1. How long is camp?
Camp is divided into 3 sessions: 3 weeks, 3 weeks and 2 weeks for a total of 8 weeks. Children can attend 2, 3, 5, 6, or 8 weeks. Most children go for 6 or 8 weeks, but you can choose whatever you are comfortable with. If your child registers for shorter than an 8 week stay, and wishes to extend he or she may do so if space is available. We function as an 8 week camp, so the schedule is not redundant for those who stay for the summer (1 Carnival, 1 Banquet, 1 Visiting Day, 1 Olympics, etc. etc.)
2. Is it a structured program?
Yes. Groups travel together to activities, which are scheduled by our head-counselors and tailored toward specific age groups. There are 3 activity periods per day as well as a general swim for the entire camp. After dinner we have free play that allows a child to choose any activity he/she wants.
3. Where do the children live?
The children live in a variety of houses (depending on their age). All houses have large porches, screened windows, electricity and have their own bathrooms with sinks, stall toilets, stall showers with hot and cold running water. Counselors live in separate rooms (without doors) attached to the campers rooms.
4. Where do the children swim?
We have a 2 pools. A deep pool and a shallow pool for non-swimmers and swim instruction. Weather permitting, we swim at least once per day. We have American Red Cross certified lifeguards and Water Safety Swim Instructors. We also have a lake just for fishing and boating.
5. How often do siblings see one another?
Brothers, sisters and friends have numerous opportunities to see each other. 3 times daily we gather prior to meals as an entire camp. During free play, children can be with whomever they choose. We have many camp-wide activities: dances, Carnival, Olympics, Thursday and Sunday BBQ/picnics, etc.)
6. Are there trips?
We do not take trips out of camp. We have over 1000 acres of land and plenty of activities to keep the children occupied in a safe and happy controlled environment.
7. Can we see the camp?
You can call during the summer to schedule a tour of camp. We have several “Open Houses” in the NY area throughout the year to meet interested campers and parents. We also conduct private interviews at your convenience in your home.
8. How big are the groups?
An average group has 10 children the same age. Each group has 3 or 4 staff members.
9. How are your counselors chosen?
Our staff is entirely home grown. All our counselors are former campers who have graduated through our CIT (Counselor-in-Training) program. We have no unknown staff. We are able to choose and groom those who we feel will best take care of your children. All staff participate in several pre-season orientations as well as a 5 day pre-camp orientation.
10. Can I request to be bunked with someone?
Yes. As long as they are the same age (we don’t differentiate between someone born before or after the summer)
11. Will my child be with all new campers?
Groups are balanced to include both new and returning campers to avoid any disadvantage to newly arriving campers.
12. What happens if my child is sick?
We have an air-conditioned infirmary overseen by our Health Director who is a registered nurse. A local pediatrician’s office as well as an urgent-care facility are located 6 miles from camp. Albany Medical Center is 22 miles away. If your child needs to be seen by one of the above or needs to spend the night in the infirmary, you will be contacted.
13. Can you tell me about the food?
Not only is the food at Tranquillity nutritious and plentiful, but children actually love our food! Meals are prepared from scratch by our kitchen staff, led by our culinary trained Chef in our modern state-of-the-art kitchen. Campers sit with their group and counselors in our beautiful dining room. Food is served family style and is unlimited. There are always baskets of bread (white & wheat) on the table and pitchers of ice water. Lunch and dinner are always full course meals: juice or soup, a protein, rice, pasta or potato, vegetable, as well as salad. Punch for meat meals, milk (2%) and chocolate milk for dairy meals. We only use kosher meat. There is always peanut butter & jelly on the tables, but we are careful not to cook with any nut products and we are sensitive to those with nut allergies. Of course there’s always desert; ice cream sundaes, fresh baked chocolate chip cookies, chocolate or vanilla pudding, jello, lots of fresh fruit, fresh fruit salad. Breakfast? – orange juice, bananas, yogurt, cereal, hot chocolate and either pancakes, french toast, waffles, bagels, muffins, and more.
14. What if my child has food allergies or dietary restrictions?
Tranquillity is able to accommodate many allergies and dietary needs. Please contact the camp director to discuss your child’s specific needs.
15. What do we do with laundry?
Laundry is done at least once per week in our laundry facility on premises. We do not recommend delicates, colors that have never been washed and may bleed, or very expensive items.
16. What about bedding?
We provide pillows, blankets and sheets which are laundered weekly. Some campers bring their own pillows and comforters. Please note that we do not have facilities to wash personal sheets and blankets.
17. Can I call or visit my child?
No, except for Visiting Day. We feel that calls and visits can be disruptive to our program and does not give the camper an opportunity to acclimate to camp. Many camps have the same policy. We encourage parents to write frequent letters, children love to receive mail! Campers are required to write home as well.
18. Is there a Visiting Day?
There is one Visiting Day. Usually on the second Sunday of the 2nd session. Parents will be notified in advance.
19. Are care packages allowed?
Packages are OK, but food is prohibited. Food in the bunk attracts insects and animals. Non-food packages are always welcome.
20. Will my child need spending money?
There are no additional charges. You can send $10 to $20 that can be put into the camp safe for such items as stamps, toothpaste, soap, etc.
21. What do you do on rainy days?
Lots of activities! Tranquillity has numerous indoor spaces: Arts & Crafts House, Sports Center, Theater, Playrooms and 3 movie rooms with large projection screens.
22. Can you describe the camp population?
We have approximately 275 campers. Boys and girls ages 7-15. The majority of our campers come from the New York metropolitan area as well as New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida and from all over the US.
23. What do campers wear at camp?
Tranquillity is not a uniform camp. There are some occasions, for example, dances and Saturday night shows, for wearing nice casual clothes. We do dress up for Friday night Shabbat services and end of the summer banquet, boys wear jacket and ties, girls wear dresses, sundresses, etc. A suggested clothing list is included in the Parent Handbook for registered campers.
24. How do campers get to camp?
We encourage all of our campers to use the coach bus transportation we provide at Cunningham Park in Bayside, Queens, New York. As long as previous arrangements are made, you do have the option to drop off and pick up your child at camp by car.
25. What if my child has a birthday at camp?
Birthdays are very special at camp. The birthday girl/boy gets to raise the flag in the morning and gets a barrage of birthday songs in the dining room throughout the day. His or her group will have a private birthday party in the evening with cake and ice cream. Best of all.. a phone call from their parents!