Big Blue Summer Minis & Kinders

MISSION AND MOTTO

Pingry Big Blue Summer campers and staff live by the Honor C.O.D.E. As they encounter new activities and challenges, campers are encouraged to be Curious, Open, Dedicated and Enthusiastic while remaining true to Pingry's greatest value, Honor. 

Honor at camp is defined as respecting others, the environment, and one's self. Throughout their day, Pingry counselors and staff encourage campers to develop their self-confidence, collaborative and problem-solving skills by asking questions, considering many views, and working toward goals with a positive attitude!

 

Big Blue Summer MINIS CAMP

Mini Camp is a special place where discoveries are made not only on the fields, along the hiking trails, and in the art studios... but in every puddle, shadow, and pile of sand. Our BBS Mini Camp program feeds on the natural wonder of this age group by allowing plenty of time for creative play and guided investigation. Our Minis Counselors receive special training to work with this age group under the close guidance of the Minis-Kinder Division Leader.

BIG BLUE SUMMER DAY CAMP - KINDER CABINS

Kinder Cabins offer a perfect transition for children too big to be a Mini, but who haven't yet experienced the hubbub of elementary school. The schedule for our Kinder cabin groups still allow time for child-led creative play and guided investigation in the Minis Room, while also challenging campers to try new activities and begin participating in some all-camp daily routines with their older peers. Our Kinder Counselors receive special training to work with this age group under the close guidance of the Minis-Kinder Division Leader.

 

Camp at a Glance

WHO: Big Blue Summer Mini Camp: Campers entering preschool in fall 2018. Mini Campers must be at least 3 years old and fully toilet trained.

Big Blue Summer Day Camp - Kinder Cabins: Bridge program for campers enrolled in kindergarten for fall 2018

WHEN: June 18th - August 10th (no camp July 4th)

  • Register for 1 week, or all 8!
  • Minis Full Day camp begins at 9:00am and ends at 3:00pm
    • Half Day (9:00am - 1:00pm) and Extended Day (9:00am - 4:30pm) are also available
  • Kinder Full Day camp begins at 9:00am and ends at 4:30pm
    • Half Day Options (9:00am - 1:00pm OR 1:00pm - 4:30pm) are also available
    • Kinder campers may also register for our Before Care and After Care programs
  • Lunch is included for Full Day and AM campers

WHERE: 131 Martinsville Road, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920

Basking Ridge Campus: From the main driveway, follow signs to Parking Lot 2. Drop off and pick up campers at the Athletics Entrance to the main building."

 

 

BBS Minis Camp and Kinder Cabins

+ CAMP WEEKS

June 18-22
June 25-29
July 2-6 ( No Camp July 4)
July 9-13
July 16-20
July 23-27
July 30-August 3
August 6-10

+ MINIS ACTIVITIES

In the Minis Room, campers find many of the activities they enjoy in their preschool classrooms: stations for art, dramatic play, puppets, blocks, vehicles, and rotating special stations to promote sensory awareness, and fine and gross motor skills. Songs and stories promote language development and a sense of community.

Outside the Minis Room, campers encounter a variety of outdoor and indoor activities led by Specialist Teachers, including age-appropriate arts, sports, nature and science rotations. Mini Campers receive a leveled swim lesson every morning, and a Free Swim session staffed with Life Guards and LIT Swim Buddies two afternoons each week.

+ MINI CAMP FAQS

Do Mini Campers take a nap? What if my child needs a nap?

  • A nap is NOT offered. After lunch, Minis wind down with Story Time before diving back in to activities and play. Most campers adapt quickly, but if your child still needs a nap consider a half day option or early pickup (3:00pm).

What do Mini Campers eat?

  • Mini Campers eat lunch family style in the dining hall. Counselors encourage campers to try new foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables, each day along with the hot meal. Popular alternatives like bagels and cold sandwiches are also available.

What if my child has allergies?

  • Counselors are trained to be vigilant on behalf of campers with allergies and will work with Sage Dining Service to make sure your camper with allergies receives only safe foods. All food provided to campers is nut free.

Do they get a snack?

  • A snack is provided each morning and each afternoon - typically fruit or pretzels, crackers, etc. in the morning and an ice pop to cool off in the afternoon!

Can I stay with my child/watch my child/visit my child? What if they cry when I leave?

  • Parents are strongly discouraged from remaining on campus during the camp day. Camp is a great opportunity for children to gain some safe independence, learn to adapt to new situations, and to communicate their needs... which they can't do with a loving parent hovering close by. Children typically settle down very quickly, and our staff would be happy to send you updates while your child is adapting to camp to assure you. Mini Camp is led by a preschool teacher with extensive experience guiding children through separation anxiety.

+ KINDER ACTIVITIES

During Minis Room rotations, campers find many activities common to preschool and kindergarten classrooms: stations for art, dramatic play, puppets, blocks, vehicles, and rotating special stations to promote sensory awareness, and fine and gross motor skills. Songs and stories promote language development and a sense of community.

As a Kinder camper, the bulk of the day is now spent trying a variety of outdoor and indoor activities led by Specialist Teachers, including age-appropriate arts, sports, nature and science rotations. Kinder campers travel with their cabin groups and counselors throughout the day, building the camper's confidence through trust, and developing the group social skills necessary for kindergarten success. Kinder campers receive a leveled swim lesson every morning, and a Free Swim session staffed with Life Guards and LIT Swim Buddies two afternoons each week.

+ KINDER CAMP FAQS

How is the Kinder program different from Mini Camp? How is it different from the main Day Camp program?

  • Campers entering kindergarten are ready for more activities and independence, but need counselor support to keep up with that elementary school pace. Kinder Camp is a new program designed to help campers make this transition. The schedule is more packed than in Mini Camp, but time is still left open for some creative play and discovery in the Minis Room centers. Circle Time, stories and songs create a sense of community and consistency, just like campers will find in their kindergarten classrooms in the fall. Kinder campers aren't ready to be separated from their groups for electives activities yet, but campers practice making group activity choices with the help of their counselors. This program is perfect for children who have completed a PreK-4 or Kindergarten Transition program during the school year.

Do Kinder Campers take a nap? What if my child needs a nap?

  • A nap is NOT offered. Most campers adapt quickly, but if your child still needs a nap consider a half day option or early pickup (3:00pm).

What do Kinder Campers eat?

  • Kinder campers eat lunch family style in the dining hall. Counselors encourage campers to try new foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables, each day along with the hot meal. Popular alternatives like bagels and cold sandwiches are also available.

What if my child has allergies?

  • Counselors are trained to be vigilant on behalf of campers with allergies and will work with Sage Dining Service to make sure your camper with allergies receives only safe foods. All food provided to campers is nut free.

Do they get a snack?

  • A snack is provided each morning and each afternoon - typically fruit or pretzels, crackers, etc. and occasionally we'll break out a special treat like ice pops to cool off in the afternoon!

Can I stay with my child/watch my child/visit my child? What if they cry when I leave?

  • Parents are strongly discouraged from remaining on campus during the camp day. Camp is a great opportunity for children to gain some safe independence, learn to adapt to new situations, and to communicate their needs... which they can't do with a loving parent hovering close by. Children typically settle down very quickly, and our staff would be happy to send you updates while your child is adapting to camp to assure you.

+ AQUATICS

Swim Lessons

Each swim group meets our campers at their current level of swimming ability and each group is tailored to challenge each child to further develop their skills in the water. As a camper meets a benchmark, additional skills are individually added to their program. Each Monday swimmers' skills are re-assessed so that appropriate groupings can be made, and each Friday a swim report goes home to document the camper's progress.

For our aquatic novices we work on general water safety, entering the water, partially submerging, assisted back floating, blowing bubbles, freestyle kick, and safely exiting the water. From there we work on completely submerging, back floating, front floating, blowing bubbles, freestyle arms, jumping to instructor, doggie paddle, back freestyle kick, retrieving objects, jumping to instructor with a complete submersion, safely exiting the pool using the ladder. We focus on creating safe, capable little swimmers.

