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About the Program
Bike Camp! is a summer program for kids aged 10 to 14 designed around riding and learning about bikes, and more. It’s about team-building, fun, community, and discovery.
In 2016, we’re teaming up with Gearin’ Up Bicycles for our maintenance lessons! We’re also excited to announce a new location for Bike Camp!: the KIPP DC Shaw campus.
While we’re still hammering out all the fine details, this year’s program is packed with lots of outdoor education activities bike-related excitement! Students will:
- Bike between one and 20 miles each day. Rides will increase in duration as each session of camp progresses.
- Learn how to take care of their bike and make basic repairs
- Volunteer at local organizations around the city and give back to the community
- Map their own rides and track ride info
- Practice team-building activities
- Explore the neighborhood on their own two wheels
- Visit local sites and go on field trips by bike
- Play games, learn about DC, and have fun outside
Session Dates, Times, and Location
Session I | City Explorers Camp | July 5 – July 15 | Ages 10 – 14 | $500/child
- City Explorers Camp will focus on route creation, group riding, and longer rides.
- Campers will ride every day (weather dependent), and as much as 20 miles per day!
- Campers will bike to different field trips and volunteer opportunities across the city.
- This camp will include at least one session of basic bike maintenance with Gearin’ Up Bicycles.
- This is a great camp for campers who want to see the city, visit new places, and help the community.
Hours: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Monday – Friday
(*Note there is no camp on Monday, July 4)
Location: KIPP DC Shaw Campus, 421 P St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
Registration for Bike Camp 2016 is open! You can find registration forms here.
WABA will offer a limited number of partial and full scholarships each session based on financial need. Scholarship information is included in the registration packet.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will my child ride on streets? How does that work?
We will ride on residential streets and trails, many of which have protected bike facilities. When necessary, we will ride on the sidewalk or walk our bikes. Campers will always be surrounded by instructors. We will always ride as a “bike train” — single file, with adults in the front and the back of the formation. For us, the best decision is always the safest decision, so our rides are designed first and foremost with camper safety in mind.
Do students bring their own bikes to camp? What if my child doesn’t have a bike?
Students are encouraged to bring their own bikes to camp. If your student will ride their own bicycle during camp, you must have the bike checked over by a qualified mechanic before camp starts. After registration, you’ll receive a Bicycle Inspection Form that you can use to have your child’s bike checked out by a qualified bike mechanic. If you don’t know how to find a bike mechanic, we can help.
Additionally, WABA has a small youth bike fleet. We are able to provide a limited number of bikes to students who do not have their own for the duration of the session. If you indicate that your child does not have a bike in your application form, we will do our best to match your camper with an appropriate bicycle to use during the program.
What should my child bring to camp every day, other than a bike?
In order to participate, your child needs to come to camp with the following items every day:
- Two full water bottles (at least 12 oz. each)
- A helmet
- A lunch
- A snack
- A backpack to carry their lunch or other items while biking
Who designed the curriculum?
Our Bike Camp curriculum was designed by WABA’s education staff in collaboration with our partner organization Gearin’ Up Bicycles. Gearin’ Up is a non-profit bike shop that teaches mechanics specifically to youth. Our education staff are League Cycling Instructors (LCIs) who have taught thousands of DC-area kids about better biking. Our Programs Director, Daniel, is an LCI coach, meaning he trains and certifies LCIs around the country.
This curriculum is informed by best practices from the League of American Bicyclists, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and by evidence-based program design at The Bike Depot in Denver and Philadelphia’s Neighborhood Bike Works.
My child doesn’t know how to ride a bike without training wheels yet. Can they come to camp?
No. In order to participate in camp, students must be able to ride a bicycle (without training wheels) for at least 25 minutes. Note: Because of longer routes, Session I campers must be able to ride a bicycle for at least 45 minutes at a time.
What age groups does this camp serve?
We accept students from 10 to 14 years of age when camp starts. Campers who attended Bike Camp! in 2015 and fall out of this age range will be allowed in for this year.
Is this a competitive sports camp?
No. Bike Camp! is an inclusive team-building camp that focuses on fun, imagination, and exploration. Our rides are designed with the abilities of the slowest rider in mind, and we aim to use bicycling as a vehicle for creativity, pro-social behavior, and civic engagement.
A whole camp devoted to biking sounds kind of monotonous. Do you really have enough bike stuff to occupy two weeks of my kid’s time?
Yep. Because we’re teaching safe bicycling practices, bike mechanics, and going on lots of fun rides, we’ll have more than enough stuff to occupy our time. We’ll go on at least one ride every day (as weather permits), but we won’t spend the majority of time on bikes. We hope this camp will just be a jumping off point for you and your child to explore the area by bicycle.
Who can I call if I have a question that’s not on this list?
Email is the best way to reach us. Try firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternately, give us a call at 202-518-0524 x 222.
Most WABA activities are free or don’t cost more than 20 bucks. Why does this cost so much?
Between paying highly-qualified staff, providing safe bikes for kids to ride, maintaining insurance, and keeping the lights on in our work spaces, the expenses add up! The majority of our education and outreach programs are highly subsidized by local governments, foundations, and generous donors, allowing them to be priced the way they are. By contrast, Bike Camp! is fully funded by registration fees alone. Because providing excellent and accessible bike education is an important part of our organizational mission, we hope to be able to offer more scholarships to Bike Camp! in the near future.