Tinkering School LA – Weeklong Camp

Summer Camp for Ages 5-16
M - F 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM $525**/weekly

June 10 - August 16 Register for reDiscover Center
June 10 - July 19 Register for Pacific Palisades
July 1 - August 9 Register for Los Feliz
July 22- August 9 Register for Manhattan Beach

**$525 - credit card
$500 - Electronic Bank Transfer*
$500 - Check*
*Payment must be received 14 days before start of session
Needs based scholarships available for select sessions

Camp Information for Parents
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M-F 9:30 AM - 3:30 PM $525-$656
July 7 - 19 Register for Beverly Hills

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Ages 7-13
Tinkering School LA camp M-F 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM $250 - $312.50
Cardboard Camp  M-F 12:30 PM - 3:00 PM $210 - $262.50 
Register for full days and receive lunch care for an additional $10 per day
June 17 - 28 through the Parks and Rec Departments of El Segundo (scroll down to "Youth Camps")

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Weekly sessions for a vacationtastic extravaganza of tools, techniques, and Big Builds.

Aftercare available until 5pm for $20 daily or until 6pm for $30 daily. Limited availability. Email mail@rediscovercenter.org 24 hours in advance to guarantee a space.

Home school charter funds accepted for all programs.

Tinkering School LA Juniors, ages 5-7

Tinkering School LA Juniors is a one week day camp that challenges younger children to go beyond project building and enter a world of imagination. Children are inspired by tinkering and visual arts exercises meant to feed advanced thinking and creative building of works with big impact and a story behind them. Use cardboard, wire, wood, fabric, and light to create individual and group projects. Campers will get the best of both worlds: artist training plus tinkering with tools.

Tinkering School LA, ages 7-12

Come build amazing things with us! Tinkering School LA teaches children the skills they need to work confidently in wood, plastic, and metal to build robust structures as wild as their imaginations. With a 4:1 camper to facilitator ratio, our fully stocked workshop provides a safe and supportive environment for personal growth through skills development and creative construction. Our flagship program, now in its ninth year.

Tinkering School LA Masters, ages 11-16

Tinkering School LA Masters Camp provides a camp experience unique in Southern California for teens to tinker with wood, metal, and reclaimed materials, all while gaining design and fabrication skills. Working with some of LA's top STEAM educators and master makers, tinkerers will design, prototype, build, and tinker with a wide range of tools and materials. Power tools, engineering, machines, and inventing all come into play. Participants will gain an understanding of the engineering design process, working as a team towards a group goal. While prior maker experience is not a prerequisite, Tinkering School LA Masters camp attracts many ambitious campers. Group projects take advantage of all of the skills in the room, pushing each tinkerer to learn and apply new techniques. Big Builds at Masters camps are some of the most intricate and ambitious projects reDiscover facilitates.

Tinkering School LA Counselors in Training, ages 13-18

Counselors in training work alongside staff facilitators to create a safe, fun, engaging Tinkering environment for campers ages 5-12 at Tinkering School LA. CITs receive training materials and mentoring on how to facilitate a tools-intensive Tinkering environment. CITs provide one-on-one support to tinkerers, assist facilitators in group management, maintain the workshop, including repairing and building equipment as needed, and receive after-hours access to the Tinkering School LA woodshop for personal projects. CITs are expected to arrive at 8:30 and be available through the daily staff meeting that ends at 3:45. Two week minimum commitment. Prior experience with making, tinkering, and basic woodworking highly recommended. New CITs need to schedule an admissions interview before registering. The cost is $250 per week.

*Cancellation fee: Waived until four weeks before registered camp week, then 50% of tuition paid until two weeks before camp week, then 100% of tuition paid less than two weeks before camp week. Camp tuition is transferable to a substitute camper in full, at time of cancellation only. See our full Cancellation Policy for more details.

No one with open toed shoes, loose hair or clothing will be allowed in the shop.

reDiscover Center offers Summer, Winter, and Spring Break Camps. Want the Tinkering School LA camp experience for your school, organization, or group? Submit a Booking Request online or call 310-393-3636.

