The day camp that began with nothing but a little passion and a homemade flyer will celebrate its 20th anniversary this summer. Though it started with just 35 campers, in June Park Slope Day Camp (PSDC) will welcome back hundreds of campers and a full staff.
Many staff members, such as Jackson Watts of Kensington, are former campers. Watts, who began attending the camp in kindergarten, will return for his seventh summer on staff, serving as the aquatics director. "It's a great environment," Watts says. "I met three of my best friends there." What really sets the camp apart from others, Watts says, is its inclusive approach, which strives to help all campers, not just the "A" student or the athlete, to thrive and be successful. "You really feel like you're part of a family."
PSDC welcomes children in pre-k through 8th grade at locations in Bay Ridge, Carroll Gardens, Park Slope, and Windsor Terrace. Campers engage in a wide variety of age-appropriate activities, including sports and outdoor activities, specialty classes and workshops, and regular outings in the city. "I started the Park Slope Day Camp because I wanted to continue, as an adult, doing the things I loved to do as a younger person, and share that love with the next generation," says Ronny Schindler, the camp's owner and director.
According to Schindler, PSDC creates authentic learning environments that teach adaptability to change, critical thinking, collaboration, tolerance, creativity, communication, and how to make a difference, while instilling values such as self-esteem, teamwork, and caring.