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About Our Summer Kamp Programs

 A summer experience your child will never forget at a price you can afford.

2019 Summer Kamp Programs:

2019 Spring Summer Kamp Appeal (Printable PDF of letter and donation form)

 Why Summer Kamp?

Youth today need summer kamp more than ever. Kamp gives youth the opportunity to breathe fresh air, run and play, be physically active, unplug, slow down, relax, and relate to the nature. Many youth today spend more time with technology and in virtual relationships (like the “social networking” sites Snap Chat, Instagram or Facebook) than in direct personal contact with peers and others outside of their immediate family and highly structured extracurricular activities. They need opportunities to interact with others… to feel the sun on their skin… the wind on their faces… it isn’t called “the great outdoors” for nothing.

Vanderkamp’s Popular “Bouncer” Slide on our 45 acre Private Lake

Today’s youth are typically overscheduled; obsessed, stressed, and anxious about being “good enough” or feeling pressure (real or imagined) to “be the best” in an overly socially-conscious society. Too many youth are diagnosed with anxiety or depression, being placed on prescription medications. Research consistently shows that time spent in nature can reduce symptoms associated with anxiety, depression, and ADHD. However, for these benefits to happen, youth need to be comfortable spending time in nature… and that comes from positive, direct, enjoyable experiences in the company of their friends. Adult staff and volunteers at kamp love spending time in nature and provide opportunities to foster those connections for kampers.

Kampers enjoy spending time at the farm.

Kamp fosters healthy youth development in ways not possible at home or in school; living together in community, developing social, emotional, and relational skills. Youth have opportunities to exert their autonomy and independence with the guidance of compassionate counselors and other adult staff and volunteers. Youth further develop empathy and compassion for others, spending time living and playing with peers from different backgrounds, home communities, or churches. While strife and division dominate our media and culture, kamp promotes living in peace and harmony.

2019 Summer Kamp Programs:


Why Vanderkamp?

With so many summer camps across New York State, why choose Vanderkamp? The short answer is, “There are no other kamps.” That is, there are none that compare to Vanderkamp’s intentionally designed programs that foster youth’s spiritual, social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development through innovative child-directed opportunities and experiences based on child development theory and camping ministry best practices. We challenge staff to empower Vanderkampers to take initiative and fully engage in all aspects of kamp life including traditional and some not so traditional kamp activities, Bible study and worship… in ways that are meaningful to them.

Vanderkampers can stretch and challenge themselves by experiencing and trying out new activities they may not be able to do at home like archery or kayaking. They can develop deep, meaningful friendships with others they may not otherwise ever have met. Vanderkamp provides an environment that recognizes effort over achievement. Think “life is about the journey not the destination.” Youth are encouraged to play harder, try harder, and aspire higher than they ever dreamed or imagined they could; growing in character, self-confidence, self-esteem, and leadership skills that will stay with them throughout their lives.

Vanderkamp is conveniently located near several urban areas in Central New York. Whether exploring our 850 acres of forest, meadows, and fields… or paddling on our private 45 acre lake, kampers feel as though they are further from home than they really are. Unlike many summer camps, Vanderkamp’s location is convenient for parents transporting kampers or forgotten items. Being closer to home can make a first-time kamp experience feel less scary for youth and their parents. Once you become a Vanderkamper, you are forever part of the Vanderkamp family as evidenced each year by the number of returning kampers and staff who transition from kampers to join our kamping ministry team.

Vanderkamp is not a conversion camp and is open and welcoming to ALL youth. We strive to live, learn, play, and pray together in a Christian community of peace, love, and acceptance of one another while demonstrating the values of caring, respect, and responsibility for ourselves, for others, and for the world around us.

2019 Summer Kamp Programs:

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