January 15, 2015 Winter winds may be biting, but the summer breezes will soon be upon us. If you’re ready to begin your summer camp search, Armonk’s own Breezemont Day Camp is a great place to start.
In his first summer as owner and director, Gordon Josey made some smart changes to Breezemont’s 2014 programs that got campers and their families excited to experience a new era at the camp. Gordon kept popular Breezemont traditions, such as the campers’ favorite dodgeball-like game “GaGa” and fishing in the camp’s lake, which is a draw for many children who have never fished before. He then added interesting new elements, such as the higher level aerial playground that is visible upon entering the camp’s grounds.
As for what kids can look forward to in 2015, the aerial playground was so popular that the camp is now building an aerial adventure course. Breezemont will also have a new gymnastics arena and is expanding its arts programs to include ceramics, pottery, and “Build It!” By “Build It,” Gordon means just that: Building whatever the camper wants to create, be it rockets, Legos, mechanical cars, robots, etc.
“I’m excited to tell parents about the kick-off for our ‘21st Century Skills’ initiative,” said Gordon. “We’re making sure that every child who attends learns independence, friendship, teamwork, integrity, and creativity – supplementing the education and character-building process, while kids have fun!”
What does Gordon want every camper to know about Breezemont? “You’ll have fun all day long. The food is great. You’ll make great long-lasting friends, and our staff is really nice, cool and funny,” he said.
Mother of three Breezemont campers, Kristin Krebs-Dick, agrees. Her daughters are ages 9, 7 and 4. The eldest two have attended Breezemont since 2011, with the youngest joining last summer. “Our girls simply love the experience and we have appreciated how the transition maintained the heritage of the program, says Mrs. Krebs-Dick. She explains that she enrolled her children based on recommendations from others in the area when her family first moved to Armonk from New York City.
“Each year has been an enriching one, as there are so many things the kids learn to do that are ‘new’ to them,” Mrs. Krebs-Dick continued. “As they become older, they're exposed to different activities that increase their independence. The staff is terrific and the kids even really like the food.”
What was Gordon’s first summer at the helm of Breezemont like? Breezemont offered families new activities and specialists to teach them, new facilities and a new bus company. “I was thrilled to work with so many great staff and meet members of the community,” said Gordon. “But most of all, we enjoyed our campers and their parents. Together we are rebuilding Breezemont Day Camp, in a great community. We want to help and support the community in any way we can.”
Breezemont Day Camp is located at 62 Cox Avenue in Armonk. To learn more, visit www.Breezemont.com or call (914) 367-1936 to arrange your tour.
Sponsored feature by Staff Writer, Shirley Kaiser
Summer Fun at World Cup Camps
April 20, 2015 You may be surprised to learn that World Cup Gymnastics in Chappaqua offers children ages 5 – 13 much more than summer gymnastics programs. Beyond its well respected Gymnastic Camp, World Cup also runs a summer Sports Camp and gives all of its campers the opportunity to enjoy “traditional” summer camp activities, such as karaoke, Olympic challenges, treasure hunts, wacky dress-up contests, tie dyeing, arts & crafts, food projects, water games, free play time and the ever popular Friday pizza parties.
“Our goal is to provide a safe, nurturing environment where children can laugh, play, learn new skills, make new friends and build summer memories that last a lifetime, says Mel McKeon, Summer Camp Director of World Cup Gymnastics. “Each camper’s day is filled with lots of physical and creative activities to keep children fit and happy.”
During Gymnastics Camp, participants enjoy exciting gymnastic rotations which include Olympic events in addition to trampoline, Tumbl TrakTM, rope climbing and foam pits. Beginner to advanced gymnasts progress at their individual levels and learn skills that will benefit them in gymnastics or carry over to other sports they enjoy throughout the year.
During Sports Camp, kids “get their game on” as they learn the fundamental skills of a variety of sports taught by World Cup’s experienced counselors. Campers engage in team events and individual sports, competitions and sports clinics. Each camper has the opportunity to learn new skills, good sportsmanship and team spirit.
“At each camp, every activity is approached in an active, non-competitive manner so that campers feel safe and supported as they challenge themselves to grow and learn,” says McKeon. “Campers are rewarded for their attitude, personal accomplishments and, most importantly, their effort. Our age-appropriate programs and experienced counselors are sure to keep campers smiling all summer long!”
World Cup also offers optional weekly field trips that give children the opportunity to explore nature, theater, gaming and more. Each summer the camp adds new outings to its selection. Camps begin at 9:00 a.m. and run through 3:30 p.m. World Cup offers early drop off at 8:00 a.m. and late pick ups until 6:00 p.m.
Located at 170 Hunts Lane in Chappaqua, World Cup Gymnastics has offered summer fun to campers from New York and Connecticut since 1992. Its 19,000 square foot gymnastics facility houses state-of-the-art competition and training equipment, including a specialized preschool gym. To learn more call (914) 238-4967 or visit: www.worldcupgymnastics.com.
Sponsored feature by Staff Writer Shirley Kaiser
Get in the Swim with Westchester & Fairfield Swimming and Lifeguarding
February 10, 2015 What better way to spend the summer than developing an important life skill while having fun doing it! That’s just what campers at Westfair Swim Camp experience. Swim camp focuses on individual swim development and water safety for all levels of campers between the ages of 5 to 14. Swimmers receive instruction in small groups where the children are of similar age, skill and experience. The Westfair Swim Camp program is designed to help kids learn and progress through the six American Red Cross swimming levels. Campers also enjoy participating in water safety, snorkeling, springboard diving and lifeguard foundational skills during the camp day.
