Summer Camp 2019
What happens when high school students meet the best mentors in the world?
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Gakko is dedicated to artful design, collaborative production, and immersive world-building. Our camps educate, inspire wonder, cultivate authenticity, and reverberate generosity around the world.
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Summer camp for dreamers, visionaries and changemakers.

Every year, we gather a group of interdisciplinary industry experts, graduate students, and college students (“Sempai: 先輩”) from around the world to create a 14-day sleepaway summer camp for high school students (“Kohai: 後輩”). Through 15 camps over 7 years, Gakko Camp has impacted over 500 individuals from more than 70 nations.

Gakko Camp 2019—
Camp 2019 sempai
So you wanna be a Sempai?

Sempai 先輩

  1. People who were born before you.
  2. The college students & young professionals who lead each camp.

Every summer, Gakko assembles teams of sempai to design unique summer camps for high school students around the world. This diverse team are driven and empathetic leaders, who share their personal investigations – artistic and academic pursuits – through the design of educational workshops, projects, performances, camp rituals, games, and a compelling two/three-week camp narrative. We are looking for 10 new camp creators to lead 2019 programs in Japan.

2019 Sempai applications will close on March 15th at 5pm EST.

Offers will be sent by April 1st 2019.

Camp 2019 kohai
So you wanna be a Kohai?

Kohai 後輩

  1. People who were born after you.
  2. The high school students who attend camp, looking for “something more.”

Gakko provides scholarships to a limited number of high school students each year. Gakko Scholarship Program is competitive, and is given on first come first serve basis. Currently scholarships for 2019 have been allocated.

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Camp 2019 directors
Camp 2019 lily
Kenta Koga
CEO of Gakko / Co-director of Camp 2019

Kenta Koga, CEO and Founder of Gakko, is an experience designer, a professional magician, and an entrepreneur. Previous to Gakko, Kenta worked at Palantir Technologies and Flux (Google [x] start-up) designing softwares and programming languages in Silicon Valley. Outside of work, he is passionate about kickboxing, filmmaking, and scuba diving. Kenta studied Computer Science, Graphic Design, and Theater, at Yale University.

Elizabeth (Lilly) Callahan
Co-director of Camp 2019

Lilly's professional (and personal) background is nothing if not diverse! Prior to joining the Gakko team, Lilly worked in education and non-profit, restaurant and hospitality industry, and as a consultant. She has studied Theater, Anthropology and Business. Most recently, she's been strategizing and visioning at Uber as a Workplace manager, creating spaces that support the next generation of future workers. Now, as part of the Gakko project, she is transforming the way future generations will find and be inspired by meaningful learning, connection, and experiences.

See the camps through the eyes of our past kohai

Each year, we encourage kohai to document their own personal experiences at camp using photography and the visual arts. This gallery is a glimpse into their experiences.

View Camps Gallery →
Every camp is different, and is tailor-made for its participants. Here are the values we hold dear.

Educating the Heart

We believe there is a crucial, oft-forgotten intersection between learning and authentic individual development. At camp, our work reveals how educational journeys must also be personal ones. “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” — Aristotle

The Investigation

Sempai design educational workshops as “investigations” rather than “classes” so kohai can immerse themselves in learning alongside mentors. Regardless of prior experience, kohai become rigorous practitioners in a multitude of fields and launch their own academic, artistic, and personal investigations to carry with them long after they leave camp.


We approach every day at camp with curiosity. Kohai encounter unexpected surprise and inexplicable beauty as they reimagine themselves, their talent, and their responsibility to one another.

We become with each other, or not at all

This is a meeting of strangers in a strange place. We require the wholehearted collaboration of each participant in our diverse, international community to build a healthy, supportive, and productive environment.

Camp 2019 heart
Camp 2019 investigation
Camp 2019 wonder
Camp 2019 become
Example Workshop at Camp
"Go When You're Not Ready"
By Oriana Lada, Actress

In Bali, actor Oriana taught high school students the power of "going when you’re not ready" through her clowning workshop. Over three days, students learned to be vulnerable but also courageous, engaging in various scene studies that required improvisation. Clowning isn’t just for actors. People who dream big will always be faced with spontaneous and unexpected challenges, and listening to the "clown" within themselves can help them tackle those frictions with a sense of hope, flexibility, and joy. Oriana received her MFA in Theater from Brown University and is now based in NYC.

Moments From the Past
“Clara's world has been cracked open…

…she came home with a new worldview. She said every day took her out of her comfort zone and by the end, she felt as if it was the best day she had ever experienced […] She said the students were from all corners of the world and this created both challenges and incredible opportunities for dialogue, shared understanding, and friendship. And the bonus, which is where the magic is translated, is that she returned with a concrete recognition that she matters.”

—Beata, parent of 2017 kohai

Camp Creators from 2018
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Jake Sellers

Theatre, University of Evansville

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Nicholas Clark

Cinematography, Colorado Film School

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Pupul Bisht

Strategic Foresight and Innovation, OCAD University

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Chloe Barreau

Computer Science & Art, Stanford University

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Will Moritz

Psychology, Yale University

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Rosie Polya

Human Sciences, Oxford University; Public Health, Sheffield University & EHESP

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Paul Freudenburg

Architecture, Yale University

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Yi-Ling Liu

Creative Writing, Yale University

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Georgia Gray

Human Sciences, Oxford University; Medicine & Surgery, Warwick University

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Zoe Lockard

Literature & Urban Studies, American University of Paris

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Leyla Levi

Art Director
Architecture, Yale University

Want to hear more?
Contact us at: Or give us a call for more information: +1 (516) 430-7349 And subscribe to our newsletter →