Intellectual Engagement & Social Connection with Like-Minded Peers, Guided by Expert Mentors Who Get Bright & Quirky Kids

Welcome to Catalyst, Bright & Quirky's summer program for twice exceptional kids and teens

Parents, if your child faces these challenges, you're in the right place...

  • Difficulty finding intellectually compatible peers who share similar interests
  • Difficulty finding teachers who 'get' twice exceptional kids
  • Difficulty feeling engaged or motivated
  • Difficulty finding highly qualified and inspiring mentors
  • Craving social connection and productive use of time while sheltering in place
Schoolboy playing online game on laptop at home sitting table, teenage free time

Introducing Catalyst: A Program for 2e Kids, Ages 7-18!

Young girl waving during a video call

Catalyst camps are designed especially with bright and quirky kids in mind. We've searched high and low for the best instructors who really 'get' our twice exceptional (2e) kids. Our instructors understand that your child needs intellectual engagement and certain supports at the same time. Explore interests and strengths under the wing of experienced mentors.

Check out all that's on offer below.

Your bright & quirky tribe awaits!

Browse the listing below and enroll your child in the camp(s) they find most intriguing:

A group of diverse students reading lines for drama

Improv for Interaction

I need an occupation... a place... and two different types of aquatic mammals. Sound strange? Not in Improv! If your child struggles socially, you won't want to miss this. We're bringing you this very special camp in partnership with our friends at The Miracle Project.

AGES: 10-12

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Dungeons & dragons

Is your child interested in fantasy, storytelling, or adventure? Dungeons & Dragons fosters peer connections and the development of social skills, mathematical thinking, executive function, and problem-solving skills. Kids who play D&D get to exercise their creativity while collaborating with others in an immersive, engaging environment. In this class, your child will be guided through the basic rules of the game, create their first character and play in a small-group campaign led by experienced game masters. Let’s roll!

No prior experience required.

AGES: 9-12, 13-18

Portrait of a dreamy teen girl wearing a blue dress and holding her hands near the face. She is standing near a blackboard with a colorful brain sketch and gears on top of it

Discovering Strengths & Interests

Did you know that people who work in their dream job or have hobbies they love often became interested in those areas at a young age? Whether its music, math, sports, creative writing or something else, the fact is, every child is good at something! Some kids know what they love early on and others can benefit by a proactive process of exploring interests and developing talents. Join instructor Samuel Young, master teacher of 2e kids and two-time Fulbright scholar, on this journey of discovery where kids will learn more about themselves, how they learn, what they’re interested in, and what they can do with their interests and talents now and for years to come. Brought to you by our friends at Young Scholars Academy, featuring 2e instructor and director, Samuel Young.

AGES: 13-18

Smiling teenage girl enjoying video chat on laptop

Speech & Debate

Students, have you ever thought about how to persuade or convince someone to agree with your line of thinking? It's a powerful life skill! Learn how to create a sound argument, use active listening, logic and address objections to develop your speech and debate skills! Join 2e educator Samuel Young, who has coached debate students at both State and National levels. This camp will focus on both skill development and social interaction with bright and quirky peers. Join us to develop your powers of persuasion! Brought to you by our friends at Young Scholars Academy, featuring 2e instructor and director, Samuel Young.

AGES: 13-18

Shocked boy in eyeglasses sitting on sofa and using laptop, he playing video game

Minecraft Build & Share

Do you like playing Minecraft? If so, you'll fit right in with our Minecraft Build & Share Group. In this camp, you and your campmates will get to build your own world and share with a small group of like-minded friends. Sharpen your ability to interact and communicate as a team, all while having fun and honing your Minecraft skills.

No prior experience required.

AGES: 8-10, 11-12, 13-16

African american boy looking at camera while building and learning to program robot vehicle at a stem robotics class. Science and education. Inventions and creativity for kids. Side view

Minecraft Innovation Team

Is your ADVANCED Minecraft player chomping at the bit to build cool creations on a private Bright & Quirky server? Students will be coached by two Microsoft Innovative Educators, who are also STEM teachers, who understand twice exceptional students. Your child will work cooperatively and collaboratively with other participants on the same Java Minecraft server in one-hour sessions in this 5-day camp. Each day they will test different build challenges and create unique mini-games to complete together. The innovation team is a fabulous way to make friends through shared interests, learn to work together and compromise, and give and receive feedback while increasing Minecraft skills.

AGES: 8-10, 11-12, 13-16

Student writing on Calendar


Do you ever feel like your bright child is brimming with potential but their executive function challenges hold them back? Start the school year strong by teaching them essential life skills that will serve them well in their academic career and beyond. Executive function lags may present as inconsistent grades, difficulty planning, organizing and turning in homework, difficulty managing and estimating time, and/or trouble completing tasks. Our friends at Beyond BookSmart have curated the exact tools needed to build the skills of executive function. This one-week summer camp is an introduction to several of the most important tools and skills twice exceptional students need to be successful in their transition to the new school year.

AGES: 10-13, 14-18

Group Of Teenagers Lying On Stomachs In Park

2e Teen Mentor Group

What’s one of the most valuable elements a bright and quirky teen can have in their life to lead to future success as a young adult? Many families tell us it’s having a mentor (who’s not the parent!) who can advise teens on what to do (and not do) as they experiment toward adulting. Parents can say things ‘til they’re blue in the face, but when a cool big brother-type shares, it’s a whole different story. Teens will join inspiring mentor and 2e instructor, Samuel Young, to share valuable lessons, resources and thought-provoking conversations, all in an atmosphere of acceptance and friendship. Brought to you by our friends at Young Scholars Academy, featuring 2e instructor and director, Samuel Young.

