Philosophy & Critical Thinking Summer Camp



The Butler University Philosophy and Critical Thinking (BUPACT) Summer Camp will explore philosophical questions related to freedom throughout a week of fun, engaging activities. Campers will have the opportunity to discuss the issues that matter most to them. During this time they will be supported by Butler philosophy faculty in understanding and critically reflecting on philosophical issues, as well as developing and articulating their own perspectives. Each day will include activities around our beautiful campus, and one day we’ll be visiting the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

A typical day is split into several sessions, each lasting 1–2 hours. Campers are expected to arrive at camp every day at 9:00 AM, and will depart Monday–Thursday at 3:30 PM. Lunch will be provided. On Friday, parents/guardians are invited to a showcase featuring the camper’s research projects, 3:30-4:15 PM.

Grade-Level Requirement

The Butler University PACT Summer Camp is open to any students that will be rising high school sophomores to rising high school seniors during the 2024-2025 academic year. This usually means that eligible students will be between 14 and 18 years old.

Program Tuition

The tuition for the summer camp is $350. This tuition covers costs for the duration of the camp, including but not limited to materials, meals, facilities, and instruction.


The deadline for payment is two weeks following acceptance. Participants will be able to pay tuition through a secure portal that will be made available at the time they are notified of acceptance.

Financial Aid

Need-based financial aid is available. A student’s inability to pay tuition should not prohibit them from attending the Butler University Philosophy and Critical Thinking Summer Camp. For more information, please contact Prof. Lavender McKittrick-Sweitzer.

To Apply:

Verify that you meet the eligibility requirements. If you have any questions about eligibility, please contact Prof. Lavender McKittrick-Sweitzer at

Fill out the BUPACT 2024 Online Enrollment Application

Please have ready brief but thoughtful responses to the following prompts. Responses must be 3-10 sentences.

  • Why are you interested in attending the Butler University Philosophy and Critical Thinking Summer Camp?
  • Briefly describe a learning experience from the past few years that was important to you.

After you have submitted your forms, you will receive an automatically generated email confirming your submission and responses.

If you have any additional questions about the application process, please contact Prof. Lavender McKittrick-Sweitzer  for more information.

Lavender McKittrick-Sweitzer—Assistant Professor, Philosophy

Kyle Furlane—Instructor, Philosophy

Q: Who will my fellow scholars be?

A: Participants will be students just like you, insofar as they are high school students who are interested in getting to know more about philosophy and engage in thoughtful discussions.

Those accepted to the camp will come from schools all across Indianapolis, and sometimes further. Coming from a diverse set of backgrounds, participants are given the opportunity to examine the issues at stake collaboratively and from a variety of perspectives. This is an educational opportunity that you may not be afforded within your own school.

Q: What supplies will I need to attend the camp?

A: All materials will be provided at the camp.

For some of the activities, you may find it helpful to bring your own laptop or tablet. We will ensure, however, that devices are available for use when needed.

Q: What are the dates of the camp?

A: The camp is held June 3-7, 2024 in person on Butler University’s campus in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Q: When are applications due?

A: The priority deadline is April 19, 2024.

Q: Where can I find the online application form?

A: The online application form is available here.

Q: When will I find out whether I’ve been accepted?

A: Participants will begin to be notified of acceptance shortly after the applications are due. Depending on the number of applications, some students may be placed on a waitlist.

Q: When is tuition due?

A: Tuition is due two weeks after notification of acceptance, and can be paid through a secure portal that will be made available at the time accepted participants are notified.

Q: Is financial aid available?

A: Need-based financial aid is available. For more information, please contact Prof. Lavender McKittrick-Sweitzer at

Q: What questions will be explored during the camp?

A: The theme for this summer will be freedom. Possible questions we will cover include:

  • Is it possible to act freely?
  • How do we impact each others’ freedom?
  • What does it mean to make free choices?
  • Should we seek political freedom?
  • What does political freedom require?
  • What is the relationship between morality, responsibility, and freedom?

This camp is generously supported by grants from the Butler Giving Circle and Butler BOOST, as well as the Butler University Department of Philosophy &  Religious Studies.