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Devising Hope

Devising Hope started as an intergenerational theatre program in partnership with Street Sense Media and Educational Theatre Company.


Devising Hope brings together adults who have experienced homelessness and local high school students to collaborate on a devised theatre piece. Through the course of the project, Devising Hope participants build connections and camaraderie through theatre exercises and the creation of new material based on a chosen theme. In seeking to build a common understanding of the human experience, Devising Hope participants share personal narratives that inspire an original theatre piece, performed for a public audience. Starting in 2022 ETC's Devising Hope will be partnering with Challenging Racism on a new collaboration.

Goals of Devising Hope 
• Foster relationships  
• Break down barriers between participants 
• Share stories and experiences with each other 
• Gain empathy and confidence through finding their own voice

• Increase sociability, improve their outlook, and an enhance the quality of life for  all participants 

  • What is the COVID-19 vaccination policy?
    As of April 9, 2024, ETC is no longer requiring campers to be vaccinated for COVID-19, but ETC reserves the right to to ask for COVID-19 vaccination documentation at any time. If an ETC camper gets COVID-19 the week before or during camp, we ask that families use the following guidelines: Families will communicate with the Camp Director ASAP if a camper or any immediate family or household member is exposed to COVID-19 or starts to show symptoms. If exposure happens, families should monitor the camper. If the camper exhibits symptoms, do not send them to camp. If they show symptoms or test positive for COVID-19, they will only be allowed to attend camp after 5 days of isolation. For the 5 days of isolation Day 0 of isolation is the day of symptom onset, regardless of when your camper tested positive. Day 1 is the first full day after the day the campers symptoms started. ETC reserves the right to ask for additional negative rapid tests or mask wearing upon returning to camp after testing positive for COVID-19.
  • Do I have to sign a release or waiver? What forms are required?
    Yes, there are a few documents you will need to sign by June 1st. An ETC Waiver A COVID-19 Camp Waiver This summer we are continuing to require COVID-19 vaccination. Parents or Guardians must fill out the COVID-19 electronic waiver stating that their camper has been vaccinated before the start of camp. Vaccination cards are no longer required, but ETC reserves the right to ask for your child’s COVID-19 vaccination documentation at any time. You can sign it at the time of registration or log into your account at any time before June 1st to sign the waivers. All film camp attendees must also sign the Photo & Video Release in order to attend camp.
  • What is the ETC Cell Phone Policy?
    Cell Phone, WIFI and Small Electronics Camp Policy At ETC we strive to foster an environment where kids, teenagers, and staff build a camp community that is present and engaged. We believe children need time at camp to unplug, power down and have a well-needed break from social media and electronics. This cell phone and electronic policy aligns with our mission of encouraging campers to collaborate, gain confidence and independence, learn self advocacy, grow creativity and immerse themselves in our camp community and culture. ETC campers are not allowed to use any cell phone or electronic device that has access to Wi-Fi, cell service or is able to transfer data unless required by the camp’s activities. If a camper is found with a cell phone or device, camp staff will confiscate it, keep it secure and return it at the end of the camp day. This policy encompasses Extended Day time as well. Your child’s safety is always at the forefront of our minds, therefore, in the case of an emergency, devices will be accessible. If your child needs their device for medical purposes, please notify your camp director. Please support ETC and our camp staff by communicating this policy at home before camp begins, so that we all have a great camp experience!
  • Where is camp? The location is listed as TBA!
    The locations for many of our camps are still being determined by Arlington Public Schools, the Department of Parks and Recreation, and our private partners. Check the summer camp page for the most updated locations. We also post notices to our mailing list as locations are updated. You can sign up for our mailing list on our homepage. County locations are subject to change which is out of ETC control. If a change in location or camp time is necessary, families will be notified immediately. If the change does not work for your family, ETC will process any cancellations or transfers if necessary according to our stated policies.
  • What is the cancellation/refund policy?
    Cancellation/Refunds We understand that summer plans can change. We will continue to offer flexible options for families who may need to adjust their summer schedule. For cancellations made before 1 week of the start of camp: A full refund minus ETC’s camp system transaction fees* (10%) For cancellations made within 1 week of the start of camp: A 50% refund Camps are non-refundable if canceled within the camp week. ETC reserves the right to charge at least a 10% system transaction fee to any family that asks for a refund due to the vaccination policy. *ETC incurs fees averaging 10% from Active Camps and Classes (including credit card fees) that are taken at the time of registration and are not able to be refunded. We encourage you to consider other options, which include: Donate all or part of your tuition to ETC Receive a credit to put toward a future ETC program or event (credit may be used through March 31, 2025) For special circumstances, ETC reserves the right to issue refunds at its discretion. Cancellation/Refunds of Extended Day For cancellations made before 1 week of the start of camp: A full refund of the Extended Day fee minus ETC’s camp system transaction fees* (10%) For cancellations made within 1 week of the start of camp: The Extended Day fee is nonrefundable Extended Day is subject to being canceled if the minimum registrations number is not met. ETC will notify families at least two weeks before the start of camp so alternate arrangements can be made. For special circumstances or low enrollment, ETC reserves the right to issue refunds at its discretion.
  • Can I cancel my registration myself?
    Registrants may self-cancel and refund their registrations directly from their online ACTIVE account from the time of registration up until the week of the camp. Please note within a week of the start of the camp if you would like to cancel, families must contact the office.
  • How do I redeem my ETC credit?
    If you received a credit from a previous ETC program, it will be shown as available credit in your Active account. To redeem your credit, when selecting payment in the cart, select ‘Pay in full’ and then your credit balance will appear. You can then check the box to use your available credit balance. If your credit balance is less than your purchase, the remaining credit will stay in your account to use in the future. If your credit balance is more than your purchase, the system will deduct your credit from your cart and then you can pay for the remaining amount with your payment of choice.
  • How do I redeem my Auction Item or Scholarship?
    To redeem an Auction Item or Scholarship, email with a copy of your document and which camp you'd like to register for. To apply for a scholarship, fill out our form here. (Please note: Auction Items and Scholarships are not redeemable for camps held through the City of Falls Church)
  • Can I transfer my registration to another week or camp?
    Campers are able to switch weeks or camps as long as there is still space available in the program into which they plan to transfer. Transferring to a camp with a different price will alter the campers’ remaining balance accordingly.
  • When is my registration payment due?
    For all registrations, half of camp cost is due at the time of registration, the second half of payment will automatically be charged on June 1st, 2024. All registrations after June 1st will have to be paid in full. If your family has special circumstances that prevent you from paying in full by June 1st, please contact the office as we can work with you to set up a payment plan that works for you.
  • How do I log into my Active account?
    Just click here: Active Login
  • What is ACTIVE Advantage? - Do Not Enroll-
    ACTIVE Advantage is a non-ETC rewards program offered through Active Camps and Classes, ETC’s 3rd party registration system. This is not required to enroll in an ETC camp. There is a membership fee of $89.95. Upon registering for an ETC program, you will have the option to join their trial rewards program ACTIVE Advantage. If you checked the box in error, please contact the ACTIVE customer support team at or by phone at 866-561-0647 to unenroll. From ACTIVE Camps and Classes “ACTIVE Advantage is a rewards program that allows registrants to sign-up for other programs and purchase gear at discounted rates. After they have registered for a program, they are offered a trial membership for ACTIVE Advantage, and if they consent to enrollment, they must cancel before the trial membership is over to avoid being charged the membership of $89.95 (annual price). If they do not enroll, they are not charged. Please note that the offer appears after registration has been completed and registrants MUST check the accept box to be added as a trial member. It is not automatic.”
  • What is the Social Referral Program?
    When registering, Active Camp and Class Manager can provide you with a personalized referral link that you can share with family and friends. The Social Referral Program goes through February 29th, 2024. When someone uses your referral link, you also get a $5 credit to be used on a future ETC program through 3/31/2025. If your family or friends register with your personalized referral link they get a 5% discount on all their registrations!
  • I'm on the waitlist. Now what?
    If a camp is full, and you’ve joined the waitlist, you will be contacted automatically by Active Camps and Classes when a spot is available. The invitation will expire in 48 hours after it has been emailed. You will be able to register directly from the waitlist email. If the spot opens up 3 days before the start of camp, ETC office staff will reach out directly. If you want to know what number your child is on the waitlist, please contact the ETC office.
  • I registered my child for camp, when will I learn more details about the camp?
    A welcome email will be sent out at least 1 week in advance to parents and guardians containing specifics about camp details, reminders, what to expect, and other important information.
  • Can I let a camp director know more specific information about my child?
    If more information is needed about a medical concern or behavioral issue than you listed in the camp registration form, please contact the ETC office at (703) 271-0222 or
  • Who directs and works at the camps?
    Our ETC Camp Directors are highly trained teaching professionals in the DC metro area. They specialize in the specific camp themes or topics and many are year-round ETC teaching artists. We also have a pool of professional, college, and high school camp staff that join us each summer.
  • What's the camper to counselor ratio?
    All of our summer camps maintain a 10:1 student to teacher ratio, except for ETC Beginnings for Preschoolers which has an 8:1 ratio.
  • Where do I register for ETCs Falls Church Camps?
    ETC partners with the City of Falls Church to offer five camps each summer. If you want to register your child for Animal Tales, Musical Theatre, Acting Out: The Basics, Improv Comedy Troupe, or Skits & Sketches, you can do so HERE. If you have any questions about payment or registration please contact the Falls Church Community Center at (703) 248-5077.
  • What's the schedule for each day of camp?
