Camp Life

Camp @ the Camp is a five-week day camp designed to deepen children's relationship to their natural environment, nourish creativity, build community, and encourage outdoor play. Our grounds at the Settlement Camp Park in Beacon, New York, were once the site of a residential summer camp which the University Settlement founded in 1910 to provide NYC youth with an experience in nature and a place to grow a message of hope, tolerance, and community building. This historic and beautiful site provides a special home for our fun-filled summer program.

Our Goals:
•To help children feel comfortable in and understand their environment
•To develop a questioning attitude about their world
•To heighten children’s awareness, using all of their senses to experience some of the places where plants and animals live
•To have children experience certain ecological concepts and to motivate further respect for their surroundings
•To help prepare children for making choices, becoming self-directed, and responsible for their own learning
•To assure children of their inestimable worth
•To create an atmosphere of caring and respect
•To model and grow cooperative, tolerant attitudes

Week 1, July 8-12: TRY IT! (Again!) - Have you ever hoola-hooped? Held a snake? Balanced on a slackline? Tasted an invasive species plant? Well, this is your week, then! All activities will center around trying things with enthusiasm and positivity.

Week 2, July 15-19: Are You Game? - “Blobs Unite!” Some of you know this phrase very well - and some of you are scratching your heads. It’s what we yell while running amuck in a rousing game of Blob Tag - one of the many games we’ll play during this week of games! We’ll have little games with small groups and huge full-camp games where the line between winners and losers is blurred. Oh, sure, there’ll be some of the old familiar games happening as well - it’ll be a potpourri of running, hiding, laughing and playing!

Week 3, July 22-26: “To Tree or Not To Tree” (Performance week) - Showtime, everyone! What does it take to put on a “show”? From writing a script to building a set to rehearsing entrances and exits, we’ll have a show to perform at the end of this week.

Week 4, July 29-August 2: “If I Could Talk to The Animals” (Just imagine it!) What kind of creatures roam our woods, fields, puddles and trees? We’re going to find out!  Using our observation skills, we’ll get to know the animals we share our camp with - up close and far away (think: jeweler’s loupes and binoculars!). Friend, Bill Robinson will be back with an animal show to educate and amaze!

Week 5, August 5-9: “The Trail Less Traveled” (It has made all the difference) - What’s a blaze? Ah...come experience trails in the forest and fields to find out. We’ll follow them well, create our own and spend time learning hiking techniques as we ready ourselves for a BIG HIKE!

A Typical Day ~ Camp life is exciting and varied! While we stick to a general daily and weekly schedule, each week is themed and the activities change according to the theme. Special guests and unique impromptu events make every camp day completely different and exhilarating!
The camp day runs Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m- 3:00 p.m. Children will bring their snacks and lunches from home. Our group size is about eight children, with at least one grown-up per group so we can provide individual attention and opportunities for collaboration between campers. The children will be placed in age-appropriate activity groups.

Every week, rain or shine, children ages 5-11 (and CITs ages 12-15):

  • Play field games
  • Sing, write songs, perform
  • Design, make art
  • Explore nature
  • Swim
  • Tell stories and grow camp community spirit.

These activities will be woven into the special curriculum we create for each week’s designated theme. Our basic schedule is as follows:
8:30 - 9:00 ~ Campers arrive
9:00 - 9:30 ~ Morning meeting: camp songs, announcements of the day’s activities, and a share of student art/music.
9:30 - 10:00 ~ Group game in field.
10:00 - 10:15 ~ Snack
10:15 - 11:00 ~ Activity 1 (Example: Critter puppet-making)
11:00 - 11:45 ~ Activity 2 (Example: Habitat Hike)
11:45 - 1:00 ~ Lunch, rest, free play and midday gathering
1:00 - 1:45 ~ Activity 3 (Example: Swim)
1:45 - 2:30 ~ Activity 4 (Storytelling and Song Parody writing)
2:30 - 2:45 ~ Closing circle, pack up, tick check, whole camp games
2:45 - 3:00 ~ Dismissal
3:00 - 5:00 ~ Extended Day Program [link to this sub-page]

"There is always that one summer that changes you."