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Young Authors Camp

Online Camp 2020: Scroll down to About the Camp to view online camp information.

For over 72 years Cranbrook has offered the community the opportunity to share in the Booth family's vision to develop and nurture the creative and performing arts. Founded upon the principle that all young people can benefit and enrich their lives from exposure to music and art, Young Authors Day Camp has been a treasured part of the Schools' programming and community outreach. 
True to Cranbrook's earliest traditions celebrating the joys of scholarship, Young Authors Day Camp was established to encourage exploration of language crafts in a truly creative environment.

About the Camp

(coed, entering grades 2-8 in Fall 2020)
COVID-19 & Online Camp 2020 Update
Young Authors Day Camp is canceled for Summer 2020 - both in-person and online. Please consider our online camps at the Cranbrook Art Museum and Cranbrook Institute of Science.


*Subject to Change

General Information

Campers have the opportunity to experience being an author, illustrator, editor, and published writer, while strengthening a love for creative writing.

Each week focuses on a new and different theme that takes campers on a journey through different genres including fiction, fantasy, nonfiction, fable, poetry and graphic novels. Each day begins whole-group with a morning writing prompt to get the creative minds flowing. In their respective groups, campers focus on the weekly themes through daily mini lessons, art projects, and literacy games that guide campers through language study, story organization, and character development.

Campers go on daily writing adventures where they explore and get inspired by Cranbrook’s beautiful campus. Some of the favorite spots are Magic Tree, Oriental Gardens, Labyrinth, Crying Zeus, Children’s Garden, and Triton Pools just to name a few.

Each week campers select, edit, revise and publish a piece for the annual Young Authors anthology. Each week ends with an Authors Share where campers share a piece of their writing with the group. Field trips, swimming, recess, art projects, and author and illustrator visits help bring balance and create a fun and nurturing environment for the aspiring young authors.

Young Authors writers are grouped by grade level for sustained independent writing and developing significant works with peer input. Language-based games, small group story writing experiences, and creative writing adventures add to the unqiue writing experience Cranbrook has to offer. 

Important Note: Young Authors Day Camp is not a summer school or a remedial or English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) program. This camp encourages and inspires young writers to try new techniques while encouraging creativity and having fun.

Week 1: The Art of Storytelling
Have you ever wondered what makes a good story? In a fun and creative setting, we dive into the creative writing process through morning prompts, daily mini lessons, writing adventures and literacy games. Campers learn how to organize a story through beginning, middle and end while focusing on character building and telling the story through their eyes. Each camper will choose a favorite piece from the week to edit and revise through both self and peer revision ending the week with a final and published piece for the annual anthology and an opportunity to share his/her work at our Authors Share. Week 1 will feature an author visit to promote and inspire our creativity. Campers listen to a presentation by the author and have an opportunity to ask questions.

Week 2: Famous Authors and Characters
Week 2 focuses on famous children and young adult authors and their characters. Dr. Seuss, Judy Bloom, Beverly Cleary, Roald Dahl, J.K. Rowling and Suzanne Collins to name a few! We immerse ourselves in their works studying different genres and paying close attention to their characters through morning prompts, daily mini lessons, writing adventures, and literacy games. Campers choose their favorite character to feature in their own story embarking on their own adventure with that character. Campers edit and revise through both self and peer revision ending the week with a final and published piece for the annual anthology and share their work at our Authors Share. Week 2 features a camp-wide dress-up day where campers and staff are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite character. The group with the most participation wins a special prize!

Week 3: Building a Story with Legos
If you like to play with your words then this week is for you! While continuing to strengthen and develop our storytelling ability through morning prompts, daily mini lessons, writing adventures and literacy games, campers embark in a hands-on component. Campers build their way to seeing their works come alive using Legos to render their characters, scenes, and events from their stories. Campers share and explain their Lego creation during our Authors Share. These virtual masterpieces that illustrate the campers’ stories are preserved through photographs that they can take home at the end of the week.

