2024 Family Handbook – Camping

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Background Info

About Us  

Since its founding in 1877, The Fresh Air Fund, a not-for-profit youth development organization, has provided free life-changing summer experiences in the outdoors to more than 1.8 million children from New York City’s underserved communities. 

At sleepaway camps in New York’s Mid-Hudson Valley, visiting volunteer host families along the East Coast, and in NYC-based programs, children have new experiences, learn new skills, and gain new perspectives. Fresh Air children also participate in year-round leadership, career exploration, outdoor and educational programs. 

Our Values

The Fresh Air Fund is on a path to becoming an antiracist organization. We are an inclusive, youth development organization, serving youth from diverse backgrounds. The Fresh Air Fund’s organizational core values are: Community, Integrity, Partnership, Respect, Social Responsibility, and Youth Centered Work. Our organization celebrates all our differences, including those of nationality, ethnicity, gender identity, sex, religion, and ability.  We believe all youth we serve deserve a safe and fun Fresh Air experience. We work with families on a case-by-case basis to ensure participants have a safe, fun experience and feel a sense of belonging to the greatest of our capacity, taking into account facility and resource limitations. 

Camping Program Information  

The Fresh Air Fund will be operating 6 overnight camps this summer. With nature as their classroom, campers learn to swim, hike wooded trails, and learn about the environment while exploring the outdoors. Campers return home with more confidence, new talents, and new friends. As campers learn new skills, they also learn about themselves. Each camp serves a different population and has its own culture but shares a youth development philosophy and resources such as a ropes course, planetarium, and farm. 

  • Five camps are located at Sharpe Reservation in Fishkill, NY, about 65 miles north of NYC: 
  • Camp Anita Bliss Coler, for girls, ages 9 to 15 
  • Camp Hayden-Marks Memorial, for boys, ages 9 to 12 
  • Camp Tommy, for boys, ages 13 years to 15  
  • Camp Hidden Valley, for boys & girls, ages 8 to 12 
  • Camp Mariah, Career Awareness Program, for boys & girls, currently in 7th, 8th, 9th grade 

 Our sixth camp, Camp Junior, located in Harriman State Park, is operated in memory of AlLesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz.  It is operated by The Fresh Air Fund in partnership with New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie, Bronx Borough President Vanessa L Gibson, and the Palisades Interstate Park Commission. The camp is for boys and girls, ages 8-15, from the Bronx. 

Program Eligibility  

We operate a variety of programs with various eligibility criteria including age, gender identity, and grade level.  We respect the gender identity of the youth shared with us by their family during the application process. We review every application to see if our programs are the best fit and can accommodate any needs. Additional information from social workers, teachers, and doctors may be requested to help in this process.  Any switching of programs or camps requires a conversation with the family.   

Camp Dates  

Campers ages 8-14 attend 1 session. 15-year-old campers in our teen leadership program attend 2 back-to-back sessions and CITs attend 4 sessions. The dates your child will attend are listed on your confirmation letter and in the online family portal. Please confirm you have the correct dates.  If you would like to request to change sessions, PLEASE let us know as soon as possible by calling  1-800-367-0003 or emailing  apply@freshair.org 

Camp Name  Session  Session Dates  Number of Days 


Hayden- Marks, Hidden Valley, Tommy, Junior  

1  Thursday, June 27 – Friday July 5  9 
2  Monday, July 8 – Thursday July 18  11 
3  Monday, July 22 – Thursday August 2  12 
4  Monday, August 5 – Friday, August 16  12 
Camp Mariah  1  Friday, June 28 – Friday, July 19  22 
2  Friday, July 26 – Friday, August 16  22 


Names and Pronouns 

All members of The Fresh Air Fund’s community have the right to be addressed by their preferred names and pronouns. The Fresh Air Fund does not allow members of our community to ignore or not respect a person’s gender identity.  

Cabin Assignments  

At camp, youth are assigned a cabin by age and gender identity specified on the application. Youth identified as girls on their application will be placed in bunks with other girls. Youth identified as boys on their application will be placed in bunks with other boys.  For youth who identify as non-binary or prefer to self-describe, we will work with the family and youth to determine the best cabin option and camp for their youth.   

We are not able to accommodate special requests for children to be assigned to the same cabin as a friend. 

