Rio Grande School

Accepting applications for our early childhood (3- and 4-year-olds) and K-6th grade programs for the 2017-2018 academic year. Please call 983-1621 or email to find out more or to schedule a visit.



We are so excited to be offering another excellent selection of choices for Pre-K through 6th grade campers this summer! Please take a look at our schedule below or download our 2017 brochure.



See you this summer! Questions? Email or call Camp Director Neal Turnquist at 505-983-1621.

Listen to Program Director Neal Turnquist and Head of School Nigel Taplin speak about the summer program on the KVSF 101.5 The Voice of Santa Fe.

K-6th Grade Camp
Rio Grande Summer Camp offers weekly camps that integrate enriched learning experiences with play, creative expression, and adventure-based learning. Morning, afternoon, and full-day options are available. Campers attending the morning session will choose an enrichment class in which they will learn alongside our educators, who average more than 10 years experience. The afternoon sessions will take advantage of our lovely and safe five-acre campus and focus on adventure education, design-thinking, and trips to museums and other exciting locales near campus.

Pre-K Camp
Rio Grande Summer Camp offers a pre-K camp program for 3- and 4-year-olds. Each week our experienced pre-K educators will design and lead child-centered activities that encourage discovery, imagination, and inspire creativity in a fun-filled, nurturing environment. The rich array of activities include the following: gardening, cooking, dramatic play, art projects, water play, and lots of outside time on our lovely and safe five-acre campus.

It is recommended that pre-K campers sign up for at least 2 consecutive weeks.

Please note: All pre-K campers need to be 3 years old and potty-trained.


Price if paid by May 1st

Price if paid after May 1st

Full Day



Morning session



Afternoon session




K-6 Daily Camp Schedule


Early Care (Free of Charge)


Morning Meeting/Group Games


Enrichment Class




Continue Enrichment Class




Afternoon Activities and Trips


Aftercare ($50/Week)




Week 1: June 12-16

Video Game Design
Grades 3-6

First came Pong, then space got invaded, birds got angry, and the princess was in another castle. What's next? Your game! Join us for a fun week of video game history and development. We'll figure out why and how classic games work, and we'll use what we learn to start making our own games. Designer, programmer, and writer Mike Young will help kids design, code, and explore.

“Tough Kids” Musical Theater Showcase
Grades K-6

Students will explore musical theater by working on songs and scenes from a variety of musicals featuring tough kids, including “Annie,” “Newsies,” and “Matilda.”  They will also spend time learning about the technical side of theater by working on sets, props, and/or costumes for their performance on the last day of camp. RGS Educators Terri Scullin and Whitney Walker will direct and help campers put on a show!

Cardboard Creations
Grades K-6

Spend the week learning all of the different ways to use cardboard for making toys, games, arts and crafts, masks, playhouses, and forts. Doctor of Education Jackie Gerstein will help campers with their creations. Visit for more information.

Spanish Immersion (Full Day)
Grades K-3

The campers will be exposed to the Spanish language and culture in a way that is simple and meaningful to them. The campers will learn Spanish through verses, songs, puppets, stories and skits as well as fun games and art projects.  We will celebrate the end of Spanish Camp with a fiesta! Judith Mace, experienced Spanish educator of 20 years and RGS Spanish educator, will lead the camp. (Note: This camp will run from 9am-3pm with recess, snack and lunch breaks. Due to the increased academic focus of the camp, the cost of this camp is $300 for the week.)

Week 2: June 19-23

Art & Science of Travel
Grades K-4
Campers will plan daily adventures in and around the Rio Grande School campus, sometimes on foot, other times by the Santa Fe Trails Route M. The group will study maps to collectively decide on routes and destinations for the week. Parks, rivers, museums, and the Railyard are all within reach. Campers will pack materials for offsite activities and snacks. RGS educators Bridget Green and Terri Scullin will guide the travel.  

