YOUTH & TEEN CAMPS & CLASSES – ABOUT

Welcome to SteppingStone Summer Camps!

Registration for Summer Camps 2023 is now open

We recommend registering as early as possible to ensure your spot in camp!

 

Our Core Values

We Believe

Young people are artists, makers, and doers. They need to belong and to contribute to their world. When young people make art together, they change themselves and the world around them for the better.

We Do

SteppingStone ignites belonging, generosity, mastery, self-advocacy, and inspiration by creating art with young people to share with the world.

 

Theatre Learning by Age

This class model is specifically designed for preschool & kindergarten Theatre Artists. Our Teaching Artists encourage learning through storytelling and creative play while fostering social, physical, emotional, and cognitive development. With minds, bodies, and voices engaged, Young Artists express themselves through story creation, music, creative movement, dramatic play, and art-making to enhance skills in theatre fundamentals, early literacy, communication, creative thinking, cooperation, active listening, and community building. On the last day of class, family & friends are invited to a sharing of creative drama exercises, original scenes, favorite songs, and artwork.

Theatre Learning Looks Like:
• Developing self-expression through play, creative movement, and drama exploration
• Engaging in guided group drama experiences
• Exploring stories with creative drama strategies like pantomime, narration, and frozen image

Designed for young artists in Grades 1-3 to build socio-emotional skills in collaboration, teamwork, empathy, creative problem solving, and more. Young artists work together to create an original short play based on their class theme. Throughout the creative class process, young artists work collaboratively to develop the story, setting, characters, dialogue, staging, and basic artwork, props, backdrops, or costumes for their show while also engaging in theatre games and explorations to hone their skills.

Theatre Learning Looks Like:
• Expressing individual ideas that contribute to a larger group concept
• Learning theatre foundations like vocabulary, actor tools, and how to structure a story
• Making physical & vocal choices to develop & practice performance technique
• Building upon concepts to achieve mastery

Designed for young artists in Grades 4-6 to build socio-emotional skills in collaboration, teamwork, empathy, creative problem solving, and so much more. Young artists work together to create an original short play or musical based on their class theme. Throughout the creative class process, young artists work collaboratively to develop the story, setting, characters, dialogue, staging, and basic artwork, props, backdrops, or costumes for their show while also engaging in rehearsal processes, theatre games, and explorations to hone their skills.

Theatre Learning Looks Like:
• Integrating multiple performance styles & theatre concepts
• Rich collaboration – discussing & contributing ideas to enhance performance
• Director’s notes – observation, suggestion, support, and feedback to introduce and refine performance concepts
• Providing opportunity for intentional group reflection on artistic work
• Building upon concepts to achieve mastery

SteppingStone’s Teen Workshops are designed for young artists in grades 7-12 to focus on process-driven learning, in a specific theatrical skill-set, with classes structured to create strong ensembles. Join your peers in an inclusive and creative learning environment where you will feel comfortable expressing yourself and growing as an Artist. Our Teaching Artists structure classes to minimize competition or comparison. Instead, we challenge everyone to put in the work, stretch outside their comfort zones, and be open-minded in learning new techniques. With this approach, we create strong theatre foundations, a hunger & drive for artistic development, and a network of peers & mentors to help support you in your theatre journey.

Theatre Learning Looks Like:
• Immersing yourself in a variety of theatre explorations intended to target and refine theatrical skill-sets
• Rich collaboration – contributing, discussing, and integrating ideas into an ensemble-driven showcase of work
• Using research, critical analysis, and cultural context to develop and enhance your work
• Director’s notes – observation, suggestion, support, and feedback to introduce and refine performance concepts
• Sharing in leadership responsibilities throughout the class
• Intentional time dedicated to group-reflection and self-reflection on artistic work

Statements and Policies

SteppingStone Creative Learning programs are committed to access and inclusion for all people. We stand firmly in opposition to racism, and our programs challenge our young artists, staff, and Board of Directors to foster inclusion and seek equity for all, including Black people, Indigenous peoples, people of color, LGBTQIA+ people, people of all economic backgrounds, people of all religions, and people with disabilities. SteppingStone collaborates with families to meet students’ needs, whether they are social, academic, developmental, or physical.

• Register for the grade level your student will be entering in the fall
• Register online or email us at creativelearning@parksquaretheatre.org to schedule a time to register by phone
• SteppingStone cannot make exceptions to admit students into a class if they do not meet the age requirements

• All of our programs are Pay As You’re Able. Please pay what your family can afford. That may mean covering your fees and someone else’s. It also may mean paying most or some of the suggested registration fee.
• We want every young artist to be able to attend and we will work with you to make attendance possible.
• Payment Plans are available at the time of registration. Follow the registration prompts to select your payment plan.
• Direct questions to creativelearning@parksquaretheatre.org

In order to keep our students safe and healthy, SteppingStone implements a No Food Sharing Policy. This means students are only allowed to consume food/beverages that were provided to them by their caregiver. SteppingStone does not allow students to swap or share food items. Teaching Artists and SteppingStone Staff will not provide students with treats or snacks. Students who wish to bring treats or snacks for their class on special occasions are asked to, instead, provide their class with a small trinket or toy.

Creative Learning Staff and Teaching Artists are trained to administer Epipens and call 911 in the event of an allergy emergency. For students with allergies that require Epipens (or other injectors) we request to be made aware of the severity of the allergy & location of the life-saving medication up-front. Epipens should be stored in the student’s backpack or (ideally) with the Teaching Artist at all times. We see many students with allergies in our programs and work with the caregiver to ensure the student is able to participate fully while staying safe & healthy.

SteppingStone does not have a nurse or medical professional on staff. All Creative Learning administrative staff and most Teaching Artists are trained and certified in First Aid/CPR. In the event of a medical emergency, SteppingStone will call 911, notify caregivers, and help the affected person(s) until professional help arrives. Staff cannot administer medication to students without an authorized note from the caregiver or a medical professional. If a student is feeling unwell, a caregiver will be notified and the student will be sent home. If preferred, caregivers are welcome to stop-by and administer any medications to their student in-person.

SteppingStone values each young person’s unique skills and ideas. We strive to meet young people where they are and empower them to problem solve and find solutions to their problems. Young people are at the center of our behavior policy and we believe they are individually and collectively responsible for their actions, words, and treatment of others. To learn more, please download and review our Behavior Policy 

Students who are experiencing common symptoms of Covid-19 should stay home, monitor their symptoms, and test. If a student tests positive for Covid-19, they must stay home for 5 days. Provided their symptoms have significantly improved, students in the 6-10 day recovery window may attend class wearing a mask. If your student tests positive for Covid-19 while attending camp, please contact camp staff immediately, so Close Contact Notifications can be sent.

If your student has been identified as a close contact, they are required to wear a mask for 5 days after last known exposure and monitor for symptoms. If symptoms develop, please stay home and test.

To learn more about other illnesses that may exclude your student from programming, please download and review our general Illness Policy.

At SteppingStone, we respect gender identity and refer to people by the name and pronouns they specify. Pronouns are displayed on all staff name tags. We encourage students and staff to share their name & pronouns on the first day of class. If we know in advance that a student is transgender, non-binary, transitioning, or questioning, we will partner with the student, family, teacher, and staff to use the correct name, pronouns, and restrooms from day one.

All program locations have gendered, non-gendered, and accessible restrooms. Classes take group restroom breaks throughout the day. During group restroom breaks, teachers monitor for hand washing and disruptive or inappropriate behavior. Students are allowed to use the restroom whenever needed. Teaching Artists and Staff are strictly prohibited from assisting students with toileting and clothing functions — this includes buttoning, zipping, or fastening belts. All students must be toilet-trained and able to manage their own toileting and clothing needs. Please send students to class in attire they are able to easily navigate. For bathroom or illness accidents, students must be able to clean themselves up without assistance, or their primary caregiver will be notified and asked to assist.

Students younger than Grade 7 are not allowed to use their electronic devices or toys during class time, snack, lunch, or recess unless prescribed by a medical professional. Students in Grades 7-12 are permitted to use electronic devices only during class breaks (snack, lunch, recess) provided the use is appropriate. SteppingStone is not liable for the exchange of contact information or for lost, stolen, damaged, or destroyed devices and toys. SteppingStone reserves the right to confiscate devices or toys that have become distracting or inappropriate and return them at the end of the day. If devices or toys are confiscated, we request the item(s) not return to class. If you would like to reach your student during class hours, please call or email the main office. Students wishing to speak with their caregiver during class hours will be instructed to call from our office phone.

SteppingStone will never share your information with outside parties. Our website and database are securely encrypted.

SteppingStone Creative Learning regularly photographs and records its programs and participants to provide documentation for funders and to promote programs in the community. When such photographs or videos are used in brochures, advertisements, social media, or other promotions, children are not identified by name. When completing registration for class, you have the ability to opt out of this policy.

Teaching Artists are allowed to take photos of group activities for portfolio documentation and business purposes. As freelancers, Teaching Artists use portfolio documentation, including videos and photos, to secure work and grants. When such photographs or videos are used, students are not identified by name. Staff are never allowed to post images/content to their personal social media accounts or websites.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Please register your student according to the grade level they will enter in fall 2023.

