Summer Camp Countdown

Believe it or not, summer is right around the corner. If you are considering sending your child to a sleep-away summer camp, you have many wonderful options in and around the city.

Summer Camp helps your child gain confidence and independence, and gives them the opportunity to create wonderful memories that they will remember fondly well into adulthood. The key is to find a place that caters to their interests and reassures you of their safety. Check out this list of camps, which is sure to offer an option that you and your child will love! If you are sending more than one child to camp, ask about sibling discounts. Most camps offer them!

Surprise Lake CampDSC_1397-w275-h275

Nestled on 500 acres of land surrounded by forest near Cold Spring, NY, Surprise Lake offers a wide variety of activities. Children can explore the arts, play various sports, have outdoor adventures and more. Each summer they have special events such as a carnival, music shows and camp olympics. Surprise Lake is a Jewish Camp, so there is a focus on Jewish Culture. There kitchen is also Kosher. There are two main camp sessions of about 4 weeks each, but younger children can go for two-week sessions. The camp is also split into two main groups, one consisting of children in grades 2-7, and the other consisting of children in grades 7-15 years old. Transportation to and from the city is available for $60 per child, round trip. Check out their website for pricing, as well as additional information about what they offer.


Chimney Corners Camp for Girls

Located in Becket, Massachussetts, Chimney Corners strives to help girls become confident, strong women who value themselves and respect others. They offer a wonderful array of activities: athletic activities, such as basketball, flag football, and yoga; water activities, such as canoeing, kayaking, and sailing; the arts, such as woodworking, dance and acting; camping; environmental learning; farming. Their traditional program is open for girls in grades 2-9. They also offer specialty programs where campers can focus on dance (6th-9th grade), horseback riding (5th-7th grade), construction (for 8th and 9th grade – they actually build a new facility or repair existing ones!) and outdoor adventure (8th and 9th grade). If this sounds like the right fit for your daughter, get in touch with them ASAP as some of their sessions and special programs are full, or almost full. They have a short waiting list, so even if the program your daughter wants is full, she still might be able to get in. They have many different start and end dates depending on what program you choose, so check out their website for dates, fees and more information. They offer financial aid, so if you’re interested in an application, contact Lynn Hover (413) 623-8991.

Brookwood Camp

Brookwood is a traditional, full-season camp for children 6-17 years old that runs June 23rd – August 10, but you can register for a shorter session. In addition to the normal types of camp activities, they offer “tech” activities, which give children experience with  computers, creating newspapers, photography, building rockets and more! They also put a lot of emphasis on children exploring their artistic side and not just their athletic side. While their tuition is a bit more than other camps, keep in mind that it runs longer than most. The tuition includes transportation to and from camp, day trips, laundry service, canteen, private lessons, inter-camp games, waterskiing, all gratuities, a video yearbook, viewing of summer pictures, and visiting day lunch. They are located near Glen Spey, NY, about 2 hours from New York City.
If your child is a future movie/TV producer or actor, make sure you check out their new Screen Actors Performing Arts and TV Camp.


New York Film Academy High School and Tweens Summer Film and Acting Camps

If you have a blossoming film-maker, animator, photographer or actor in your midst, this is the camp for him or her! The New York Film Academy offers an amazing variety of film-related camps, for example: Screenwriting, 3-D Animation, Broadcast Journalism, Acting and Digital Filmmaking. Camps range from 1 week to 6 weeks, and some of the 1 week camps can be taken back to back. Tuition does not include room and board, but students who live in and around the City don’t have to stay on campus.



Long Lake Camp Adventures

For the 8-16 year old thrill-seeker, this is the perfect camp! Located in the picturesque Adirondacks, Long Lake Camp offers many exciting, heart-pumping adventures such as mountain biking, paintballing, archery, fencing, zip-lining, knee boarding, water skiing and ATV riding. They also have activities for those who are interested in art and music. Children can create a rock band, make puppets, cook, and more. And for your little environmentalist, there is a nature program where kids can garden, study the indigenous wildlife, and participate in environmental and recycling projects. There are several sessions of 3 weeks each, but your child can go to two sessions back to back. Also, you can talk to the camp about two-week sessions. Scholarships are available, but they are limited, so contact the camp as soon as possible. Another plus: there is transportation from Queens, Yonkers, Albany and Central New Jersey.


Day Camp in the ParkSummer camp rockland

If you’re not ready to send your child to sleep-away camp, or it’s too expensive, Day Camp in the Park is a great alternative. They are located in Harriman State Park, and accommodate children from New York City, Westchester, Rockland County, Orange County and New Jersey. They offer door-to- door transportation to and from camp each day. They even have programs for 4 and 5 year olds, where there is one counselor for every three children. Like all camps, they have a great variety of activities, but they are geared more for kids who like sports and games. They do not offer as much in the arts, but they have a pretty good nature program that includes animal care. Another plus is that each group is led by certified teachers.


YMCA Camps 

Another option for parents who aren’t ready to send their child to sleep-away camp, the YMCA in all boroughs offers wonderful programs. Each branch is different, so check out the one closest to you, but most offer sports, swimming, field trips and a variety of arts and crafts. Children will gain confidence by improving various skills, as well as making new friends. Some camps offer academics in addition to the traditional camp activities.  There are separate camps for youths (5 ½-12) and teens (12-17). If you register before May 19th, there is a 10% early bird and sibling discount, and financial assistance is available. For more information, you can visit an open house at any of their NYC branches: March 3rd, April 28th, or May 19th from 10:00-4:00.


By: Megan Ross