Competitive swimmers participate in stroke clinics to refine their strokes and improve cardiovascular endurance. Here competitors fine tune their starts and turns, as well as technique to increase efficiency and speed. “We provide comprehensive preparation for summer swimming and are a great supplement for summer swim team,” says Katherine Palladino, who is both the director of the camp and of Pace University Aquatics, where the program is held. Ms. Palladino is also an American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor Trainer, Lifeguard Instructor Trainer and United States Safety Diving Coach.
Campers also need a little time to “dry out,” so a variety of land activities are built into the day and include field games, fun fitness and a special activity that changes daily, such as an obstacle course, scavenger hunt, tie-dying and carnival day.
“Our staff includes seasoned American Red Cross Water Safety instructors and lifeguards selected not only for their expertise in teaching aquatic skills, but also for their ability to provide exceptional role models for our campers,” says Ms. Palladino. “Campers return each year because parents see a noticeable difference in their children’s swimming abilities, and campers have fun in a safe environment.”
At Westfair, lifeguard training, which includes first aid, CPR and AED, is available year-round for participants who are 15 years old by the last day of class. Instructor-to-student ratio is 1 to 6 for maximum learning for all participants, while the industry standard is 1 to 10.
Westfair's Swim Camp runs from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. from July 6 through August 7, at Pace University Goldstein Fitness Center, 861 Bedford Road, Pleasantville. Extended camp care is available at Pace University. A minimum of two weeks is recommended, but weekly spots are available. For more information about Westfair's programs, and early bird and family discounts, call (914) 588-2971 or visit www.westfairswim.com.
Sponsored feature by Staff Writer, Shirley Kaiser
Summer Basketball Camp at St. Patrick's Rich Monetti
April 20, 2015 Former Tuckahoe and Mount Vernon High School Basketball Coach Marshall Reiff has a light hearted solution to address the dire lack of defense played by the Knicks and most NBA teams. “They should hire me,” jokes the two time State Champion coach. But that doesn’t mean his approach at Fundamentally Sound Basketball Camp in Armonk follows the model of what an NBA practice should be – even if his kids will certainly be exposed to the right way of doing things.
“In a camp setting,” he says, “I want them to have fun and kids have the choice to try the things we recommend.”
As such, Reiff and his staff present persuasion at St. Patrick’s Church as the best way to get the point across during the two one week programs that run from June 29th to July 3rd and July 6th to July 10th. “If something you do on the court hasn’t been working, wouldn’t it make sense to try some of these things,” he reasons to the 8 to 14 year old boys and girls in attendance.
Plenty of opportunity to hone new skills in passing, slide stepping on defense and getting open, the real chance for positive reinforcement may come in five on fives played before lunch and the end of the day. “We tell them work hard and try to apply what you learn in the game,” he says.
However, being able to drop in jumpers like Michael Jordan or even a strong high school player may never come. But Reiff, who co-directs the camp with Byram Hills Basketball Hall of Famer Marty Durkin, makes sure kids understand there’s more to basketball then who finally nestles the net, and he adjusts games accordingly to drive home the point.
So a steal or an assist might be worth three points while a basket is only worth one. “You get the kid who can’t score very well, but now he sees the importance of defense or passing the ball,” says Reiff.
Just as important, the scorer gets the same message, and the chance to win is widely distributed so no one has to hang their head. Aside from switching the teams around from game to game, there’s prizes possibly given for dribbling, defending or putting up the best effort.
All intended to de-emphasize winning, he hopes what’s left in its wake is an atmosphere that enables kids to take risks. “If kids try a crossover dribble during a game or a left hand dribble and lose the ball, we’re just glad they attempted it,” he says.
That then leaves them the chance to figure out went wrong and an avenue to advance moving forward. “We think they will learn the particular skill if they continue to practice,” he says.
Unless they choose not to, as long as the experience is something that lets them come away feeling good about a summer well spent on the basketball court among friends.
January 30, 2015 This summer marks the 20-year anniversary of Katonah’s Harvey Cavalier Camp. Situated on 125 acres of The Harvey School campus, the Cavalier Camp offers children in grades pre-K through ninth a dynamic summer doing the things they want to do for personal exploration and fun. The camp serves families from Westchester, Putnam and Fairfield.
The Cavalier Camp is where children can pursue their passion for the performing and/or fine arts, or choose from a wide array of sessions in computers, science, sports, swimming, gymnastics, martial arts and even ice skating.
“Our campers develop the confidence that comes from mastering new pursuits and meeting others with similar interests – all in a nurturing, relaxed and beautiful environment,” says Chris Del Campo, who has served as the camp director since its inception in 1996.
With 50 options to choose from, children shape their own summer schedules and enjoy exploring the campus which features hiking trails, expansive athletic fields, an outdoor pool, indoor ice rink, a magnificent arts center and outstanding indoor athletic facilities.
“With so much to offer, the program has the feel of sleep away camp, but without the sleeping part,” says Del Campo. The Harvey Cavalier Camp has an excellent reputation and is known for the quality and safety of its program.
“Campers return each year because they enjoy following their own schedule, knowing each day is different and making many new friends who share the same interests,” continues Del Campo. “We are proud to say it’s a camp as exceptional as your child."
For more information call (914) 232-0581 or visit one of the camp’s Saturday open houses on February 7 and March 7 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at 260 Jay Street, Katonah, NY. For more information visit Harvey Cavalier Camp.