In addition to her role as the Summer Principal, Ms. Pugh is also the brains behind our Traditional Day Camp for students entering grades K-5. Recently I sat down with Ms. Pugh, who acts as a Dean of Students during the school year, to get her thoughts on her role as our Summer Principal, her vision for the Traditional Day Camp program, and our summer program as a whole.

Matthew Beller: What piqued your interest in becoming the Summer Principal for BASIS Independent Brooklyn?

LaNesha Pugh: I wanted the chance to build and display my educational vision of a fun, interactive and imaginative learning environment, and the summer program was the perfect opportunity.

MB: Why do you think students should enroll in the summer program?

LP: My primary goal is to focus on a strong academic environment that is also enriching and engaging. Students will experience academic diversity with our variety of programs like Language Immersion, Engineering & Architecture, The History of Medicine, and Traditional Day Camp. But they also experience cultural diversity by immersing in New York City and the surrounding areas by field trips, performances and understanding how as individuals we are also connected to a larger, diverse environment.

MB: Switching gears, can you explain your vision of the Traditional Day Camp?


LP: The Traditional Day Camp is based on the concept of project-based learning units centered on an overarching theme. Our 7 week program is divided into 3 themes that each last for 2-3 weeks: Earth and Outer Space; New York City; and the Ocean. During each of the themes students will work on a variety of project-based activities that cover art, music, science, math, literacy and sports. The students will use these activities to learn about the larger theme. To keep kids interested throughout the day, every 45-60 minutes students will move onto a different hands-on activity that is always connected to the larger theme.

MB:  What are some examples of the types of activities students will experience during the various themes?

LP:  Let’s take a look at Earth and Outer Space. This is a science-based theme focusing on environmental awareness, the moon, and our solar system.  Students will work on art projects that will use clay to make their own moon surface and go rock climbing to simulate the experience of walking on the moon. When in the classroom, our expert counselors will teach about the ozone layer, environmental change, sustainability, and being a global citizen.

MB: Can you share with us some other themes?

LP: In the New York City theme, students will use the same approach to engage with their local communities. Students will connect to Red Hook and the rest of New York City through field trips, art projects, ethnic food, and sports. In The Ocean, students will act as marine biologists in training for a 2 week period, during which they will study the ins and outs of the ocean by collecting seashells and rocks, swimming, and making marine-themed art and music.

MB: What are the dates of the various themes, and do parents have to enroll in a specific week or session?

LP:  Parents can choose to enroll for any individual week, an entire 2-3 week theme, or even the whole 7 week camp. Our program is designed so that students can join at any period and still have a fun and enriching experience. Below is the schedule for the themes:

Earth and Outer Space:
July 5-8 | July 11-15 | July 18-22

NYC experience:
July 25-29 | August 1-5

The Ocean:
August 8-12 | August 15-19

To learn more about Traditional Day Camp as well as other programs, join us at our special Open House at the school in March. We will soon announce the date, time and how to RSVP. Be sure to read our post highlighting our Mandarin Immersion Summer program. To be alerted of summer updates, please fill out this form.

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