Campers sleep in cabins with individual beds and have their own  areas for clothes. Staff sleep in the same cabin or in the cabin next door and provide constant supervision.  

Behavior Expectations  

All children in The Fresh Air Fund’s programs are expected to be respectful of other children, staff, and adults. There is no bullying, teasing, name calling, fighting – this includes play fighting, or threatening behavior.  

If a child does not meet these expectations, they may not be able to remain in the program.  

Please see our policies on Safe Touch, Relationships, Camper and CIT Expectations on p XX. Please speak with your child about these expectations before attending camp and make sure they understand.   

Privacy at Camp   

All youth and staff must respect each other’s privacy and comfort levels, especially when changing clothes and showering.  There are several options for changing, including in the cabin and in private bathroom and shower stalls. Staff will speak with campers to support their privacy needs, and we encourage campers to speak up if their needs are not being met.    

Camp Staff 

Your child’s safety is our priority, and there are many trained adults working with and supervising your child. Every Fresh Air Fund camp has a director with many years of experience working with children. Each director manages a team of mature college-age or older counselors who are screened, interviewed, and background checked. All staff go through intensive training.  In addition to the camp staff, there is a leadership and staff development program where Junior Counselors and CITs shadow staff and under supervision help younger campers. 

Important Safety Information 

At The Fresh Air Fund, we know that we are entrusted with being responsible for your children, and we take this  very seriously. Our camp staff works with our campers and public safety providers (local police and fire departments, emergency responders, hospitals, etc.) to mitigate any crises. Our camps are accredited by the American Camp Association, and permitted by the Department of Health, which both requires that we have risk and crisis management plans in place and that we conduct periodic reviews of our site and staff training surrounding this topic. The Fresh Air Fund also works with an outside consulting company Presidium Guardian, an expert in the field of abuse prevention. This organization helped us develop trainings for our staff on behaviors and actions to watch for to help prevent the possibility of abuse. In compliance with New York State Law, if any of our staff become aware of potential or actual camper abuse, we report any suspicions or information to the appropriate agency. Please see page xx for important tips that you as a parent/guardian can employ to ensure the safety of your children. 

How to Prepare

Section 2 – How to Prepare  

Getting Excited! 

 Many children are nervous. These tips from returning parents are helpful to prepare your child. 

  • Be positive and talk about how excited you are for them and all the adventures they will experience. 
  • Remind them to try new things like new foods or new activities, at least once. 
  • Talk with them about how to handle situations and feelings they may encounter 
  • Pack a picture or something special that they can take with them to remind them of home (e.g., a teddy bear, a special shirt, or a family photo). 
  • Remind children that homesickness is a normal feeling and will pass with time. 
  • Talk to your child about their bodies, appropriate touch and how to speak up if something is wrong, they are uncomfortable or have a concern. Emphasize that there are resources and support available if your child feels uncomfortable in any way. Please see page for important tips.  

We know you may be nervous too. Here are tips from other parents and guardians that may be helpful to you. 

  • Even if you are worried, focus on the positive with your child! If your child thinks you are nervous, they may not want to leave. 
  • Do not promise your child that you will pick them up if they don’t like it.  If you let your child think that if they do not like it, they can come home, this may delay their ability to overcome homesickness. This is a chance for them to have fun, see new things, make new friends, and overcome some fears. Help them commit to the experience. 
  • We all need a break! As your child is on this fun adventure, try to do something that will give you a break too. If you have another child at home, make special memories with them. If not, take some time for yourself. 

