Summer Camp

SEEDLINGs Summer Camp

This summer, SEEDS will be providing guaranteed virtual half-day summer camps for rising 1st-6th graders. To best serve the needs of our community, please fill out our summer camp interest form to register for virtual programs and let us know what you need!

Registration for Summer Camp programs is now closed! 


June 22 – 26

June 29 – July 2 (NO programs July 3)

No Programs July 3 – 10

July 13 – 17

July 20 – 24

July 27 – 31

Daily Schedules will be shared upon registration but will include a variety of activities, both virtual and experiential, that will last from 11 AM – 3 PM. For more questions on summer camp this year, please email SEEDlings Coordinator Felix Pittman at 


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Mission and Vision

Founded in 1994, SEEDS is a two-acre urban learning farm and kitchen classroom in the heart of Durham. SEEDS provides the environment for youth to harvest their own flourishing power by teaching them how to grow and cook their own food through a resilience-based program, teaching practical skills that are particularly important for youth affected by Food Apartheid (also called Food Deserts) and Racism in the Food System.

We believe our SEEDlings (elementary youth) need the following things to grow:

  • Water: Adaptability and resilience
    • Water circulates nutrients and oxygen around the plant, and fills the cells so they can stand up straight and bounce back from periods of drought
  • Nutrients: Fresh foods that they are able to prepare themselves
    • Nutrients such as Nitrogen feed plant cells; without access to a full array of nutrients, plants will be stunted and unable to reach maturity
  • Air: Engaging things to learn, and clear communication
    • Just like people, plants use Oxygen to turn food into energy and to breathe; we use our breath to communicate
  • Sun: Warmth, energy, and encouragement
    • Photosynthesis (turning sunlight into energy) requires both food and Oxygen, and plants cannot grow without that solar energy; we can’t grow without the warmth and light we get from others and ourselves
  • Soil: A safe, friendly space that provides security and structure, and a medium in which to grow!
    • Plants need soil that is not too rigid or too loose to grow well; the best soil has wiggle-room but with structure enough to provide stability & purpose. 



SEEDS seeks to create small-group, meaningful community experiences for the students who attend summer camp. As such, families are invited to apply for summer camp beginning February 24, 2020. Preference will be given to families who currently attend SEEDS after-school programs, as well as families who have demonstrated financial need and who are able to attend multiple weeks of camp. 


If your family has not been chosen to participate in SEEDS summer camp after registration has completed, you will automatically be added to our waitlist. In the event of a cancellation, we will contact the next person on the waitlist until the spot is filled.  


  • $285 per week, per student (8:30 AM – 5:30 PM)
  • A registration fee of 6% will be added to your total cost to cover payment processing


Payment will be made via our registration platform There will be an option to pay in full or choose a payment plan. Scholarships are available! Please provide information about your family size and income when applying to be considered for a scholarship. 

Refund and Cancellation Policies

  • 90+ days prior to the first day of camp: If cancelling, a $25 administrative fee will be charged per child, per camp. Cancellation fees will be capped at a maximum of $100 per individual order. Minus this fee, either a full refund or a dollar-for-dollar credit is available.
  • Less than 90 days, but more than 14 days prior to the first day of camp: If cancelling, a 50% of the fee will be refunded.
  • Less than 14 days prior to the first day of camp: No refunds are available for cancellations.  


We offer scholarships based on household size and annual income. If you are interested in applying for a full or partial scholarship, please fill out the application form. If you apply for a scholarship but cannot attend camp, please let us know at your earliest possible convenience, so we can make your scholarship available to another student.   Please contact Cecilia at with any additional questions.

