Business profile: Hayground School

PETER BOODY PHOTO | Kids and counselors of the Hayground School's summer camp at the school's campus in Bridgehampton.

Year established: 1996
Location: 151 Mitchells Lane, Bridgehampton
Phone: 631-537-7068
Number of employees: 13

Hayground School was founded in 1996 on the conviction that all children can and should live a life of the mind, that all children can be serious and passionate readers who are able to engage in serious discourse, that all children can work and study in a community where art is at the center, not the periphery, of life, and where they can develop the habit of compassion.
Hayground School’s mission is to provide an open community school where conventional teaching methods are replaced by new ways of teaching and learning, a program of innovation in a community of diversity, both economical and cultural.
Hayground offers a nine-week summer camp for a diverse group of kids ages 3 to 13. “Hayground is a camp that kids would invent if they could,” said its founding director, Jon Snow. “The kids have lots of time and choices to help them discover what they love to do. We have 400 kids from all over the world,” said Mr. Snow, “as well as kids from New York City and California and points in between.” 
The camp offers all the traditional sports and some non-traditional ones, including “boo yeah,” a game that involves a huge ball held aloft and lots of friendly competition. There is a special chess camp taught by a Serbian chess master.
“We have a big gardening and cooking program,” said Mr. Snow, “where the kids grow and harvest vegetables and then cook them. There are always lots of good things from the garden for the kids to eat,” he said. “They even grow produce for the local food pantry, and the camp has a special farmers market every Friday from 3 to 6:30 p.m., where the community is welcome to purchase what the kids have grown,” he said.
Hayground camp offers musical residencies to professional musicians, and this summer welcomes The Hot 8 Brass Band from New Orleans, which was recently featured on the HBO series “Treme.” “The kids have an opportunity to interact with top musicians from all over the world,” said Mr. Snow. “We also have a capoeira dance group from Brazil this summer,” he said. Also on the roster are two Ph.D. research scientists who call themselves the Brooklyn Aerodrome, who will engage the kids in making small planes out of recycled materials that will actually fly. “We also have A&G Hip Hop Dance,” said Mr. Snow, “who will be doing flash mobs with the kids.” The camp even has a flying trapeze every year, where the kids learn to perform like aerialists.

Open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.