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.
At Camp Cabooose, we are truly one big family. We laugh, sing, struggle & succeed together. We welcome and celebrate all of our Campers and look forward to learning about each of their stories.
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.
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.
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.
At Camp, it is very important to go with the flow. Sometimes rain, heat, or lack of supplies 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.
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 15 – 18 | Everyday Heroes
Who are the heroes in your neighborhood? This week, we’ll meet local police officers and firefighters, and we’ll learn what they do. We’ll work together to create a service project to give back to our community and take what we learn and use it to be heroes at Camp and beyond. Get ready to be your best!
Week Two | June 21 – 25 | Supreme Science
Unleash your mad scientist! We’ll dedicate a day to each discipline, filled with experiments and projects in chemistry, biology, geology, physics, and astronomy. This week will also include field trips on the UW-Madison Campus*.
Week Three | June 28 – July 2 | Lake Life
So much of the best that a Wisconsin summer has to offer happens at the lake. And in our neighborhood we have two to choose from—Lake Monona and Mendota! This week we will be swimming, fishing, and bird watching, while also learning how to preserve our precious waterways. You won’t just lake it; you’ll love it!
Week Four | July 6 – 9 (closed July 5th) | Messfest
Messfest is a time-honored tradition at Camp Caboose. There are ketchup and mustard battles, kiddie pools full of noodles, porridge pants, and a trip to get ice cream! Thursday will be our “Squeaky Clean Day”, which is a newer, but much loved tradition. Don’t panic, if you don’t want to get messy, it is just as much fun to watch and help get everybody else all messed up!
Week Five | July 12 – 16 | Fit and Fun
Don’t forget to limber up! It’s time for obstacle courses, yoga, playground parkour, and hilarious workout routines. And, of course, there will be swimming*, outdoor games, and a field trip*. You’ll never again consider it a challenge to hit the gym after this week!
Week Six | July 19 – 23 | The Great Recycling Challenge
When we say recycling, we actually mean upcycling! We’re taking one person’s trash and turning it into treasure, keeping used materials out of landfills, and raising them UP into something new! We will work on ways to make Camp less wasteful and will celebrate our efforts with a fun field trip*!
Week Seven | July 26 – 30| Treasure Hunters
You can be any kind of explorer this week! We’ll do library* and neighborhood scavenger hunts, go digging for gold and dinosaur bones, and take a trip to Cave of the Mounds*. Get ready for a week full of maps, riddles, puzzles, and adventure!
Week Eight | August 2 – 6 | Make a Splash
With this theme, we’ll visit a splash pad*, take a trip to the beach* and pool*, play Drip Drip Drop, and even have a water balloon fight. Bring your best butterfly stroke or dog paddle, because this week is all about fun in the water!
Week Nine | August 9 – 13| Best of the Best
What is your favorite part of Camp? Is it the cooking? The field trips? What about swimming? Captain vs. Campers Dodgeball? Well whatever it is that makes you love Camp, we are going to do our best to cram it all into this last, most action packed week of our summer!
*Field trips may need to be adjusted based on evolving COVID-19 restriction.
The 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 15 – 18
Camp-Tastic: Get ready for a week of classic Camp Caboose fun. Tye-Dying? Yup. Swimming? Of course. Water balloons? Duh! It’s everything you love smashed into one intense, amazing, fun-filled week. Start your summer off the right way by being Camp-Tastic!
No Contest: Do you like being active, but hate being competitive? This is the week for you! We will start off getting to know each other with some ice breakers, play cooperative games, and do team building activities. Don’t worry, all your hard work will earn you an ice cream trip.
Everyday Heroes: Who are the heroes in your neighborhood? We’ll meet local police officers and firefighters, and we’ll learn what they do. We’ll create a service project to give back to our community and take what we learn and use it to be heroes at Camp and beyond. Get ready to be your best!
Week Two | June 21 – 25
Let’s Ride: Welcome to Camp on wheels! This week we will start by learning about bike safety and group riding techniques, we will do a neighborhood scavenger hunt, bike to a splash pad*, and try an obstacle course. Please bring a bike, lock, and helmet to Camp every day. If this sounds like an awesome time, but you don’t have a bike (or helmet), you’re in luck: Camp has some to borrow.
Totally Paw-some! With this theme we’ll find out about a variety of pets and how to properly care for them. We will take a field trip to the Humane Society* to learn about (and play with) the animals that they are caring for. Also, we will make our own treats and toys to share with our furry friends.
Supreme Science: Unleash your mad scientist! We’ll dedicate a day to each discipline, filled with experiments and projects in chemistry, biology, geology, physics, and astronomy. This week will also include field trips on the UW-Madison Campus*.
Week Three | June 28 – July 2
It’s a Dodgy Situation: You will play at least 8 different kinds of dodgeball this week. The top two things to keep in mind: 1) Headshots don’t count 2) It’s called Dodgeball—not Blockball. Get in all the practice you can because Operation: Dodgeball is going to be INTENSE!
Art Outside the Box: Do you love art with no boundaries? Would you enjoy sculpting with your feet or splatter painting on a huge canvas? If so, this is the week for you! We’ll combine photography, painting, collage, and more to create totally unique art, and experience local art on field trips*!
Lake Life: So much of the best that a Wisconsin summer has to offer happens at the lake; and in our neighborhood we have two to choose from! This week we will be swimming*, fishing, and boating*, while also learning how to preserve our precious waterways. You won’t just lake it; you’ll love it!
Week Four | July 6 – 9 (closed July 5th)
Around the World: Explore different cultural traditions through games, crafts, foods, and folktales. This year, we will be getting our passports stamped in Ecuador, France, Korea, South Africa, and Thailand. If you have a curiosity about other parts of the world, you’ll love this week!