AGES: 14-18

group of happy high school students and teacher looking at globe

Current Events for Deep Thinkers

Our world is pretty nutty right now and there’s a lot to process! This one week camp provides space for students to come together, discover, discuss, debate, and dialogue about the current events of the world. Whether your student already possesses a love for learning about the complex geopolitical landscape and is seeking like-minded peers to connect with or your child simply has an interest in the news, this camp is perfect for them. We’ll cover contextualization, fake news, connecting stories, analyzing vantage points, and so much more! Brought to you by our friends at Young Scholars Academy, featuring 2e instructor and director, Samuel Young.

AGES: 10-14, 15-18

Meet the people behind Bright & Quirky's children's summer program! 


Michael Delman, MEd

Michael Delman is an author, school founder, award-winning educator, and a pioneer and leader in the area of Executive Function coaching. He has served as CEO and founder of Beyond BookSmart, the nation’s largest Executive Function coaching company, since 2006. He has been featured in The Times of London, CBS Boston affiliate WBZ TV, and dozens of media outlets across the country. In 2018, he published his first book Your Kid’s Gonna Be Okay: Building the Executive Function Skills Your Child Needs in the Age of Attention.

Maina Gachugu

Maina has been teaching 6th grade for over six years in Kent, Washington. He has a passion for community involvement, so you can usually catch him helping out at after-school events. Maina runs an annual Minecraft Club using Minecraft: Education Edition for the last three years in Kent, focusing on collaborative play and Game-Based Learning. He also is a Professional Learning Specialist for Insight 2 Execution (i2e). Additionally, he is a Graduate student at the University of Washington's iSchool, working towards a Master's of Library and Information Science degree. Maina hopes to make gaming more prevalent in education as a mode of learning, not just entertainment. Maina lives with his partner and puppy in Seattle, loving learning, games, and the outdoors.


Elaine Hall

Elaine Hall, The Miracle Project's Founder & Executive Artistic Director, has been referenced by The New York Times as “the child whisperer” and is a pioneer in using theater and movement practices as a portal for connection among individuals with autism and related disabilities. Elaine was a top Hollywood acting coach when her adopted son was diagnosed with autism. When traditional behavioral therapies did not work for him, she developed an innovative methodology combining mindfulness and the expressive arts with what she was learning from autism experts, Dr. Stanley Greenspan, Dr. Ricki Robinson, and Dr. Barry Prizant. The 2008 Emmy Award-winning HBO documentary, AUTISM: The Musical profiles Elaine’s early work with The Miracle Project, which has since been deemed evidence-based and is now being replicated nationally and internationally.


Mark Henkels

Mark has been and continues to be a middle school math teacher for over 20 years in New York state. He's been a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert for 5 years and a Minecraft Global Mentor for 2 years. He lives with his wife, middle school age daughter, and elementary age son in the Poconos of Pennsylvania.


David Lott

David began playing Dungeons and Dragons over 35 years ago, and was immediately taken by the storytelling and game mechanics. Over the years, tabletop gaming has been the foundation of many of his most enduring friendships, including with his wife Jen. David has organized and run many simultaneous D&D campaigns, including one group which has played continuously for over ten years. When not running and playing in his numerous D&D campaigns, David spends his time developing fuel cell power systems for Plug Power. He has a Bachelor’s of Science in Chemistry and has been awarded over 20 patents covering all aspects of fuel cell technology. David has been an instructor at Satori Summer Camp teaching about fuel cells and alternative energy since 2014.


Jen Lott, MS

Jen is a Mental Health Counselor who works with university students in Spokane, Washington. She has been an instructor and counselor at Satori Summer Camp since 2003, and prior to that was a Satori camper herself. She began playing Dungeons & Dragons over ten years ago after meeting her husband David, and now she runs and plays D&D games both as part of her counseling work and as a personal hobby.


Samuel Young

Samuel Young is a growth-minded, two-time Fulbright Scholar with a decade of educational leadership experience that has ADHD. As an ADHD learner, he has a tremendous understanding of, experience in, and respect for all things related to neurodiverse education. Additionally, Samuel has served as a Speech and Debate coach of twice-exceptional (2e) students. He has led students to both State and National Championships. He is currently working toward an EdD in Neurocognitive Diversity at the Bridges Graduate School. Samuel taught for 8 years at Bridges Academy and he has led 2e students to over 7 countries for immersive cultural and educational trips.

What People are Saying...

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Ready for an adventure?

Let's create a magical oasis, with amazing mentors, friendship, and lightbulb moments for our 2e kids!

Hi Friends,

When I started Bright & Quirky, I only had parent education in mind. It's been my absolute joy getting to know our member families around the globe and learning more about your needs, from Nashville to Norway. I am moved by your stories and want to use Bright & Quirky's connections and know how to tailor unique programming for your kids and teens.

When Coronavirus hit, we knew we had to rise to the challenge. We tried a number of different kids classes, and ran a number of experiments, some successful and some not so much.

The result is the unique program we continue to iterate here: Catalyst 2.0, a one-of-a-kind program for bright and quirky kids and teens, crafted with your unique child's needs in mind.

Catalyst is a bold experiment, just like our flourishing IdeaLab was over a year ago.

It's exciting! We have the opportunity to create a magical oasis for our kids where they're accepted for who they are and their minds will be sparked with new possibilities by some of the most enthusiastic and competent 2e mentors I have ever met. The instructors are simply a dream team.

I look forward to meeting you and seeing the sparkle in your child's eyes, as we learn together.


Debbie Steinberg Kuntz, LMFT

Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist
Founder, Bright & Quirky

Frequently Asked Questions

Think of the Catalyst summer program like online camps geared specifically for twice exceptional kids; bright kids with social, emotional and/or learning challenges. We've hand-picked the best instructors who are lauded for their engaging style and expertise in our uniquely wired kids. They will help your child identify his or her own budding potential.