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A Newsday described Rolling Hills as a camp "specializing in swimming and tennis." The camp was located on a twenty acre plot of land on I.U. Willets Road and had three heated swimming pools and programs in boating, canoeing and horseback riding.
Rolling Hills of Albertson closed down after the summer of 1983. Real estate developers bought the property and put up condominium housing.
The camp's directors in the early 1980s were Miriam Gertz and Stanley Breitner, the latter of whom went to work for the North Shore Day Camp of Glen Cove in 1984.
In 1986, Mr. Breitner re-established the Rolling Hills Country Day Camp in Freehold, New Jersey.
Described in one Newsday ad as "The Day Camp With the Sleep-Away Program," Green Hill Day Camp was situated on twelve wooded acres and featured programs in gymnastics, nature, arts and crafts, music, pioneering, and most athletic sports. The camp also had a teen travel program for 7th through 10th graders which included a three-day trip to Fire Island.
There was also an affiliated tennis program with the nearby Syosett Tennis Academy.
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Established in 1949, Camp Monchatea prided itself on offering campers and their parents individual supervision and individualized attention. (The camp had a four-to-one camper/counselor ratio.) There was quite a bit of emphasis on fine arts, music and drama; Monchatea, however, also had an intercamp sports program which attempted to stress pleasure and skills learning over winning. An on-site roller-skating rink was added at Monchatea by 1973. Door-to-door transportation from the campers' homes to the campsite at 181-203 Merritt Road in Farmingdale was provided by station wagon. This camp closed sometime in the mid-to-late 1980s.
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Established in 1956, Treasure Island of Oceanside was Long Island's first nautical day camp program. It was located on Mott Street near Bedell Creek and enjoyed 2500 feet of waterfront. Among the activities were sailing, boating, canoeing, and water-skiing. This camp was for children ages 3 to 17.
Located in a "beautiful country-like setting" on Central Avenue in Valley Stream, Creative offered a few activities absent from most other camps. (I.e. photography, karate, moonwalks, carpentry, etc.) Creative also offered opportunities for trout fishing in its own on-site stream, professional tennis instruction, and free horseback riding. Creative had added an electronic game room by 1979. One of Creative's traditions was something called "Eddie Spaghetti Time."
Camp Tanglewood used this tag line in its advertising: "Featuring new concepts in day camping." Tanglewood's programs included boating, horseback riding, arts & crafts, all sports, and swimming instruction. On the Tanglewood premises was, according to a Newsday ad, "a large indoor theater building for dancing, music, movies, and plays."
Camp Tanglewood closed around 1995, and real estate developers planned to build a five story senior citizen home on the site.
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The Eastern Country Day Camp was described in a 1970s Newsday ad as a "complete all-weather day camp on 24 wooded acres." For one thing, it was one of the few Long Island day camps with an indoor swimming pool at that time. When Eastern closed down after the summer of 1978, the property became a military academy. Eastern's director, Chuck Feinstein, became the director of Camp Kenwal in 1979.
The Tom Sawyer Day Camp, established in 1954, was located on Pigeon Hill Road in South Huntington, and was one of several day camps located in the Huntington area. Activities included riflery, archery, horseback riding, and go-carts. This camp closed by the mid-1980s.
The Camelot Day Camp, which was held at the old Long Island Arena in Commack, was described in a 1973 Newsday advertisement as "the only day camp on Long Island offering daily ice skating and hockey. . ." All the other conventional activities were offered as well. Th camp had 22 acres of land to work with.
Fort Salonga Day Camp was located on an 18 1/2 acre site at 560 Bread and Cheese Hollow Road in East Northport. The camp's directors over the years included Stan Klasek, Jack Polo, and Ron and Ginny Vale.
An on-site petting zoo, an authentic stockade fort, and nature trails were among the features at Fort Salonga. There was also a go-kart track.
