Camp Tommy is The Fresh Air Fund's camp for boys, ages 12 to 15, with 120 campers in each session. Camp Tommy offers hiking, nature and other outdoor programs designed to develop cooperation and encourage team building. Major improvements and recently constructed facilities have created opportunities for significant educational programs, such as literacy and career skills development, computer workshops, photography and music. Originally Camp Pioneer from 1948-1998, Camp Tommy's inaugural year was 1999. Camp Tommy is named after Tommy Hilfiger for his generous support and dedication to Fresh Air children.
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Activities at Camp Tommy
Given that Camp Tommy caters to young adolescent males, activities focus on promoting leadership and self-reliance. We strive to promote communication and socialization skills in a fun, challenging environment. Some of the activities and programs that we offer include:
Camper Development – Developed in 1997, the Camper Development program was created as a continuation of general health education. The program focuses on teaching campers socialization, peer communication and healthy living skills. Through workshops and role playing, campers and counselors discuss career options, peer cooperation and mediation techniques, diet choices and lifestyle choices. A special section of the program is dedicated to gang resistance education.
Fun Olympics – Fun Olympics offers every camper the opportunity to participate in a wide range of physical challenges, designed to foster friendly competition, teamwork and physical activity. The challenges are often wacky and non-traditional, including backwards running races, sack races and creating a human chain. Traditionally held as an evening activity, everyone at camp participates and everyone is a winner.
Football Clinic – Camp Tommy's Football Clinic challenges campers to tackle a wide range of challenging football skills while fostering a sense of camaraderie and fun. Nine stations are set up where campers practice their passing, receiving, running and obstacle course skills. Campers rotate through the stations in their campstead groups, which fosters a sense of teamwork as they develop new skills and improve on old ones.
Swimming – Campers have the opportunity to swim every day while at camp! Every camper is swim-tested on the very first day of camp in order to determine what skill level he is at, and each camper takes swim lessons while at camp in order to improve on his swimming skills. Camp Tommy is located on the shore of Deer Lake, and campers swim in designated areas in the lake based on their skill level. Red Cross certified lifeguards are always on duty while campers are swimming.
Camper Aide Program – The Camper Aide program offers older campers the opportunity to transition between being a camper and being a member of staff. Camper Aides provide waiter service during all three meals of the day, and are also expected to participate in the general camp program. Camper Aides are expected to set up before each meal, serve their fellow campers and clean up after each meal in the dining hall. The Camper Aide program teaches teamwork, responsibility and imbues the spirit of camping in its participants. Approximately six campers are selected to be Camper Aides each session, most of whom are selected at the beginning of the session. Camper Aides must be at least 13 years old, former Camp Tommy campers with at least one encampment under their belts, have parental approval and they must get a recommendation from a member of camp staff. Even after getting a recommendation from a member of staff, they must be approved by the Camp Aide coordinator, the Assistant Director and the Camp Director.
Camp Tommy consists of three villages that campers are assigned to upon arrival at camp. The three villages are Tanzania, Tonawonda and Ticonderoga. Within the villages, campers live in cabins that vary in size, ranging from six to 12 campers. Restroom and shower facilities are separate from living quarters and are located a short distance from each cabin. All of our bathrooms have individual stalls and shower units.
Transportation to Camp
The Fresh Air Fund provides charter buses to Camp Tommy at 10:30 AM on the day of departure from Riverbank State Park (entrance to the park is located at 145th Street and Riverside Drive). Please arrive early to ensure your child has time to check in. Children return to the same location at 2:00 PM on the day of return.