While we understand that some students may do well in camps outside of their age range, in order to create the best environment and experience for all students in our programs, our camp age limits are firm and we cannot make exceptions.

SteppingStone staffs all classrooms with one adult Teaching Artist and one adult Classroom Assistant. Ratios vary by age group and are listed below:
• PreK-K – 10:2
• Grades 1-3 – 14:2
• Grades 4-6 – 16:2
• Grades 7-12 – 20:2

SteppingStone does not provide before and after care services. Students may be dropped-off up to 15 minutes before the start of class and may be picked-up up to 15 minutes after class ends.

Drop-off and pick-up will be conducted outdoors. During drop-off, caregivers will pull-up to the curb at their camp location and let their student(s) out of the vehicle. A staff member will greet each student and direct them to their group. At pick-up, classes will gather outside as caregivers pull-up along the curb. Caregivers are welcome to step out of their vehicle and wait on the boulevard, or wait in their vehicle. When a student recognizes their caregiver/vehicle, their teacher will sign them out. Staff will be nearby to ensure all students make it to their cars safely.

Full day students should pack a lunch, 2 snacks, and a water bottle (no fridge or microwave available). Half day students should pack 1 snack and a water bottle. A backpack or bag works well for keeping track of all personal belongings. Face masks are encouraged but not required.

Students should wear comfortable clothing that allows for movement and closed toe shoes. Flip-flops, dress shoes, and shoes without backs are discouraged for safety reasons. Dressing in layers is recommended. Students will be participating in rigorous physical activity and working on messy art projects. Clothing may get dirty, stained, or torn. Most art products used are washable. SteppingStone is not responsible for damaged attire. Face masks are encouraged but not required.

Full day students will have one hour of supervised lunch & recess time. Students must bring their own lunch; lunch services are not provided. Students eat lunch for 20 minutes and free play for 30 minutes with 10 minutes included for bathroom breaks and transitions. Weather permitting, recess is held outdoors in a nearby park.

On the final day of class, students will present their showcase of work for family & friends. Performances will be held in-person at staggered times throughout the day. Each student may invite up to 4 audience members to attend. Performances will also be recorded and shared as a video link so that all family & friends can enjoy the show!

To limit the number of people on campus, and ensure classroom dynamics are at their best, caregivers, family members (including siblings), and friends are not able to observe or audit classes.

SteppingStone typically casts students ages 14-18 in our Mainstage productions. Occasionally, we will cast students as young as 12. Casting is conducted through an audition process where not all students will be cast. We typically see between 40-80 auditionees and have space to cast approximately 8-12 students. We highly encourage students to continue auditioning if they are not immediately cast. Our auditions are designed to be non-intimidating and beginner-friendly. We welcome all skill & ability levels to try out. To learn more about our auditions please see our Auditions page or check Minnesota Playlist.

Too young to audition? Register for our classes and build the skills you need to be successful when your time comes!

Masks are encouraged but not required for students, staff, and families.

Students who are experiencing symptoms of Covid-19 should stay home, monitor their symptoms, and test. If a student tests positive for Covid-19, they must stay home for 5 days. Provided their symptoms have significantly improved, students in the 6-10 day recovery window may attend class wearing a mask.

If your student has been identified as a close contact, they are required to wear a mask for 5 days after their last known exposure and monitor for symptoms. If symptoms develop, please stay home and test.

If your student tests positive for Covid-19 while attending camp, please contact camp staff immediately, so Close Contact Notifications can be sent.

SteppingStone will monitor Covid-19 transmission and hospitalization rates throughout the summer and may adjust these policies as-needed based on local and state guidance.

Cancellation and Transfer Policies

Cancellations made more than 2 weeks before your camp start date will receive a refund of 75% of the program fee. No refunds will be issued less than two weeks prior to your camp start date. A transfer to a similar camp may be possible if requested at least one week prior to your camp start date, depending on availability. No transfers are permitted within one week of your camp start date. Prorated refunds cannot be issued once camp has started, regardless of reason.

If SteppingStone cancels a camp before the camp start date, a full refund will be issued. If SteppingStone cancels a camp after the camp start date, a prorated refund will be issued for all canceled days of camp.

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Tickets

The Park Square Ticket Office is open for phone calls Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from noon to 5:00 pm.
Please call 651.291.7005.

For service other days of the week, please email tickets@parksquaretheatre.org.

Tickets can be purchased online at anytime.

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Park Square and SteppingStone Theatres have merged! Please be aware that you will be taken between the two organization websites as we finalize the online migration.