again!

A Year’s Worth of Fun (In One Week): If you love parties and holidays, this is the theme for you. We’re going to squeeze a year’s worth of celebrations into one week! Making Valentine cards in August, carving a watermelon jack-0′-lantern, cooking Thanksgiving dishes, and making a snowman in the summer are just some of the ways we’ll celebrate. And, of course, we’ll have a massive birthday party to celebrate all the camper birthdays at the same time, and Red Caboose turning 50!
Out of this World: Prepare to blast off into a week that’s all about interplanetary exploration. You’ll have so much fun you’ll be seeing stars! We’ll take a field trip to the UW Space Place for additional fun!

Travel Week

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Campers will go on day-long field trips each day from August 15-18. Please ensure that your Camper arrives no later than 8:30am. All field trips leave at 9am, and we will do our best to return by 4:30pm.These trips are weather dependent. Indoor alternatives will be planned if possible based on COVID-19 restrictions at the time. Note: Your child’s schedule for Travel Week can differ from his/her schedule for weeks 1-9. Contracted schedules for Travel Week cannot be changed, except by adding one or more drop-in days.

Monday, August 15            Riverside Park and Watertown Aquatic Center

Tuesday, August 16            MacKenzie Center and Splash Pad in Deforest

Wednesday, August 17    Devil’s Lake State Park & Parfrey’s Glen

Thursday, August 18        Dolphin’s Cove Water Park

Camp FAQs

Camp 2020 12How will Camp be different due to COVID-19?

Camp Caboose will continue to follow the most up-to-date health and safety guidelines in response to COVID-19, which may include mask wearing. We will communicate changes as circumstances evolve.

Does my child need to bring a lunch?

No! Camp Caboose serves breakfast, lunch, & afternoon snack! Each meal focuses on fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Vegetarian options are always available. If your child brings their own lunch, you must include a note detailing the items in the lunchbox and must adhere to our nut-free policy.

What does my child need to bring on a daily basis?

Camp Caboose spends a lot of their time outside so children should bring a hat, water bottle, swimsuit (even if it’s not a planned swimming day, because you never know!), towel, and comfortable shoes. Please label all items with your child’s first name and last initial.

Will my child get to go swimming?

YES!! Both Shooting Stars and Comets groups will be going on swim trips every week, including Travel Week! It is always good to remember to bring a swimsuit and towel every day. Campers are supervised by lifeguards and staff. *Adjustments may be made due to weather and/or COVID-19 precautions.  All campers are expected to follow swim rules.

Will my child get to go on any field trips?

YES!! Campers are able to explore their community through frequent field trips! Shooting Stars and Comets groups will take at least one field trip a week and sometimes more depending on the specific theme that they are signed up for. *Adjustments may be made due to weather and/or COVID-19 precautions.

How can I find out weekly Camp events?

The plans for each group will be posted weekly at camp and on our Facebook page.

Can my child bring toys/stuffed animals/cards from home?

Children are allowed to bring these items from home, but they are solely responsible for them. Please keep in mind that these items could possibly get lost, broken, or stolen. If Campers do bring Pokémon or Magic cards, they are only allowed to play with them before 9:00am and after 4:30pm, unless these games correspond with their theme. No trading of cards is allowed at camp.

Who are the Camp Caboose staff members?

Our professional leadership team recruits caring and mature staff members based on their character and proven ability to work with youth. All staff members pass rigorous applications, interviews, reference checks, criminal background checks and staff training before the start of every summer.

What if my child has special needs?

Please communicate the needs of your child, including any medications, on the enrollment forms. Red Caboose will work with parents to create a plan to meet the needs of your child.

Do you offer financial assistance?

Yes. We work hard to ensure that no child is turned away from Camp for financial reasons. Please contact Jen Roughen, our Billing Coordinator, for more information.

What if we have more questions?

Answering your questions and meeting the needs of our campers is why we’re here!  Please contact us.