Suggested Packing List 

  • At camp, your child will be living in a cabin with several other campers and there is not a lot of space.  
  • All bedding (sheets, blankets, pillows and pillowcases) is provided at camp.  
  • Your child can bring their things in a suitcase or duffle bag.  
  • Please label all of your child’s clothing.  
  • Pack enough clothing for their entire stay. There are NO laundry services for campers (except for Camp Mariah). 
  • If your child has an accident involving urine, we will wash their clothes.  
  • We are unable to wash clothes with fecal matter.  We will inform you of the incident and give you the option of the clothes being returned home in a sealed bag.   
  • Campers MUST wear closed toe shoes at camp except while in the shower or at the beach. 
  • Please pack warm clothing for cool evenings and nights!  
  • Don’t over pack! The more you pack, the harder it may be for your child to find their things, and the more they will have to carry. 
Packing List 
  • Underwear 
  • Bathing Suits/Trunks 
  • Socks 
  • Soap & Deodorant 
  • Shirts (some long-sleeves) 
  • Towels (Campers: one for swimming and one for showering) 
  • Sweatshirts 
  • Washcloth 
  • Raincoats 
  • Brush/Comb/Hair Supplies 
  • Light Jacket 
  • Body Lotion 
  • Shorts 
  • Feminine Hygiene Products (e.g., Sanitary Napkins/Tampons) 
  • Jeans/Pants/Sweatpants 
  • Insect Repellant, Sunscreen (not aerosol) 
  • Pajamas (shorts and pants) 
  • Envelopes & Stamps (for letters to write home) 
  • Closed toe Sturdy Shoes, Sneakers (with laces), or Boots that your child does not mind getting dirty. Campers must wear closed toe shoes. 2 pairs in case 1 gets wet.  
  • Water Bottle 
  • Shower Shoes/Flip Flops (at camp for shower/beach only) 
  • Backpack  
  • One nice outfit optional (Campers will have a final banquet dinner)    
  • Flashlight with Batteries 
  • Your child’s medication in a bottle/ package with the original prescription label 
  • Toothbrush & Toothpaste 
Please DO NOT pack:  

  • Electronics, cell phones, I-pads, smart watches, music players, handheld games, ereaders etc.   
  • Valuables including jewelry  
  • Drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, vapes, JUULs 



Pack ALL medications listed on the medical form and in your confirmation letter.  Your child will not be able to board the bus without ALL the medications listed. Please ensure that you pack enough medication for the duration of your child’s trip. All medications MUST be in their original pharmacy container, labeled with your child’s name on it. There are no exceptions.  

If your child’s medications that are listed on the medical form have changed, please submit a signed, dated, and stamped note from your child’s prescribing doctor stating your child no longer takes this medication. 

If you do not have all the medications listed on your application at the time of departure, your child will not be allowed to board the bus. We DO NOT hold buses while you contact your prescribing doctor, or the pharmacy fills a prescription. 

Helpful Hint: Be sure to check the expiration date on the medications and refill your child’s prescriptions at least two weeks before their departure date.   

Motion Sickness 

If you think your child may get motion sickness on a bus and needs medication, please give them medication (e.g., Dramamine) BEFORE they are checked in. Our staff and bus chaperones are not able to administer motion sickness medication to your child.  Make sure your child knows to tell the staff and bus chaperones, so they can be seated at the front of the bus and to let them know if they feel sick once on the bus. If your child requires medication for the bus ride home, your doctor must write a prescription and the nurse will give your child their medication. We cannot administer mediation for the return trip without a prescription.  


Children attending camp are NOT allowed to bring any electronic items, including cell phones, ipads, smart watches, music players, handheld gaming units etc. Any of these items that are brought to camp are collected when children arrive and kept in the camp office. Items will be returned to your child on departure day.  

The Fresh Air Fund is not responsible for any valuables, including electronic items, that are lost, stolen or damaged. Please leave all valuables (e.g., an iPad or other electronic devices or jewelry) at home. 

Extenuating Circumstances 

If your child has a cast or other activity limitations, advanced notice helps FAF to ensure safety.   At camp, we want your child to participate in all the camp activities.  We will assess if your child can participate in activities and should attend their scheduled session. If not, we will try and accommodate your child in a different session.  These are not guaranteed but we will do our best. 


We know that unexpected things happen. If you need to cancel, PLEASE let us know as soon as possible by calling our office at 1-800-367-0003. It is very important to let us know as soon as you know your child will not attend. There are limited spots in Fresh Air Fund summer programs, and once a child is placed in a program, The Fresh Air Fund expects them to attend. Notifying us early that your child cannot attend, allows us to offer the spot to another child on the waitlist. 

For Friendly Towns, host families have often taken time off of work and planned fun activities for your child’s visit, so the sooner The Fresh Air Fund knows, the sooner we can update them.  

