Camp O’Connor USA

Camp O’Connor USA is a free, merit-based civics summer program for middle school students with a mission to educate, encourage and inspire the next generation of leaders. Participants in our civics camp gain a deeper, experiential understanding of our nation’s democracy, branches of government, and the duties and responsibilities of citizenship.

Camp O’Connor Phoenix will be held in downtown Phoenix at the ASU Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law from:

Monday, June 10 – Friday, June 14, 2024

Applications for Camp O’Connor Phoenix 2024 are now open: 

This five-day summer civics day-camp provides current 7th and 8th graders with a unique, educational civics experience blended with leadership development. Camp O’Connor USA helps to prepare future leaders for greater participation in our democracy and strengthens their potential for lifelong success.

At Camp O’Connor USA, we strive to:

  • Empower and increase campers’ understanding of civics, American government and their important role as citizens
  • Fortify the leadership skills and confidence of students
  • Encourage civics camp graduates to become role models and leaders in their schools and communities

Camp O’Connor USA – Phoenix takes place at the Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.

If you have any questions, please contact

Camp O’Connor USA Activities

Executive Branch Day

On Executive Branch Day, students learn the responsibilities of the President and the executive branch at the state and federal levels. They engage in interactive simulations of executive leadership and visit the offices of a local mayor or the state governor.

Legislative Branch Day

For Legislative Branch Day, students examine the role, structure and procedures of the United States Congress as well as their state legislature. They visit the state capitol, debate and vote on a proposed bill, and hear from a state representative or senator.

Judicial Branch Day

On Judicial Branch Day, students discover the meaning of the rule of law, an independent judiciary and the important role of our court system. They discuss a well-known U.S. Supreme Court case and explore the arguments behind the final opinion of the Court as well as the dissenting opinions. Students visit the state supreme court and have the chance to ask questions of a sitting justice.

Citizenship Day

For Citizenship Day, students learn about their rights and responsibilities as citizens. They discuss the history of voting rights in the United States, jury service and the value and importance of being informed voters in our free society. Students visit a local elections center to see the mechanics of democracy in action.

Closing Ceremonies and Mock Political Convention On Camp O’Connor USA’s final day, students participate in a fun-filled mock political convention. With their parents in the audience, students divide into four groups, develop team cheers, and choose one of their members to be their candidate to represent the “Stars and Stripes Party.” Each candidate then gives a speech, and all attendees vote for the final party nominee. In the convention’s keynote address, a prominent community leader such as a former elected official discusses their path to leadership and advice for the next generation.

Camp O’Connor USA has been made possible by generous grants and donations from Arizona Cardinals Charities, Arizona Republic Season for Sharing, Burton Family Foundation, Daniels Fund, Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation, Clifton Louis, Ina and Murray Manaster Family Foundation, Kemper & Ethel Marley Foundation, T. Scott and Janet Martin, and Thunderbirds Charities.