Summer Camp II – The City or The Country??

In hemming and hawing and figuring out which camp to do, I had just found out that Downtown Day Camp now has a waiting list! We have narrowed it down to two camps: New Country Day and Downtown Day Camp, keeping my fingers crossed that they’ll still let campers in. Only in New York City would a camp have a waiting list!

The reason that we’ve narrowed it down to those two, and decided to let Little Red go off the list is because of the time and money cost factors.  The Hubby and I both work full-time, and for some reason, camps here in new york city think that we are all Europeans and take the month of august off so we can spend it at our beach house.  Well, I’m neither European nor have a beach house.  Most camps end in July which leaves the working parents left high and dry.  Plus, we’d like to stay downtown-ish and it needs to be reasonably priced.  The other factors that need to come into play are:  my daughter needs to have friends at the camp, for me, there needs to be air conditioned facilities (the summers in nyc are brutal!!), and there needs to be swimming facilities (she MUST learn how to swim!)

Little Red goes from the end of june through the end of july and runs about $2940.  It still leaves me with the month of august with nothing for my 5 3/4 year old.  The indoor facilities are air conditioned and they have access to a ton of playgrounds and go swimming at the 14th street y’s heated pool.  They get there via an air conditioned bus.

New Country Day is actually in “the country”.  ok, its in staten island, but there are trees, and a lake and most of the activities take place outdoors on the grass. New Country Day has a “full summer” session which goes from the end of june through august 21st which is perfect for us.  For the full summer?  It’s $3700 for a non Y member.  The only bad thing is its good thing:  it’s in “the country”.  

All activities take place outside.  _13_thumb2  _18_thumb1 What if its brutally hot?  What will O do?  What about water?  She’s not much of a swimmer, but they do go swimming twice a day, which will hopefully get her swimming, but NO air conditioning at all?  the hubby feels that this will be good for her:  to get her out in nature and doing things that she wouldn’t normally do, like make a teepee out of twigs and make s’mores over a fireplace.  I’m torn.  

Downtown Day Camp is in the city.  And its near our apartment.  It, too, has a full summer session for $3745.  Again, very competitive with the others.  The good thing about it is its downfall:  it is too familiar (we think) for O.  Is familiarity a good thing or a bad thing for an almost-6 year old? Or should we get her out experiencing new environments?  It does have air conditioning, they have access to a pool, and its near our apartment.  And another thing it has: a waiting list.  

only in new york, folks.

….to be continued!

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8 responses to “Summer Camp II – The City or The Country??

  1. This summer will be the second year that we send our kids to the JCC in Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave. at 76th St. They meet 18 times on Mondays & Wednesdays from
    9:00 AM – 10:00 AM from Jun 15 – Aug 12 and the prices are reasonable; $558.00 Member and $702.00 Non-Member.
    They have other programs too for half days. While they play in camp, you can work out in the gym, swim, etc.

    • Diaper District

      Thanks! Can’t do the UWS, though. I have to do drop off before work, and our caregiver will need to be able to pick up O while having S, our 17 month old. It’s hard traveling with a stroller on the subways, so we need to stay local. Thanks for the info, though!!

  2. My vote…hands down,,,the Staten Island Ferry to trees, grass,fresh air NATURE ! Worth every penny! Summer IS Hot supposed to be hot and she will really WANT to swim. Good luck I hope she gets in.

    • Diaper District

      I know, I know….I have to let her experience…and Jenny B’s comments below kind of cement the deal. She’s born, bread and buttered here in NYC, so I think we’ll do it!!

  3. As a NYC kid myself, I strongly support going the nature route in the summer as well as not going where all of your friends are. Some of my best memories growing up are from camp: being in nature, learning how to camp, swim, run etc… I never missed air conditioning for a minute. On the friend’s note, I had the chance to go to camp with all of my school friends and my mom made me go somewhere by myself so that I would meet new kids (which I hated her for at the time). The camp friends I made are still some of my best friends 14 years later (I was a bridesmaid at one’s wedding last year) and I feel so lucky that I have met people from different places a a kid.

    • Diaper District

      JennyB!!! Thanks for the comment, it really means a lot coming from an NYC kid. I think what I’ll do is sign her up for the 3 week program at New Country Day and sign us up for the waiting list for Downtown Day Camp. If there is now space at Downtown Day, I’ll just keep her at New Country Day.

      Dinner soon????

  4. We were going back and forth too about camps. We totally feel your pain about how many camps end in mid August! We decided to go with Y camp, South Orange. Chase and Zander loved it last summer. They have a great program, keeps the kids busy… and exhausted by the time you to pick them up. Great idea, leave O with us for the summer! TJ can teach her a bunch of stuff… and who else is the smack of NATURE. The Emmers, of course.

  5. Hi, nice post. I have been wondering about this issue,so thanks for writing. I will definitely be coming back to your blog. Keep up the good posts

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