Day of the Trip 

Departure Location and Time 

You will be emailed a Confirmation Letter for your child’s trip.  Your child’s bus trip information, including the location and time your child will leave, is included in your child’s Confirmation Letter.  Confirm the time and location for your departure. Make sure you know the travel time. If you have not received the Confirmation Letter, please call our office at 1- 800-367-0003. 

All children must be dropped off by either a parent, guardian, or emergency contact (who was listed on the application).  As a reminder, emergency contacts must be 18+ years old. The parent, guardian, or emergency contact must stay until the check-in process is complete. There are many campers, so checking-in can take up to two hours. Please plan to have enough time. 

Directions to Riverbank State Park are on page __. 

Camp ABC, Hayden Marks, Camp Tommy, Camp Hidden Valley, Camp Mariah 

Riverbank State Park  

Skating Rink 

 679 Riverside Drive 

 Manhattan, NY 10031 

Camp ABC  7 am  
Camp Hayden Marks  8am 
 Camp Tommy   9 am  
Camp Hidden Valley  10 am  
Camp Mariah  9 am  



Departures and Returns: Buses leave from and return to the 

Madison Square Boys and Girls Club- John E. Grimm III Clubhouse  

543 E 189th St,  

Bronx, NY 10458 

Camp Junior   8 am  



Parking is difficult at departure locations. The Fresh Air Fund cannot rush a child through check-in. Please plan ahead. The Fresh Air Fund is NOT responsible if you get a ticket, your car is towed, etc. 

  • Riverbank will provide all FAF participant cars a free parking pass so you can park in the Riverbank parking lot. 

Madison Square Boys and Girls Club- John E Grimm III Clubhouse is street parking only. We strongly discourage you from illegal or double parking.  


Please pack a nut-free snack and water for your child to have on the bus. No juice or soda please, it can get very sticky if it spills. Even if your child has a short ride, delays can happen so be sure to provide your child with something to eat.   

The Bus 

All children must follow the bus rules that will be reviewed on the bus.  Everyone is expected to remain seated, keep their hands to themselves, not distract the driver, and listen to any instructions from the staff/chaperones. Please review these expectations with your child.  

When your child arrives at their destination, The Fresh Air Fund will send you a safe arrival text message.   

Directions for Drop-off & Returns

Section 4- Directions to Departure and Return Locations 

Riverbank State Park Departure Directions   

Buses for Camp ABC, Hayden-Marks, Mariah, Tommy, Hidden Valley and all Friendly Towns Trips will depart from and return to Riverbank State Park: Skating Rink. The entrance to the park is located at 145th Street and Riverside Drive. 


  • Take the 1 train to 145th Street and Broadway, this is the closest subway stop to the park. Exit the subway and take the westbound Bx19 bus into the park or walk one block west to Riverside Drive. Continue walking across the bridge and into the park.  
  • Take the A, B, C, D or 3 train to 145th Street and then take the westbound Bx19 bus at St. Nicholas Avenue (A, B, C, D train) or Lenox Avenue/Malcolm X Boulevard (3 train) into the park.  


  • Take the M11 or Bx19 to Riverbank State Park – the last stop. The buses go directly into the park.  

Camp Junior Departure Directions  

Madison Square Boys and Girls Club – John E. Grimm III Clubhouse 

Buses for Camp Junior will depart from and return into Madison Square Boys and Girls Club – John E. Grimm III Clubhouse. The building is located at: 543 E 189th St, Bronx, NY 10458, between Bathgate Ave and Lorillard Pl.  


  • Take the 4, B or D train to Fordham Rd Station  
  • Walk toward E. Fordham Rd to the Bx12 (Pelham Bay Bound) bus stop  
  • Take the bus to E. Fordham Rd and Bathgate Ave  
  • Exit the bus and walk down Bathgate Avenue until you reach 189th St  
  • Use 189th Street entrance (between Bathgate Ave and Lorillard Pl)  


  • Bx9, Bx12, Bx17 or Bx22 (E. Fordham Rd and Bathgate Ave) Exit the bus and walk down Bathgate Ave until you reach 189th St. The entrance to Clubhouse is on 189th St between Bathgate Ave and Lorillard Pl  
  • Bx15 (E 188th St and 3rd Ave) Exit the bus and walk on 188th St one block until you reach Bathgate Ave. Make a left and walk one block to 189th St. The entrance to Clubhouse is on 189th Street between Bathgate Ave and Lorillard Pl 

At Camp

Daily Routine at Camp 

There are lots of fun activities at camp. During the day there may be art classes, swimming, photography, hiking, sports, boating, visiting the planetarium or the farm, culinary arts, and more! In the evening children may participate in beach parties, team-building games, sports tournaments, carnival, etc. 

