"Without this program, these children would be relegated to hot, overcrowded and impersonal homeless shelters for the duration of the summer. This camp allows homeless kids to feel like 'regular' kids for five weeks, thus enabling them to forget about their homelessness."
Who We Serve
The GCCC summer camp serves up to 100 homeless and disadvantaged children ages 5 to 13.
Why There Is a Need
Without the camp experience, most of the children we serve would not get any form of summer recreation or enrichment and would spend the summer idle at home or in the streets.
Many of our campers have multiple problems in their lives and, increasingly, are sent to the GCCC because they are deemed too difficult to handle by other local camps. GCCC has had tremendous success working with these children.
Parents, guidance counselors, social workers and teachers consistently report that the camp has a strong, positive influence on the children who attend in the classroom, in their home lives and throughout their teenage years.
The GCCC Summer Day Camp, which has been in existence since 1976, provides an enriching recreational program for a five-week period in July and August.
A typical day at camp includes swimming, tennis lessons, games, arts and crafts, music and a reading/writing activity. A pizza party and weekly awards ceremony are held every Friday and field trips are scheduled as funding permits.
Special activities such as Olympics Day, Heritage Day, Carnival Day, a Talent Show and a Fashion Show add enriching dimensions to the camp program.
Many of the children come to camp hungry so breakfast, lunch and a snack are provided daily. Campers are also welcome to take food home with them. Clean clothing, new sneakers, bathing suits, towels and school supplies are distributed as needed.
Approximately 22 counselors and staff are employed at the camp. Many of the children who were once campers return to be counselors-in-training and then counselors. To ensure that all children receive close, individual attention, the ratio of campers to counselors is 5:1 for the 5-6 year olds, and 8:1 for the 7 to 13 year olds.
All of the children who attend camp come from impoverished backgrounds. Many live in local homeless shelters with their families or have lived in shelters in the past. Very few of the families are able to pay even a small portion of the camp fee so GCCC provides full or partial scholarships to almost all of its campers.
The cost of sending a child to camp is $900. Homeless children are eligible for a $400 camp subsidy from the Department of Social Services. Most other children require a full scholarship. The annual scholarship need is approximately $60,000.
Camp is held at the Kearny Sports Building at Good Counsel High School, 52 North Boroadway, White Plains, from 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. daily.
How You Can Help
The summer camp welcomes donations of bathing suits (in all sizes including adult), towels, swim goggles and suntan lotion.
Your financial donations can help provide camp scholarships, purchase camp equipment and purchase clothing for our campers. Here’s what your donations can buy.