Since 1958, Deerkill (Dutch for “deer stream”) Day Camp and the Rhodes family have followed a few guiding principles that have set our camp apart and helped make it such a special place for generations of children from New York and New Jersey.
We are a 3rd-generation family business celebrating 6 decades in the Rhodes and Rothman family. As owners and directors, we personally hire all of our counselors and get to know all of our campers and their families.
Each individual group is led by college graduates, typically a teacher, assisted by college students. This means the person who is directly responsible for leading your child throughout the day is an adult - this has always been one of Deerkill’s differentiating guiding principles. Our 17 specialty programs are also taught by professionals with college degrees who know how to make learning fun. We do not allow tipping. Our counselors enjoy working with children and are well paid so we are able to retain a truly experienced staff.
I was most impressed with the quality of the group leaders, the strong representation of former campers who are now counselors, and your hands-on involvement in all phases of camp's operation. You have created a true family atmosphere and it really shows!
Because we are not crowded and have a professional mature staff, we welcome visits by parents throughout the summer. At Deerkill Day Camp, whether a group is on the ball field or at a specialty, it is the only group at that activity.
During the summer, we open our facilities, including our 4,400 square-foot pool, tennis courts and athletic fields, for use by our campers’ families free of charge. On weekends, campers love to come to camp to show their parents how much progress they’ve made in the pool.
Our children are picked up at their own doors in air-conditioned mini buses with professional drivers and bus counselors. We provide door-to-door service in Rockland, Bergen, Manhattan, Montclair and Orange County. In Hoboken, Jersey City and Weehawken, we provide convenient central locations for pick-up and drop-off. We have worked very hard to make transportation as seamless as possible for our parents and provide weekly activities and games on the bus for our campers’ enjoyment.
Deerkill is one of the smaller of the major private camps in the area - some are more than twice our size. But we have more than ample indoor space and an ACA-accredited highly diverse program on a well-designed campus. Children thrive in our nurturing camp environment.
Campers are taught in groups of up to 6 children for a full 40 minutes each day by a Red Cross Instructor assisted by a group counselor (a 3:1 ratio). Our youngest campers (age 3 and 4) are taught in smaller groups with ratios of 2:1. Our swimming pools are heated to 82 degrees and beginners are taught in a shallow pool. Swimming is a vital part of Deerkill’s camp program.
All of our activities are led by specialists in their field who prepare a developmentally appropriate curriculum full of fun activities that build skills while emphasizing teamwork and sportsmanship. We also strive to continually update our programming to include activities such as movie making, Lego robotics, yoga, and garden to table cooking.
Because we own our property and do not have a mortgage, we can afford to limit our enrollment. We provide both a better camp environment and a better value. Transportation, a hot lunch with cold lunch alternatives along with afternoon refreshments, towels and trips are all included in our tuition as well as our weekend family pool club. Additionally, tipping is not allowed at Deerkill Day Camp - compensating our counselors is our responsibility, not yours.