Camp Felix 2019 Highlights!
We can hardly believe it but another amazing Camp Felix season has come and gone! In 2019, a total of 321 children enjoyed a week at Camp Felix in one of our four summer programs: Camp Felix Putnam Valley, Bryan’s Camp Felix, Camp Felix Girls Getaway, and Camp Felix West!
Our kids participated in a variety of amazing activities from ziplining and trapeze at Club Getaway to yoga with our great friends Kay Kay Clivio and Tanya Pergament, dancing with Jahari from Eryc Taylor Dance Company, and the annual Camp Felix Putnam Valley Olympics with volunteers from our friends at Tri-Star Construction.
It is no easy feat to top a summer at Camp Felix but through the kindness, generosity, and hard work of our Felix Family, we seem to make each season the best yet!
Check out a few of the awesome Camp Felix 2019 highlights!
The Camp Felix season ended on a high note with a giant obstacle course provided by Child’s Play Challenge Courses with several structures for our kids to climb, run through, jump over, and crawl under. Each cabin had the opportunity to take the challenge from start to finish while their fellow campers cheered them on every step of the way!
In addition to running and jumping, the kids at Camp Felix Putnam Valley had some downtime to conduct unique science experiments with volunteers from the EverWonder Museum and enjoy a lovely evening of music and storytelling hosted by Jeremy Schonfeld. During “rest hour” on several days throughout the season, the kids had a chance to relax and unwind with therapy dogs brought up by New York Therapy Animals.
For the first time in Felix history, the kids experienced a snake show supervised by the NJ Snake Man, Steve Lengen and his team, whose mission is to create interactive experiences that educate others on snake conservation. The kids were thrilled and amazed!
And no summer at Camp Felix Putnam Valley is complete without the weekly photography workshops hosted by Junior Board member Dan Wonderly. Thank you for helping the kids capture awesome pictures of their camp experience (some of which are included here).
At the annual Camp Felix Open House Barbecue, the African American Employee Impact Group from Astellas Pharma presented us with a check for $10,113 to provide an amazing summer camp experience for even more youth in foster care next summer. We are so grateful for their support.
(Shout out to Sal for always sweating it out at the grill making delicious food for everyone at the Open House!!)
Camp Felix Girls Getaway and Bryan’s Camp Felix in Connecticut may be a little further from the city, but the teens still received a remarkable number of visits from special guests, including our co-founders Sheila Jaffe and Darryl "DMC" McDaniels and comedians Chris Spencer and Mark Viera. Darryl spoke to them about overcoming odds to accomplish their dreams and Chris Spencer called a few celebrities on FaceTime including Tiffany Haddish, Nick Cannon, and Anthony Anderson! Needless to say, everyone was ecstatic.
For the first week of the teen camps, animation teacher Kyle Warren returned to host drawing workshops and also to capture awesome memories in the making! Check out a video montage created by Kyle and some of the teens below:
The teens also had the chance to create their own masterpieces during a “Paint and Snack” workshop hosted by new Felix friend, Frances, who guided them through painting a Basquiat piece. The teen girls participated in a vision board workshop and discussed self-love and setting goals with Cassandra Pryor, the Founder and President of the non-profit organization Dear Black Girl.
As well as using their creative sides, the teens had a chance to get competitive during relay race activities hosted by volunteers from Nike! Additionally, the teen girls showed off their best moves in a dance workshop with longtime Felix friend Scott Duquette and practiced new skills on the tennis court with Scott’s friend, Cole.
At Camp Felix West, 93 Los Angeles foster youth participated in activities like archery, greek dance, ziplining, and lazer tag. Many of the children were first-time campers and up to 20 siblings who live in different homes during the year were reunited.
On the survey each camper filled out at the end of the week, many campers included comments like: “Make camp longer”, “Camp is family”, and “I love camp.”
At the end of the summer season, each camper filled out a survey about their camp experience and here’s what the teen girls had to say:
92% of campers said that being at Camp Felix helped them learn how to overcome challenges.
87% of campers said their counselors encouraged them and helped them succeed at Camp Felix.
100% of campers said they tried a new activity at Camp Felix.
It takes an entire community of dedicated and enthusiastic individuals who care about providing inspiring opportunities for youth growing up in foster care to make Camp Felix a reality every summer. We are grateful to our friends and volunteers who give their time and their hearts to our kids. We are thankful for the support of our donors including ICM Partners, Ticket to Dream Foundation, Viacom, The Dr. Anne H. Addington Fund,
Special thanks to ESPN for donating duffel bags filled with water bottles, sweatshirts, rain jackets and more. And to State Bags for their bright and sunny yellow backpacks for the teen camps so they could carry all of their clothes and supplies in style! This gear will be useful to the kids all year long.
And of course our biggest THANK YOU to our partners The New York Foundling, Good Shepherd Services, the Bryan Jacobson Foundation, Happy Trails For Kids, and St. Christopher’s Inc. (who joined us for the first time this year for a week at the Girls Getaway) for always pulling all the stops to make sure our kids have the most wonderful experience possible every summer.
We are already looking forward to next year’s adventures!
Check out more awesome photos from Camp Felix 2019 below: