Why Vacamas Summer Camp?
Vacamas Summer Camp is a unique experience offering children the opportunity to explore the outdoors, try new activities and gain independence. Campers live, play and learn together, gaining self-esteem and social skills in a healthy environment of fresh air and activity.
Every summer, hundreds of young people from throughout the tri-state area come to one of our camps for a summer to remember and to meet friends they will never forget. Our 2-week and 3-week trips provide exciting and challenging age-specific adventures for campers 7-16 years old (having completed 1st through 11th grades).
Here’s why parents of over 2,000 children choose Vacamas summer camps each year:
Our number one priority is the safety of your child. We maintain a high staff-to-camper ratio, and our experienced staff members are background-checked, fully trained and carefully supervised. Vacamas is accredited by the American Camp Association, as well as local and state Health Departments. We have an onsite medical team, and there is a hospital just minutes away. All waterfront activities are conducted by certified American Red Cross Swim Instructors and Lifeguards.
Summer at Vacamas camps is filled with new skills, new experiences and new friends. Our programs are based on the age and ability of campers and take fun, outdoor, traditional summer camping to a new level of learning and growth. Our non-competitive and supportive environment encourages campers to challenge themselves and develop self-confidence, independence, responsibility and leadership.
Vacamas is a non-profit organization and our aim is to make sure that summer camp is affordable for all children. Each child’s fee is set individually, taking into account family income and size and using our sliding fee scale. Our fees are a great deal less expensive than other summer programs, and sibling discounts are available. At Camp Vacamas, fees range from $900 to $2000 per session, and at Camp Top of the Pines fees range from $600 to $1400 per session. Financial aid and scholarships are offered based on eligibility. Transportation to camp is provided from NYC, Nassau and Suffolk counties, and selected locations in New Jersey at no additional cost.
- Qualified Staff
Our staff members – who come from across the United States and around the world – are chosen for their experience with children, their maturity and their varied skills. All staff members are background-checked, fully trained and carefully supervised. Most counselors and all supervisory staff are over 21 years old. All counselors take part in a week-long orientation to prepare for the most important job of looking after each child’s physical and emotional safety. Each counselor has responsibility for between four and eight children.In addition to the regular program staff, Vacamas utilizes trained professionals in specialty areas, including Boating, Arts and Crafts, Ropes Courses, Nature Studies, Creative Writing, and Woodshop.
- American Red Cross Swim Lessons
At Vacamas camps, we put a great deal of emphasis on attaining this important life skill. All campers have two swimming opportunities daily: an American Red Cross swim lesson conducted by certified instructors (30 minutes for younger kids and 60 minutes for teens) and a recreational swim period of the same length.
- Nutritious Meals and Snacks
The menu at Camp Vacamas is child-friendly, healthy and plentiful. Campers eat three full meals each day in our dining hall with their bunk group and counselor. Meals are served family-style and alternatives are available. We offer a salad bar at each meal so that children can limit their carbohydrates and fat consumption, or follow a vegetarian diet. Our salad bars are rich in fresh vegetables and fruits as well as non-meat proteins such as beans and dairy products. We do not serve pork or shellfish. We can accommodate some dietary restrictions (please call for more information).A fruit snack is offered in the afternoon and it is traditional at Vacamas camps to have milk and cookies before bed each night.