Day Camp Turns 100 Years Old This Year…Happy Birthday!!
In 1918, Forrester (“Pop”) Pierce, a young ambitious physical education teacher envisioned a new way to spend summer vacation. His vision included kids engaging in self-esteem building socialization, bonding activities, and physical activities. He believed that this experience would create a lifelong commitment to health, wellbeing and fitness. He rented his first location in Deal, NJ and began to manifest his vision. The first day camp for kids was born.
The Beginning Of Young Prople’s Day Camp
Young People’s Day Camp for kids was established in 1972, 54 years after the first day camp. They improved upon Pop Pierce’s model by modernizing his vision and offering free transportation. But some things never change, many of the same principles and morals Pop Pierce valued are still in place at YPDC.
Some activities have been modernized and transportation has improved significantly. But YPDC follows many of the fundamental principles that were originally envisioned for day camps. Here are some of the values and activities that haven’t changed since day camp began 100 years ago.
Self Esteem Building Socialization
Positive, self-esteem building socialization is one of the hallmarks of day camp from day one. Facilitating activates that foster healthy interaction will help kids to grow into healthy adults who are comfortable making friends and having fun with a wide variety of people.
Unfortunately, when you read about or watch some of the terrible things that have happened in the news, they often have something eerily in common. The person or child who carried out the deed had difficulty bonding or an inability to bond. Bonding is important, because it grows our empathy and compassion. It’s also a skill that needs cultivating. The bonds that kids, staff and parents make at day camp for kids is lasting and meaningful. And it might just be the thing that makes a difference in someone’s life.
In order for people to be and stay healthy, they need to be physically active. But there’s more to it than that. People need to develop positive habits surrounding their physical activity. This doesn’t happen when you’re an adult and you think, “Gee, I should get a gym membership.” It’s been proven that children who develop positive physical activity habits will continue them throughout their lives. Day camp for kids not only fosters positive physical activity habits, but it shows kids that being active and healthy can be fun!
A Lot Has Changed In 100 Years, But YPDC Uphold The Original Values Of Camp
With over four decades of experience, Young People’s Day Camps day camps for kids provide more than just summer fun, they provide skills that will last a lifetime . Contact our Staten Island day camp for more information on how your child learns the good values and healthy habits that have been a part day camp from the beginning.
*Historical information courtesy of American Camp Association – www.acacamps.org
*Historical Photo Courtesy of the Cornwall Historical Society — www.cornwallhistoricalsociety.org