(845) 735-2383; www.camptwelvetrails.org
For years, JCC Country Day Camp has ranked among the well-loved day camps in Westchester. Families valued JCC for its inclusivity, its mix of both traditional day camp and specialty camp, and its emphasis on Jewish values. This summer, JCC Country Day is transforming into Camp Twelve Trails, but assistant camp director Colleen Malone says not to worry about the change: “The same camp you have grown to love and look forward to still exists through an enhanced and heightened experience, supported by the faces you know and trust.”
Camp Twelve Trails is actually a combination of three camps: JCC Country Day, The Riverdale YM-YWHA, and the YM & YWHA of Washington Heights and Inwood. Located at the Henry Kaufmann Campgrounds in Pearl River, Camp Twelve Trails is made up of five so-called neighborhoods, or areas of focus: Play (sports), Create (the arts), Explore (outdoor adventure), Discover (science and technology), and Grow (farm-to-table). While campers in Kindergarten to second grade stick to a broad mix of activities, campers in grades three and above can choose their own areas of focus, creating a specialty camp experience if they so choose.
With respect to the staff, Malone assures that there will be many returning faces. “Each camp is bringing back the cream of the crop of its counselors,” she explains.
The new Camp Twelve Trails will allow campers with mild-to-moderate developmental disabilities to be staffed less directly so they can have a more normal, less disruptive experience. “I spent a lot of intention and time crafting a program that truly treated these children as campers, providing them the opportunity to be part of a camp group regardless of their [special] needs,” Program Director Colleen Malone explains.
Ages: 5 to 16 Dates: June 30 to August 19; campers must sign up for a minimum of two weeks). Fees: Start at $1,500 for JCC members or $1,600 for non-members. Contact director for more information. Transportation: Free