I don't know when this camp closed down or how long it remained in business. Please e-mail me with any further information about the Fort Salonga Day Camp.
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Lindenhurst's Anchorage Marina ran the only other known nautical day camp on Long Island in the 1970s. A 1979 Newsday ad described Anchorage as being for those "who love the sea or have outgrown the ordinary camp." The Anchorage program included instruction in boat safety, navigation, marine science, and scuba diving. Other activities included water skiing, fishing, tennis, and land sports.
There are several "trip-a-day" day camps currently on Long Island. Once such camp that has been advertised recently is the Summer Adventures Day Camp Travel Program, which features trips to Mets games, the Splish Splash water park, and other fun places. Other travel camps even offer occasional out-of-state trips to such places as Washington, D.C., Hershey Park in Pennsylvania, and Great Adventure in New Jersey.
But before any of these camps were around, there was Young Traveler's Day Camp, which this author attended in the summer of 1972.
Under the direction of Mr. Alan Lazarus, Young Travelers offered at least one major field trip every week to such places as the Bronx Zoo, the Museum of Natural History, the New York Aquarium, and others. Campers spent three days a week at Jones Beach and went to Belmont Lake State Park every Friday for a hot dog barbecue.
For more information about Young Travelers, please click here.
Camp NYABIC had one of the most spacious and beautiful settings of any Long Island day camp. Located on Johnson Avenue in the Ronkonkoma/Lakeland area of Central Suffolk County and bordering the northern end of the Connetquot River State Park, NYABIC, which was founded by the New York Association for Brain Injured Children, was created to enable handicapped and learning disabled children to enjoy a day camp experience similar to that of other children. For years, the camp director was Mr. Marty Ross.
NYABIC's physical education, arts and crafts and music appreciation activities were designed to enable children to develop those skills at their own pace and within their individual capabilities. Regular instructional swims were also geared towards the children's development rates.
At NYABIC, children also took advantage of the vast woods surrounding the main campsite through hiking treks, some of which would take the children to a nearby pond. Afternoons featured free swims and pre-dismissal ice cream.
In the early 1980s, NYABIC moved from the Lakeland/Ronkonkoma property (which is now the Lakeland County Park) to the grounds of the former Hills School at the corner of Deer Park Road and Half Hollow Road in Dix Hills. By the end of the 1980s, NYABIC ceased to exist, and its former Hills School locale has since become a condominium development.
NYABIC's contributions to the Long Island Day Camp scene will be missed, but the memories linger on for numerous campers and counselors.
For more about Camp NYABIC, click here.
The Trailblazer Day Camp of Hauppauge was open from about 1965 until as late as 1990. It was located on Route 111 just a block or two south of the Veterans Memorial Highway.
Run by Mr. and Mrs. Martin Greene, Trailblazer Day Camp not only offered the standard day camp activities (i.e. swimming, arts and crafts, sports, etc.), but it also had a Teen program for twelve to fifteen year old campers. The Teen program included two trips a week, a different camp t-shirt, an evening barbecue or movie gathering (but no sleepout), and bowling and roller-skating outings.
Trailblazer closed down after the summer of 1990. A housing development now sits where the camp used to be.
For more about Trailblazer, click here.
For years when I went to school, I would pass by the Captree Day Camp on Montauk Hwy. in West Islip, right next door to St. John the Baptist High School. There was a blue and white sign with a sailboat logo just before Snedecor Avenue.
I never went to Captree, but the camp was described in a Newsday ad as a "distinctive children's camp for particular parents." One popular feature of that camp was an indoor swimming pool. Also, this camp was said to have had a "rustic" emphasis with overnight campouts, riflery, and other pioneer-style activities.
Captree closed in the mid-1980s, and a housing development is now on the former camp site.
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This camp, which opened around 1962, had its summer sessions on the sprawling 74-acre grounds of the Lake Grove School.
This camp used to have free family swims every weekend during the summer. Please e-mail me with any further information about this camp.
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