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Our Campers


Day camp is a hands-on learning laboratory where children of all ages can learn and practice the life skills they need to live and thrive in the real world today and in years to come. Children learn how to make a friend and be a friend; how to be a responsible member of a group as well as to take responsibility for their actions; how to lead others as well as how to be led by others; how to empathize with others as well as how it feels to be the recipient of someone’s empathy; how to accept people for who they are as well as being accepted for who they are; how to solve problems on their own and as part of a group; and how to be a good team member.

The day camps at the Henry Kaufmann Campgrounds provide a place for this personal development through the wide range of activities offered from swimming to drama, from sports to arts and crafts, from science to outdoor adventure, and from nature to Jewish identity building activities. It is a safe, natural setting with endless programmatic opportunities for the children that attend our camps.

The Campers

The children that attend our camps are as diverse as the communities they live in.
• The campers come from all five boroughs of New York City, Long Island, Westchester and Rockland Counties and northern New Jersey.
• We estimate that approximately 70% of our campers are Jewish. In addition to the regular activities of camp, our non-Jewish campers are exposed to Jewish customs and traditions, while our Jewish campers get a chance to expand their knowledge while also learning about the customs and traditions of other cultures.
• Our campers range in age from preschool through high school with many camps offering Counselor in Training or leadership programs for older high school age teens

Special Needs

The day camps at the Henry Kaufmann Campgrounds provide exceptional summer experience for children of all abilities. Many camps integrate special campers into typical camp groups, providing additional well-trained staff when needed, as well as stand alone camp programs dedicated to meeting the diverse needs of this population. These special needs day camps provide experiences of the highest quality and caliber, serving children with social, emotional, physical, developmental, and medical needs.

At the Staten Island site:

The JCH of Bensonhurst provides a separate program for children with learning and development disabilities.
The JCC of Staten Island provides special needs programs for campers age six through eighteen at Marvin’s Camp. It is home to Camp Independence, a four week summer camp program for children with diabetes.

At the Pearl River site:

The 92nd Street Y camp programs offer two options: Camp Bari Tov for children ages 5-13 yrs old with a variety of severe developmental disabilities and Camp Tova, a perfect small group experience for children with a variety of special needs between the ages of 6-13 yrs old.
Camp BaShemesh of the JCC On the Hudson provides children with mild to moderate developmental and learning disabilities, ages 6-14, an exciting summer experience with therapeutic recreational activities that build self-esteem and independence, while maximizing opportunities for inclusion with typical JCC Country Day campers.
• Sunrise Day Camp in partnership with the Rosenthal JCC in Westchester for children ages 3-16, is the second dedicated day camp in the nation for children with cancer. It is a camp designed to meet the emotional, social, recreational and physical needs of these children while allowing them to enjoy the comforts and safety of their own homes at night.

At the Long Island site:

The Samuel Field YM-YWHA provides the Summer Camp Inclusion Program (SCIP) to special needs children in Kindergarten through 10th grade through the outstanding camps offered by the following agencies: Samuel Field YM-YWHA (Little Neck), Central Queens YM-YWHA (Forest Hills), Mid Island Y-JCC (Plainview), Suffolk Y-JCC (Commack), Barry and Florence Friedberg JCC (Oceanside), JCC of the Greater Five Towns (Cedarhurst) and the Sid Jacobson JCC (East Hills).
The Sid Jacobson JCC’s Camp Kehilla is a premier special needs day camp, serving children, teens and young adults from 5 – 21 years of age.  Camp Kehilla has a long-standing history of providing quality camping experiences for those with special needs, including but not limited to: Autism Spectrum Disorders, Speech and Language Disorders, ADHD, Social/Emotional/Behavioral Disorders, Down’s Syndrome, and Cerebral Palsy.  The program offers support and structure within small groups and provides uniquely designed athletic, recreational and creative arts activities specifically created to meet the individual needs of the campers, while seeking to improve self-esteem and promote social skills development.
Sunrise Day Camp (of the Barry and Florence Friedberg JCC) for children ages 3-16, is the only dedicated day camp in the nation for children with cancer. It is a camp designed to meet the emotional, social, recreational and physical needs of these children while allowing them to enjoy the comforts and safety of their own homes at night.

 

Photo Credits:
photo 1: Staten Island JCC; photo 2: Central Queens Y; photos 3 & 6: HKC archive; photo 4: Sunrise Day Camp; photo 5: Sid Jacobson JCC