Virtual Open House To Be Announced

Summer 2020 update: Day Camp open goal of July 27

While the state of New York has given day camps permission to open as early as the end of June, we want to take additional time to establish protocols to keep your campers safe. We anticipate an open goal of July 27. This will give us seven weeks to prepare, during which we will:

    • closely watch New York’s progression into the opening phases to reach Phase 4;</span
    • work with the local health department to secure our operating license for this summer;
    • and determine how the guidelines that New York State, the CDC, and the American Camp Association have put forth will be safely applied in Trail Blazers Day Camp.

Above all, we need to be as safe as it can possibly be, given the circumstances. Over the next few weeks we will keep you closely informed as we check each of these essential boxes. Please check back regularly for updates.

For program options for the month of June, check out our Virtual Camp here.

Develop a love for the great outdoors every day, right in your neighborhood.

Our Brooklyn day camp program helps your camper develop an appreciation for the environment while making memories and learning skills to last a lifetime. Our days are filled with hands-on science experiments, group play and group challenges, team building, nature exploration, art, and lots of singing. More than that, each day your camper will develop their ability to care for themselves, their friends, our community, and the environment.

Why Choose Us?

Looking for an exciting summer camp where your loved ones will develop valuable life skills, build meaningful relationships and have a ton of fun as they spend their days completely outdoors? Look no further than Trail Blazers.

Our Brooklyn day camp is designed around a small group experience. Campers enroll into the same small group for the full summer. We believe that challenges are essential to a child’s ability to grow and include team building activities each day. Through these activities, campers learn how to work together, how to problem solve, and in turn build more meaningful relationships with one another.

Many camps are planned down to the second and don’t allow time to wander off course, whereas at Trail Blazers we encourage this curiosity and desire to explore. We are the pioneers of de-centralized programming. Each small group develops their own personalized schedule that can be tailored to meet the needs of the group. Happen upon some tadpoles in the park, let’s stop and observe for a bit. Exploration is a great way to learn.

Each week offers an environmentally focused theme, from Camp ROCKS to Harnessing the Power. We’ll learn all about our planet, all the living things it is home to, and how best to take care of it! Campers will engage in hands-on activities focused on developing hard and valuable life skills. We’ll practice basic survival skills, knot-tying, plant and animal identification, and more!

At Trail Blazers we fully embrace the outdoors. Rain or shine, provided it is safe, we will opt outside. We spend our days exploring Prospect Park or engaged in an exciting excursion. Each small group will take one trip each week, either locally in NYC or to our beautiful, 1000+ acre estate in Northern NJ. Our excursions are designed to compliment the program and allow campers greater time to connect with the outside world.

We strive to make camp accessible to everyone! We serve a diverse community of campers and search for staff from all backgrounds that bring unique skills and experiences with them to camp. We are the only Brooklyn based camp that hires internationally and believes there is tremendous value in learning to interact with those that are different from us.

We are currently working to ensure compliance with all operational guidelines issued by New York State, the Center for Disease Control, and the American Camping Association. More details regarding our operational protocols and COVID-19 response can be found below. 

Your child’s group will have the same two group leaders each day throughout the summer. We hire local staff, many of whom work for our recess and after school programs during the year, to join our summer team. We have a diverse team of staff from many different backgrounds, but they all share at least one thing in common – they cannot wait to meet your camper!

 

The Summer Youth Employment Program has been cancelled for the 2020 season. As a result, these youth will not be a part of our team this summer. Additionally we will not have international staff on our 2020 team. 

Central to our philosophy has always been the smallcamp experience. In response to COVID-19, we have adapted to spend our days in even smaller groups. Smallcamps will consist of 8 consistent campers with the same two leaders each week. Over the course of the summer, these groups will plan their days collaboratively, overcome challenges together, allowing for deeper relationships and connections that last a lifetime.

We believe, and research agrees, that children need to have time and space to play with each other. Unstructured play helps children develop important lifelong skills, such as communication, cooperation, self-management, and other social and emotional skills proven to lead to long-term development. Our staff are trained to allow real play to happen, so children can learn and grow together.

We have been unplugged for over 130 years so you can leave tall electronics at home! We have always been – and now more than ever – a program that emphasizes connecting to each other, through experience outdoors.

 

By signing up for our Brooklyn day camp, you are committing to joining an electronics-free community. Without their devices, our campers learn how to build relationships through meaningful conversations, and to be present in their environment.

One hundred thirty-three years is a long time to perfect the art of youth development. Formal metrics confirm what anecdotal reports have always shown us: building strong social and emotional foundations sets children up for true long-term success.

 

Every Trail Blazers program is designed with the same five building blocks – research-backed strategies, seamlessly woven into each day’s plan:

 

  • GOAL SETTING: deciding upon daily, aspirational group and individual goals and planning paths towards them
  • TEAM BUILDING and CHALLENGE: working together to solve problems and encouraging each other to persist when things get tough
  • FREE PLAY and EXPLORATION: letting wonder and imagination guide the program experience
  • SCIENCE and SKILL BUILDING: honing in on specific interests and developing a methodical approach to learning
  • REFLECTION:  reflecting on one’s performance, focusing on the day’s highs and lows, and getting excited about what tomorrow will bring

 

This approach – which looks different every day, within every program, and for every group – delivers a uniquely powerful youth development experience.

Our Brooklyn Day Camp offers:

  • Exciting weekly skills mastery
  • FULLY OUTDOOR program – we will not be using indoor spaces!
  • Unique drop off and pick up locations within Prospect Park for each camp group
  • Program hours from 9:00 – 4:00 pm
  • Healthy habits incorporated into each day

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will not be offering any trips during the 2020 season. Camp hours will be from 9 AM to 4 PM, extended care options will not be available. 

Trail Blazer Camps are American Camp Association accredited. All leadership staff are trained professionals in their area of expertise.

 

Each staff member undergoes an intensive interview and reference check process. We run criminal and sex offender background checks on every person employed by our organization. Before children arrive, our staff completes a thorough training, covering all aspects of the Trail Blazers program, to prepare for the important job of looking after your child’s physical and emotional safety. This training has been expanded to meet all New York State, CDC, and ACA guidelines surrounding COVID-19. 

 

We assign two staff members to each group for the duration of the summer. 

 

The Summer Youth Employment Program has been cancelled for the 2020 season. As a result, these youth will not be a part of our team this summer. 

Our Brooklyn day camp is designed for campers entering Pre-K through Grade 5 (ages 3-10). 

 

All 3 year old campers must be turning 4 years old by December 1st. 

Each day at our Brooklyn Day Camp is spent in ‘small camp’, a consistent group of 8 campers with 2 dedicated group leaders. Because each child’s group remains small and consistent throughout the summer, our campers and staff form very strong bonds!

 

Each day includes the same mix of components, which your child’s group leaders will customize in real-time response to the group’s needs, likes and dislikes. These building blocks include:

  • MORNING CHECK IN – setting goals and talking through the day’s program
  • SKILL BUILDING  – each week features a skill campers will spend some time focusing on each day, so at the end of the week your camper can say: I learned that at camp!
  • ART/SCIENCE/GARDEN ACTIVITIES – each day includes an art project and/or a science experiment, all done right outside
  • HIKING/ORIENTEERING – campers read maps and go on treasure hunts, getting to know all corners of the park
  • TEAM BUILDING – specific games are used to bring the group together, teach group skills, and help groups overcome challenges
  • MUSIC/SINGING – we sing all the time, both during specific song session as well as while we move from place to place!
  • PLAYGROUND VISITS – Prospect Park has many great playgrounds, and we want to try them all (including the awesome splash pad at LeFrak!)
  • RUNNING/ACTIVE GAMES – when you’ve got a lot of energy to burn, nothing is better than learning a new game to play with your friends!
  • LUNCH/SOLO – we value taking some time for ourselves each day – after lunch, campers spend some time napping, reading a book, or laying back and watching the clouds
  • UNSTRUCTURED FREE PLAY – campers spend time each day playing by their own rules in a pre-defined area where they learn how to negotiate rules, engage in creative play, and have fun with friends
  • SUNSET CIRCLE – the day always ends around the imaginary fire, singing songs, processing the day’s highlights and transitioning to the day end

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will not be offering any trips or swimming during the 2020 season. 

Summer 2020 will feature an exciting Skills Mastery built into the theme of each week. Campers will be given opportunities to learn and develop a wonderful variety of hands-on skills that they may never have tried before:

 

Week 1 (July 27 – July 31):

Over the River & Through the Woods

Skill of the week: Orienteering

An introduction to all things Trail Blazers. Let’s explore our park as a team and learn about the different ways we can navigate towards adventure. There’s 526 acres to discover, so let’s do it together!

Week 2 (August 3 – August 7):

When Nature Calls

Skill of the week: Wildlife Identification

‘What’s that sound? Who’s tracks are these?’ Bird calls, track identification and more! The investigation is on as we learn about all the wildlife that shares our world. The fauna of the park await!

Week 3 (August 10 – August 14):

How Knot to Slack on Survival Skills

Skill of the week: Knot Tying & Survival Skills

A welcoming introduction to wilderness arts, including simple survival knots, how to raise a shelter, filter clean water and craft the perfect marshmallow roasting fire. It will be easy to get tied up in how much fun we’ll have with this extremely useful skill week.

Week 4 (August 17 – August 21):

Namaste Outside!

Skill of the week: Wellness, Yoga & Meditation

Whether it is something as small as knowing when to ask for help, or taking a big step towards helping others, this week presents plenty of opportunities to learn about the body and how to take care of yourself and each other. Campers will balance and breathe as they learn to strike many new poses. But, just because we will be calming our bodies and minds, does not mean we will be slowing down. There is plenty of exciting play to be had every day!

Week 5 (August 24 – August 28):

It’s EASY being GREEN

Skill of the week: Gardening, Composting & Recycling

We’re rooting for you, there’s so mulch to learn about going green. As true Trail Blazers we need little encourage-mint to take care of this wonderful planet, but thistle be one exciting week as campers spend a little extra thyme in the garden, learning hands on how to compost and best take care of our environment. We’ll grow together with some unbe-leaf-able recycling projects.

Week 6 (August 31 – September 4):

Ultimate Trail Blazers

We’ll revisit our favorite games, activities, and experiments from the summer!

All Trail Blazers programs are offered on a tier basis, loosely linked to family income, with additional scholarship opportunities available. Your tier is self-selected during the application process.

  • TIER 1 (family income up to $30,000)- $275 per week
  • TIER 2 (family income $30,000-$60,000) – $325 per week
  • TIER 3 (family income $60,000-$90,000) – $450 per week
  • TIER 4 (family income over $90,000) – $550 per week
  • FULL FEE – $625 per week

We encourage you to select the tier that makes the most sense for your family. Additional scholarships are available on a limited basis for families in the tier 1 range to further reduce the cost. Sibling discounts of 5% are automatically processed during enrollment.

 

If you are interested in being considered for additional scholarship assistance, first submit your registration, then complete the Scholarship Request Form and the Summer Food Service Form on your dashboard. Scholarship allocation are made on a rolling basis and as available. Please speak to our registration staff if you have additional questions or needs.

 

Trail Blazers Day Camp accepts HRA/ACS vouchers for full week campers. If this applies to your family, please contact us for more information about this process, before you enroll your camper with us.

 

Registration for in-person Day Camp is now open. There is ongoing work to ensure we are in compliance with all operational guidelines issued by New York State, the Center for Disease Control and the American Camping Association. Once we can ensure compliance and have received our NYC Camp Permit, we will confirm enrollment and request payment. Payment will be due in full one week before the start of the program. Please see the Terms and Conditions for our Day Camp refund policy.

 

Upon enrollment into the program, you will receive an update each week via email. These emails will include the status of our NYC Camp Permit and any new information surrounding our operational protocols in response to COVID-19.

Trail Blazers Brooklyn Day Camp will be operating as a fully outdoor program for the 2020 season. Groups will follow similar weekly programs directly from Prospect Park.

 

Each camp group will have a unique drop off and pick up site along the East side of the park between Parkside and Empire Boulevard. 

Each camp group will have a unique location for drop off and pick up. 

 

Drop off is between 9:00 and 9:30 am. 

Regular pick up is between 3:30 and 4:00 pm. 

 

During the registration process you will be asked to list adults authorized to pick up your child. Your child will only be released to individuals on the list.

 

Following New York State and the American Camping Association guidelines, limits will be placed on the number of adults permitted to pick up and drop off at camp. All authorized adults must be members of the camper’s household so as to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

We believe our program is the best – but is it the best fit for you?

 

We really care about being outside and are passionate about the program that we offer. If you are new to Trail Blazers Brooklyn Day Camp, please plan to attend one of our info sessions if you can. Info sessions are held twice a month and are a great opportunity to learn more about our Brooklyn day camp program and to ask any questions you may have!

 

Because we do things differently from most other camps, we hope that you will take time to consider the following in order to ensure that we are a good fit for you and your family:

LITTLE LEGS AND BATHROOMS – Being in the park means we may not be directly next to a bathroom all the time. Sometimes, we have to walk a little. Our staff knows to map their program around bathroom locations, and we equip our youngest groups with emergency potties. Your camper should be able to recognize the need for a bathroom trip, communicate this need to their group leader, and then possibly hold on for a few minutes!

INDEPENDENCE AT A YOUNG AGE – Throughout the program, our campers learn a lot about self-management: packing their own backpack, getting ready for lunch, hiking in the park, etc. Your camper has to be ready to take on those challenges in increasingly more independent ways.

UNSTRUCTURED PLAY – We believe that children learn best from things they experience on their own, and that the process of figuring out an activity is of equal or greater value than the activity itself. Unstructured free play allows kids to learn more – and learn differently – than during highly structured, instructor-led activities. Each day has lots of play built in, during which we explicitly train staff to step aside into the role of an observer and facilitator, but not teacher.

RAINY DAY CANCELLATIONS – As a nature-loving outdoor adventure program, we opt-outside whenever possible. In response to COVID -19, we are operating as a fully outdoor program and will not be using indoor spaces for the 2020 season. If inclement weather is in the forecast we will not run camp for the day.  Communication will be frequent and early, closures will be announced at pick up the day before.

LOUD SINGING – Your camper will come home and sing camp songs incessantly, and will more than likely require you to participate. Are you ready for that fun?!

Minimum Registration: 1 Week

 

The Trail Blazers approach has always relied heavily on the social experience within the group – recommending you enroll for several consecutive days at the start of the summer, so your camper can get used to the group and get to know their group leader.

 

To minimize exposure, we have eliminated single day enrollments and are requiring campers to enroll for the full week. Health screenings will be completed before and at arrival each day. 

 

Registration for in-person Day Camp is now open. There is ongoing work to ensure we are in compliance with all operational guidelines issued by New York State, the Center for Disease Control and the American Camping Association. Once we can ensure compliance and have received our NYC Camp Permit, we will confirm enrollment and request payment. Payment will be due in full before the start of the program.

 

Upon enrollment into the program, you will receive an update each week via email. These emails will include the status of our NYC Camp Permit and any new information surrounding our operational protocols in response to COVID-19.

 

Registration is now open, but our program opening is dependent on securing our NYC Camp Permit and compliance to all State, ACA, and CDC guidelines. You will register for a full camp week. Campers will be divided into groups based on age and the number of weeks enrolled, in an effort to minimize exposure.

 

 If you encounter the wait list, please contact registration@trailblazers.org.

Please familiarize yourself with our Terms and Conditions. This document will be available on your ACTIVE enrollment portal as well.

If you have have any questions, please contact our office.

 

Coming soon! Check back for our Parent hand book and prep list for our Brooklyn day camp.

How old do campers need to be to attend day camp?

We accept campers as young as three years of age, so long as they are entering Pre-K and will turn four by the end of the calendar year. Please review the ‘Is Your Child Ready’ tab to make sure your loved one is ready for our program. 

 

Our oldest groups accept campers up to age ten. 

 

Please contact our registration team at (212) 529-5113 if you have questions. 

 

Do you offer payment plans?

Yes, we offer payment plans. When you register through Active you can select payment plans of either 3 or 6 installments. Full payment is due before beginning the program. 

 

What do I need to pack?

Lunch and snacks – Pack enough for a full and active day. 

Water bottle – Campers will need a refillable water bottle each day. We will refill our bottles often as we travel around the park. Our backpacks can also accommodate water bladders.

A change of clothes – We recommend packing a full change of clothes for all campers, including our older groups. We are outdoors all day and there is always the possibility that campers clothes will get wet or dirty. 

Rain gear – We spend time outside every day – rain showers or shine. If the weather predicts light rain please pack a water-proof jacket and shoes. Please note we will close in the event of extended rain or inclement weather. 

Sunscreen – even on the cloudiest of days. A hat is also great for protection from the sun.

Sturdy, closed toe shoes – Comfort is key! We will be active throughout the day walking all over the park. We suggest something that is water resistant as well. 

Layers – If the weather predicts cool temperatures in the morning or early evening we also recommend packing or wearing layers. Campers may get chilly and want a light sweater or long sleeve shirt. 

 

Where and when is drop off?

Drop off is between 9 and 9:30 am each day, groups will have a unique drop off and pick up location along the East side of Prospect Park between Parkside and Empire. You groups location will be communicated via email before beginning the program. 

 

Pick up?

Regular pick up is between 3:30 and 4 pm each day to the same location as drop off. 

New York Forward Safety Plan

Updated: June 28

 

This document will be updated as Trail Blazers prepares to open Brooklyn Day Camp 2020. As the situation continues to evolve, we will always abide by the requirements set forth by the New York State Health Department as well as the CDC. We will share new updates with you weekly.

 

Purpose

Each business or entity, including those that have been designated as essential under Empire State Development’s Essential Business Guidance, must develop a written Safety Plan outlining how its workplace will prevent the spread of COVID-19. A business may fill out this template to fulfill the requirement, or may develop its own Safety Plan. This plan does not need to be submitted to a state agency for approval but must be retained on the premises of the business and must made available to the New York State Department of Health (DOH) or local health or safety authorities in the event of an inspection. 

Business owners should refer to the State’s industry-specific guidance for more information on how to safely operate. For a list of regions and sectors that are authorized to re-open, as well as detailed guidance for each sector, please visit: forward.ny.gov. If your industry is not included in the posted guidance but your businesses has been operating as essential, please refer to ESD’s Essential Business Guidance and adhere to the guidelines within this Safety Plan. Please continue to regularly check the New York Forward site for guidance that is applicable to your business or certain parts of your business functions, and consult the state and federal resources listed below.

 

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