This year, we have taken a creative approach to fall programs, that supports the diverse needs of our families while continuing to offer campers opportunities to play and grow – which is more important now than ever before. We have multiple program offerings available, designed to complement your camper’s school schedule (whatever that may be!) with a focus on social and emotional growth, building connections, and outdoor exploration, as well as remote learning support.
Whether traditional after school or remote learning bubbles, our programs rely heavily on partnerships with families, schools, and neighborhood organizations. More than ever, our programs will push each of us to connect with our communities on a deeper level and embrace the notion that it truly does take a village to raise a child. Keep scrolling to learn more about the exciting new programs we have to offer!
Our Traditional After School Program is offered on-site at your child’s school and looks a lot like the school programming we know and love. Staff greet your camper and the end of the school day and transition them into after school filled with outdoor play, team building, and environmental exploration. At this time, we are still awaiting confirmation from the Department of Education and will update all families when we are approved to operate.
Trail Blazers After School offers holistic and innovative after school programming to elementary school students throughout New York City to promote critical thinking and a sense of wonder for the world around us. Our four core values – respect for one’s self, respect for others, respect for the community, and respect for the environment – guide all aspects of our program, ensuring that your child is growing and learning in the process of having an amazing time. Our After School program is modeled after 130 years of experience designing exciting summer camp programs. In after school, too, each day is filled with outdoor elements and a schedule determined by the interests of the group. The program differs at each school, as we customize this after school solution centered on environmental exploration and community engagement.
At Trail Blazers, we play – a lot! During After School, we spend time in structured and unstructured playtime, where campers practice voice and choice and exercise their imaginations. We believe (and research shows) that play teaches children valuable social and emotional skills that will help them become thriving adults.
We play outside every day, in all seasons, because there is no such thing as bad weather, only inadequate clothing! Active, outdoor play can relieve stress, promote the development of large motor skills, increase social skills, and inspire imagination and creativity. Positive outdoor experiences when it is cold or wet outside also develop resiliency and a connection to the natural world!
WHAT HAPPENS DURING A DAY OF AFTER SCHOOL?
We don’t have a set daily schedule but every day will include the same essential components:
Sunrise Circle – As students transition out of the school day into after school, our staff spends time checking in with each child. Guided by the Value Catcher, students determine an individual goal for the day.
Solo time (Homework) – Every day, we share snack and dedicate 30 minutes to homework time. We don’t offer academic tutoring or one-on-one support but our group leaders are always available to provide assistance and encourage kids when homework is tough. Campers who don’t have homework can read or participate in another calm, individual activity.
Teambuilding and play – We play – a lot! Play in after school is an important component for social learning, physical health and plain old fun! Not only do our groups receive at least one full hour of free play every day, but we also play outside year-round – in all types of weather! Time outdoors will certainly increase this year as well!
Science or Specialty Content – Each day includes one activity or experiment, either guided by the theme of the week or by student interest. We focus on environmental exploration through science experiments, nature crafts, and outdoor scavenger hunts.
Sunset Circle – The day ends with a Trail Blazers camp tradition – the sunset circle, singing songs, playing games and reflecting on successes and challenges of the day.
Pick-up for all schools is at 5:30 PM.
Every year, we partner with schools in our community that share our belief that play is a critical component in a child’s development. This year, we are excited to be partnering with the following schools:
- PS 316 Elijah Stroud – All Grades
- PS 770 The New American Academy – All Grades
- Brighter Choice Community School – 3K and PreK
- PS 241 Emma Johnston – PreK to 2nd Grades
- PS 56 Lewis Latimer (New!) – All Grades
- PS 896 (New!) – All Grades
All schools are still awaiting final confirmation from the Department of Education and this list is subject to change.
Tuition rates represent the cost for the duration of the fall semester (September 28 – December 18). At this time, we are waiting for confirmation from the Department of Education and we will not add any charges to your account until we receive approval to operate.
There will be a $50 per camper annual registration fee applied when tuition is added.
Registration for Fall 2020 is now open!
All programs are still pending approval from the DOE and Principals. Once we have confirmation that we can operate, it will take our team 3 weeks to get ready for the first day.
Check back soon for our parent handbook and Covid-19 Safety Plan!
What kind of homework support will my child receive?
Every day, we provide 30 minutes for focused homework time. Group Leaders will provide encouragement and support but cannot provide one-on-one academic support.
If I don’t want my child to go outside, can they stay indoors?
No, your child must remain with their group the entirety of the day.
Will they be with the same group of students in their regular class?
We understand that this would be ideal to avoid mixing groups, however it can only be accommodated if the full class is enrolled in the program. It is unlikely your camper will be with the same group of kids and it’s not something we can guarantee.
How will Trail Blazers ensure COVID-19 safety during the program?
We are developing a comprehensive safety plan guided by best practices from the DOH, CDC, and DOE. It will include protocols for daily screening, cleaning, distancing, and communication. All staff will be trained on this plan. When the full plan is available, it will be shared on this webpage.
