See pictures from Camp 2021!

Entering its tenth year in 2022, Camp What If offers week-long day camps and overnight camps where middle schoolers will explore their city, meet community leaders, and pursue ideas. We make friends, play games, and learn all about the challenges and possibilities of the city.
We know middle schoolers want to do things that matter. With over four decades of combined experience in facilitating summer camps for youth, our trained, experienced leadership team is ready to bring community exploration, Liberatory design thinking, and a whole lot of fun to your middle schooler this summer.

Adventure into Ideas

We use Liberatory Design Thinking concepts and make them accessible to early adolescents. Throughout our week, campers will learn how to do explorative research by asking good questions, discovering the assets and challenges of the city, and brainstorming ideas together to help the community.

Explore you community

Our summer camps are community-focused from beginning to end. Campers will go on scavenger hunts and walking tours of the city, meet government leaders, explore local parks, and discover their role in helping the community thrive.

Pilot your idea

After exploring, the second half of the week is devoted to idea creation. Campers will brainstorm 100s of ideas (literally!) and then narrow them down to just a few. In small groups, they’ll continue to hone their idea, talk to community partners, and finally present their idea to family and friends on Friday during a Community Ideation Celebration.

Create with friends

The TomTod team has four decades of combined experience facilitating summer camps for youth. We hire experienced, vetted summer staff as Adventure Guides and Assistants and aim for a 4:1 staff to camper ratio to maximize relational connection. Our team is dedicated to empowering middle schoolers and creating fun, engaging, and meaningful experiences.


Covid-19 Precautions

We take safety seriously! All camps will be in-person and will follow recommended guidelines by local health officials in regards to social distancing and masking up! Masks and sanitizer will be available for campers. As local health recommendations change, we will update our Covid-19 precautions to keep campers safe. If you have any questions about our camp health procedures, please email us!

Frequently Asked Questions


What is TomTod Ideas?

TomTod is a youth development nonprofit based in Canton, Ohio that listens to, honors, and advocates for middle schoolers.
Yep. You read that right. Middle schoolers, and only middle schoolers. We create programming specifically for 9-13 year olds because we think their perspective is valuable and necessary for the community.
Since 2012, we’ve helped middle schoolers discover and love their community while finding ways to help it thrive. Using the latest research about early adolescent development, our programing allows students to explore idea creation through a community-focused, developmentally appropriate lens.
We are ball pit engineers, blanket fort architects, dance party organizers, and idea connoisseurs.


Who are the camp counselors?

TomTod’s camp staff is a diverse mix of professionals dedicated to serving middle school students. Each of our summer staff members go through a competitive application and review process that includes a background check before being hired. With over 40 years of experience in facilitating summer camps for youth, our leadership team is ready to create the best camp experience for your middle schooler.


How much is camp?

Thanks to our incredible sponsors and partners, Camp What If is free to all campers.


Who is eligible to attend camp?

Camp What If is open to middle schoolers leaving 5th through 8th grade. Each camp does have certain eligibility requirements, so be sure to check each camp’s description. Residents of the City of Canton, students from Akron Public Schools, and any middle schooler with a North Canton Public Library card are eligible to attend camp.


What will my child do at camp?

The first half of the week is dedicated to exploration. We will take campers around the community to visit businesses, nonprofits, government agencies, parks, and more! The second half of the week is when idea creation happens. We guide campers through the process of ideation; they’ll use their newfound expertise about the community to brainstorm ideas that will help the community thrive. Camp will include snacks and lunch everyday and will of course be oodles of fun!

Let the summer adventure begin.

Register for Camp What If