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Summer Academic Enrichment Eligible Programs

Program Info
Program: OleChess Camp
Sponsoring Institution: ST OLAF COLLEGE

Main Contact
Name: Teresa Lebens
Title: Director of Camps
Address: 1520 St Olaf Ave
Northfield, MN 55057
Phone: (507) 786-3042
Curricular area: Fine Arts
Grades Served: 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 , 8 , 9 , 10 , 11


Studies have shown a strong correlation between learning to play chess and academic performance. A landmark study by Smith and Cage posited that students who received chess instruction scored significantly higher on all measures of academic achievement, including math, spatial analysis, and non-verbal reasoning ability. Other findings indicate that chess results in improved scores on standardized tests in both math and reading.

The way chess can incorporate and relate to core academic subjects make it an amazingly powerful tool. Chess is one big science experiment; every time participants play a game they are testing hypotheses and learning by trial and error. Through chess, players are required to think abstractly, analyze concretely and plan while juggling multiple considerations simultaneously. Playing chess improves thinking skills and creativity, Math and science skills, as well as concentration and memory.


Monday morning begins with the first round of a tournament that runs throughout the week. Following each round, players analyze the game with their instructors and then have the first of three daily class sessions with their base or rotating teacher. (A partially rotating instructional schedule allows participants to study with a variety of teachers during the camp.) Afternoon class sessions are followed by dinner in Stav Hall and special activities. Advanced students will spend each evening in a lecture series with Grandmasters as speakers when those in the Chess Exploration will participate in a variety of tournaments.

Program Dates

Start date: July 21 End date: July 26 The camp is offered for one week only. Price of camp ranges from $695-$995

Can students reside on campus? Yes

Can students commute to campus? No

Can students take online classes?

Estimated residential cost per student
Tuition: $788
Fees: $0
Books: $0
Supplies: $0
Room/Board: $207
Transportation: $0