The Early Years
Our Founder - Jeanne Shibley
Shibley Day Camp actually began in a station wagon on the way to Jones Beach in the 1930’s. The driver was an ambitious young woman named Jeanne Shibley who had already made her name as one of Long Island’s best-known private dance and etiquette teachers. Her passengers were young pupils whose parents recognized Jeanne’s inventiveness and asked her to expand her program and keep the children entertained a little longer.
Creating the Day Camp
“Keep them a little longer” she did – first in a station wagon, then in her home, then on a magnificent Roslyn estate she purchased to accommodate her growing business. Other big land purchases followed until she had assembled the expansive acreage Shibley operates on today. At her side during this time of rapid expansion was the man she married in 1949, John C. Bell.
Expanding to Sports Education
Bringing Athletics to Camp
Toward the end of the 1950’s, a young physical education teacher named Harvey Kulchin came to work at Shibley as a Group Leader. Mr. Kulchin’s natural talent for creating dynamic athletic programs was just what the camp needed. He became Shibley’s Director at age 26 and, over the next half-century, virtually changed the direction of the camp. Suddenly, we were not only "The Day Camp with the North Woods Atmosphere," we were The Day Camping Leader in Sports Education.
Along with Mr. Kulchin came generations of talented school personnel, hand-picked by Harvey in his other capacity as Principal of Westbury High School. Most outstanding among the staff was Bill Brodsky, who gradually took over programming, adding his own innovations like our “Goose Cup” Hockey Championship along the way. Bill became Camp Director in 2013 joining Harvey's son, Bob Kulchin who returned to Shibley as leadership staff in 1995.
After three generations in the Shibley Bell family, in 2015 Shibley Day Camp joined CampGroup, leaders in summer camping with a simple mission to enrich children's lives. Rachel Lewis, an experienced camp professional, joined Bob and Bill that fall as a Director. CampGroup camps, each with a unique identity developed over decades, benefit from back office administrative support and management expertise so that camp directors can focus on what matters most - providing children with experiences that enrich their lives. Together, CampGroup and Shibley leadership are committed to preserving Shibley's rich heritage and continuing the legacy for future generations.