More developed swimmers will work on all four competitive strokes, focusing on technique with appropriate drills and feedback from our instructors. We add skills (open turn, flip turn, two handed turns, streamlines) as students improve. Additionally, we add basic water safety and lifeguarding skills. Though they are swimming and learning, we focus on having fun too. Our older campers love relays, especially when competing with their instructors!

Additional Swim Opportunities

Free Swim is offered to all age groups at least one afternoon per week. All Minis and Kinder campers enjoy Free Swim twice each week to help acclimate them to the water. Minis are joined by their LIT Swim Buddies to add extra confidence and fun. Older campers are offered a choice between Free Swim and Game Room time. During Free Swim, pool noodles, floats and toys add to the fun... and sometimes, even the Counselors jump in!

Day Campers in 1st-8th grade may also choose Summer Swim Team as their afternoon Club for the week. The Summer Swim Team practices strokes, relays, races, and diving appropriate to each camper's swim level. This is a great opportunity to challenge highly motivated intermediate - advanced swimmers!

All swim sessions are staffed with certified Life Guards, and the pool is overseen by the Aquatics Director or Assistant Aquatics Director at all times. Additional Counselors monitor the pool deck for safety and camper supervision during these times.

Pool Staff

During swim lessons, campers work in a small, ability-level group with a dedicated swim instructor. Additional Life Guards and Counselors supervise the pool deck to provide the safest possible environment and a 5:1 ratio of campers to staff. The pool is overseen by the Aquatics Director or Assistant Aquatics Director at all times. All pool staff hold a Lifeguard certification and receive specialized training prior to working with swimmers.

Director of Aquatics

Mrs. O'Mara

Deidre O'Mara teaches Biology at Pingry and coaches the Girls Varsity Swim Team. This is her second summer leading the BBS Aquatics team.

+ LUNCH

Lunch is included for Full Day and AM campers!

Sage Dining Services uses locally sourced ingredients to prepare a hot lunch each day in Pingry's kitchens. In addition to hot entrees, campers can always find their favorite cold options in the salad and sandwich bar. Vegetarian options are always available.

Counselors eat with their campers to keep an eye on nutrition. We encourage each camper to find some protein to give them the energy to get through the afternoon, and to try the fresh vegetables and fruit! Younger campers eat family style, with counselors helping to serve the meal. Campers entering 1st grade and up get to make their own selections from the service line.

Allergies & Dietary Restrictions

Big Blue Day Camp and Sage Dining Service do not prepare or serve any foods or snacks containing tree nuts or peanuts during the summer months. Pingry's Basking Ridge campus is a nut-sensitive environment. Pingry's Short Hills campus is a nut-free environment year round.

If your child has other allergies or dietary restrictions, we would be happy to schedule an appointment for you to speak with Andrew Whitman, Food Service Director, about menus and accommodations. Please contact Cindy McArthur (cmcarthur@pingry.org) with your request.

+ REGISTRATION

Pingry Big Blue Summer Day Camp registration is managed through Camp Brain.

Registration is open until 12pm on the Thursday prior to each camp week, or until the age group is full - whichever occurs first. Register early to secure your child's space!

Add-ons & Features

+ BEFORE CARE / AFTER CARE / AFTER HOURS

Before and After Care:

Dates: June 18 – August 10

Located at the Basking Ridge Campus. Drop off as early as 7:30 AM and pick up as late as 6:00 PM. This is an add-on for families who need child-care outside the traditional camp hours of 9am-4:30pm.

Before Care:
Time: 7:30am -9:00am
Cost: $75 weekly

After Care:
Time: 4:30 pm - 6:00pm
Cost: $75 weekly

Before Care & After Care Combo:
Times: 7:30am-9:00am and 4:30-6:00pm
Cost: $125 weekly

Big Blue Summer After Hours:

We offer an extension for campers attending a camp that ends at 3:00pm. They will join in the last hour and a half of the Big Blue Day Campfor activities including Free Swim, Arts and Crafts, Sports, Outdoor Adventures, and more. After Hours programs are also available through Partner Programs select weeks of the summer.

Time: 3:00 PM – 4:30PM
Price: $100 weekly