1250 Broadway, 27th Floor New York, NY 10001



More than 400 Children Attending Summer Camp through Camp Brooklyn Program--Many Will be Returning Campers


"This camp has been the best experience of my life. I really get to relax and be away from home!" - Stephanie  

"Camp is fun because you learn different things and you come out a different person" - Shataki 

"This camp made me more independent and I feel like I was with family...I am sure I will never forget this experience" - Chantal 

"I like my experience at the camp because I made new friends and I've seen a lot of insects and animals that I didn't even know existed" - Daniel  

"At camp I made new friends that I thought I would never meet before" - Shakiera


These are just five of the more than 2,000 Brooklyn children who have benefited from Camp Brooklyn, which offers young campers two weeks of outdoor fun and hands-on learning at sleep-away camps in the Northeast, thanks to the generosity of corporate sponsors and caring Brooklynites. Camp Brooklyn was founded by Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz in 2002 and now operates as Camp Brooklyn Fund, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization. 

On Tuesday, June 29, BP Markowitz hosted a Camp Brooklyn kickoff event at Brooklyn Borough Hall. The campers received a Camp Brooklyn backpack and T-shirt, flashcards of the U.S. Presidents as well as other camp necessities. 

BP Markowitz has always stated that his camp experience--courtesy of a caring neighbor--changed his life, and he has committed himself to changing the lives of as many Brooklyn youngsters as he can. Besides, he points out, with children off from school the entire summer--sometimes with little or nothing productive to do--"summer camp is great for kids, and even better for their parents and caregivers!"  

Teamwork, loyalty, wholesome health habits, responsibility and personal respect and appreciation for nature are all a part of a child's education at summer camp. Intensive camp experiences can truly open up a world of opportunities to young people. According to a 2005 study conducted by Filliber Research Associates and the American Camp Association, parents, camp staff and children reported significant growth in self-esteem; independence; leadership; friendship skills; social comfort; peer relationships; adventure and exploration; environmental awareness; values and decisions; and spirituality ( http://www.acacamps.org/sites/default/files/images/research/directions.pdf ). 

Camp Brooklyn sends economically disadvantaged Brooklyn boys and girls to accredited sleep-away camps at no cost to the camper. In the interest of providing this experience to as many children as possible, the program had previously offered one camping experience per child. Beginning this year, the program will be allowing participating children to return to camp for subsequent years, a strategy shift based on the knowledge that these routines and relationships formed over time can be tremendously beneficial, and for some will even lead to later employment as camp counselors themselves.  

Just $500 will send a child to camp for two weeks. This year, Brooklyn Cyclones jerseys will be auctioned off on June 28 as part of the team's YOUniform program, and a fundraising event will be held at Brooklyn Bowl, also June 28. On November 16, the 21st Anniversary Mickey Mantle's Community Service Award/Sports and Entertainment Auction will be held at Mickey Mantle's Restaurant. BP Markowitz also hosts an annual Chinese New Year fundraiser benefiting Camp Brooklyn. 

"We are thrilled to continue our partnership and support of this incredibly worthy project focused on underprivileged youth in Brooklyn," said Zane Tankel, CEO & Chairman, Apple-Metro, Inc., New York Metro Area Franchisee for Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar, who provided "Grab 'n Go Boxed Lunches" for the campers. "We applaud Camp Brooklyn's efforts and the opportunities they create for Brooklyn's inner city youth to broaden their horizons each summer." 

"Capital One Bank is proud to support Camp Brooklyn's efforts to provide hundreds of children each year the unforgettable opportunity to attend summer camp," said BJ Duffy, Brooklyn Market President, Capital One Bank, which presented a donation of $30,000 to Camp Brooklyn. "By investing in New York's young people, we are helping to build the next generation of strong leaders, while continuing our work to foster the growth and prosperity of local communities." 

Participating camps: 

The Fresh Air Fund (Fishkill, NY)

Girls Quest (East Windham, NY)

Homeward Bound (Bear Mountain, NY)

John's Boys and Girls Camp (Friendship, ME)

Camp Olmsted (Cornwall-on-Hudson, NY)

Top at Tradewinds Lake (Windsor, NY)

Trail Blazers (Montague, NJ)

Camp Vacamas (West Milford, NJ)

Wilbur Herrlich (Patterson, NY)

YMCA of Greater NY (Hugenot, NY)

YMCA Camp Hi-Rock (Mt. Washington, MA) 

For more on Camp Brooklyn, enrollment eligibility and how to donate, visit www.campbrooklyn.org .


Photo by Carol Kelly