Kiddie Keep Well Camp began as a Fresh Air Focused Camp in 1924, dedicated to providing summertime fun and enjoyment to the less privileged children of Middlesex County. It started with only sixty campers and a small staff consisting of a director, several volunteer counselors and a cook. The camp has grown to serve over six- hundred children and seniors each year and over 50,000 youth since its origin. Kiddie Keep Well is the only camp of its kind in New Jersey and one of the oldest in the nation.
It is our mission to develop and nurture responsible social expression, self-esteem, physical health, mental well-being and other sustainable life skills through a holistic approach and diverse programming.
We welcome approximately 600 children from an applicant pool of 800 to 1,000 children, between the ages of 7-13 to attend one of four 11-day sessions. There is no cost to attend the camp. The camp asks school nurses to recommend students to the camp and we also receive referrals from guidance counselors, principals, and the New Jersey Department of Youth and Family Services. We look for children who would not otherwise be able to attend a summer camp. Children who attend the camp participate in activities like swimming, arts and crafts, sports, nature, campfires, dance and drama. We also hold fire-safety lessons, sessions on anger management, self-esteem and other character-building skills led by a social worker employed by the camp.
A senior camp was integrated into the programming in 1983. There are three weeks to choose from, one each in June, late August, and Early September. Each camping period is 5 days long. The Senior Wellness program focuses on health and wellness and supports socialization among the seniors as they engage in healthy and enjoyable activities. Some activities include swimming and aqua aerobics, arts and crafts, exercise and health, cooking and baking, games, and health workshops. The grounds and buildings at the Camp are safe for people with physical limitations.
We also have a weekend program throughout the Winter and Spring. This program is unique and offers a good respite away from home for thirty children and thirty seniors. Our year-round campers participate in the residential camp on seven designated weekends. Similar to the summer camp, the campers participate in a variety of educational, recreational, and health-focused activities, including seasonal activities.
Kiddie Keep Well Camp’s Gateway portion of the program also includes a leadership opportunity for former campers who have aged out of traditional camp program. These campers are between the ages of fourteen and fifteen. Through this project, the Leaders-In-Training (LITs) and Counselors-In- Training (CITs) are offered valuable leadership and job training experience to assist in their educational pursuits in high school and beyond.