Welcome to Camp Uncommon!
At Camp Uncommon, we believe that just like a high-quality education, an amazing summer camp experience should be available to all children. Camp Uncommon offers campers the chance to expand their horizons through athletics, performing arts, art, photography, STEM, outdoor adventure, swimming, and other fun activities. Camp Uncommon gives campers the chance to challenge themselves in a safe space, and make new, long-lasting friendships.
Camp Uncommon takes place at Colby College in beautiful Waterville, Maine. Colby’s amazing facility offers campers the opportunity to experience a traditional summer camp program on a college campus full of natural beauty. The campus offers indoor and outdoor athletic facilities, a swimming pool, hiking trails, dance studios, theaters, science labs, art studios, a music room, and first-class dormitories. For more information regarding Colby’s facilities, click here.
At Uncommon Schools, our mission is to close the achievement gap and prepare low-income students to graduate from college. In order to accomplish that mission, we believe it is critical that our scholars have the necessary social, emotional, and non-cognitive skills to get to and through college. That was the main impetus for Camp Uncommon. At Camp Uncommon, we provide an opportunity for middle-school-aged campers to build a tight-knit community in a safe setting that allows for exploration, learning, and fun. Our ultimate goal is to provide an enjoyable, exciting summer experience that motivates our campers to approach the future with curiosity, responsibility, independence, and self-confidence, which are essential to college and life success.
Our program is structured to give campers the opportunity to experience each activity at camp through a rotating group program, which occurs each morning. Camp Uncommon offers a variety of activities, including:
Athletics: soccer, tennis, flag football, baseball, softball, basketball, volleyball, fitness, yoga
Swimming: swim instruction and general swim
Adventure: overnight camping, climbing, discovery/nature
Inter-Arts: arts & crafts, music theatre performance, improvisation, hip hop dance, photography, singing
STEM: robotics, coding, rocketry
Each afternoon, campers have a chance to “dive deep” into two activities via our intensives program. Intensives are afternoon activity periods in which campers participate for 3 consecutive days. For example, a camper may choose to participate in a Basketball Intensive for 3 days. By doing so, campers have an opportunity to get hands-on, in-depth instruction from our Basketball staff over several days. As a result, by receiving deeper, individualized instruction, campers improve current skills and gain new skills. Camp Uncommon offers a wide variety of intensives to ensure that every camper gets to participate in an activity they love.
At Camp Uncommon, we want to provide opportunities for campers to develop their whole selves. Each afternoon, our campers take part in Discovery Blocks, which include a variety of activities that help campers develop their social and emotional skills. These blocks are based on the theme of the day and help our campers expand their minds, their hearts, and their emotional intelligence.
There are a few “Special Days” at Camp Uncommon. On a "Special Day,” there is a special program which takes the place of campers’ regular activities. Campers also go on out-of-camp trips to amusement and water parks, baseball games, and other scenic destinations along the Maine coast. Campers will just have to wait and see what these days entail!
Living and Dining at Colby College:
Colby College offers a world-class facility. The dormitories are fantastic and provide our campers with the experience of living on a college campus. Colby has an outstanding cafeteria service; campers are treated to excellent meals to help keep them strong and fueled for their active camp days. For more information on Colby College, click here.
Camp Uncommon will take place July 7th - July 21, 2017!
Camp Uncommon is hosted at Colby College, in beautiful Waterville, Maine.
Our campers are selected from Uncommon middle schools in New York City, Newark, Camden, Boston, Rochester, and Troy.
Campers travel to Camp Uncommon via luxury bus. In each Uncommon city, we have a bus pick-up location. Information on exact pick-up locations will be provided at parent information sessions. Campers travel to camp with several Camp Uncommon staff members.
Since Camp Uncommon is being hosted at Colby College, the living arrangements at camp will be dormitory style. Counselors are responsible for a group of campers and will be living with them their stay at camp. Colby College is a beautiful, modernized campus; we assure you that your children will find their stay at camp quite comfortable.
Camp Uncommon will be predominantly staffed by Uncommon teachers from across all of our cities.
