Summer Camp

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Welcome to Growing Minds Day Camp !

Growing Minds features more activities and trips than any other summer program in our area. We are a unique learning environment that encourages independence and teaches creative thinking.

A summer at Growing Minds is about broadening your child’s interests from a few to many. It is about opening them up to the world through daily field trips to Broadway shows; New York Yankees games; SOHO markets; trips to venues in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island; Museums; National Parks; and much more. Campers will see things and have experiences unlike anything they’ve ever done before.We dare to be different, and challenge you to do the same. Let your child explore with us the art and culture that New York has to offer.”

Hours of Operation

Monday – Friday 8am -6pm
Contact: Jennifer Jones, MSW

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Growing Mind’s overall purpose is to build a bridge between summer and school-time learning. In America school is known as work and summer is play; however, this spellbinding view of summer is the contributing factor of summer learning loss. Research shows that summer learning loss could be the cause for approximately two-thirds of the achievement gap.

The learning gap occurs, unless we make a conscious change which is why children need more time with guided instruction about the world, more time reading or visiting museums and nature centers, and more time with mentors. More importantly they need time just being children, which is ultimately how young people excel. This is because they have the opportunity to learn at their own pace.

Growing Minds Day-camp is an extended learning opportunity for all kids. Growing Minds is where learning and fun are considered equal and at the end of the summer, campers are ready for school because they have mastered new skills.

Summer camp is more than just, playing basketball, swimming, learning to shoot an arrow or paddle a canoe. It’s an opportunity for children to learn responsibilities, become independent and how to get along in a community setting. Finding the right summer camp for your child/children is as important as helping them find the right high-school, or college; in fact this search gives great insight for the decisions that lie ahead. The goal is to find a summer camp that will meet the needs of both your child/children and your family. Look at everything, and take note of your observations. Often the smallest detail can mean a lot. Don’t be afraid to ask probing questions, it is essential! If you don’t ask questions, then how can you determine if the camp is the right place for your child?

The key to finding the right summer camps is to ask:

1. What do you and your child hope to achieve from the camp experience? Involving your child in the decision making processes is the best way to assure an exceptional camping experience. When determining the expectations consider the size of the camp to ensure your child achieves a full camp experience. Visit the camp, if possible. Preferably schedule your visit during the summer prior to enrolment, to see the camp in action. Meet the directors and staff and ask them questions; like what are special qualities of the camp and what geographic areas do they serve, and so on. Ask for references, it’s a great way to learn more about the camp, from an alternative perspective.

2. What are your child’s special interests? Does your child enjoy high adventure activities, would he or she like to attend a traditional day camp or a camp that offers a range of activities, such as daily field trips, skateboarding, football, computers, swimming, and the list goes on. Is it important that the kids attending be in your child’s age group? Does your child want to attend the whole summer or for certain number of weeks? Does the child want a competitive or relaxed environment?

3. What is the camps philosophy? This information can be obtained by visiting the camps website and asking for their mission statement. Understanding the mission will help you determine if the camp of your choice is appropriate for your family. The camps mission will reveal if the camp aims to reform at-risk behaviors, to advance religious education, or promote interaction with children of many faiths, to promote competition or to de-emphasize competition, and if the camp is sensitive to any special needs your child may have. You should feel confident and excited about sending your child to camp, and the camp should equally meet the physical and emotional needs of the child/children.

4. Do the hours of operation and location meet our needs? If it is too close to home, part of the camp experience may be lost because the child may not have the opportunity to explore new places or meet new friends. If it’s too far from home then travel can become an issue.

5. Is the camp feasible? The cost of camps varies and the amount you spend on camp is a personal choice. However, make sure the camp provides best value for the tuition: quality versus quantity. When comparing cost check for hidden cost; for example do you have to pay extra for extended hours, or for field trips.

6. Is the camp license by your State Department of Health (DOH)? In NY DOH governs summer camps and provides camps with a permit to legally operate in the state. DOH is responsible to review and approve the required written safety plan and policies and procedure for compliance. DOH investigates reports of serious incidents of injury, illness and all allegations of abuse or maltreatment. Additionally camps have the option to be evaluated by other organizations that grant accreditation; however, American Camp Association, is by far the largest accrediting organization for camps. Accreditation is not mandatory but is a great resource for camps.

7. Are you happy with the appearance of the facility? Make sure the facility is safe, clean and well maintained. A poorly maintained facility can give insight into the quality of supervision and endanger the health and welfare of the child.

8. What are the qualifications of the staff? The age and experience of all individuals who supervise the campers is very important. According to The New York State Health Code the director of an overnight camp must be at least 25-years-old or hold a bachelor’s degree; a day camp director must be at least 21-years-old and all directors must have experience in camp administration or supervision. Counselors must have experience in childcare/camp supervision and completed an acceptable training course and all aquatic staff must be experienced certified lifeguard or water safety instructor.

9. What are the discipline policies? Parents have the right toknow how camps address behavior issues and should ask to review the written discipline plan. You want to know if they place children in time out and how they attend to bulling.

10. How do they respond to emergencies? How does the camp identify an illness and limit outbreak? Ask to see a copy of the safety plan. Is the camp prepared to handle dangerous food allergies or chronic medical conditions, such as asthma? Where is nearest medical center? Verify if staff members are trained to handle emergencies, or are physicians, or nursing staff on the premises, and/or on-call?

Once you’ve answered these basic questions you will be able to select the type of summer camp appropriate for your child. There is no specific sequence to these questions it’s just important that you ask.