Camp Prepares Children for the “Real World”

Children who spend time at camp each summer show self-confidence, resilience and independence out in the “real world”. Within the camp environment, children are willing to take risks, which is what leads to them developing these critical skills.

Why/how does this happen?

  • Camp creates an environment where children feel safe, loved and supported.
  • We switch from “Try this, do that!” to “Let’s all try this together!”
    • Positive peer pressure under the supervision of well-trained staff = children trying new things without even thinking about it.
  • We provide language for a child to say, “I’m not comfortable with or ready for that yet.”
    • Our staff models this language and the empathy that must be shown when someone chooses to sit out for any reason.
  • We congratulate those who accomplish their goals AND those who show resilience in trying to reach a goal, even if they haven’t quite gotten there yet.
  • In other environments children have often decided the answer is NO before they hear the question.
    • At camp they are excited to have new opportunities presented from different voices.
  • Children observe other children overcome fears right before their eyes and see that this transformation is possible.
  • Camp is focused on the social, emotional & physical growth of a child; this is what we care about above all.
  • Camp provides intentional but also natural opportunities for children to practice and build these skills.

What does it look like in the “real world”?

  • A child volunteers to play goalie or speaks up to say they DON’T want to be goalie when asked, instead of just agreeing to avoid conflict.
  • A child who is usually very quiet in class decides to run for a student government position.
  • A child who wouldn’t go near the pool before summer began is at grandma’s house pulling their parent’s hand towards the pool so they can be the first one in.
  • A child visits an amusement park and surprises their parent by being comfortable trying a scary ride.
  • A child who used to shy away from character appearances at parties/theme parks now runs to the character to give a high five or is at least willing to stay in the same room as the character.
  • A child comes home from the first day of school talking about making friends for the first time on the first day.
  • A child enters a “drop off” birthday party or event with no hesitation for the first time.

What have you seen your child do out in the “real world”?

These are just a few of the examples reported back to camp leadership from year to year. What has your child done out in the “real world” that was influenced by building self confidence, independence and resilience at camp?

The Fall Festival 2022

The Fall Festival is Saturday! Highlights:

Helloooooo Shibley Day Camp!!! It’s that time of year again. The air is cool and crisp. The leaves are starting to turn warm hues of red, yellow, orange, and crimson. Pumpkins, witches, ghosts, spider webs, and various other Halloween décor fill our porches. The beloved Halloween movie Hocus Pocus airs almost daily on Freeform. And, most exciting for us here at Shibley, it marks the return of our annual Fall Festival. It’s hard to believe that it’s been over two months since our grounds were filled with the sounds of happy Shibley campers singing, zip-lining, climbing, swimming, and playing sports. As a new year-round member of the leadership team, it honestly feels a little lonely without you all here with us…

So, I’m thrilled to invite you on Saturday, October 29th from 1pm to 4pm. Since Halloween will be just days away, we encourage everyone to come dressed in costume! We’ll have hayrides and a pumpkin patch where campers can pick their own pumpkins and decorate them at Arts & Crafts. Weather-permitting, King, Franklin, and the rest of our Shibley tortoises will be available for photo ops. Our friend Mother Goose will be roaming the grounds, ready to tell a tale or two.

If that weren’t enough, we’ll have visits from a few of our favorite Shibley friends, including mainstages, Super Soccer Stars, World Tae Kwon Do Academy, Sylvan Learning of Port Washington and MyStyle Camp. Plus, campers will have access to some of our most popular summer activities, such as the Green Giant, Gaga, Air Bungee, and Zip Line. Due to the popularity of Air Bungee and the Zip Line, all campers will receive a ticket at check-in, valid for either one (1) ride on the Zip Line (for 2nd Graders and older) OR one (1) Air Bungee experience (for all ages). Be sure to visit these busy attractions early, as the lines will close promptly at 3:30pm.

We have also partnered with Island Harvest, a member of Feeding America, to host a Healthy Food Drive here at Shibley during the Fall Festival. Did you know that here in the United States, 40% of people live more than 1 mile from the nearest grocery store, which can make it difficult to access healthy foods? So, in the spirit of our GREEN Values we live by here at Shibley, we encourage families to bring donations of non-perishable goods, baby essentials, household items, toiletries/personal hygiene items, and pet supplies. We thank you in advance for your generosity toward this worthy cause.

We can’t wait to see everyone’s smiling faces on Saturday! I’ll be there, of course, so please come up and say hello if you see me!

Shibley Shibley,

(Re)Introducing Peter – New Full-Time Team Member

My name is Peter Strecansky, and I am elated to join the full-time team at Shibley! This is a dream come true for me. Shibley is practically in my blood.

My uncle, Jeff, was a Shibley camper in the 1970s and later served as a tennis instructor. My mom, Phyllis, was a Shibley group leader for almost two decades, and my aunt, Gina, served as a Shibley lifeguard and swim head for almost three decades. I began as a Shibley camper in 1990 in Junior Boys 2B. I still remember the location of my exact cubby in our current Lego Room. My younger sister Michelle (2022 Head Nurse) and I eagerly waited for each summer at camp.

During my college years, I worked summers at the Shibley Theater.  I also worked in the Shibley office during pre-camp in May and June. I am a proud graduate of Hofstra University Honors College and earned degrees in English and Secondary Education as well as the distinction of Magna Cum Laude.

While at Hofstra I participated in an internship at Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL as part of the Disney College Program and I returned to Disney World full-time after graduation.  I worked in Park Operations, as a Character Performer, Parade Performer, and Puppeteer. I received invaluable customer service training during my time at Disney World, which I continue to use to this very day.


In 2009, I was offered the chance to travel the world with a touring production of Disney Live!, where I performed in cities across the US and fifteen countries in Central and South America. We performed in both Spanish and Portuguese. I also worked at Disney Cruise Lines as a performer aboard the Disney Wonder.

Shibley came calling again in 2013 — as I told you, it’s in my blood. I spent two years working as Assistant to the Camp Director and as Director of Special Events but two years later I left again to pursue a position at Delta Air Lines as a member of In-Flight.


In 2022 I was invited back to be co-director of Sleepaway Week. With some time banked up at Delta I was able to commit to the entire Summer and served as Shibley’s Creative Arts Supervisor. I oversaw the areas of Drama, Dance, Art, Nature/Science, and Cooking. I played an active role in planning, coordinating and executing special events. The biggest thrill for me this summer, however, was seeing camp through the fresh eyes of my nieces, Lily, Sadie, and Maddy.