Camp Smart Start & Play Pods

Camp Smart StartA new school year is just around the corner, distance learning is on everyone’s minds and parents need childcare! To support working families and keep kids on track, we’ve created Camp Smart Start, a program that offers support for students with their distance learning, while providing safe, fun childcare for working parents.

What Camp Smart Start IS:

Led by trained PRD and Schoolmates Staff, Camp Smart Start will help kids stay on track to start the school year by offering distance learning support, as well as providing opportunities for socialization and play with games and activities throughout the day.

Following the PUSD Distance Learning Bell Schedule, staff will assist students in logging into their various synchronous and asynchronous classes, assist with technical difficulties, and support their learning where possible.

When not “in-class”, staff will lead kids in the fun games and activities you’ve come to expect from PRD and Schoolmates. Camp Smart Start will feature weekly themes, sports, games, and more, all with kids in small, stable groups (pods), following COVID-19 hygiene practices, while socially-distanced, and wearing masks, of course. All children attending Camp Smart Start will be required to wear a mask while at camp, except when eating.

What Camp Smart Start is NOT:

Camp Smart Start is not school. While staff will do all they can to support teachers and students in their distance learning, we may not be able to answer every question or solve every “new” math problem. While Camp Smart Start staff are not teachers or tutors, they will communicate and work closely with parents to support students in their distance learning.

Camp Smart Start Information:

Camp Smart Start is for students grades TK-5th grades. The locations will be at Beach, Havens, and Wildwood Elementary Schools and are all outdoors! You will register for the lottery based upon your child’s school assignment. The sessions are 4-weeks long and if you are selected to attend, you will be paying the full amount for the 4-week session. No adjustments to the fee will be made for missed days or time. Additional sessions may be added. Please note: there will be a processing fee added to the total cost of the camp at check out.

Session 4: Monday - Friday, October 26th–November 20th (4-week session) from 8:15 am–3:00 pm
Camp Fee:
$1100 (10% discount for registering for both programs)
Location: Outdoors at Beach, Havens, and Wildwood 
Registration Min/Max: 14:56

Camp Smart Start and Play Pod programming will remain the same for Session 4. There will be a big transition for all elementary school families with the shift to the hybrid model. Rather than make changes to our programs now, we have decided to continue with our current program format and to allow families to settle into the new school schedule. We will continue to evaluate how we can continue to best meet the needs of of our elementary school families.

Play Pods Information:

 It's time to put away screens, get outside, and play!

That's why Schoolmates and PRD are introducing Play Pods, an afternoon outdoor recreation program focused on fun, socialization and screen-free playtime. Each afternoon trained Schoolmates and Recreation Staff lead and supervise their Play Pod while leading COVID-safe games, sports, crafts, and more.

Play Pods are a great way to keep kids active, get them the social play they need, and get parents a few extra hours for themselves.

Registration opens October 21st, 10:00 am online via Schoolcareworks Registration available on a first come first served basis. Play Pod groups are formed based on school and grade level, no friend requests accepted at this time. 

Monday - Friday, October 26th–November 20th (4-week session)
from 3:00–6:00 pm

Program Fee: $550 (10% discount for registering for both programs)
Location: Outdoors at Beach, Havens, and Wildwood 
Registration Min/Max: 14:28 per site

Camp is Outdoors:

All Camp Smart Start programs will be outdoors. In the event of rain, smoke, or any other unsafe conditions camp may be cancelled. Parents will be notified as soon as possible regarding any closures. 

Camp Smart Start / Play Pods & Inclusion:

PRD is committed to inclusion and supporting all PUSD students as much as possible. Please email for more information. 

Pod Formation:

All pods will match PUSD cohorts to the best of our ability and your child(ren) may not be in a pod with their classmates. PRD will group all classmates together wherever possible, otherwise pods will be formed by grade. 

Refunds, Cancellations & Transfers:

Camp Smart Start programs may be cancelled or modified for any reason. Once Camp Smart Start begins, cancellations or transfers will not be permitted, and no refunds will be provided for missed days at camp, except for medical reasons. Transfers are not permitted between PRD Pods or Camp Programs. Campers must attend the entire session.

Camp Smart Start & Play Pods Registration:

For Returning Schoolmates Families:
1. Login to your parent connect portal at
2. Click the “Registration” Tile
3. Select and register for the Smart Start or Play Pods program you need.

For Families without a Schoolcareworks Account:
1. Visit:
2. Find the Smart Start or Play Pod program that you need and click “Enroll”
3. Complete the required registration fields with your child’s information and click “add to cart”
a. If you have additional children click, “add new student” otherwise proceed to step 4
4. Under “Connect Portal Account Creation” create your User ID and password. Save your User ID and password, you will use these to login to your SchoolCareWorks Family Portal going forward. Click “Continue".
5. Answer the two Waiver Questions.
6. Click “complete registration” 

If you plan to continue using Smart Start, Play Pods or future Schoolmates programming, you can save time during registration by having a credit card on file for automatic payments. Please follow the steps below to add a credit or debit card to your Family Portal account. 

1. Log into your Family Portal account using the user id and password you created in Step 4 (above). Please note- Staff can assist with retrieving your ConnectID (username) and resetting your password, but we cannot see your password.
2. Select the AutoPay tile and follow the instructions to enter and save your payment information.

For technical assistance, please email

Additional Questions, please contact:
Jackson Stearns, Recreation Supervisor:
Katrina Morris, Recreation Coordinator: