TARRYTOWN, N.Y. – JCC on the Hudson in Tarrytown has joined two smaller New York area agencies to create Camp Twelve Trails Jewish day camp, which will officially debut this summer at the Henry Kaufmann Campgrounds in Pearl River.
The innovative consortium, designed for upward of 700 area children in just the first year, is believed to be the first among Jewish day camps. Already, more than 200 campers have registered.
“It’s remarkable that we are taking kids across the spectrum and with a variety of disabilities,” said Frank Hassid, JCC on the Hudson in Tarrytown executive director. “Fully inclusive programing is a core value of Camp Twelve Trails. We are a caring community that actively supports all its members while trying to make the world a better place.”
Camp Twelve Trails spans 35 acres and costs one-third less than its competitors. Facilities include four swimming pools, a lakeside waterfront, multiple sports fields, a computer lab, a rock-climbing wall, a dedicated garden and more.
“What our three communities can provide together is far greater than what we can do individually,” said Adam Benmoise, Camp Twelve Trails director, regarding the groundbreaking initiative, which consortium leaders hope will serve as a model for other regions. “If we’re able to do it right, a lot of people will open their eyes.”
The cutting-edge camp, anchored in universally shared values central to Jewish life, will serve campers ages 5 to 16 as they fulfill their passions, build confidence and embrace diversity and community. Programs that include children with special needs are a defining feature of the camp. The three agencies shared their unique strengths in launching Camp Twelve Trails. While the YM & YWHA of Washington Heights and Inwood is the largest of the three organizations, the JCC on the Hudson has long directed innovative programming for children with special needs, while the Riverdale YM-YWHA has expertise in teen experiences.
Part of the Federation funding allowed for the camp to connect with other expert youth organizations such as the Foundation for Jewish Camp as well as Ramapo for Children, a leader in the field of helping children with special needs.