Learning Bubbles are the newest addition to our school program offerings, designed to respond to the diverse schedule needs of our families. A Learning Bubble is a consistent group of 6 campers who learn and play together with a customized schedule and program plan. Learning Bubble Programs will launch on September 28 and on a rolling basis.
A Bubble is a group of up to 6 campers who experience the program together. Each bubble will have a dedicated Group Leader and a consistent schedule each week. Bubbles may spend their time at a camper’s home, at the Trail Blazers center, or outdoors in Prospect Park or a garden. The bubble experience is highly customizable.
Who forms a bubble? Parents are expected to create their own bubbles of 6 kids (PreK to 5th grade) from their school or community. Bubbles can include multiple ages (we expect siblings to be in a bubble together) and schools, as long as they share the same schedule needs and remote learning expectations. We cannot assign campers to bubble but we can help connect families with similar schedule needs.
All bubble members will be required to complete a program waiver and a bubble agreement, to be provided before the program starts.
Do you need help forming your bubble? We have created 2 platforms for parents to connect with others in their community who have the same schedule needs and remote learning expectations. Bubbles
Please note, Trail Blazers does not monitor, moderate, or endorse posts made in these groups. These are simply spaces to facilitate connections between families. However, Trail Blazers may remove posts that are not focused on connecting families. Trail Blazers does not take responsibility for any bubbles that families form.
AM Programs: Group Leaders will supervise remote learning and facilitate play breaks and sunrise/sunset circles during morning programs. The amount of time spent on remote learning is customizable based on bubble preference. The Group Leader will provide tech support, encouragement, and keeping campers focused but they do not provide individual academic tutoring.
PM Programs: Afternoon programs will follow a model similar to traditional after school. They will start with a sunrise circle and then spend the afternoon exploring outside, completing team building challenges, and engaging in environmental science activities before wrapping up with a sunset circle.
To get your Bubble started, you’ll select 1 base schedule:
- 2/3 Days Per Week, AM Only (for Blended Learners) – 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM
- 2/3 Days Per Week, PM Only (for Blended Learners) – 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM
- 2/3 Days Per Week, Full Day (for Blended Learners) – 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
- 5 Days Per Week, AM Only (for Full Remote Learners) – 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM
- 5 Days Per Week, PM Only (for Full Remote Learners) – 2:00 AM – 5:00 PM
- 5 Days Per Week, Full Day (for Full Remote Learners) – 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
After your register with your base schedule, we will collect additional requests in the Bubble Information form. You can request only 1 day per week, adjusted start and end times, or whatever else your group may need. We will do our best to accommodate and we will communicate if we cannot fulfill a request. Each member of your bubble must agree to the same schedule.
Some requests may incur additional costs.
You may be wondering what your Bubble will do and where will they go? Each Bubble’s specific plan will include a schedule and location for each time they are with us. Your Bubble may be in one location for their full time together, or they may rotate through multiple locations throughout the week. We encourage parents to consider locations for their Bubbles and we can provide support for those who need it. Access to space will be a factor in determining if we can accommodate your schedule needs.
- Homes: If a family is able and willing to host their Bubble in their home, this is the most ideal. This increases the likelihood that we can serve your Bubble’s schedule. Bubbles can operate fully in one camper’s home, or rotate through different homes. This is determined by the Bubble.
- Trail Blazers Center: The Trail Blazers team is currently transitioning one of our offices into a TBC Center that can host multiple Bubbles simultaneously. Bubbles that do not have access to a home or other location, may be able to use this space, though capacity will be limited.
- Community Spaces: Trail Blazers is currently pursuing additional spaces in our neighborhood to support Bubbles. We also encourage families to see community spaces. For example, an apartment building may have a community or recreation space that is available.
- Outdoor Locations: Group can opt for a fully outdoor program, though it may not operate on days with severe inclement weather. We love this idea and we love being outside, but please note that this option is not functional for remote learning time if there is no access to an internet connection or electrical outlets.
All home-based bubble participating families must review and agree to the terms of the Service Agreement
Setting Up Your Bubble
- All members must register in Active and submit the Bubble Information Form (this is the form that gives the opportunity to customize your experience)
- Our team will confirm your Bubble schedule and location plan, tuition charges, and launch date
- Tuition charges will be added to your account and must be paid before the Bubble can launch (individuals can contact our registration team for payment plans)
- Bubbles will launch on a rolling basis, no sooner than September 21. Most Bubbles will start 2 weeks after we confirm your Bubble plan.
All prices reflect the cost for a Bubble for the 13 week program (September 21 – December 18). Tuition charges will only be added to your account after your Bubble’s schedule is confirmed. There will be an annual registration fee of $50 applied at that time.
We do have scholarships available for any family who needs it. Please do not let the cost prevent you from registering. Complete the scholarship request form to submit a request.
To register, select a base schedule for your camper and their Bubble. After registering, you can submit additional schedule customization requests in the Bubble Information form on your Active Dashboard. When we receive this form from each member of your Bubble, we will confirm your schedule and add the tuition charges.
