here’s what you need to know about apprenticeship camps

As of March 28, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey’s new summer camp portal is open, allowing parents to research what camps and activities are available, as well as register.

Here’s what you need to know about the Arizona OnTrack Summer Camp.

What is the purpose of the camps?

The camps are part of Governor Ducey’s efforts to help children catch up in school over the summer, in an effort to make up for the loss of in-person education throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The plan has already attracted thousands of students, as well as hundreds of sites to host classes.

The camp aims to help children with essential subjects, including reading, math and civics.

“We have everyone on deck,” Governor Ducey said. “We want to eliminate learning loss. Catch up with our children.”

How have Arizona students been doing since the COVID-19 pandemic began?

In 2021, only 38% of students passed the statewide English language arts tests and only 31% passed the math tests.

How will the camps take place?

“One of Arizona’s most respected education leaders, Lisa Graham Keegan, will lead AZ OnTrack Summer Camp, the initiative to overcome learning loss during the pandemic,” reads- one in a press release from Ducey’s office.

“As we prepare to think about school in the fall, this summer provides a really good on-ramp, and I think the kids will really benefit from that,” Keegan said.

Schools and community organizations will host summer camps across the state. “Together, these partners will work to overcome the academic and social losses that children have faced over the past two years,” the press release reads.

Adding, “Most camps will begin in June, but each host has flexibility for timing, scheduling, transportation and childcare to best serve working families.”

Where does the money for these camps come from?

Governor Ducey uses $100 million from the US bailout to fund the camps.

How many camps are available?

So far, 70 different camps are on offer, but officials say they hope to get many more, up to around 1,000.

“The camps come in different lengths,” Keegan said. “Some of them are two weeks, some are three weeks, some are overnight camps, and so they’re very different experiences for the students, and we’re happy about that.”

When will the camps start?

Camps are scheduled to begin the first week of June.

Are there any challenges in organizing the camps?

Perhaps the biggest challenge of Governor Ducey’s initiative is finding teachers to lead these classes during the summer.

“The teachers are exhausted. It’s not like they don’t want to,” Christina Bustos said.

SOS Arizona officials say they support the idea, but acknowledge a lack of enthusiasm for some educators.

“I think people are frustrated that these resources were held back for a year when we desperately needed counselors and educational resources,” Beth Lewis said. “It doesn’t really fit.”

Keegan weighed in on the challenges.

“We’ve asked all camp operators to really focus on good pay for this summer, and we’ve asked for it to be at least 20% above average rates,” Keegan said. “We had camps that said ‘look, we’re proving childcare for our teachers is an incentive. There are other people offering things for teachers to donate for their own fall classes.”

Interested schools and families can find more information at

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