Myths and Fantasies
Grades K-6
From wizards to Jedis, coyotes to whale bellies, myths and fantasies have been expanding our minds for as long as we’ve been telling stories. In this fun and active class, we’ll fire up our imaginations for reading and writing. We’ll explore myths, folk tales, fantasies, fairytales, and science fiction from both historic and contemporary culture—with a special focus on local Santa Fe indigenous culture. Come see how far and how deep your imagination goes!  Mike Young, a published fiction writer and teacher, will lead the class. His books have been praised in Publishers Weekly, The Believer, BOMB, and more.

Circuit Crafts and Games
Grades K-6

Build glowing, sensing, and interactive LED light projects; make electronic stickers, circuit sketchbooks, circuit cards, and hats/shirts with LEDs. Doctor of Education Jackie Gerstein will help campers light up their creations. (Please note: This class will require kids to use tools like glue guns.)

Code Cracking and Escape Rooms
Grades 2-6

Breakout rooms have captured the imagination of many people across the country. Campers will play breakout games by solving puzzles, learning and using coding skills, and engaging their ingenuity. They’ll practice critical thinking, teamwork, and problem-solving to escape and win the game. Camp Director Neal Turnquist will help the campers crack the codes.

Week 3: June 26-30

Chinese Culture
Grades K-6

Exposure to Chinese culture, history, geography, and language will be an enriching experience for campers. Dolores Pong, a former SFPS educator of 37 years, will integrate arts and crafts, music, literature, and cooking in the Chinese theme.  

Adventures in Writing
Grades K-6

Campers will compile their own journals throughout the week, exploring different locations around campus each day. We will do warm-up activities for writing and illustrating, while saving lots of time for open-ended writing and creativity. Experienced RGS educator Bridget Green will be the guide. The pathways will be up to the campers' imaginations!

Read that Movie!
Grades K-6
RGS Librarian Susan Steinman will offer a super fun class exploring several books that have been turned into movies! Campers will read the books and then see the movies (or parts of each for those that are longer). Included will be Alice in Wonderland, The BFG, The Tale of Despereaux, How to Train Your Dragon, Paddington, Winnie the Pooh, and more. There will also be crafts and activities that go along with each book and its movie counterpart.  

Frisbee Fun
Grades 2-6

Learn to throw and catch a frisbee like an expert! Campers will learn how to play Ultimate Frisbee and practice their skills in other fun games like Frisbee Golf. SFPS educator Hansen Bergamini has been playing frisbee since he was in elementary school and will assist the campers in developing their throwing and catching skills, along with thinking about strategy in Ultimate Frisbee.

Week 4: July 3-7 (no camp Tuesday, July 4)

Improv 101
Grades 2-6

Come enjoy being creative and thinking on your feet as we practice and improve upon the acting skill of improvisation. Through acting games and improvised scenes, students will stretch their brains, work collaboratively and have a great time. RGS Performing Arts Educator Terri Scullin will guide the silly skits and dramatic moments.

Spanish Immersion -- Week 1 (2-week commitment)
Grades K-6

The campers will be exposed to the Spanish language and culture in a way that is simple and meaningful to them. They will learn Spanish through verses, songs, puppets, stories and skits as well as fun games and art projects. We will celebrate the end of Spanish Immersion Camp with a fiesta! Judith Mace, experienced Spanish educator of 20 years, will lead the camp. (Please note: This is a 2-week camp, so campers must be able to attend July 10-14 as well.)

Dancing Around the World
Grade K-6
Campers will choose traditional dances from around the world and learn their basic steps and choreography. Dancers will also learn about the history, background, and meaning of these traditional dances. RGS GrandePlay instructor Diana Orozco-Garrett teaches the campers. She was an instructor for the National Dance Institute of NM for 14 years and teaches Tap, Creative Movement, and Zumba at Santa Fe Dance Works.

Art and Authors
Grades K-3
Camp Director Neal Turnquist leads art workshops inspired by picture books and their illustrators such as Hervé Tullet, Lois Ehlert, Ed Emberley, and more! Campers will design their own picture books to take home at the end of the week.