Week 4: Greek Mythology
Titans, gods, monsters, creatures and mortals influence our writing as we study the legends and myths surrounding Greek Mythology. Characters like Zeus, Ares, Athena and Cyclopes appear in our morning prompts, daily mini lessons, writing adventures and art projects as campers work towards creating their own mythical story. Campers edit and revise through both self and peer revision ending the week with a final and published piece for the annual anthology and share their work at our Authors Share. Week 4 features a special visit and snack time at Crying Zeus on the Cranbrook campus. Campers go on a scavenger hunt around the Cranbrook Art Museum learning about the different mythical statues and their origin. Friday’s Authors Share is open to parents and special friends during which time campers share their journal entries and stories from the summer.

Week 5: Caption This!
Focusing on illustration, campers examine famous art works, wordless picture books, and story books to see how the author or artist uses pictures to send a message to their audience. Campers witness firsthand how an illustration portrays the story’s setting and character’s feelings and emotions. Through morning prompts, daily mini lessons, writing adventures, and literacy games, campers discover the importance of illustrating. They learn how to capture their audience bringing them into their story. After self and peer editing, campers have a piece and an illustration to publish in the annual anthology and show their work at our Authors Share. Week 5 features a visit by an illustrator who inspires the campers to try their hand at drawing. The illustrator shares some of his/her works, lead the group in a couple drawing activities, and answers questions.

Week 6: Thinking in the Box: Comic Heroes and Villains
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to visit Gotham? What Batman does in his free time? How it would feel to fly like Wonder Woman? What the Hulk likes for breakfast? These questions and more are answered as campers join in on a literacy adventure through comic books and graphic novels. Each day, campers participate in morning prompts, daily mini lessons, writing adventures, and art projects that inspire and motivate them towards writing and illustrating their very own comic strips. At the end of the week, campers have selected their favorite piece that they will revise and publish in the annual anthology. Campers also share their comic during our Authors Share. Week 6 features a camp-wide dress up day where campers and staff are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite superhero or villain. The group with the most participation wins a special prize!

Week 7: Out of This World!
Do you like to look up at the stars? Have you ever thought about going to the moon? Outer space is a very mysterious and intriguing place that campers explore through morning prompts, daily mini lessons, writing adventures, and art projects. Campers choose their favorite piece from the week to edit and revise through both self and peer revision ending the week with a final and published piece for the annual anthology and share their work at our Authors Share. Week 7 features a field trip to the Cranbrook Institute of Science where campers explore and visit outer space at the planetarium.
Week 8: Once Upon a Time
We all know the beloved tales of the Three Little Pigs, Hansel and Gretel, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, and many others. But what happens when you mix up the characters from two different stories, change the setting, or add a twist? You get a funny, sort of silly, fractured tale told from a new perspective! Just like the fractured fairy tale The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs told by A. Wolf. Campers read a variety of classic fairy tales and their fractured versions focusing on characters, setting, plot, conflict, and morals. After gaining insight on what makes a good tale, campers work in groups to create their own fractured fairy tale. They make simple props and perform their tale at the end of the week for Authors Share. Week 8 features a field trip to Meadow Brook Hall. Parents and special guests are invited to Authors Share to watch their children perform.

Weekly themes subject to change.

Open Swim
Campers swim twice a week at Cranbrook's Williams Natatorium. Swim tests are conducted on the first day. Campers who fail or prefer not to take the test are supplied with life jackets and remain in the shallow end of the pool. Campers are allowed to retake the test at any time. The Natatorium staff include a full-time and certified pool manager, certified lifeguards, and our trained camp staff who serve as lookouts.

Lunch, Snacks, and Allergies
Lunches and snacks are included in tuition and are provided by Chartwells Dining Services. They are a nut-free organization who cater Cranbrook Schools’ meals during the academic year. Special arrangements can be made for campers with food allergies. Lunches are served in the Cranbrook Kingswood Middle School for Girls – Kingswood Dining Hall.