It’s Up to You: Get ready to test your skills with sports and games that you play as an individual. Are you a four square fanatic? Do you enjoy dodgeball? Have you ever fenced with pool noodles? We will be doing all of these, plus taking a field trip to Vitense* to play a round of mini-golf.
Mess Fest / Fear Factor: Are you willing to accept a challenge? The ever popular Messfest is combining with Fear Factor this year for an epic week of messy, gross, and daring challenges. Join us, and find out if you get doused with shaving creamed, become covered in breakfast food, or eat a barbecue flavored cricket!
Week Five | July 12 – 16
Sweet Home Wisconsin: Enjoy everything the badger state has to offer with this theme. There’ll be Wisconsin trivia, a State Street* scavenger hunt, and multiple visits to the Dane County Fair*. Explore the history of our state and participate in some time honored Wisconsin traditions.
I’m Joining the Circus: Spend the week studying circus arts— juggling, face painting, clowning around, and more! We’ll also attempt to learn some magic tricks and finish the week with two trips to the fair*. Get ready to experience the greatest show on earth!
Fit and Fun: Don’t forget to limber up! It’s time for obstacle courses, yoga, playground parkour, and hilarious workout routines. And, of course, there will be swimming, outdoor games, and a field trip*. You’ll never again consider it a challenge to hit the gym after this week!
Week Six | July 19 – 23
OG Gym Games: This week we will play some of the best classic games ever played in gym classes: Spud, Steal the Bacon, Wall Ball, Kickball, Relay Races, and more. We’ll take the fun on the road with a field trip* too. Grab your water bottle, and let’s have some old school fun!
Card Sharks: Try your hand at traditional card games like Solitaire and Spades, as well as newer card games like Unstable Unicorns, Sushi Go!, and Exploding Kittens. Of course, we’ll also play Pokémon and Magic the Gathering. We’ll take time out of our busy, card playing schedule for the ace up our sleeve – a fun field trip*.
The Great Recycling Challenge: When we say recycling, we actually mean upcycling! We’re taking one person’s trash and turning it into treasure, keeping used materials out of landfills, and raising them UP into something new! We will work on ways to make Camp less wasteful and will celebrate our efforts with a fun field trip*!
Week Seven | July 26 – 30
Baker’s Surprise: Are you a fan of Kids Baking Challenge? This week, we’ll practice cake decorating skills, create unique culinary concoctions with tater tots, and have team baking challenges. We won’t do all the work—we’ll also take a trip to Insomnia Cookies* to see if their cookies are better than ours.
Team Time: Let’s work together! During this week, we will test our athletic skills by playing some of the greatest team sports. We’re talking Soccer, Baseball, Kickball, Flag Football, and more! Just in case none of those are good enough, we will create our very own unique team sports.
Gold Rush (Priority will go to Campers entering 5th and 6th grade): Gold Rush is one of our favorite traditions at Camp Caboose, and this year we’re putting a new spin on it—the Campers are taking over! The buckaroos in this group will be in charge of all the preparations for our Gold Rush Friday Fiesta. There will be costume making, “alchemy”, character acting, and the opportunity to create an unforgettable experience for everyone at camp!
Week Eight | August 2 – 6
Taste of Madtown: Madison is home to some fantastic restaurants; just in our neighborhood there are so many wonderful places to eat! During this week we will spice up some classic recipes, learn about sourcing food locally, see some cooking demos, and sample food from some amazing restaurants. Bon Appetit!
Game On: From Dungeons and Dragons to classic board games, this week we will be OBSESSED with games! We’ll try some newer games too and try our hand at inventing our own amazing games. Ready, set, game on!
Make a Splash: With this theme, we’ll visit a splash pad*, go canoeing at Rutabaga*, take a trip to the beach* and pool*, play Drip Drip Drop, and do a water balloon toss. Bring your best butterfly stroke or dog paddle because this week is all about fun in the water!
Week Nine | August 9 – 13
Into the Wild: Join us for a week of adventure in the urban wilderness. We’ll be hiking, picnicking, berry picking, and even cooking s’mores over a campfire at Picnic Point*. We’ll take a trip to Olbrich Gardens* and visit our local parks. It’ll be all the fun of camping without the actual tent!
Bling It On: Have you ever wanted to make your own jewelry? This week, we’ll make rings, necklaces, friendship bracelets, and do some beading. Here’s your chance to challenge your crafty creativity by making new jewelry out of old pieces. If bling is your thing, this is the week for you!
Best of the Best: What is your favorite part of Camp? Is it the cooking? The field trips? What about swimming? Captain vs. Campers Dodgeball??? Well whatever it is that makes you love Camp, we are going to do our best to cram it all into this last, most action packed week of our summer!
*Field trips may need to be adjusted based on evolving COVID-19 restrictions.
Campers will go on day-long field trips each day from August 16-19. 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.
Monday, August 16 Sun Prairie Dream Park and Aquatic Center
Tuesday, August 17 Monona Dream Park & Monona Pool
Wednesday, August 18 Riverside Park and Watertown Aquatic Center
Thursday, August 19 Dolphin’s Cove Water Park
How 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 and will communicate changes as circumstances evolve.
Does my child need to bring a lunch?
No! Camp Caboose serves breakfast, lunch, & afternoon snack! The meals are prepared by Red Caboose’s own Nutritional Coordinator, and 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, 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.
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?
Check out our parent board to see what activities and trips counselors have planned! The planning sheets for each group will also be posted 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.
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 Kim Owens, 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.