Here is a Typical Daily Schedule: 

Time  Activity 
7:00 am  Wake up 
8:00 am  Breakfast 
9:15 am  Activity 1 
10: 30 am  Activity 2 
12:30 pm  Lunch 
1:30 pm  Cabin Time 
2:30 pm  Activity 3 
3:30 pm   Activity 4 
4:30 pm  Activity 5 
6:00 pm  Dinner 
7:00 pm  Evening Activity 
9:00 pm  Bedtime 



Every child will go swimming daily. All water activities are always supervised by American Red Cross certified lifeguards. 

All children will have a swim assessment on the first day of camp and will get a colored wristband that shows the depth of water they are permitted to swim in. Our lifeguards enjoy teaching our campers how to become better swimmers and helping them advance levels while at camp. 

All six camps have a lake or pools for swimming. All camps have lakes for boating and fishing, with separate areas sectioned off for each activity. 


Your child will have three well-balanced meals a day at camp. All meals take place in each camp’s dining hall. and are served family style. There is a breakfast bar at breakfast and a salad bar at lunch and dinner. Fruit is also always available for a snack during the day. 

Sample Meals: 

  • Breakfast: Cold cereal, pancakes with maple syrup, eggs and muffins 
  • Lunch: Tacos, burritos, pizza, chicken sandwiches 
  • Dinner: BBQ chicken, spaghetti and meatballs, roast beef with gravy 
  • Salad Bar: A salad bar is available at every lunch and dinner 

We also have vegetarian meals and are prepared to accommodate dietary restrictions and allergies that have been listed in the application. Our nurses will ask your child when they are checked-in if they cannot eat certain foods. Please remind them to tell us – just in case! 

Medical Care at Camp  

Each camp has an infirmary with nurses on duty 24 hours a day. Medical care is provided to all children who need it. 

On the first day of camp, a nurse screens every camper, reviews their medical examination forms, health history, medication information, and any medications brought to camp. 

If your child has medication, the nurses will give prescription and over-the-counter medication as ordered by their physician. The medicine MUST be clearly labeled with the child’s name on the container and medication must be in its original containers showing authorization by the child’s doctor.  The container must be current and not expired. See page xx for more information on medications.  

Our nurses take care of minor illnesses and scrapes as well as emergencies. We use Physicians through PM Pediatrics. If your child sees a Physician, we will call you. If your child stays in our infirmary for more than 24 hours or has an emergency, we will call you. 

Communication with Your Child  

Being away at camp is an incredible growingth experience for your child;, your child has the opportunity to gain independence and increase their confidence. We know you might miss your child when they are at camp. We have learned that speaking with family members can make a child homesick during their trip. They are often off swimming, hiking, and having fun and phone calls pull them away from the fun.  

The Fresh Air Fund generally does not allow any telephone contact with your child while they are away at camp.  We encourage you to send letters and emails.  Mail is delivered daily, and emails received will be printed every day to be given to your child.  PLEASE PUT YOUR CHILD’S FULL NAME AND DATE OF BIRTH IN THE SUBJECT OF THE EMAIL. This helps us respect your child’s privacy by giving them your email without having to read it. Note: your child will not be able to email you back. Please do not mail any candy or food since these things are not allowed at camp. Your child will LOVE to receive mail/emails from you! 

You can call camp for an update! Every night the counselors write a report on how their campers day was. These reports are given to the camp office.  You can feel free to call the camp office and get an update on how your child is doing. Your camper’sCamp staff will also call if there are any major issues. If we happen to be away from the camp office enjoying camp with your child, please leave a message with your name, phone number and child’s name.  We will return all calls within 24 hours.   

There is no one in the camp office to answer phone calls during meal times and evening activities. We ask that unless it is an emergency you do not call the camp office after 10pm. 

  • The camp office phone is not picked up during the below times: 
  • 7:45am – 9:15am 
  • 12:15pm – 1:45pm 
  • 5:45pm – 9:00pm  

Please see back cover for Camp Office Contact Information and mailing addresses.  

