Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts

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  • 185 Colonial Springs Road
    Wheatley Heights , NY
  • 631-643-7900



Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts is the nation’s preeminent not-for-profit summer day camp. Located on 140 enchanting acres in Huntington, Long Island, Usdan provides children with unparalleled performing and fine arts study in a fun and welcoming environment that fosters a lifetime of imagination and creativity.

Campers learn from some of New York’s most distinguished performers and instructors in a collaborative and supportive environment alongside fellow students whose bond is their love of the arts.


Usdan’s instruction is divided into seven departments: Visual Art, Music, Dance, Theater, Chess, Writing, and Nature. Each child chooses a major, a minor, and a recreational class. The major class is two periods each day and the minor and recreation are one period. 

Usdan’s students are divided into four divisions, based on the child‘s grade during the 2016-2017 academic school year.

Discovery: Pre-K, K or 1st.

Partners in the Arts: 2nd - 3rd grade.

Juniors: 4th - 6th grade.

Seniors: 7th – 12th grade.

Please visit  the Classes Offered page to customize your child’s schedule based on your child’s age and interests. 




Art majors choose one discipline to explore in depth which develops both their technical ability and creative instincts.

Students work in studios designed for their medium and learn from successful artists who inspire and cultivate each child’s unique imagination and talent.

Usdan’s art studios feature large skylights, as well as indoor and outdoor courtyards to take advantage of natural light and the inspiration of nature.

Concentrations include: painting & drawing, sewing & fashion design, comic art, animation, ceramics, sculpture, art adventure, metalsmithing, photography, studio art, filmmaking, video game art & design, architectural design, life drawing and lego design.

For detailed class descriptions, photos, and videos, please visit Usdan's classes offered page.



With classes ranging from beginner to advanced instruction, Usdan’s chess program is designed to meet the individual experiences of each student. Coursework is offered in cooperation with the National Scholastic Chess Foundation.

Beginner students learn the game’s rules, notation, and opening, middle and end game strategies. Advanced players develop a vast repertoire of chess strategies and the ability to shrewdly apply them in-game.

Technique is acquired and polished in organized and free play with fellow students and accomplished faculty, including celebrated chess masters who visit Usdan as guest teachers.

For detailed class descriptions, photos, and videos, please visit Usdan's classes offered page.



The creative writing program at Usdan instructs burgeoning writers to write poetry, short fiction, and playwriting in small collaborative groups. Students will learn to build imaginative narratives and find their creative voice, while developing concrete elements of storytelling such as structure, point of view, and conflict and resolution.

Courses take place in covered, open-air studios that stir the imagination and cultivate the power of pen on paper.

The writing concentration culminates with the publication of every student’s work in Usdan’s student-authored literary magazine, Painting with Words, that celebrates the young authors’ unique perspectives and imaginations.

For detailed class descriptions, photos, and videos, please visit Usdan's classes offered page.



Dancers at Usdan study technique, classic repertory, and original choreography from New York’s renowned dancers and choreographers. Classes are equally rigorous and supportive, demanding and inspiring, and bridge fun and world-class instruction.

Usdan offers concentrations in dance ensemble, ballet, hip hop, tap dance, jazz dance, lyrical dance, as well as classes that cover multiple styles.

The camp’s dance studios are spacious, with soft floors and generous skylights that give an open-air effect and a stirring perspective.

For detailed class descriptions, photos, and videos, please visit Usdan's classes offered page.



Usdan music students work towards mastery of performance, theory, and composition. Taught by faculty from the finest conservatories and ensembles, including some of New York’s most accomplished musicians and concert artists, Usdan’s music program holds an incredible energy that emanates from every singer’s diaphragm, cellist’s fingertips, and trumpeter’s lips.

Music students pursue concentrations in band, jazz ensemble, orchestra, chorus, or individual pursuits like guitar and piano—each developing students’ talent and understanding of their chosen field, and brimming with the exhilaration of musical performance.

For detailed class descriptions, photos, and videos, please visit Usdan's classes offered page.



Like a secret sanctuary, Usdan sits amidst 140 secluded, almost otherworldly acres of rolling woodland nestled in the heart of Huntington, Long Island, just an hour from the heart of Manhattan.

Usdan's magnificent forest provides an ideal setting to study our region’s natural ecosystems. Students experience hands-on projects that inspire awe and scientific curiosity, including forest exploration, organic gardening, ecology, and the art of nature, as studied in science and craft.

