Join the Summer Camp Challenge!

By Emily S. RSS Fri, March 3, 2023

Summer is on its way, once again. If you will be working with Philly kids at an existing summer camp program, we welcome you to join us in the Summer Camp Challenge! Whether it’s your camp’s first time or third, this program will provide you with all the tools you need to keep your summer camp programming fresh and literacy-filled. 

Help Philly kids become strong readers and learners for life.

Make the commitment to add 60 minutes of literacy to your camp day. The Free Library will provide the resources you need to help fight learning loss with fun and simple activities geared toward school-aged children headed into grades 1st-3rd.

Camp Challenge Toolkit

Registered camps will receive a curated collection of read aloud books, literacy games, expanded activity guides and accompanying programming ideas. The Free Library will also provide training for camp staff as well as on-going program support to all registered camps.

Register online by April 30, 2023. Space is limited. The cost is $100 per camp. Email to learn about scholarships or other ways that camps can participate. 

Can’t wait for summer camp to begin?

  • Visit the Free Library’s Camp Challenge page for more information, and explore the Youth Services Summer Hub to discover our latest blog posts, activity suggestions, themed read aloud guides, and more. 
  • Sign up online to participate in our Spring Reading Challenge and take part in the Women’s History Month activity adventure!
  • Stay tuned for the Camp Challenge 2023 book list, a sneak preview of the picture book titles on our read aloud list! We can’t wait to share this fun and engaging material with you. 

Until then, thank you for all that you do to nurture the kids of our city. Wishing you a beautiful spring season, and a learning-filled summer to come!

The Free Library Summer Camp Challenge is generously supported by the William Penn Foundation and helps to fulfill the mission of Read by 4th.

Have a question for Free Library staff? Please submit it to our Ask a Librarian page and receive a response within two business days.

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If someone wanted to pay for a camp to join the Summer Camp Challenge, how could the be done as a donation?
Elsa Johnson Bass - Philadelphia
Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Hi Elsa! Please email us at, and I will look into that for you.
Em S. - Youth Services, Free Library
Thursday, April 27, 2023

I completed the Summer Camp Challenge Application on Thursday, April 27th. I didn't see where I could pay the $100 dollar fee. I know the deadline is April 30th, so I was concerned that my application would not be approved if the fee wasn't paid. I can be reached at 267-269-3927 or by email: I await your response. Thank you
Rhonda Roberts - Philadelphia
Friday, April 28, 2023

Our summer camp leader Rhonda Roberts has been trying to submit the application before the April 30th deadline. Her number is 267-269-3927. This is for the summer camp JROCK at the Cornerstone Academy in SW Philadelphia.
Elsa Bass - Philadelphia
Friday, April 28, 2023

Hello Elsa and Rhonda. We did receive your registration. We'll be in touch via email shortly. Thanks for joining the Camp Challenge!
Em S. - Youth Services, Free Library
Tuesday, May 2, 2023