Support Services 

Camp Support Services Coordinators are part of the camp team and assist campers with behavioral, mental health concerns and emotional well-being.  These staff will have access to your child’s Service Provider Evaluation if one was submitted to best support your child. They will help staff troubleshoot and problem-solve ways to work with campers experiencing challenging emotions or behaviors and address issues with group dynamics and conflict resolution.  If your child is struggling, Support Service Coordinators will call you to ask for your guidance and support in assisting your child beto be successful at camp.   

The NYC office is here for you! The Fresh Air Fund has a team of social workers who can answer questions or concerns you have. The Support Services team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from June 27 through August 30 and can be reached by calling 1-800-367-0003. 

You can call them any time to get an update on your child’s trip, to talk about missing your child, if an emergency happens, or to get a referral for additional services.  If you require assistance, have a question, comment, or concern, at any point during your child’s trip, please do not hesitate to contact Support Services. 

A magnet and key tag with our 24/7 Support Services number, 1-800-367-0003 will be given to you prior to your child’s departure. Please keep it available in case you need it.   

In the event of an EMERGENCY 

If you have an emergency and you want to let your child know, you can call your child’s camp office or Support Services at 1-800-367- 0003, and we will help you contact the right person. 

A parent, guardian, or emergency contact MUST always be available during your child’s trip. If there is an emergency, your child is ill, or there is a behavioral concern, we will contact you and you may need to pick up your child. We will call the phone numbers listed on your child’s application. Please be sure to let us know if any information (including phone numbers) have changed.  You can contact the Community Outreach team at 1-800-367-0003 OR apply@freshair.org to update your information.  

Coming Home!

Return Location and Times 

Watching familiesy and children reunite is always exciting for us. Please be on time.   Your child will be excited to see you, and they will feel sad if there is no one there to meet them. Because safety is our top priority: 

  • ONLY the parent, guardian, or emergency contact on the application may check a child out. 
  • The person MUST bring a photo ID. There are absolutely NO EXCEPTIONS. Please understand this is to ensure your child’s safety. 
  • Children 16 and over may check themselves out. 
  •  Children cannot be picked up anywhere along the route. They must be picked up at the bus stop locations. There are no exceptions. 

Please be patient. The check-out process can take time. Buses are sometimes late due to traffic, a late departure, etc. As soon as we know a bus is running late, we will contact you. 

If you are running late to pick up your child, please call us at 1-800-367-0003 to let us know so we can tell your child and let them know that you are on the way.  If you will be more than an hour late, please make arrangements for another approved adult to pick up your child.  

Directions to Riverbank State Park are on page . 

Camp ABC, Hayden Marks, Camp Tommy, Camp Hidden Valley, Camp Mariah 

Riverbank State Park  

Skating Rink 

 679 Riverside Drive 

 Manhattan, NY 10031 

Camp ABC  11am  
Camp Hayden Marks  12pm 
 Camp Tommy   12pm  
Camp Hidden Valley  11 am  
Camp Mariah  10 am  



Departures and Returns: Buses leave from and return to the 

Madison Square Boys and Girls Club- John E. Grimm III Clubhouse  

543 E 189th St,  

Bronx, NY 10458 

Camp Junior   11 am  


Talking to your Child about Camp 

After your child returns home, they may miss camp, their friends, and the fun activities from their trip. These feelings are normal, and it may take time to transition back to being at home.   

When your child returns home, ask about their trip, what they enjoyed most, their new friends’ names, and something new they didif they would like to go back next year Here are some sample questions: 

  • Tell me about something that you did for the first time. 
  • What was the biggest challenge for you? 
  • If you could pick just one activity to do all day, what would it be? 
  • What was your favorite game? Can you tell me about it? 

If your child tells you something about the trip that made them uncomfortable or tells you about something that happened that worries you, PLEASE CALL our Support Services team at 1-800-367-0003. We are here for you and your child. We can speak with your child, and we can help answer any of your questions. 

Checking for Ticks 

Tick exposure can occur year-round, but ticks are most active during warmer months (April-September). After your child returns home, it is important to check your child for ticks. Not all ticks are infected with Lyme Disease, but it is important to know the symptoms that may appear. In some, but not all cases, a rash can develop. It generally looks like an expanding red ring with a clear center, but it can vary from blotchy appearance to red throughout. Other symptoms include fever and flu-like illness: headache, stiff neck, muscle aches, and general malaise.   

If your child should show any of these symptoms after they return home, you should take them to the doctor. Timely treatment with appropriate antibiotics can cure the disease and prevent later complications. 


  1. How will I know what day my child’s trip will begin? Your child’s bus trip information is included in your confirmation packet which you will receive by email. If you have not received it, please call our office at 1-800-367-0003.
  2. Who can drop off my child?  All children must be dropped off by either a parent, guardian, or emergency contact (who was listed on the application).  Emergency contacts must be 18+ years old. The parent, guardian, or emergency contact must stay with the child until the check-in process is complete. Please see section 3 for more information. 
  3. Where will my child leave from? Camps ABC, Hayden Marks, Mariah, Tommy, & Hidden Valley: Riverbank State Park  Camp Junior: Madison Square Boys & Girls Club John E. Grimm III Clubhouse 
  4. What medications should I pack Your child will not be able to board the bus without ALL the medications listed on their medical form and on record with The Fresh Air Fund. All medications MUST be in their original pharmacy container, labeled with your child’s name on themit. There are no exceptions.  Please see page for more information.
  5. What happens if I forget one of my child’s medications at home?  If you do not have all the medications listed on your application at the time of departure, your child cannot be checked in. Our check-in team will have to refer you to a pharmacy nearby. There are no exceptions. We cannot hold buses while you obtain the correct medications, and your child may not be able to attend their trip.  
  6. If I decide to take my child off some medication for the summer, do I have to tell you?  Camp: Per NYS Department of Health regulations, all medicines listed on the medical form need to be taken at camp. A note from the SAME doctor who prescribed the medication, stating they will not be taking the medication for the summer, will be accepted if you would like your child to stop taking it while away. Your child will not be allowed on the bus without either the doctor’s note or the medication. 
  7. If my child was recently sick, do I need a note from the Doctor saying they can go on T the Fresh Air Fund summer trip? A doctor’s clearance is required for any child who was in the hospital during the 30-day period before their scheduled departure. All campers must be able to participate in daily swimming lessons. If your child has had a fever within the 24-hours before their departure, or has stitches, casts or other wound care materials that cannot get wet, please call Support Services at 1-800-367-0003 to change their camp session.
  8. How will I know when my child has arrived safely? When your child arrives at their camp, you will receive a text message informing you of their arrival.
  9. What should I pack?  Please see the suggested packing list on page
  10. What if it rains when my child is on their trip?  Rain or shine – all Fresh Air trips will leave as scheduled.  Activities continue as planned. If it is determined that it is not safe to be outside because of the weather, we have fun indoor activities like talent shows, arts & crafts, and music classes. 
  11. What happens if my child gets hurt or sick while they are away? Each camp has an infirmary with nurses on duty 24 hours a day. Medical care is provided to all children who need it. Our nurses take care of minor illnesses and scrapes as well as emergencies. We do have a Camp Physicians through PM Pediatrics. We will call you if your child sees the Physician, stays in our infirmary for more than 24 hours, or has an emergency.
  12. What happens if I have an emergency and need to leave NYC? We understand that emergencies happen. It is important that you make sure that at least one of the emergency contacts that you listed on the application is in the tristate area and available for the duration of your child’s trip. Please call Support Services at 1-800-367-0003 to update emergency contact information.
  13. If I have a family emergency and need to speak to my child, who should I call? You can call the camp office, and speak with camp staff or call the NYC Support Services team at 1-800-367-0003.
  14. Can I speak to my child to make sure they are fine and having fun? Generally, you may not speak with your child on the phone. We encourage you to write letters or email the camp office. Also, the camp office will be able to give you an update on how your child is doing if you call. Please see page for more information. 
  15. What if I think my child is not having fun? What happens? 
  16. Please call the camp office or the NYC Support Services team at 1-800-367-0003 to discuss any concerns. We will speak with your child’s Camp Director and discuss your child’s individual situation with you.  
  17. Who can pick up my child? People you listed as emergency contacts or authorized pick ups on the application can pick up your child if you can not.