Long Island has a bounty of day camps in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, but it's also got its share of great overnight camps out east that offer a wide range of programs and options, including horseback riding, swimming, rock climbing, canoeing and kayaking, arts and crafts, and all kinds of sports and activities. If your kids want to get away for a couple of weeks (or you want them to go away!), but still be nearby, here are six sleepaway camps on Long Island.
Dorothy P. Flint Nassau County 4-H Camp – Riverhead
3186 Sound Avenue
This ACA-accredited, co-ed, sleepaway camp is operated by the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Nassau County, though it's located in Suffolk County The camp offers a wide range of programs including archery, dance, drama, kayaking, farming, fishing, swimming, tennis, arts and crafts, magic, rocketry, and more. Lodging is in log cabins. Campers are dropped off on a Monday and picked up on a Saturday with the option of staying over the weekend for an additional fee. Sign up for one week or all eight.
Peconic Dunes 4-H Camp – Southold
6375 Sound View Avenue
This co-ed, full-day, and overnight camp on the Long Island Sound is operated by the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County. Camp activities include swimming at the camp’s beach on the Sound, archery, fishing, kayaking, sailing, sports, theater arts, and environmental sciences. The camp also offers a series of weekend extender trips for overnight campers.
Blue Bay Girl Scouts Sleepaway Camp – East Hampton
103 Flaggy Hole Road Ages 6-17
Run by the Girl Scouts of Nassau County, Camp Blue Bay is a girls-only sleepaway camp located on 179 acres along the shores of Gardiner's Bay in East Hampton. Girls can choose from sleeping in a traditional dormitory house or a tent. In addition to the fun of campfires (and campfire songs!), all girls participate in a mix of general camp activities such as swimming, boating, crafts, and nature programs. Specialty programs are also available. The camp is ACA-accredited and and campers can register for single- or multi-week sessions. Your daughter need not be a Girl Scout to attend.
Camp DeWolfe Sleepaway Camp – Wading River
408 North Side Road
Camp DeWolfe is run by the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island and programming does have a general Christian theme. Children can attend for one- to six-week sessions. The camp is situated on 26 acres of mixed woodland and beachfront property on the North Shore of Long Island. Activities include sailing, swimming, canoeing, archery, arts and crafts, sports, and, of course, nature hikes and campfires. Lodging is in cabins, and the camp is ACA-accredited.
Camp Quinipet – Shelter Island
99 Shore Road
Camp Quinipet sits on a large, partially wooded peninsula with wonderful water views from almost everywhere on the property. There is no swimming pool, but there is a sandy beach and a dock with all sorts of watercraft. In addition to its sleepaway program, the camp offers a day camp and sailing school. Quinipet offers rustic, comfortable lodgings, up-to-date facilities, and it is situated in one of the most beautiful places on Long island. The staff is wonderfully friendly and professional. My daughter attended Quinipet's day camp from ages 3 1/2 to 7, and she and I have participated in the sailing program. The camp is ACA-accredited. Owned and run by the United Methodist Congregation, it does include some progressive Christian programming, although it welcomes children of all faith.
North Shore Holiday House – Huntington
74 Huntington Road
North Shore Holiday House is a girls-only camp that is FREE and open to those meeting USDA requirements for free lunch. It is accredited by the ACA and run by a nonprofit established in 1914 by a local group of women seeking to serve and empower girls from low-income families. Campers participate in arts and crafts, swimming, self-esteem building activities, dance, science and literacy classes, and more. Camps run in two-week sessions. Fore more information on how to apply, visit the website.
This post originally published in February 2013 has since been updated.