Join us at for a virtual info session – next session is Tuesday, February 2nd at 7 pm!

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Prospect Park … Ages 3-10 … Outdoors

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

Our programs are designed around small group experiences. 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.

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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.

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 decentralized 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 “It’s EASY being GREEN.” 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.

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 believe there is tremendous value in learning to interact with those that are different from us.

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 bubble 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!

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 up to 10 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 all 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 Prospect Park 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-four 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 Prospect Park Day Camp offers:

  • Exciting weekly skills mastery
  • OUTDOOR program – we spend our days outside connecting with nature! Indoor locations are used only for extended hours and severe weather. We opt outside so long as conditions are safe to do so!
  • Unique drop off and pick up locations within Prospect Park for each camp group
  • Program hours from 8:00 am – 4:00 pm, extended hours from 4:00 – 6:00 pm
  • Healthy habits incorporated into each day

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. 

 

We are also a partner and worksite for NYC’s Summer Youth Employment Program. In addition to our experienced team of group leaders, each camp group is supported by an SYEP intern or junior counselor. After the city cut this program in 2020, we are thrilled  to have these youth back on our team in 2021!

Our Prospect Park 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 Prospect Park Day Camp is spent in ‘small camp’, a consistent group of up to 10 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:

  • SUNRISE CIRCLE – the day always begins with a morning check in, we’ll set goals and discuss our plans for the day
  • 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

Summer 2021 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 28 – July 2):

You’ve Arrived at Your Destination

Skill of the week: Orienteering

You are here and you belong here! 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 5 – July 9):

Namaste Outside!

Skill of the week: Wellness – Self Care, Yoga, Meditation, Mindfulness

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 3 (July 12 – July 16):

Making Tracks

Skill of the week: Animal 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 4 (July 19 – July 23):

Call of the Wild

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 5 (July 26 – July 30):

Camp ROCKS

Skill of the week: Rock Identification, Local History

Halfway through the 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! We’ll also dive deep into the history of where we live. Brooklyn hasn’t always looked like it does today, we’ll explore how this land and it’s use has evolved over time.

Week 6 (August 2 – August 6):

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 7 (August 9 – August 13):

Prospect Park-itects

Skill of the week: Sustainable Design, Lashing, Engineering

Prepare to be blown away by our sustainable design themed week. Campers will learn all about energy and the striking ways in which we can harness power for renewable energy. We’ll also focus on design and engineering, as we put our new skills to use to design and build our own projects! Your imagination is the limit.

Week 8 (August 16 – August 20):

Strength in Campers

Skill of the week: Community Service, Stewardship

Throughout this week we’ll take a closer look at one of our core values, care & respect for our community – what does this really means and what this might look like in action?Groups will engage in service projects throughout our local communities. Putting to use the skills we’ve developed this season, campers will work together to brainstorm, plan and execute community projects of their own!

Week 9 (August 23 – August 27):

Ultimate Trail Blazers

As we wrap up our season and community projects, we’ll take time to reflect on all that we’ve learned and experienced thus far! During this final week, we’ll revisit many of our favorite games, activities and challenges from this 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 $50,000)- $315 per week
  • TIER 2 (family income $50,000-$75,000) – $455 per week
  • TIER 3 (family income $75,000-$100,000) – $560 per week
  • TIER 4 (family income over $100,000) – $630 per week
  • FULL FEE – $700 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.

 

Tier discounts are applied as a coupon, you will receive a coupon code during the enrollment process. Apply this code to your cart to receive the tier discount.

 

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 is made on a rolling basis and as available. Please speak to our registration staff if you have additional questions or needs.

 

Registration for day camp will open on February 1, 2021.

Our day camp at Prospect Park offers four convenient locations to choose from – Lefferts Gardens, Park Slope, Prospect/Crown Heights, and Prospect Park South.

 

Drop off and regular day pick up is fully outdoors. Each smallcamp group is assigned a unique drop off and pick up location just inside Prospect Park at their selected location.

 

Indoor space is available at all locations, but will be used only for aftercare and in severe weather.

Each camp group will have a unique location for drop off and pick up just inside the park at their selected location.

 

Drop off is between 8:00 and 8:30 am. 

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

Aftercare pick up is available between 4:30 and 6:00 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. 

Check back soon for location details.

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 or new to our day camps, please try to attend one of our info sessions. Info sessions are held on the first Tuesday of each month and are a great opportunity to learn more about our Prospect Park 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.

OUTDOORS, RAIN OR SHINE – As a nature-loving outdoor adventure program, we opt-outside whenever possible. Our program will operate almost entirely outdoors – so long as conditions are safe we will remain outdoors and seek shelter within the park. Indoor spaces are available for all camp locations, but are only used during aftercare and in severe weather. 

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?!

Registration for our Prospect Park day camp will open on February 1st. 

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 to Covid-19, we have eliminated single day enrollments and are requiring campers to enroll for full weeks this season. Health screenings will be completed upon arrival each day. 

How to Register:

As you begin the registration process, you will select a smallcamp at your desired location that is suitable to your campers age. Then you will select the weeks you wish to enroll. Campers must enroll into the same smallcamp for all weeks. 

 

Our program is designed to ensure that all smallcamps have an awesome (and consistent) experience – groups will engage in similar activities, team builders, and games throughout the season. All camp groups will have a scheduled field trip and swim time each week.

 

Multiple groups are offered for each age level. If one smallcamp is not available for all of the weeks that you need, simply try another. Once a smallcamp is full, a wait list for that week will begin. If you questions about a wait list, please contact our registration team at registration@trailblazers.org.

 

If you wish to be placed with a friend, simply select the same smallcamp when you enroll.

 

Registration open February 1, 2021. A 30% deposit is due at the time of enrollment to secure you space in the program.

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 9:15 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 3:15 and 3:30 pm each day to the same location as drop off. 

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Testimonials from Summers Past

 

“This was the best decision of our summer. Our son truly flourished: when we dropped him off the first day my son was shy and timid, and when we picked him up the last day he was confidently making jokes, teaching us new songs, and showing us how to tie knots!! This program was a saving grace during the pandemic.” ~ Parent, 2020

 

My son’s camp experience is something he will remember forever. Every single counselor was kind and enthusiastic, and every activity so well planned. As a single parent who struggles to find a work-life balance, I truly do not know how I could have managed without Trail Blazers this summer. My son was excited for camp each and every day, and could not wait to tell me about his adventures each evening. He learnt so much; you made our summer truly wonderful!” ~ Parent, 2020

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