People often ask me what I do for camp during the off season. As a camp director, I wear many hats and one of the biggest projects that I’ve been working on, along with the team, since camp ended is reviewing all of the incredibly valuable feedback we received from families and staff. This information serves as the core of our planning as it helps us understand what people love about NCDC and what they feel could be added or improved upon.
As a former camper and staff member myself, and going into my 21st summer spent at NCDC, I know that changes can have an adjustment curve. I also look back on the vast growth that NCDC has enjoyed these past 20 years and understand that my greatest responsibility as your camp director is to do whatever I can to maximize the potential for every camper to have the most successful summer possible. This often requires us to adapt and improve, typically in response to the direct feedback from our diverse community.
Without further ado, I’m thrilled to announce the many changes you can look forward to in Summer 2019, and beyond!
In response to overwhelming requests from families, we are delighted to announce that we are offering increasingly flexible registration options this summer! This year we are allowing families to sign up for any weeks of camp that they want, at a two-week minimum and so long as the first two weeks are consecutive. You can check out our 2019 dates and rates here.
Another exciting change is enhancing the overall camper experience. In past years, we have all known and loved the Kirby, Cucumber, Grape, Raisin, and Pickle Divisions. We have also found that these groupings often created a lot of confusion for campers and their families, and didn’t necessarily allow us to utilize our space at camp effectively. We also wanted to distinguish clearer stepping stones for campers as they progress and grow older each year at NCDC. Ultimately, the changes we’re introducing to our divisions will enable us to more evenly distribute campers in shelters and groups, and provide enriching, innovative programming for each age group in developmentally stimulating ways.
This summer, our new divisions are:
- Tumbleroot – Campers entering Kindergarten – First Grade in Fall 2019
- Featherstone – Campers entering Second – Third Grade in Fall 2019
- Thundercreek – Campers entering Fourth – Fifth Grade in Fall 2019
- Aspenfire – Campers entering Sixth – Eighth Grade in Fall 2019
Click here to learn more about the day-to-day experience each age group can look forward to!
These names aspire to reflect the whimsical nature of camp, rooted in creativity and a love of the outdoors. We drew inspiration from campers and staff who provided fun words that they associate with NCDC, nature, and the fun one can only have while being outdoors. They also have the full support of Caden and Clive, our fabulous Associate Director Katie Walker’s two boys, and we hope you love them as much as we do.
Along with the new divisions, we are introducing new Program Units this summer:
- Build – Campers will develop design and construction skills for hand-tool woodworking and architecture, while learning all about workshop safety!
- Music – Mini musicians will learn and practice guitar and singing, and have opportunities to help lead camp singing activities with small and large groups!
- Sustainable Cooking & Gardening – In our new farm-to-table culinary skills program, campers will learn open-air cooking techniques using ingredients they grow and harvest themselves in the NCDC garden!
- In case you’re new to the NCDC community, our other 9 Program Units include sports, martial arts, move (dance, gymnastics, yoga), theater, journalism & film, art & design, imagination, wilderness, and earth science.
We also have a new mission statement to guide all aspects of our program planning moving forward. New Country Day Camp is a joyful and inclusive community where campers, families and staff build meaningful connections with each other and the natural world around them, and experience personal growth through high-quality programs that are rooted in the outdoors and guided by Jewish values.
We’re also excited to be using CampSite, an online parent portal for camper enrollment, camp communications, payment and more—all on its convenient Parent Dashboard. Last summer, we learned a lot about how to make the registration process even better. This summer, for your increased convenience, we will be taking all payments through CampSite, and the Financial tab will now be active on the Parent Dashboard! You’ll have access to all your balances and payments, and can pay online or download statements on your own.
A few other innovations launching this summer!!
- Improved Bus Communication: We’ll be utilizing better bus tracking systems in order to know where buses are in real-time so you’ll have more accurate and timely information.
- Expanded Lunch Menu: This year we will be adding new options for selective eaters and campers with dietary restrictions.
- A Fortified Open Tent: In reaffirming our commitment to meeting people where they are in our great big Open Tent, we’re investing additional time, money and resources into providing the highest level of support at NCDC to campers of all need and ability. If you have any questions about our inclusion initiatives, feel free to give me a call: (646) 395-4353.
Registration is now OPEN!!
If you’re a Returning Family, click here to register.
If you’re a New Family, AWESOME!! Click here to register.
Our team and camp can only realize our greatest potential for success when we’re working in partnership with our families. We’d love to hear from you!! Please feel free to be in touch anytime to discuss these new changes, or other ways you think camp can continue to grow and improve. Email me at LVoskidis@14streety.org or give me a call on my direct office line: (646) 395-4353.