Read through some of the most commonly asked questions. Can’t find an answer you are looking for? Please don’t hesitate to call us at 845.354.1466 or any time!
Our name is of Dutch origin and means “deer stream”. When Irwin and Mildred Rhodes purchased the camp in 1958 it was called “Deerkill Park Country Club” and consisted of a pool and just a few buildings. Soon after, it became Deerkill Park Day Camp and, eventually, simply Deerkill Day Camp.
We are located near the border of northern New Jersey, just 30 minutes north of New York City (Exit 11 off the Palisades Parkway), 45 minutes from Hoboken and Montclair and convenient to Rockland, Bergen, Orange and Westchester counties.
Deerkill Day Camp attracts campers from many areas in and around New York City. Campers come from throughout NYC, Hoboken, Jersey City, Weehawken and the Montclair area as well as Rockland, Bergen, Orange and Westchester Counties.
The camp runs Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 4:15 PM. A typical day includes a mix of athletics, instructional and free swim, and specialty activities with a mid-day break for a lunch and an afternoon break for refreshments.
We are especially proud of our swimming program. At Deerkill Day Camp, young campers quickly become comfortable in our warm and shallow beginners’ pool. We have small swimming groups led by experienced instructors. Please feel free to discuss your child’s swimming progress with our Directors or visit our Activities section for more information.
We work with day care programs in a variety of locations. We will do our very best to pick up and drop off your child in order to accommodate your schedule.
Yes, the families of Deerkill campers are invited to use our pool with lifeguards and athletic facilities for 8 weekends from 12-5 at no extra charge. This is one of the ways we make sure our camper parents feel like a part of our Deerkill community.
There are no hidden charges at Deerkill Day Camp and we have NO TIPPING. We believe that tipping, which can amount to upwards of $500 at many camps, can lead to uncomfortable situations for both staff and parents. Our staff compensation is above industry average and more than offsets typical tips received by staff at other camps. Our counselors, many of whom are teachers and parents themselves, are happy to know what their compensation will be for the summer. They are professionals and we treat them as such.
Yes, day camp tuition is eligible for Child Care/Dependent Care Reimbursement through your employer, or as a straight deduction on your taxes. Many Deerkill families take advantage of this. Our Tax ID is 46-2358978.
Yes, as an ACA camp we meet over 300 rigorous standards for health, safety, and program quality. Please visit the American Camp Association to learn more about the value of accreditation.
We have a 3 to 1 ratio overall but just as importantly we have an exceptionally mature staff. At Deerkill Day Camp each individual group is led by an adult. This group leader, who is always supported by a college student, is with the group throughout the day and available for parents throughout the summer. In the younger groups, there are also additional assistants to help the group leaders.
Parents may visit any day from 9:30 to 11:15 AM and from 1:15 PM to 3:30 PM. Parents appreciate our open visiting policy. All you have to do is get a name tag from our gatekeeper and sign in at our office. We will escort you to your child”s group.
We are one of the very few camps that have enough indoor space to offer a real camp program in the rain. Campers follow a complete “rainy day schedule” full of indoor activities.
We always offer alternatives to the hot lunch including tuna, turkey, cheese or soybutter and jelly sandwiches. However, we do encourage our campers to try the hot lunch, as this is part of their learning experience. We ensure that all of our campers are provided with a full meal and our Dietary Specialist will work with parents whose children have dietary restrictions, including allergies.
A sample menu is available for review.
We do not serve any product with peanuts or tree nuts nor do we allow campers to bring lunches with nuts to camp. Our campers enjoy a wonderful peanut substitute Soybutter, also known as Wowbutter. Soybutter and jelly sandwiches are available every day as well as tuna, turkey, cheese, cream cheese, a selection of yogurts and fruits.
We honor one request per camper when assigning our groups. Additional requests are handled on an individual basis. We do encourage all of our campers to make new friends in their groups.
The owners/ directors can always be contacted by email or phone until 9:00 pm every evening. We believe it’s important for our camper parents to be able to speak with someone so that any questions they may have are answered prior to the next day of camp.
We offer tours almost every weekend. This is the best way to get to know what the Deerkill community has to offer your child. Please call us at (845) 354-1466 or to schedule a tour.
Campers can attend Deerkill for 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 weeks. All new campers as well as returning campers entering 5th grade may also attend for a 2-week session.
I have been so reassured by the bus crew on our route, whose concern for the safety of our kids is very appreciated.
Liz | Camp Mom
Campers are picked up at their own doors in air-conditioned mini buses with both professional drivers and bus counselors. In Hoboken, Weehawken and Jersey City, we provide convenient central locations for pick-up and drop-off. Transportation is included in the tuition.
We believe that camp is the place for your child to connect with other children in the real world and not the virtual world. We offer a large variety of activities every moment your child is at camp to give them this opportunity. Therefore, we have a firm policy banning the use of cell phones, video games, and other electronics at camp. We appreciate your support of this policy.
The camp “uniform” consists of a pair of shorts, a t-shirt, sneakers and a baseball cap (to provide shade from the sun). On rainy days, please remember to send along a sweatshirt or rain coat with your camper’s name written on it. One day each session we will hold our “photo days” and we will ask that all campers proudly wear their Deerkill t-shirt.
While our campers make tremendous progress in the pool during the summer as part of our swim program, sometimes parents do choose to supplement instruction for their children. We provide opportunities for private swim lessons on weekends here at Deerkill through our Waterfront Director, Mat Malden. You can contact Mat through his site at Malden Aquatics.