Founded in 1938, Circle Pines Center has always been integrated and open to all, without discrimination of any sort. Our mission is to teach peace, social justice, environmental stewardship and cooperation, through education, recreation, work and the arts. Our program combines elements of a traditional summer camp (swimming, sports, campfires, hikes, theater, dance, arts and crafts) with cooperative work projects (construction, organic gardening, trail maintenance and cleaning) and education activities that focus on things like climate change, food politics, social justice, grassroots organizing, ecosystems, and the importance of critical thinking. Our focus on cooperation as an interpersonal strategy and viable economic alternative are embodied in our chores, work projects, decision making, camp store and other activities. Meal clean up is a time when staff and campers work together and learn the importance of working to maintain a community. Every morning we do work projects around camp to teach cooperation and give campers an appreciation for work itself. Frequently, campers are most excited to tell their parents about work projects, showing off vegetables they'd planted, trails they'd trimmed or a shed they had helped build. Parents tell us of how their children come home and are more helpful around the house. Many of our campers tell us that they feel more at home at Circle Pines than they do anywhere else. We pride ourselves on creating a safe, inclusive, engaging space where diversity and growth are fostered.