Come to Our Open House on Saturday April 16th, 2012
In 1983 at a neighbor′s request, Christine Altman put together a small informal summer playgroup. Each day in July, this small group of children, aged three through five explored Prospect Park. As parents got to know about us, they asked if it was possible to join in. Park Slope spread the word and this small group became a larger group requiring the help of local parents and students.
Children continued to come, so what started as a group of young preschool children ages three to five years, now became a group of school age children ages four through ten. With the older children came the need to expand the scope of activities, and soon we were traveling outside the neighborhood utilizing Brooklyn and Manhattan.
The group kept growing, so a decision had to be made. If we were to continue, permits to use the park and beaches were needed. Permits required insurance, Board of Health certification, and a building. We persevered with borrowed buildings. We were going into the month of August now as well; and still we continued to grow.
There were no advertisements, no listed phone numbers, no web site, and yet parents found us. Keeping the name Park Explorers, a name picked out by the children, we became a fully licensed summer day camp.
Now we have over a hundred campers and a wonderful facility of Saint Saviour Church basement. We are fully insured and licensed; we hire professionals as well as students to keep the campers safe and happy. Our campers got older and with them the age limits. Now we take four through fourteen year olds. At fifteen our campers are eligible to become CIT′s (counselors in training) and part of our team.
No longer are we an exclusive Park Slope group. Yellow school buses pick up children from around the Prospect Park areas, plus some. We go on local and overnight trips to New Jersey, Long Island, Pennsylvania and Upstate NY.
And now... Some of our staff that came up through the program, from their early years, continue to be a part of the Park Explorers experience.