The food at Colby College is excellent and any and all accommodations will be met, including dietary restrictions, allergies, and vegan/vegetarian needs.
All camp activities are co-ed and separated by age group except for Intensive Blocks which are comprised of boys and girls from all age groups.
Senior Staff Profiles
Josh attended Camp Naticook in New Hampshire as a child and worked as the Head Boys Counselor at Camp Laurel in Maine for several summers. He joined Uncommon Schools in 2008 as Chief Operating Officer and later served as Managing Director of Uncommon Rochester and Troy. He was previously the Co-Director of Roxbury Preparatory Charter School in Boston. In 2007, Roxbury Prep’s 8th graders had the highest math MCAS scores in the entire state of Massachusetts. As Co-Director at Roxbury Prep for six years, Josh brought to Uncommon a track record of results and extensive operational and management experience. He previously served as the Enrichment Coordinator and sixth grade World History teacher at Roxbury Prep. Josh was also a history teacher-intern at the John D. O’Bryant School of Math and Science while earning an EdM in Teaching and Curriculum from Harvard University. He received his B.A. in political science from Colgate University and his M.A. in political science from the University of California at Santa Barbara.
Mike earned a Bachelor’s in Social Work from Rutgers University and a Master’s in Social Work from NYU. Mike’s camp career started as a camper at Camp Kingsley Pines, continued as a camp counselor at the Montclair YMCA Day Camp, and later as Assistant Director of Camp Sunshine at the Westfield YMCA. Next, he helped to found the Better Days Foundation to serve families who lost a parent or loved one on 9/11/01. He also served as the Assistant Director of Camp Better Days for 10 years. Mike joined Uncommon 3 years ago as a school Social Worker at North Star Academy’s West Side Park Campus.
Emma Simmons earned a B.S. in Human Services from Northeastern University and a M.A. in Elementary Education from Relay Graduate School of Education. Emma spent all of her summers as a child attending different camps, and then worked at camps during summers throughout college. Before joining Uncommon, Emma worked as the Event Manager for CYCLE Kids, which is a non-profit that gives children the opportunity to learn how to ride bikes and learn nutrition during the school day. Emma joined Uncommon 4 years ago as a 2nd Grade Teacher at Vailsburg Elementary School in Newark and currently, she is a 5th Grade Math Teacher at Roxbury Prep Mission Hill in Boston.
Shanika graduated Cum Laude, earning a Bachelor’s in Sociology and Black Studies, from Amherst College. Shanika also has a Master’s in the Art of Teaching from the Relay Graduate School of Education. While Shanika spent the summers of her youth in summer camps and cherishes the impact it has had on her social well-being. Shanika joined Uncommon 4 years ago as a Kindergarten teacher. Two years ago, she became a founding teacher at Uncommon’s first turnaround school, North Star Academy Alexander Street ES, where she currently acts as the Kindergarten team’s Instructional Leader.
Seck Barry is the founding Dean of Students at Camden Prep. Before joining Uncommon, Seck served as a program coordinator for Playworks, a national non-profit organization that organizes structured play in order to promote fitness, fun and safety for children. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Political Science. Throughout college, he represented Penn’s Division I Track and Field Team in the 4X100 relay team, 110 hurdles, and 100 and 200 meter dash. Seck currently serves on the Advisory Board of Design Meets Mind, LLC, an informal education consulting firm in Philadelphia.
Ijeoma Duru is proud to be continuing with the Camp Uncommon family! She is an alumna of Roxbury Preparatory Charter School in Boston and is thrilled to be continuing the work and vision that Camp Uncommon has set to achieve. Ijeoma graduated from Pace University, earning a Bachelor’s in Biological Psychology. Ijeoma also has a Master’s in the Art of Teaching from Relay Graduation School of Education. Thanks to the help of Roxbury Prep, the importance of summer has always been instilled in her. Whether it was camping and hiking or working as an intern, Ijeoma has always ensured her summers were well spent. She has worked at Uncommon Collegiate Charter High School for the past three years, first as a member of the Math team and now as the Associate Dean of Students.