Chautauqua’s programs for youth present a diversity of activity, in settings varied and historic. From pre-school to day camp, from sports instruction to informal youth centers, from enrichment classes to entertainment, and from reading to experiences in the arts, these programs offer opportunities to explore the Chautauqua experience. At the same time, youth are encouraged to grow in independence, make choices, take responsibility and celebrate family time, all in the safe and supportive community that is Chautauqua.

Advisory Group Listening Sessions

The community Youth and Family Programs Advisory Group is holding virtual listening sessions with fellow community members through April. The sessions are designed as a forum for community members to share their experience and feedback to help inform long-term planning for Youth and Family Programs at Chautauqua, well beyond the 2021 season (for more on 2021-specific planning, visit Below is a schedule for the listening sessions and the age group being discussed at each. Youth participation is encouraged!

April 15 at 6:30 p.m. EDT: Youth, Preschool to 4th Grade Register

April 27 at 6:30 p.m. EDT: Families of Children with Special Needs – all ages Register


Children’s School

08082019 ChildrenArtInThePark VG 02• For youth ages 3–5
Built in 1921, the Chautauqua Children's School pioneered the concept of nursery school education. Additions made in 1926, 1947 and 1969 were followed by a full renovation and expansion in 1994 to its present size and capacity.

Details & Registration Information


Group One

ChildrensSchool ArtDay bg MASTER 07.31.15 004
• For youth entering first grade in the fall
Begun in 1997, Group One is a program designed for children who will enter first grade in the fall and serves as a transition between Children's School and Boys' and Girls' Club.

Details & Registration Information


Boys’ and Girls’ Club

072319 Youth GF 04• For youth entering grades 2–10 in the fall
Boys' and Girls' Club is considered the oldest day camp in the United States. With most buildings dating from the 1890s and the turn of the century, Club grows out of a Chautauqua tradition of excellence in sports and physical education.

Details & Registration Information


Youth Activities Center (YAC)

YAC poolThe Youth Activities Center (known as the YAC) is a drop-in center for junior and senior high school students. Located on the south lakefront at Heinz Beach, and adjacent to the Boys' and Girls' Club campus, the YAC features a bustling snack bar (with daily lunch specials at "kid" prices), a friendly staff, televisions, games, table tennis and pool tables.

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CHQ SS 18 JB 8238Chautauqua’s Special Studies program provides youth the ability to experience Chautauqua as their parents do in an age-appropriate learning environment. The Special Studies curriculum offers a wide variety of subjects from computer skills, art, dance, music, writing, language and many more interactive courses that engage youth to begin a path to lifelong learning.

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Young Readers

YoungReadersThe CLSC Young Readers Program encourages the enjoyment of good reading. The books have been chosen for their quality, the variety of styles and subjects, and their appeal to young adult readers.

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Youth Recreation

YouthActIn addition to the plethora of activities young people will find within the framework of Boys' and Girls' Club, Children's School and Group One, there are a variety of other activities for them to enjoy — from tennis and golf to swimming and sailing and more.

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Family Entertainment

08062019 EveningTaikoza VG 06This series appeals to family members of all ages providing fun, interactive entertainment.

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DSC 1022The Youth Services Office coordinates a babysitting list that provides information to help families with young children connect with available babysitters in Chautauqua and the local area.

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Young Writers

0724 YOUNGWRITERS BS006 previewThe Young Writers Institute is a five-day immersive, multi-genre creative writing day camp for students 14 to 18 years old. Through short exercises, close study of work by contemporary writers, and workshops, students will develop their command of the core elements of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction.

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