Applications now closed

Our Builder Bootcamp program is a weeklong summer camp for girls* and gender-expansive youth ages 9-13. Over 35 instructional hours, girls learn and apply skills in carpentry, graphic design, metalwork, collaboration, and teamwork. They will be challenged to put these skills to work on individual and small-group projects, often in response to real-world design challenges. Previous projects have included personal toolboxes, furniture for a local women’s shelter, a tool wall for a school maker space, and 3 “mini houses” for Rebuilding Together San Francisco. Girls also work on a graphic design project (screen printing, block printing, etc) to create activist art. Our summer programs are led by highly skilled female educators and builders with decades of experience who prioritize safety, socio-emotional well-being, and practicing bravery together. Two snacks per day will be provided, but girls must bring their own lunch (except for Friday, when we’ll have a pizza party!). Registration cost includes all materials, camp t-shirt, and a few take home projects!

NOTE: Because COVID-19 forced us to move our 2020 summer program online, some families who chose to cancel and defer their registration have guaranteed enrollment summer 2021. In addition, and in an abundance of caution, our 2021 cohorts will be enrolled at only 12 girls per week (as opposed to our usual 20), in compliance with the current city and county ordinances. If things change, we may be able to enroll additional girls off of the wait list. All of this means that spots for newly applying participants are extremely limited. While this should not discourage you from applying, we hope this sets realistic expectations regarding our admissions numbers.

*“Girls” refers to gender-expansive youth (cis girls, trans girls, non-binary youth, gender non-conforming youth, gender queer youth, and any girl-identified youth).

Weekly Activity Schedule (subject to change):

  • Monday
    Community-building, screenprinting t-shirts, tool training and “bootcamp” building project
  • Tuesday
    Construction documents and cut lists, and cutting all material
  • Wednesday
    Begin assembly of projects and production of graphic design project
  • Thursday
    Sand, paint, and finish small-group projects
  • Friday
    Parent and client presentation, pizza and pool party with early pick-up


Annual Registration and Lottery Schedule:

  • February 1
    Lottery applications open online. The application form will include an opportunity to apply for scholarships. Siblings must submit separate applications, and those with guaranteed spots from 2020 must also submit a new application.
  • February 15
    Lottery applications DUE by 5:00pm, after which Girls Garage staff will conduct a random lottery drawing for each week of camp
  • February 20
    Rosters posted online and notifications sent (will include 12 wait list spots per week)
  • February 28
    Payment and online waivers must be received in order to secure summer camp spot


Lottery Application and Program FAQ:

Q: How do I submit an application for Builder Bootcamp?

A: We will have a link to an online application (Google Doc) on this webpage from February 1-15th. All applications must be submitted online within the application window.

Q: I have a guaranteed spot from 2020. Do I have to submit an application?

A: Yes, please! You will need to submit a new application with your up-to-date info, and to indicate which weeks you are available for.

Q: I’ve been to Girls Garage before. Does my daughter get any kind of preference?

A: Unfortunately, no. All girls, whether new or returning, will be entered into the same lottery drawing.

Q: I have multiple children who want to attend. Can they apply together and attend together?

A: We’re asking that all girls, including siblings, submit separate applications. We’ll also treat them as individual applicants who may or may not be selected from the lottery to attend together.

Q: What kind of information do I need for the application?

A: The application will only basic information, including name, date of birth, address and contact info for parent(s)/guardian(s) and emergency contacts, medical info, and optional demographic information.

Q: I need financial assistance. Can I still apply for a scholarship?

A: Yes! Our scholarship application will be embedded in the lottery application. We don’t ask you for tax returns or supporting documentation, but we ask that families report their income and financial need honestly and not ask for more support than necessary, so that we can provide the most financial aid to the families in greatest need. If you have attended before and paid full tuition, we ask that you do the same this summer unless there are new extenuating circumstances. We offer full, partial, and “pay what you can” scholarships. Applicants who require financial assistance will be entered into the same lottery as everyone else, with no preference given to either scholarship or non-scholarship applicants.

Q: How can I indicate which week(s) my child is able to attend?

A: In the application, we will ask which of the 3 weeks you are able to attend. You may select one, two, or all three weeks. Please note that selecting all three weeks will not increase your chances of being selected, as we will select names from the entire list of applicants, and then sort girls based on availability. As such, please only select weeks for which you can commit to attending, because once assigned, we cannot accommodate schedule changes or switching to another week.

Q: Can you provide after-care?

A: Unfortunately, no. We open our doors at 9am and we ask families to pick up promptly at 4pm. We won’t charge you by the minute, like some other camps, but we do ask that you respect our instructors’ prep time by arriving by 4pm so that we can set up the workshop for the next day’s building activities.

Q: My child got a spot but now I need to switch sessions. Can I transfer to another week? 

A: Unfortunately, no. In our lottery process, which takes place in February, we ask you to select only the dates for which you know your child can attend. We cannot accommodate transfers after rosters have been posted. Thank you for understanding; as a small administrative staff of three, we cannot contact a roster of families from another week to see if someone can switch, nor can we over-enroll beyond the set enrollment limit, particularly during COVID when the city limits cohort sizes.

Q: My child got a spot but we have to cancel. Can we defer to next year?

A: Unfortunately, no. Because of the demand for our program and the use of a lottery system as the most egalitarian way to offer spots to families, we cannot roll over your spot to next summer. The only exception to this rule is if there is an emergency event (like a pandemic!) that forces us to cancel the program entirely or significantly modify its format, in which case guaranteed spots would be extended to those whose spots were cancelled/modified by the organization.

Q: Did your registration cost increase from last year?

A: We have slightly increased our registration cost from $525 in 2020 to $575 in 2021. This increase reflects both cost-of-living adjustments for our instructors’ compensation as well as a more intimate student-to-instructor ration (4:1). As always, we offer scholarships for families who require financial assistance, as well as the opportunity for families who are able to make an additional (tax-deductible) donation to help offset the cost for lower-income families.

Q: I have a question that wasn’t answered here. Who can I talk to?

A: Please email us at for any other questions!

Q: What is the refund/cancellation policy for this program?

A: If you need to cancel your camper’s registration, refunds will be applied as follows: Full (100%) refund if registration is canceled BEFORE May 1, 2021; Half (50%) refund if registration is canceled between May 1 and June 15, 2021, NO refund if after June 15, 2021.