    Each camp begins with a full camp activity, normally a warm-up or getting to know you game. After that, campers rotate through different theatre activities whether it is an improvisation game, acting exercise, movement exercise, rehearsal, filming/editing, or arts and crafts. Campers will then have lunch and downtime/outdoor break. The afternoon will be filled with more of those activities or oftentimes campers will rehearse for the sharing.
  • How can I sign my child up for Extended Day?
    Extended Day can be selected at the time of registration or added anytime by logging into your Active account. ETC offers Extended Day for many of our youth camps. We are offering morning and afternoon Extended Day from 8am-9pm & 3pm-6pm at some of our camps. ETC reserves the right to cancel Extended Day up until two weeks prior to the start of camp due to low registrations. A full refund for the cost of Extended Day would be issued.
  • Will there be a performance or sharing at the end of the camp?
    All camps will have a performance or sharing of activities they have been doing in camp. In the past, sharings have included informal games, stories, and scenes they have rehearsed in camp to evening performances or film screenings. Family and friends are invited to attend.
  • Will campers go outside?
    All camps will have both indoor and outdoor time (weather permitting). Teens may not have scheduled outdoor time, but they will have the opportunity to go outside if desired. Film camps may film in small groups outdoors throughout camp
  • What does my camper need to bring to camp?
    Water - We advise that your camper brings a full water bottle with their name on it to camp each day. Camp sites also have water fountains that are accessible to campers. Sunscreen and Bug Spray - We suggest applying sunscreen and/or bug spray to your child before camp if desired. Campers may bring their own to apply during camp if necessary. ETC staff can help with application when necessary. We are happy to remind them to re-apply before heading outside.
  • Is lunch or a snack provided?
    Campers in full day camps should bring their own lunch to each day. Campers eat lunch around 11:30 am or 12:00 pm. Many of the younger camps will have scheduled snack breaks, but it is also a good idea to pack snacks for older campers and anyone attending Extended Day that they can eat on their own.
  • Who do I tell if my child has allergies?
    When registering, please list any allergies in the online registration form. The ETC office and camp directors will be monitoring this list and providing any information to camp staff. If there are campers who have allergies, the camp director will notify parents in their welcome email as to what foods are restricted.
  • Are camp staff CPR and First Aid certified?
    All of our camp directors are certified in First Aid and CPR. If your child has an EpiPen for food allergies, please talk to your camp director on the first day. If you would like to leave your child’s EpiPen with the camp staff for the entire camp, please feel free to do so, or you can leave it in your child’s bag. We also keep first aid kits at all of our summer camps and will notify you at the end of the camp day if first aid was administered. If a larger injury takes place, we will contact the parents/guardians immediately. This very rarely happens. Our staff will err on the side of caution and will report all incidents.
  • Where and when do I pick up or drop off my camper?
    Each camp has its own drop off and pick up area. Specific information will be emailed out to parents in the camp welcome email a week before camp begins. Ideally drop off and pick up will be at the same location each day, but if something changes, you will be notified. Camp staff will be setting up prior to the start of camp and will begin check-in promptly at 8:55am.
  • What if I can't make it to pick up on time?
    Camp ends promptly at 12:00 for half day ETC Beginnings preschool camps, 3:00pm for full day camps, and 6:00pm for Extended Day depending on the location. Parents/Guardians will be assessed a late fee of $1 per minute for any child not picked up within 10 minutes of the end of camp.
  • What are the camp Rules of Conduct, and what's the 3 Strike Rule?
    ETC sets high expectations for our campers and hopes to challenge them artistically as well as to provide a fun experience. To maintain these goals of the camp, all campers must all agree to the rules of conduct. These rules and our 3 Strike Policy will be sent out in the welcome letter as well as reviewed on the first day. Rules of Conduct We at ETC set high expectations for our campers and are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with your child on discovering their own unique gifts and talents through drama. We hope to challenge them artistically as well as to provide a fun experience. To maintain these goals of the camp, we must all agree to follow certain rules of conduct. Rules of Conduct Campers are expected to follow directions given by the instructor at all times. Campers are allowed to bring personal items from home (i.e. toys, trading cards, etc.), but we ask that they keep them in a safe place until lunch when the campers are allowed some free time. Each camper agrees to be considerate towards their fellow campers. Always treat your fellow campers with respect and include them in your activities. Teasing, bullying, and fighting are never acceptable behavior and may be grounds for dismissal from the camp. 3-Strike Policy ETC maintains a 3-strike policy to keep the learning environment fun and safe. If a student is repeatedly disruptive they will be warned and after three warnings they will receive strike 1. Parents will be notified, but if bad behavior continues, parents are notified on strike 2 and a student is dismissed from camp on strike 3. Warnings disappear when campers go home but strikes stay throughout the camp session. Hopefully we’ll have a strike free camp!

To learn more about Street Sense Media, check out

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