Vacamas was established in 1924 by a group of teachers, social workers and businessmen who saw the need for young immigrant women from the Lower East Side to spend a few weeks of the summer in a country setting. They founded the East Side Vacation Camp Association, purchased a campsite in Kingston, New York and began providing summer camping for girls. In 1948, the camp changed its name to Camp Vacamas as it expanded to include children from all over the New York metropolitan area. Camp Vacamas became co-ed in 1954. As the organization grew, we needed a new site to accommodate more children. Camp Vacamas moved to its present site in rural West Milford, New Jersey in 1955. Vacamas became one of the first camps to integrate in the 1960's.In the 1980s, Vacamas Programs for Youth began providing year-round programming through in-school drop-out prevention and mentoring initiatives. In 1990, Vacamas Programs for Youth founded sister camp Top of the Pines to meet the growing needs of children from the New York Metropolitan area. In 1998, Vacamas began collaborating with the Newark Office of Alternative Education to provide specialized programming for the middle school students in their program. In recent years, we have also offered Alternative Education programs for students from Elizabeth and Perth Amboy. Today, Vacamas employs 40 full-time staff members and an additional 45 part-time staff members in our various school-based programs. Youth development, conflict mediation and team-building are important components of every program we run.In 2008, Vacamas joined in a collaborative effort with Trade Winds Lake Camp to reduce overhead costs. Vacamas easily included back office operations and many other functions into current operations, thereby improving efficiency and effectiveness and reducing duplication and cost of services.In 2009, Vacamas continues to thrive and grow, running three camps - including a newly-introduced Day Camp at Top of the Pines - during the summer, hosting many groups through our Day Trips and Retreats program, providing mentoring programs in five New York City schools, offering Supplemental Education Services in schools throughout New York City and New Jersey, offering alternative education programs to New Jersey school districts, and providing after school care in two Newark Public Schools.
(Please contact camp directly for updated session schedule.)
Session for 2009
Trip One: Saturday June 27th to Wednesday June 15th 2009
Trip Two: Saturday July 18th to Wednesday August 5th 2009
Trip Three: Saturday August 8th to Wednesday August 26th 2009