Brooklyn Day Camp
Interested in our Brooklyn Day Camp? Join us for our next Info Session on April 7th or April 9th.
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?
Our staff hails from all corners of the globe! This adds a special international flair to each day and for every group. Your child’s group will have the same international leader, as well as a domestic leader, each day throughout the summer.
We also hire local domestic staff and participate in the Summer Youth Employment Program, which gives work experience to New York City youth ages 14-23. We have a diverse team of staff and interns from many different backgrounds, but they all share at least one thing in common – they cannot wait to meet your camper!
Central to our philosophy is the smallcamp experience. We spend our days in consistent, small groups of 10-12 campers with the same leaders each day. Over the course of the summer, these groups will plan their days collaboratively, overcome challenges together, and make life long memories with each other, allowing for deeper relationships and connections that last a lifetime.
When we are not exploring all that Prospect Park has to offer, we will embark on new adventures throughout New York City or to our 1000 acre estate in Northern NJ to experience the great outdoors!
Swim Days: Each group will go swimming at the Sunset Park pool once a week.
City Trips: Every 2 weeks, your camper’s group will embark on a trip to one of the many cultural destinations that NYC has to offer, such as Governor’s Island, The Clifs, the American Museum of Natural History, and the New York Aquarium.
New Jersey Trips: Every 2 weeks, your camper’s group will visit our NJ camp property to swim, row boat, hike, practice archery, and so much more!
Check back soon for a complete program schedule for the 2020 season!
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.
Rain or shine – We are ready for it all! Our campers wear raincoats, rain or hiking boots, and backpacks. When others seek shelter, we are out and about!
Positive and safe outdoor experiences when the weather isn’t perfect develop resiliency and a deeper connection to the natural world!
Our Brooklyn Day Camp offers:
- Exciting weekly skills mastery
- Three “home base” locations to choose from: Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Crown Heights, and Park Slope
- Program hours from 8:00 – 4:00 pm, with aftercare available until 6:00 pm.
- Day trips to Trail Blazers’ 1000 acre forested property in Sussex County, NJ, throughout the summer – archery, cookouts, boating, lake swims, and more!
- Weekly swimming in a local Brooklyn pool, including swim instruction and recreational swim led by our American Red Cross certified lifeguards
- Local trips all around the city, from museums to climbing gyms, and more
- Healthy snacks and healthy habits incorporated into each day
- Staff from Brooklyn and around the world!
Our Brooklyn day camp is designed for campers entering Pre-K through Grade 5 (ages 3-10). The Crown Heights location accepts campers entering Pre-K through Grade 3 only (ages 3-8).
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 12 campers with 2 dedicated group leaders – plus many more specialist and senior staff for support! Because each child’s group remains small and consistent throughout the summer, our campers and adults 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!
- TRIPS/SWIMMING – campers will go on a trip once per week. This will either be a local city trip OR an exciting bi-weekly adventure day trip to our forested camp property in New Jersey
- 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
- END OF DAY DEBRIEF – the day always ends around the imaginary fire, singing songs, processing the day’s highlights and transitioning to the day end
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 (June 29 – July 3):
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 (July 6 – July 10):
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 (July 13 – July 17):
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 (July 20 – July 24):
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 (July 27 – July 31):
Harness the Power!
Skill of the week: Weather & Renewable Energy
Prepare to be blown away by our weather and energy themed week. Campers will be on cloud 9 as we learn all about weather and striking ways in which we can harness it’s natural power for renewable energy.
Week 6 (August 3 – August 7):
Skill of the week: Sewing & Textiles
Spools out for summer and our tight-knit group of campers will be bursting at the seams for our sewing and textiles themed week. It’ll be sew much fun you’ll needle little rest before you carry yarn.
Week 7 (August 10 – August 14):
Skill of the week: Lashing
In this building and engineering focused week, we will be crafting anything from picture frames to mega-structures! How big can you build? Your imagination is the limit.
Week 8 (August 17 – August 21):
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 9* (August 24 – August 28):
Skill of the week: Geology & Rock Identification
An extra week of summer? And we’re taking nothing for granite. Campers will lava this rocking Geology themed week packed full of hands on experiments – minerals, volcanoes, earthquakes & more!
*Please note: Week 9 has limited capacity, and is offered as a full 5-day week only
Week 10* (August 31 – September 4):
Ultimate Trail Blazers
We’ll revisit our favorite games, activities, and experiments from the summer!
*Please note: Week 10 has limited capacity, and is offered as a full 5-day week only. Week 10 will be offered from our Carousel site only, but is open to any campers that have enrolled in two or more regular summer weeks at any of our day camp sites.
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)- $55 per day
- TIER 2 (family income $30,000-$60,000) – $65 per day
- TIER 3 (family income $60,000-$90,000) – $90 per day
- TIER 4 (family income over $90,000) – $110 per day
- FULL FEE – $125 per day
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.
Trail Blazers Brooklyn Day Camp offers three daily drop off and pick up locations. Groups at all locations follow similar weekly programs: Prospect Park adventures, swim days, New York City field trips, and day trips to our New Jersey campsite.
*Theme and skills of the week may vary by each site.
- Prospect Lefferts Gardens – serving the greater Brooklyn area. Our home base is the Carousel Lawn, by the Empire Blvd entrance to Prospect Park. Our indoor and after care location is PS 375, Jackie Robinson. We also offer pick up options along the B/Q lines as far South as Newkirk Plaza, and from the Crown Heights Shuttle (S) connecting to the C train at Franklin Avenue. This service is offered at a fee of $5/day and is only offered at our PLG location.
- Crown Heights – serving Crown Heights, Bed-Stuy, and beyond: We meet daily at PS 316 Elijah Stroud, on Sterling Pl and Classon Ave. This location also serves as our indoor space and aftercare location.
- Park Slope – serving Park Slope, Gowanus, Sunset Park, and surrounding areas: We meet daily at Greenwood Baptist Church, on the corner of 6th street and 7th avenue in Park Slope, which also serves as our indoor and after care location.
All camp locations follow the same schedule for drop off, pick up, and after care.
Drop off is between 8:00 and 8:30 am.
Regular pick up is between 3:30 and 4:00 pm.
After care pick up is between 5:00 and 6:00 pm.
Please note – Any campers still with us after 4:00 pm will automatically transition into our after care program. This will result in the $10 charge being added to your you account at the end of the week.
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.
On New Jersey trip days, drop off and pick up times and location may differ from your normal location. We communicate extensively through email and cell phone app so you will always know where to drop off or pick up your child.
We offer an option for Subway pick up and drop off for an additional $5 per day. This option is available at our Prospect Lefferts Garden location only. You can opt in or sign up for this program at anytime through our registration system.
This service must be signed up for in advance and will be billed to your account.
Campers registered for subway services will be picked up and dropped off at their selected stop just behind the turnstile. Drop off is between 7:30 and 7:45 am. Pick up is between 4:00 and 4:15 pm.
Crown Heights Shuttle
For families in Bed Stuy and Crown Heights, staff will pick up on the S (Shuttle line) at the Botanic Garden Station (2/3/4/5 lines) and at the Franklin Ave Station (C line).
For families in Ditmas Park, Midwood, Sheepshead Bay, and surrounding areas we offer pick up and drop of at Newkirk Ave, Cortelyou Rd, and Church Ave.
After care services are available at each of our Brooklyn Day Camp locations. There is a flat fee of $10 per day for after care services. In order to give you as much flexibility as possible, you may indicate whether you wish to use the after care service during registration or at the start of the day. If you did not pre-register for aftercare, charges will be added to your account at the end of the week.
Campers that are not picked up by 4 pm will automatically transition into our after care program for the day and charges will be added to your account. Pick up from after care is available between 4:15 pm and 6 pm.
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.This includes traveling to our New Jersey site with us, if you choose to enroll on those days.
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 WEATHER – As a nature-loving outdoor adventure program, we are not easily scared inside! While hugely inclement weather may bring us indoors, we’re much more likely to seek shelter from rain under a tree – if at all! Puddle jumping and mud pies are right up our alley, and in order for you to have a great experience with us this summer, this needs to be something you’re excited about as well.
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: 2 days per week
The Trail Blazers program approach relies heavily on the social experience within the group – we recommend 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. Be sure to consult the summer schedule – this way, you know on which days your camper will attend a city trip, a NJ trip, will go swimming, or will mostly be in the park. We give you full flexibility.
Because consistent grouping is so important to what we do, we require you sign up your camper for the same group in each week. If a group is no longer available, you may not sign up for a different group. Doing so will result in your registration being cancelled. We reserve the right to change group assignments. If you encounter the wait list, please contact email@example.com.
Coming soon! Check back for our Parent hand book and prep list for our Brooklyn day camp.