Week 5: July 10-14 

Rhythms and Beats
Grades K-6

Join RGS GrandePlay instructor Diana Orozco-Garrett as she leads campers on an exploration of creating rhythms and sounds through dance. Stomp, clap, and tap through energetic and fun choreography!

Art in Three Dimensions
Grades K-6

Campers immerse themselves in 3D art with a different daily focus. Pop-ups, origami, puppets, Sculpey clay, and cardboard construct will be explored as well as artist’s individual interests. RGS Visual Art educator Melissa Merritt helps the young artists create and discover their inner sculptor.

Spanish Immersion--Week 2: The second week of camp with Señora Mace continues!

Toy Making and Toy Take-Apart
Grades K-6
Take toys apart to see how they work and create new toys from the parts. Make homemade toys like marshmallow blowers, catapults, and flying and floating objects.  Doctor of Education Jackie Gerstein will guide the tinkering.

Week 6: July 17-21

World of Art
Grades K-6

Travel to a different country every day of camp and learn more about it through the arts. Activities will include arts and crafts, music, dance, and stories. On the final day of camp, we will share what we have learned in a showcase for family and friends. RGS Educator Melissa Merritt and Terri Scullin will lead the tour.

Map-Making and Geography Challenge
Grades K-6

Plan, design, and create maps using a variety of 2D and 3D techniques. Use a GPS to find hidden treasures. Make your own treasure maps! Practice your geography knowledge by playing interactive games. Camp Director Neal Turnquist will guide the explorations.  

Math and Logic
Grades K-6
This is designed for kids who want to engage in math fun! RGS Math educators Whitney Walker and Stu Pendleton will focus on the problem-solving side of math-logic problems, beginning algebra, and geometry. Students will get individualized practice in appropriate skills. This camp will challenge and engage every camper at their skill level.   

Coding and Robots
Grades 2-6
After developing some skills in coding with web platforms like, Co-Spaces, and Osmo Coding, use these skills to play with and code some of the newest toy robots, like Dash and Dot, Sphero and Ollie, littleBits, Ozobot, Quirkbot, Jimu Robot, Finch Robot, Makey-Makey, and micro:bit. Doctor of Education Jackie Gerstein will help campers expand their coding skills.

Week 7: July 24-28

Digital Film
Grades 2-6
Using iMovie, students will plan, film, and edit short film projects that highlight their acting and storytelling skills. RGS Performing Arts educator Terri Scullin will help the budding directors.

New Mexico History and Culture
Grades K-6
Children will learn about New Mexico’s rich history and culture through an exploration of the people who traveled the three national historic trails that lead to Santa Fe and why. SFPS educator of 37 years, Dolores Pong will lead various hands-on activities to enliven the history, including arts and crafts, music-making, and Spanish language games. There will be an introduction to some relevant Spanish vocabulary, along with an exploration of Spanish Colonial dance and music.

Tabletop Adventures
Grades K-6
Do you love board and card games? This is the camp for you! We’ll play games, from classics like checkers and backgammon, to more modern strategy games like Settlers of Cataan. Design and create your own games and try some role-playing as well. Camp Director Neal Turnquist gets the dice rolling and keeps it rolling all week.

Creative Movement
Grades K-3
RGS GrandePlay instructor Diana Orozco-Garrett leads a class designed just for younger campers! Campers will develop movement skills through a combination of dancing, games, and singing.

Week 8: July 31-August 4

Adventure Week (Full-Day Option Only)
Grades K-6

Each day will include near-full-day trips to the many beautiful natural areas in and around Santa Fe. We will hike, explore, and challenge ourselves, while having the opportunity to participate in science activities and experiments. RGS Adventure-Based Learning educator Stu Pendleton will guide campers on their adventures.

Questions? Email or call Camp Director Neal Turnquist at 505-983-1621.