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explore our CAMPUS

What's cool about our campus is that it's spread out over seven acres in Philadelphia's historic neighborhood of Germantown. The buildings are an eclectic mix of old and new, a unique look and feel more consistent with a college campus. With three gyms, three auditoriums, a student center, numerous open, green spaces and nine classroom buildings, it's a place worthy of adoration and exploration. The Meetinghouse, at the center of it all, provides a beautiful and spiritual focal point.

1. Main Building 2. Meetinghouse 3. Sharpless 4. Hargroves 5. Wade Science Center 6. Alumni Building 7. Admissions 8. Living Graveyard 9. Dead Graveyard 10. Loeb Performing Arts Center 11. Smith Gym 12. Cary Building 13. Friends Free Library 14. Field House 15. Scattergood Gym

we have deep roots in this place

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The Pillars of A

Quaker Education

At GFS, students and teachers gather in Meeting for Worship once each week. This is a time for shared, silent contemplation. Anyone who feels moved to speak may rise and do so. It is a simple formula, and can be a remarkably powerful experience.In these days of constant connectivity, the ability and opportunity to sit in silence have special value. Meeting for Worship is a cornerstone of the GFS culture that many come to cherish throughout their lives.

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speak the truth

We strive to deal fairly, equally and honestly with everyone. We aim to do as we say, reflecting our beliefs in our actions. even when it is inconvenient or challenging, we stand by our convictions, striving to lead lives of integrity.

Shine Together

We are all blessed with remarkable gifts. We are equally qualified to seek truth and to hear the voice of God. Every person deserves equal respect. For these reasons, we work against prejudice and discrimination and for equality.

stay connected

"Alone we can do little; together we can do so much."* We know there is strength in cooperation and wisdom to be found when many perspectives come together. We believe in the power of community.*
The words of Helen Keller.

keep it simple

In every way we can, we try to minimize the distractions that can draw our attention from the important things in life. This means not becoming overwhelmed by the busyness of daily routine. It means seeking balance. It means embracing simplicity.

care for all

This planet we inhabit, the talents we've been given, the community of which we are a part- all hold remarkable value. We must be responsible, imaginative and proactive in protecting these gifts and caring for the world and people around us. We must exercise good stewardship.

promote peace

We believe each life is precious and unique. We stand against war and violence and work to eliminate their root causes, including ignorance, racism, hatred and oppression. We are committed to creating peace.

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Discovery Camp (Grades 3-6)

Discovery Camp offers a combination of play and practice, because while we believe that play is vital, we also believe that children benefit from learning the skill of persistence that comes from digging deeply into an area of interest, such as cooking, painting, martial arts, and learning a new language. 

Rising grades 3-6
Weeks 1-5
June 17-July 19, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. 
Location: Main Campus
$365/$335 (early bird)
Week 3 (July 1-5), prorated for 4th of July holiday: $295/$275 (early bird) 

Discovery Camp combines traditional, fun-focused, community-oriented summer camp activities with cutting-edge workshop options to develop skills in areas of personal interest.  

Each day, Discovery campers will participate in two workshops. (Detailed descriptions below.) Workshops are taught by GFS faculty and staff, outside professional partners, and alumni. 

When registering, please select your child's top three workshop choices by the preference for each week. 

(The workshops that will run each week will depend on enrollment, and while the Discovery Team will do its best to accommodate all participants' selections, we reserve the right to determine the two in which each camper will participate based on overall rankings and enrollment). 

Week Discovery workshops
Week 1
June 17-21
  • Adventure 101*
  • Drama: The Art of Storytelling
  • Fun and Games
Week 2
June 24-28
  • Fun and Games
  • Mandarin, Beginner and Intermediate
  • Puppet Workshop
  • World Percussion

Week 3
July 1-5

  • Chopped Kitchen Chefs
  • DIY Arcade
  • Painting: Mixed Media
Week 4
July 8-12
  • Coding
  • Martial Arts 101
  • Sculpture
Week 5
July 15-19
  • Cartooning/Superheroes
  • Chopped Kitchen Chefs
  • Robotics

*Double block.

Workshops will run based on enrollment. We will make every effort to give participants their top choices. Based on participants' interests, some workshops may run for two sessions each day.

Workshop Blocks
Block 1: 12:30-1:45 p.m.
Block 2: 2-3:15 p.m.

Discovery Workshops

Adventure 101

Does the idea of adventure fill your child with excitement, curiosity, and wonder? Does your child ever wonder what it would be like to participate in one of Bear Grylls' TV shows? Do the adventure stories of people like Steve Irwin, Lynn Cox, Jessica Watson, and Alex Honnold capture their imagination?

Your child can discover the thrill and wonder of adventure in the wild, wondrous Wissahickon where the campers will learn the foundational skills required for a great adventure, such as shelter building, natural navigation, tracking, fire building, and primitive survival skills. Along with these valuable skills, students will try rock climbing, hiking, and adventure racing. 

Note: Adventure 101 is a 2-block workshop.

Cartooning/Superheroes

Clark Kent, Bruce Wayne, T'Challa, Diana Prince, Peter Parker, and Barbara Gordon. What do these names have in common? They are all legendary superheroes! Every comic book had a start somewhere, and in Cartooning/Superheroes, campers will enter the colorful world of Marvel superheroes, Japanese manga, graphic novels, and much more.

The workshop explores where and when comic books got their start, why they became so popular, and how they are made. Club participants will read comics and study different comic book styles as well as create their own cartoon superheroes. 