Use of the school premises has been granted pursuant to the provisions of Sections 17400, et seq., of the Education Code of the State of California to REDISCOVER CENTER, INC. from the Board of Education of the Los Angeles Unified School District. LA Unified and the Board of Education does not sponsor or take responsibility, nor does it endorse any of the activities, statements or opinions which may be expressed at this meeting/activity.

Welcome to Tinkering School LA

What do campers do during the day?

Most of the camp day is in the shop, learning new skills, brainstorming, making, and tinkering.

Camp scheduling can vary, but generally follows this model:

  • Every day begins with a morning welcome activity while everyone is arriving
  • Each day we take a snack break at 10:30, and we walk to the park for lunch (Note: Lunch is not provided, but we generally have fruit available at snacktime)
  • Monday starts with introductions, rules, and tool training for those who need to go through it
  • On Monday and Tuesday, we do smaller builds and challenges, individually and in groups to get our skills up
  • From Wednesday to Friday, we do our Big Build. This revolves around a prompt that we reveal Wednesday morning, then brainstorm together, vote, and let each camper sign up for the portion of the build they want to work on.
    • Past Big Builds include “Journey to the Bottom of the Sea” (for which they made a submarine, deep sea rovers, scuba suits, volcanoes, etc), “Magic” (for which they made a two story Hogwarts and various shops in Hogsmeade), and “Superheroes” (for which they invented their own superhero identities, made costumes, and then built a secret headquarters with firepole and getaway car)
    • Themes are intentionally broad to include a large variety of interests so that everyone can find something that engages them. We work with campers to ensure they find something to do that they will enjoy
    • Themes vary, are set by the Lead Facilitators, and are kept secret until Wednesday morning so that we can all brainstorm together

 

How do I know my child will be safe? You’re giving them power tools?

We take safety very seriously, it’s the first thing we talk about. On day one, we go over all of our tools and teach our specific safety protocols for each tool - which we have developed through years of experience and research. How to use them safely, identifying the dangerous parts, identifying ways that people may try to use them unsafely and what can happen. Additionally, certain tools such as power saws always require direct supervision to use. We have a 1:4 counselor to camper ratio, and ensure that energy remains at a safe level, or we will take a break.

 

My child knows how to use tools already, do they really have to do tool training on the first day?

If they have been to reDiscover Center and done our tool training or built something recently (in the last few months), they may be allowed to join in a separate activity that gets them using the tools right away. If it has been a year, we ask that they get a refresher on the tools to ensure everyone’s safety. If they use tools a lot at home, we may take it on a case by case basis, but generally it’s important to learn our specific safety protocols that we use here (hand placement, how our specific tools work, etc). If they’re particularly advanced, we will recognize it, and may expedite them, or else have them help us teach the new tinkerers.

Note: Learning tools at a birthday party here isn’t the same as going through the full tool training; birthday parties typically only include drills and possibly hand saws, and don’t get much reinforcement training.

 

My child wants to make a go-cart/catapult/bookshelf/etc. Can they just build their own thing?

Our Big Build themes are very broad and can usually encompass most pre-existing ideas. In the rare case that they can’t find something related to the theme that interests them, they may work on an individual project, though this is something more suited to weekend open hours.

 

Can they take home what they make?

Smaller projects that are made earlier in the week, or smaller portions of the Big Build may be taken home with permission from parents/guardians. Often our Big Builds are too large to take home and are created by several people anyway; those stay here and are taken apart to be made into more projects (go sustainability!). We encourage tinkerers who are working on small builds together to discuss what happens to it when it’s finished before they begin building.

 

I’m having a hard time finding out how to register for the El Segundo program.

On a computer: After clicking the link on our camp page, click “Online Registration” on the left menu, select “All Activities” at the top. In the “Youth Camps” section, you will find Cardboard Camp and Tinkering School LA Camp. If you don’t see “Youth Camps,” scroll to the bottom and select “Load More Results,” then scroll back up.

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