Photos courtesy of Camp SMILE

Offering a summer of memories, inspiration, learning, and enrichment

Fauquier County Public Schools provides a summer enrichment program via Camp SMILE. Formerly known as Camp Moss Hollow, this camp has been helping create memories, inspiration, and a learning environment to enrich the lives of participants since 2006. Camp SMILE is designed for rising 5th graders in the public school division, and is an invitation-only program.

Applications for the 2018 program are being accepted now through May 25, 2018. According to Robin Verity, director for Camp SMILE, “The first 80 students are guaranteed a slot.” Students are invited to participate in the program by classroom teachers, school counselors, and administrators.”

This overnight program enables students to participate in an overnight experience, gain a preview of 5th grade curriculum and sets a focus on education along with peer interactions. Instruction is coupled with camp experiences such as swimming, hiking, canoeing, and other activities. Verity said the vision of the camp is to “pre-teach, or expose, students to the 5th grade curriculum, and to give students an opportunity to engage in an experience that they may not have had, such as attending an overnight camp. Our number one focus is the pre-teaching.” She also shared students are nominated to participate for a variety of reasons such as being positive role-models.

According to the Fauquier County Public School division: “Throughout the day the students spend about three hours on 5th grade curriculum academics: math, reading, science, social studies, and a ‘Five Needs’ class that helps build their self-esteem and awareness of their basic needs as human beings. The small class sizes incorporated hands-on learning, as well as outdoor activities whenever possible. In the afternoon and evenings, students will participate in typical camp activities, including campfires and singing.”

The academic classes and Five Needs program are all run by licensed Fauquier County Public School teachers. “We have 10 teachers, one director, and one administrative intern helping the students during camp,” shared Verity. Counselors will work with students and all counselors are 18 years or older and are hired by the 4-H Center. “They all have criminal checks and are well trained,” noted Verity. “4-H also has program staff that will be managing the campfires, ropes courses, canoeing, and hiking activities.”

Fauquier County Public School division funds this successful program. “For the past two years I taught 5th grade and was able to see firsthand the ‘light bulbs’ going off in classes. It is priceless to see a student excited because they have background knowledge information that they can share.” Verity shared, “The confidence students gain at Camp SMILE  reaches far beyond the five days of camp.”

For more information on the invitation process or the camp, please contact Robin Verity at


Camp SMILE: Sunday, July 29 – Thursday, August 2, 2018

Nonrefundable fee of $25 is due with the submission of enrollment application; no other fees are applicable.

Drop off July 29 at James G Brumfield Elementary School at 8:00 a.m.

Pick up is on August 2 at James G Brumfield Elementary School at 10:00 a.m.

Photo: From the March 13, 2018 visit to our new “home” at the 4H center.  The 2006 the program began at Camp Moss Hollow, and this is the first year at the new venue.


Debbie Eisele
About Debbie Eisele 63 Articles
Debbie Eisele is a freelance writer and the Community Outreach Coordinator for Hero’s Bridge, a nonprofit serving older veterans. She lives in Warrenton with her husband and twin daughters.

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