Challenge Camp FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have additional questions or concerns, please contact the camp office, or 914-779-6024. Thank you.

What type of student would excel at Challenge Camp?

Challenge campers are bright, curious, academically motivated learners ages 4-15. They have often been identified as gifted, talented and / or accelerated learners.

What do you require if my child’s school does not identify students as gifted and talented?

For new participants, we request that a letter of recommendation from the school district in which the child is currently enrolled follow the registration form. The letter should come from a classroom teacher or school administrator and could highlight your child’s unique abilities. These could include leadership or creativity exhibited in the classroom or demonstration of outstanding ability in subjects such as math, science, chess or reading. This helps ensure that our students are a good fit for the Challenge Camp program.

This letter in support of your child can be emailed to and does not need to accompany the registration.

Who are the Directors?

Carole Berman has been the Founder & Executive Director of Challenge Camp since 1981 and sits on the Board of the New York State Camp Director’s Association (NYSCDA). Our Afternoon Director Joe Fields (30+ years) and Assistant Director Marcy Geisser-Wolf (15+ years) will assist you prior to and throughout the summer camp season. Click here for our Director and faculty profiles.

Who are the teachers?

Our instructors are teachers of the gifted in public and private school settings, professional magicians, musicians, scientists, actors, chess masters, artists, chefs and more. College and High School students act as counselors for our programs.

I see that you are an ACA Accredited Camp – what does that mean?

Yes, Challenge Camp is proud to be accredited through the American Camp Association! The main purpose of the ACA accreditation program is to educate camp owners and directors in the administration of key aspects of camp operation, program quality and the health and safety of campers and staff. The standards establish guidelines for needed policies, procedures, and practices. You should feel confident in choosing an ACA accredited camp for your child(ren.)

What are the dates and fees for Challenge 2020?

Click here for complete dates and fees.

How long is the camp day?

A full day of camp consists of 5 classes and is from 9am – 4pm, a hot lunch in included. We also offer the flexibility of half day (morning or afternoon) programming as well.

Do you offer transportation or early / extended day option?

Challenge Camp is pleased to offer a transportation option to families in Westchester County, Manhattan and the Bronx through our provider, Mar-Can Transportation. All buses are air conditioned! Click here for transportation forms.

Alternatively, we have early dropoff starting from 8am and extended day options until 6pm for families requiring flexibility.

What grade do I use for choosing my child’s classes?

We use camper’s CURRENT GRADE as of September 2019 for class selection. For example, students completing 4th grade in June should choose 4th grade level classes. Please use these printer-friendly charts as a reference to assist you in selecting the Morning Workshops and Afternoon Challenge options for your child.

What is the age requirement for the pre-kindergarten option?

Our Discover, Imagine & Create program is designed for children that will be entering kindergarten in fall 2020.

What is the age requirement to be a Counselor or CIT?

In accordance with New York State Employment law, counselors must be 16 years of age prior to the start of camp. Participants in the CIT program must be 15 years of age by June 15th. We are always looking for bright, athletic and enthusiastic individuals to be join our team. Click here to apply.

Does Challenge Camp offer sports or outdoor activities?

Yes! We offer an instructional sports program each afternoon if campers select those options. There is also 1/2 hour of outdoor organized free play each day before or after lunch.

Can I change my child’s classes after I register?

Yes, classes can be changed prior to the camp session based on availability. There is also a short Add/Drop period the first week of each session. However, there are no refunds for materials fees for class changes after June 1st.

Can my child attend for 1 or 2 weeks?

Challenge Camp is a Session based program. First Session is 4 weeks (June 29 – July 24) and Second Session is 3 weeks (July 27 – August 14). As many of our classes are project based we strongly encourage your camper to attend the entirety of a Session. Please contact the camp office, if you have specific questions regarding your family’s summer schedule.

Do I need to send lunch with my child?

No – lunch is included with your camper’s registration. Challenge Camp uses the award winning Five Star Caterers as our food service provider. In addition to the main entrees, a representative sample can be seen on our sample Session 1 or Session 2 camp menus, there is a full salad bar, yogurt bar and bagel station at lunch. Outside food is not permitted without written approval from Five Star.

My children have food allergy concerns and / or are picky eaters are there lunch and snack options for all?

If your child has a food allergy(s) or concerns please let us know and our Chef will ensure that a meal consistent with your child’s dietary restrictions is available. Challenge Camp is a Nut and Seed Free camp, and can accommodate most dietary requirements. Our caterer will work directly with concerned parents to ensure we can meet your camper’s needs.

Can I visit the camp during the summer?

The final day of each session is an Open House Celebration. On this special visiting day for parents, you will have the opportunity to view your camper’s accomplishments!

Do you have medical personnel on site?

Yes, Challenge has 3 registered nurses on staff to deal with emergencies and administer any medications your child may require. One nurse will be on site at all times during the camp day. Challenge Camp is thrilled have partnered with as part of our continuous efforts to provide the best possible care to our campers and staff. All Challenge campers must submit a complete health history, immunization record and medical release form during registration.

When & How do I register?

The preferred method of registration is through the Challenge Camp online portal with CampDoc. We encourage you to register for camp as early as possible to ensure your child’s preferred class selections as many of our classes fill to capacity.