Scholarship Fund  

SEEDS is committed to making our programs accessible to all Durham families. If you would like to support this effort, you may make a tax-deductible donation to SEEDS! To give to summer camp scholarships, email Cecilia at

Attendance Policy

SEEDlings Summer Camp is Monday through Friday, 9am-3:30pm

  • We expect your child to attend daily, as there are many families on our waitlist who need access to free child care who can make that commitment.
  • We keep an attendance record each day of drop off and pick up times, and calculate percent attendance weekly
  • If your child does not attend at least 65% of the time, the Summer Coordinator will follow up with you to ensure that your child is able to regularly attend the program.
  • We allow for one whole week (5 days) of absences during the Summer Program, as many families travel during this time. Please communicate planned trips or absences to the Summer Coordinator in advance through email, text, or in person (and make sure there is a written record).
  • Please note that we do not count notified sick absences (or family emergencies) against attendance, as SEEDS policy is to not allow ill children to attend, and we want to encourage parents to be responsible if their child is ill.

Absences: If your child is absent from the program for more than 1 day, we will call to follow up with you to make sure everything is all right. We realize that last-minute things happen, and want to ensure that if we have any resources we can direct to alleviate difficulties, that we are able to do so.

  • Any planned absences can be communicated to Herb Thornton, After-School Coordinator, at
  • In the event of illness, your child may not attend SEEDS. If your child is out of school due to illness, for even a partial day, they may not attend SEEDS that day. In the event of a stomach bug, we ask that they stay home for two days. If your child arrives to SEEDS ill, the Summer Coordinator will call you to immediately come pick them up, so that they do not spread illness to other children or to Staff.
  • As stated above, notified absences due to illness are not counted against their expected attendance.

We strongly encourage you to ensure your child is here for each day of camp. If they are going to miss days during camp, you must notify Cynelsa at prior to the absence.  If a child is out sick, please send an email the morning of camp letting us know that they will be missing. If a child misses camp without notification, we reserve the right to offer their spot to another child on our waiting list.  

Times, Drop off, and Pick up

Camp Hours: 8:30am-3:30 PM

Drop off: 8:30-9:00am  

Please drop your child off at SEEDS no later than 9:00am, as we will begin programming promptly at that time.   

Earliest pick-up: 3:30 PM

Aftercare: 3:30-5:30pm

Aftercare is a quieter time of day with a smaller group. This time will include indoor and outdoor facilitated lessons, a snack, and self-directed activities with adult supervision.

Aftercare Pick-up: 5:00-5:30pm

You must pick up your child no later than 5:30pm.  


  • Transportation is not provided by SEEDS; you will need to bring and pick up your child daily, and ensure that anyone picking them up or dropping them off is on your provided list of approved pickups.
  • Pick up is at 3:30pm if you are not enrolling your child in our after-care. After-care ends at 5:30pm, so be sure to pick your child up before then.
    • We ask that you not pick your child up before 3:30pm so that your child can get the full SEEDlings experience; we do a clean-up and closing circle every day at this time, and will ask your child to stay and finish if you arrive early. Students who frequently leave early often express sorrow that they missed something and may not have learned all the knowledge and skills we build upon daily, negatively impacting their future SEEDS experience.
    • Our afternoon staff have commitments in the evenings, and not everyone has their own transportation – picking your child up late will cause them to miss their personal projects and miss buses, causing them to spend an extra hour commuting! Please ensure in advance that you’re able to pick your child up in this window or communicate potential barriers to us.

If you have not picked up your child by 5:30pm, the Summer Coordinator or Operations Manager will call you if you have not called us first.

Inclement Weather

The Summer does not have the same chance for inclement weather as other seasons, but please be aware that in the event of a heat advisory or severe thunderstorms, youth will not participate in the same degree of outdoor/farm programming.


  • We will provide the following meals and snacks during SEEDS Summer Camp: Breakfast, Mid-morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack (for aftercare participants). All meals are vegetarian and may contain nuts, dairy, and gluten.
  • Youth will help prepare meals and snacks for the camp during their kitchen classes. 
  • Please list any food allergies your child may have on the intake application form. We will make efforts to design meals to meet all of our youths dietary needs. In the event that we can not meet a participants needs, we will let parents know to provide food for their child during the camp day. 
  • Youth are allowed to bring their own lunch and snacks but we highly encourage them to try the foods we make together at camp. 

