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 9-13 ALL EARTH’S CRITTERS
We share this planet with a plethora of critters - from the terrestrial ones to the ones that are airborne. Some are familiar to us and have parts we ‘get’. Some… not so much! This is a week of critter exploration. Hold onto your hats - there’ll be animal shows and animal hunts to delight, amaze and educate.

Week 2- July 16-20 TRY IT!
Every day this week will begin with an amazing science experiment. Activities throughout the week will encourage the importance of trying new things - from sassafras to slackline, from weaving to snake-holding.

Week 3- July 23-27 ALL THE WOODS A STAGE
It takes a village to put on a show! Sets need to be built, costumes created, lines learned and songs sweetly sung. Get ready for a REAL SHOW!

Week 4- July 30-August 3 SEE THE FOREST THROUGH THE TREES
What exactly goes ON in the woods? Find homes, trails (make ‘em and follow ‘em), beds, tracks and scat for a week filled with forest fun - hikes included!

Week 5- August 6-10 MOUNTAIN OLYMPICS
We’ve got cozy games and intense games, low ropes and tall tales, team building and team training, and everyone tries everything! The last day will be a great exposition of skills and frills.

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. Four-year-olds have a specialized program.

Every week, rain or shine, children ages 4-11 (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."

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