Coding

As technologies once thought to be purely science fiction (such as driverless cars, AI, robots, 5G wireless, and 3D printers) enter our day-to-day lives, understanding the “magic” that brings them to life—how to code—is becoming increasingly important.

Participants will learn programming fundamentals, key coding concepts, computational thinking, and creative problem-solving skills. Campers will focus on computer coding projects using Scratch 4.0, an open-source program developed by the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab, as well as Python and other programming languages.  

DIY Arcade

This workshop is a true team-based STEAM program where students will develop skills in coding and engineering as they collaborate on the design and construction of an actual arcade.  

Using systems like Raspberry Pi, JAMMA, or MAME campers will design and build their very own arcade machine bringing classic games like Pac-Man, Space Invaders, Mario Brothers, and Tetris back to life with a modern day twist.

Drama: The Art of Storytelling

What makes a great story?

Join us as we learn the essential ingredients of a great story, mixing in staging, costumes, body language, and dialogue to create a theatrical masterpiece worthy of the Discovery Camp Stage.

Students will work alone and in groups to craft engaging plotlines, authentic characters, and a compelling message. 

Fun and Games

What is it about games that explains why people have been playing them for over 5,000 years? Join us as we explore such questions as "What makes some games more fun than others?" and "Do popular, time-tested games like chess, Monopoly, Scrabble, Battleship, and Risk share any common characteristics?"

In addition to playing some of the world’s favorite games, participants will explore playground games, card games, and more. At the end of the week, the students will take what they have learned to create their own “bestseller” game.

Chopped Kitchen Chefs

Chopped chefs' culinary skills will be put to the test as they face off against one another using a zany assortment of mystery ingredients.

One day they may find a kumquat, rhubarb, tomatillo, and an avocado and another day they may find collard greens, kiwi, jicama, and a potato. At the end of each workshop session the expert judges will vote on the chefs’ creations in terms of taste, presentation, and creativity. Bon appetit!

Mandarin

Is your child interested in learning the language currently spoken by over 1.2 billion people? (A mere 360 million people speak English!) The program will use music and art to immerse students in the four key tones that are critical to communicating successfully in this ancient language. Students will also explore key elements of Chinese culture such as calligraphy, dance, puppetry, and science.

In addition, the participants read supplementary Chinese story books, watch short video clips, and create art projects related to Chinese culture and traditions. 

Two levels of Mandarin will be offered: 

Introduction to Mandarin
The introductory level is designed for those who are beginning their language-learning journey.

Conversational Mandarin
The more advanced level is for Mandarin students who have some familiarity with the language. The workshop will build on existing skills and help fine-tune the fundamentals. 

Martial Arts 101

Martial Arts 101 participants will learn and practice drills designed to condition their minds and bodies while emphasizing fun. Regardless of age, experience level, and background, this workshop instills the benefits of hard work, respect, compassion, and drive, both in and out of class.

Special emphasis is placed on fitness training for improved strength, speed, agility, and endurance. Campers also develop greater self-confidence as well as mental conditioning (including better focus). 

Painting: Mixed Media

Calling all artists! Campers will join GFS’s own artist-in-residence for an exploration of new artistic techniques using a variety of media.

Campers will bring their imagination and mix in some inspiration and the result will be a week of fun creating an array of colorful masterpieces! 

Puppet Workshop

Watch out, Elmo! Move over, Grover! Here come the GFS Puppeteers who are getting ready to pull some strings. Modeled after the magical world of Jim Henson’s Muppets, the Puppet Workshop offers everything campers need to create their own personality-filled creatures.

Whether using a simple sock or a lot of fuzzy fur, students will bring their imaginative friends to life and then collaborate with other workshop participants to create the story, set, and props for a full-scale puppet production to be performed in fabulous Fraggle Rock fashion on the last day of the camp week. 

Robotics

Has your child ever wanted to make a robot play soccer, sing a song, or even dance?

In Robotics, participants will touch on the fundamental skills needed to program state-of-the-art LEGO® EV3 robots. Each day, campers will work in small groups to assemble  and touch on the basics of robot engineering. The robotics workshop offers a glimpse into the wide world of robotics and a great starting point for the aspiring engineer or anyone else who wants to have a little robotic fun.

Sculpture: Express Yourself in 3D

Campers take their creativity to a third dimension with our all-new sculpture workshop, where artists will learn how to express their ideas through clay, metal, paper, and found objects such as paper clips, muffin cups, and pinecones.

Artists will learn not only different techniques, but also about famous sculptures from ancient carved figurines to Michaelangelo to Calder’s mobiles. At the end of the week, artists will display work at the FUNdamentals Sculpture Showcase.

Super Fun Sports

Does your child love to run around and have fun? Do they gravitate to the blacktop and the playground? Do they enjoy playing a variety of different sports? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then Super Fun Sports is the ideal choice!  

During this movement-filled workshop, students will learn the essential skills, strategies, and game play of flag football, Ultimate frisbee, soccer, and gaga ball as well as games popular in other parts of the world, such as futsol, rugby, cricket, and handball. Instructors also will focus on the essential elements of all sports such as healthy competition, good sportsmanship, fitness, nutrition, and safety. 

World Percussion

Have you got the beat? Each day, campers make music using a wide variety of percussion instruments such as congas, bongos, djembes, dunun, and tablas. Drummers learn percussion rhythms from many cultures, including Africa, Brazil, Japan, Cuba, and more.

No experience is necessary to attend and this workshop is sure to enhance both past and future musical training. Join us as we drum up no end of fun!