We will make an effort to minimize use of ingredients that are common childhood food allergy triggers. However, we will not have the capacity to accommodate all dietary needs. If your child has a serious food allergy, dietary requirement, or limited preference for foods, we recommend you pack their lunch and notify staff of serious allergies before camp begins.

Communication with Parents/Guardians

  • The Summer Camp Coordinator will seek to speak with each parent as they arrive during pickup, as long as you are not picking up your child during our Main Activities (i.e., before 3:30pm). As stated above, we ask that you not pick up your child until 3:30pm so that you do not disrupt SEEDS programming.
  • To facilitate communication of any highlights or problems, please check in with the Summer Coordinator when picking up your child, so that we may easily communicate any such problems in person first.
    • Whether or not we are able to catch you in person, we will follow up in writing with any problems or ongoing trends we feel you should be aware of.
  • The Program Team meets weekly during the school year, but such regular meetings are difficult during Summer Camp. It is possible that the Summer Coordinator will be unaware of an issue from that day when you pick up your child, if it occurred with other Staff. Therefore, notice of any developing problems may be delayed until after the Summer Coordinator is informed.
  • We value our relationships with families and understand that there is a need for open communication between staff and parents. If there are any developments or events that could impact your child’s learning or behaviors at SEEDS, we kindly request you share this with us.
  • See below, Behavior and Problem-Solving, for our process on resolving problems at SEEDS.
  • Your child will bring home a Journal each week, detailing their activities and knowledge from Camp. To be kept informed of our programming, we recommend asking your child to share this with you. We also welcome feedback from parents about their student’s experience throughout the week of camp. We will also send out an end-of-camp survey to get your feedback on specific things that you and your student enjoyed, as well as areas of improvement. 

Behavior and Problem-Solving

  • SEEDS staff work hard to build a positive community-oriented environment where children feel safe to learn, make friends, and have fun.  
  • We build social/behavioral learning and practices into all of our programming, and participants earn a lot of autonomy. 
  • Because our activities frequently involve metal tools, safe behavior is a major priority for us. In the event that a child is disruptive or unsafe, we will remove them from the lesson to take a time out with adult supervision to reflect on the behavior.  
  • If the behavior persists we will discuss ideas for how to proceed with you, the parent, directly. 
  • Physical or verbal harassment, bullying or violence will not be tolerated. In the event this occurs, we will speak with you during pickup if possible, and follow up with an email whether or not we are able to discuss it with you that day, in order to ensure that clear communication is maintained. Repeated occurrences of very extreme behavior may necessitate temporary or permanent removal from the program.
    • We recognize that children may be acting out to express difficult emotions, and always try to talk with them about what else may be going on in these cases.
    • Whether or not we are unable to resolve the problem directly with your child, we will also ask you to have a conversation with us about it. Although we will try to first notify you of this during pickup time, we will also send a written notice in either case.
      • Our first goal will be to brainstorm possible solutions and try new methods.
      • If it becomes clear that we are unable to provide the resources or solutions that your child needs, we will remove them from the program if their continued participation jeopardizes other children physically or emotionally.


We believe that outdoor play and education are essential to learning. Please dress campers casually and comfortably, in clothes and shoes that can get dirty. Close-toed shoes are required to be in the garden.

Toys and Tech

Please leave personal toys and tech devices at home. 

Sunscreen and Mosquito Repellent

The hot sun and pesky mosquitos are part of summertime living! We will have a selection of sunscreens and mosquito repellent available. Please send your child to camp already sunscreened and ready to go. We will take time out to reapply throughout the day. If you have a preference for sunscreen and repellent types, please send these labelled with your child’s name.   


Please send your child with a reusable water bottle that is labelled with their name. We have a water fountain where they can refill throughout the day.