Extended Care, Transportation Service, and After Camp Activities
  • Extended Care offers activities, games, and open time outside and in the gym as early as 7AM and as late as 6PM. Afternoon care includes a snack. Extended Care is located at Cranbrook Lower School Brookside. Campers are bused to/from camp each day. Extended Care is also a nice option for families with multiple children attending more than one of our camps to reduce the number of pick up points; parents/guardians simply pick up and drop off all children attending Extended Care at Brookside.
  • Transportation Service is available to shuttle campers to and from specific stops in Birmingham (8:10 AM / 3:45 PM), Rochester Hills (7:45 AM / 3:45 PM), Royal Oak (7:50 AM / 4:05 PM), Troy (8:10 AM / 4:10 PM), and West Bloomfield (7:45 AM / 3:45 PM). Campers not picked up in time will be transported to Extended Care.
  • After Camp Activities are available, such as group Swim Lessons, Chess, and Coding.
  • These options can be combined to meet your needs. For example, you can choose morning Transportation Service and afternoon Extended Care.
  • Logistical information for these additional options will be provided in the Parent Welcome Packet closer to the start of camp.
Communication & Photos
Parents/guardians are emailed a newsletter each week that includes a recap from the prior week, highlights for the following week, field trip information, updated group lists, lunch and snack menus, and merchandise available for sale. Daily camp photos are taken and posted in the Photo Gallery to view, post, and purchase.

Why Cranbrook Schools Summer Camps?
Each camp includes a dedicated Director, one or more Assistant Directors, an Office Administrator, Instructors, and Counselors. Each age-aligned group has one or two counselors who remain with the campers throughout the day and take them to each of the instructional areas.

The camps are accredited by the American Camp Association (ACA) and licensed through the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA).

About Cranbrook Educational Community
Cranbrook is one of the world’s leading centers of education, science, and art. Comprising a graduate Academy of Art, contemporary Art Museum, House and Gardens, Institute of Science, and Pre-K through 12 independent college preparatory Schools, Cranbrook welcomes thousands of visitors, students, and campers to its campus each year.

Founded by Detroit philanthropists George and Ellen Booth in 1904, Cranbrook’s 319-acre campus features the work of world-renowned architects such as Eliel Saarinen, Albert Kahn, Steven Holl, Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, Rafael Moneo, Peter Rose and sculptors Carl Milles, Marshall Fredericks and others. Critics have called Cranbrook "the most enchanted and enchanting setting in America" and in 1989, it was designated a National Historic Landmark.

Tuition and Fees
  • Tuition: Full $2590; Half $1420; Partial $395
  • Fees: Rush Enrollment within 21 days of session start date $35
  • Discounts: Additional sessions $40 (automatic)
  • Includes: Lunch, AM & PM Snacks, Camp T-shirt, Tote Bag
  • Extras: Anthology $15/copy
  • Options per Week: Extended Care (AM $75; PM $95); Transportation Service ($45/way); After Camp Activities ($75-$110); Monthly Payment Plan
Questions? Contact Special and Summer Programs at summer@cranbrook.edu, (248) 645-3674, or use our Contact Us form.

Dates, Times & Locations

Full Session
FS: June 15 - August 7, 2020

Half Sessions
H1: June 15 - July 10, 2020
H2: July 13 - August 7, 2020

Partial Sessions
W1: June 15 - June 19, 2020
W2: June 22 - June 26, 2020
W3: June 29 - July 3, 2020
W4: July 6 - July 10, 2020
W5: July 13 - July 17, 2020
W6: July 20 - July 24, 2020
W7: July 27 - July 31, 2020
W8: August 3 - August 7, 2020

12:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Cranbrook Kingswood Middle School for Girls – Kingswood


Authors Family Share
Friday, July 10, 2020
Friday, August 7, 2020
Time TBD; Free Admittance