Each member of your bubble must be enrolled in Active and complete the bubble information form.
Click below to review the Covid-19 Safety Plan for bubble programs. This document is subject to change based on guidance from the DOH, DOE, and CDC.
Does Trail Blazers provide meals or snacks for campers?
No, campers must bring their own nut-free snacks and lunch to the program. If the bubble is hosted in a home, the bubble host may only provide food for the group if the entire bubble agrees to it.
Will Trail Blazers provide devices for remote learning?
At the TBC Center, there is a limited number of devices available for those who do not have one or have forgotten it at home. Campers are expected to provide their own device, charger, and headset/headphones.
Can we increase our weekly hours after the program starts?
Yes, if staff and spacing are available. This will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
Will Bubbles continue to operate if schools are shut down?
If DOH does not require us to shut down programs, and we feel confident that we can operate safely, we will.
Can we form our Bubble with kids in different age groups?
Yes, your bubble can include ages that you are comfortable with. We expect siblings to share a bubble.
How will Trail Blazers ensure COVID-19 safety during the program?
View our full Covid-19 Safety Plan
What happens when schools are closed for a holiday?
If schools are closed for a single day, a bubble may maintain their regular program if the holiday falls on a day that their bubble was scheduled to run. These arrangements must be made in advance. There is no program available during Thanksgiving break.
This fall, join us on MyQuest, our virtual camp platform. Designed to complement in-person programs or be used on its own, MyQuest will be filled with environmental science missions and outdoor challenges for the whole family to experience together. Every day, there will be a live zoom session led by one of our awesome staff members! Virtual Programs will launch on September 28.
Trail Blazers has a long history of bringing our campers to nature, but this year we are bringing nature to our campers! MyQuest is the virtual complement to our in-person programs, though it’s open for all to enjoy! The weekly thematic units include environmental science activities, experiments, and outdoor challenges to do with the whole family. Each activity is a mission and when you complete multiple missions, you can level up!
Small groups and building relationships are a vital part of Trail Blazer’s mission. When you sign up for the MyQuest program, your camper will be a part of an active community, where they can interact with others and share photos and highlights, and even join live zoom sessions every afternoon!
MyQuest offers a variety of at-home activities and challenges your campers can complete to fit your schedule. At-home activities or missions, as we often call them, align with our weekly themes, and are designed to complement our in-person programs.
Once enrolled you will be invited to sign up for MyQuest where you will access a library of at-home activities. Need a full day of engagement? Choose 3-5 missions to complete. Looking for a lighter load for the day? Choose only one mission. Campers can go at their own pace allowing you the flexibility you need. You can also have the whole family do a mission together.
Our at-home activities are varied and designed to appeal to many learning styles – some missions include video instructions so your campers can follow along, while others include a picture or written instructions so that they can be completed device free.
We still believe in the power of getting outside and exploring the world around us.
Now, more than ever, it so important to stay connected to the outside world – so we’ve designed exciting ‘Nature in My Neighborhood’ challenges to help our campers and their families stay engaged. Each week of virtual camp will include several challenges that encourage campers to get outside, at whatever capacity they can – a walk around the block, a search for a landmark in the park, or maybe just bird watching from your window.
Stay connected not just with nature, but with your Trail Blazers community by sharing photos of your adventures on MyQuest.
If you have registered for any of our other fall programs, you don’t need to do anything else! Each week we will send you a link to the upcoming week’s Quest, along with a list of materials that are needed for the activities.
If you are not enrolled in any of our other programs but want access, there is a one-time platform fee of $35.
FAQs coming soon
This year, we are partnering with PS 9 in Brooklyn and St. Josephs Catholic Church to provide center-based programming for students on remote learning days. We are currently pursuing the Learning Bridges program to bring this offering to families at no cost. The PS 9 Learning Bridges program is expected to launch in October. Check back here for the most up to date information.
The program provides remote learning and outdoor play opportunities for PS 9 students during on days they are out of the school building – Think study hall meets summer camp! Trail Blazers Group Leaders will supervise remote learning, provide tech support, offer encouragement, and help campers stay focused. When they aren’t in front of a screen doing school work, campers will spend time playing outdoors, participating in team building, and engaging in environmental science activities.
The program is available for students in Kindergarten through 5th Grade in Cohorts A, B, or C and will operate daily from 8:00pm to 3:00pm. Our tentative start date is September 21 but we are waiting for program approval and licensing from the Department of Health.
To obtain a fully funded spot in the program, your child must attend full-time (or each day that they are not in the school building). There will also be part-time schedules available with tiered tuition levels. More information on this option is coming soon.
At this time, we are pursuing funding for the program that will allow us to offer the program at no cost to families – We will update families on this webpage and via email as we know more.
The program is not yet confirmed but you can claim your spot and help us plan by registering using the link below.
Check back soon for the parent handbook and Covid-19 safety plan!