For detailed class descriptions, photos, and videos, please visit Usdan's classes offered page.



Usdan’s theater program inspires and develops budding actors through renowned instruction from accomplished performers and instructors from New York’s unparalleled drama community.

Theater classes and performances are held at the Lemberg Drama Center, which features an indoor theater, six rehearsal studios, costume and set shops, dressing rooms, and an outdoor amphitheater. This extraordinary complex hosts classes in eight different concentrations: Repertory theater company, technical theater, drama, musical theater, theater adventure, introduction to musical theater, actor’s craft, and audition bootcamp.

Recent productions by Usdan’s theater department include Cabaret, Legally Blonde, Annie, Mary Poppins and Into the Woods.

For detailed class descriptions, photos, and videos, please visit Usdan's classes offered page.


Recreational Arts focus on having fun through physical activity. Activities include swimming, archery, group tennis, yoga and “games, hoops and nets.”




Each day, Usdan students gather at the camp’s magnificent outdoor pools for an optional daily period of swimming. It's a great way for campers to cool off, have fun, and exercise during the day. Usdan also offers swimming instruction and courses leading to American Red Cross certification.

Instructional Swim is required of all Discovery, Partners in the Arts, and Junior Division students.

Senior Division students may choose free or instructional swim with mandatory assessment of swimming ability for everyone.

Games, Hoops & Nets

Usdan students can also relax and exercise by playing light recreational sports, such as basketball,volleyball, ping-pong, badminton, and board games.

Group Tennis

Daily instruction and play, on Usdan’s courts, under the guidance of trained tennis instructors. A non-competitive beginner and intermediate program, with students placed in groups according to age. 



Students enjoy the serenity of yoga in an outdoor setting.



Archery students have daily instruction on safety, proper use of the bow and arrow, focus, concentration and fun.


 Pre-k - 1


The Discovery program provides a fun exploration of the arts for students currently in Pre-k, kindergarten, or first grade. Children are placed in small groups with a college-age counselor who guides them throughout their day.

Situated in the woodland setting of Usdan’s state-of-the-art Ross Discovery Center, daily Discovery activities draw from Usdan’s diverse arts offerings, including: chorus, painting, ceramics, swim, and personal journal writing. Discovery classes are fun creative explorations that introduce the arts to young students and help children find their talent and passion.

For detailed class descriptions, photos, and videos, please visit Usdan's classes offered page. 


Grades 2-3


The Partners in the Arts program guides young students through Usdan’s artistic opportunities under the tutelage of a Counselor in Training (CIT). Students in the Partners program choose a major and minor interest, just like Usdan’s older students. Each morning, CITs meet their partner students at the McKinley Amphitheater and guide them to class throughout the day. CITs help students make friends and have fun throughout the summer. CITs are enthusiastic returning Usdan students who are familiar with the Usdan’s programs and campus. They are high school upperclassmen chosen for their leadership skills, friendly rapport with children, and sound children.

For detailed class descriptions, photos, and videos, please visit Usdan's classes offered page. 



One of the most unique aspects of Usdan’s summer program is the camp’s daily series of festival concerts. Accomplished and distinguished artists from around the world perform on Usdan’s stage throughout the summer. Past performers include: Yo-Yo Ma, James Galway, Tokyo String Quartet, Emanuel Ax, Canadian Brass, André Watts, the Heath Brothers, New York City Ballet, the Limon Dance Company, and stars of Broadway shows.

Visits & Information Sessions 

To receive information about Visits & information sessions and program updates, please click here.

Usdan is situated on a 140-acre woodland campus in Huntington, Long Island. Each summer, 1,500 students, age 4 to 18, travel to Usdan daily on convenient buses that depart from neighborhoods throughout the New York metropolitan area. Daily transportation to and from Usdan is by bus and is required.

The camp provides programs for students regardless of advancement. Admission is based on interest.

View Enrollment Info for more details.



Join us for an open house Sunday, Dec. 17 or Sunday, Jan. 21. Reservations required. Visit For $100 off new student tuition use promo code: Brooklyn.

Meet the Director

In October 2015, Lauren Brandt Schloss became executive director of Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts. With her appointment, she became Usdan’s third leader in a half century. With 20 years experience in arts education, at the Queens Museum, MoMA, and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, she is committed to ensuring that Usdan is at the forefront of educational and artistic practices. Ms. Schloss earned a B.A. in art history from Princeton University and an M.A. in arts administration from Columbia University.

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