Early Shibley History Lesson

Whenever I take a walk around the Shibley grounds I have memories of years gone by.  It has been over 60 years since I first set foot on this spectacular property which is made up of three major parcels.

Historic photo of Shibley events


The white mansion known as Attara was the home of the Willets family back in the pre-camp era.  It was also the first of the major parcels purchased by Jeanne Shibley back in the 1930’s as The Shibley Day Camp.  It also served as her residence until 1985 and as her husband John Bell’s until 1996.  The Attara mansion is now used for camp activities such as dance, tae kwon do and cooking.

Jeanne  Shibley was actually 13 years older than her husband who was a peanut farmer from Windsor, North Carolina.  That age distance was especially rare back in those days.  Jeanne Shibley was originally from Shelby, Tennessee.  Shibley was her middle name which is similar to the name of the town where she grew up. Her actual last name was Snell.  She was a very strong, determined, career minded person when most other women of that time period were homemakers.  It was before the equal rights amendment and only about a decade after the 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote. She started out as a dancer and then became a dance and etiquette teacher and eventually the founder of Shibley Day Camp.


The next major parcel purchase was that of the junior camp section where the dining room and summer office buildings are located.  That property was originally a farm.  I remember back when I was a camper in the 1960’s, that every morning in the summer we had an assembly in front of the famous Shibley bell and the American flag.  I am pretty sure we all recited the pledge of allegiance each morning before beginning our camp day.  It was the 1960’s and I remember it as a much simpler and innocent time. There was no cable TV, no cell phones and no play dates.  Children grew up at a much slower rate and were able to enjoy childhood and playing outside for a longer period of time.


The third and final purchase was the Taylor estate which is where our winter office is with that incredibly long driveway from Warner Ave.  I always thought that if we could take that long road and shape it into a square, it would be a very large area and would make a great ball field. The caretakers of the grounds also used to live in this building.  I actually lived in this building during my last two years of college at Adelphi University while working part time at camp.  That was my first apartment back in the fall of 1976.


Over 90 years have passed since the beginning of Shibley.  Many generations of children have taken part in the Shibley experience and walked the beautiful grounds.  The Shibley property is unique as it is hidden away from the main roads of a bustling area.  The Shibley property actually spans 2 towns and zip codes, Roslyn and Roslyn Heights.  It is the place to be when you want the feeling of being in the country upstate without having to travel far.  The Shibley trees create the famous Shibley shade which has kept so many children a little cooler during the hot summer months.  The sprawling nature of the property is a one of a kind.   It cannot be classified as a square or rectangular.  The Shibley shape is a work of art created by nature.

Spring Play Day – Saturday, April 17


Join us and our friends at mainstages for a day of games, music and fun. Bring a picnic lunch (no nuts and no glass please) to enjoy on our beautiful 20 acre wooded facility with family and friends!

Children can play in our playgrounds (Green Giant will open in May), sandboxes, and on the fields. Mainstages will be running Field Day Fun, an interactive half hour performance where participants will meet fun characters to play socially distant field day-styled games that are fast, fun, creative, and guaranteed to leave your kids smiling and breathless!

Please note that spots are limited in each performance. This event will be following Shibley’s COVID-19 protocols including mask wearing, social distancing, and having all visitors temperature checked upon arrival.

Registration is required for this FREE event!


Spring Break Holiday Camp presented by mainstages

  • Where: Shibley Day Camp Theater & Gaga Area (Attara in inclement weather)
  • Dates: March 29th-April 2nd
  • ***Times: 9 AM – 1 PM***
  • For: Children currently in grades 1-6
  • Cost: $475 – Use code Shibley50 for $50 discount if enrolled for summer 2021

***This is a drop-off and pick-up program***

mainstages is a New York City based theater and entertainment company owned and operated by a Shibley family. They will provide fun entertainment to intentionally encourage SAFE SOCIALIZATION throughout the week. Children will participate in interactive game shows, scavenger hunts, and more. Each day will have a special theme. Simply pack some snacks (no nuts and no sharing) and we will provide the rest.

Program Questions: Email matt@mainstages.com or call (347) 878 – 2431

Registration and additional information: https://www.mainstages.com/register-shibley-day-camp/

Safety Precautions:

  • Spring Break Camp will take place at and around our outdoor theater.
  • In the case of inclement weather, we will move to our tented area (1st option) with a large indoor space as a backup if we must go completely indoors.
  • All staff and children will wear face coverings at all times except for when eating snacks.
  • Children will wash hands and sanitize throughout the day.
  • Children will be temperature checked before they are admitted to camp.

Why Shibley is Perfect for Our Family – Guest Blog

EverGREEN: Promoting & Exhibiting GREEN Values All Year Long

An “EVERGEEN” is a tree or plant with foliage that persists and retains its color throughout the year. It is- forever green.

I like to think of this when I think of Shibley. We remain evergreen even when the camp season is over. At the core of everything that we do at Shibley are our GREEN values: generosity, respect, empathy, endurance and nurture. These values are talked about and encouraged throughout the summer season.

We see the green values symbols throughout camp. We have green Fridays and we praise a camper when they exhibit one of these values. We invite our families to participate in off-season events that help us in keeping the GREEN shining bright throughout the year!! Our staff models behavior we expect from our children at these events and during each day at camp.

How to encourage these values at home:

As a parent I like to continue encouraging and incorporating the GREEN values in my home. I want these values to permeate through my house all year long. I want my children to be little everGREENS 🙂 I think that one of the best ways to do this is through stories and books. There are so many fantastic books that focus on each of our GREEN values. Here are some of our family favorites. I hope you enjoy them!


  • Piggie and Elephant: Should I Share My Ice Cream? By Mo Willems
  • Can I play too? By Mo Willems
  • A Visitor For Bear By Bonny Becker


  • The Earth book By Todd Parr
  • Do Unto Otters- A book about manners By Laurie Keller
  • Pout Pout Fish and the Bully, Bully Shark By Deborah Diesen


  • You, Me and Empathy By Jayneen Sanders
  • Empathy is your Superpower By Cori Bussolari
  • We’re All Wonders By R.J. Palacio


  • Leopold By Dr. Ruth Westheimer
  • Rosie Revere, Engineer By Andrea Beaty
  • What Do You Do With A Problem By Kobi Yamada


  • Have you Filled a Bucket Today? By Carol McCloud
  • Maple and Willow Together By Lori Nichols
  • Stick and Stone By Beth Ferry and Tom Lichtenheld

Why Summer Camp Is More Important Than Ever This Summer

When is the last time your child made a new friend? Tried a new activity? Spoke to an adult they hadn’t met before? We have all avoided people we don’t know since mid-March of 2020, and we cover our faces with masks so that a simple smile or greeting to a stranger is rare and may even go unnoticed. Many children are going to school remotely and have avoided any interactions outside of their household for the better part of a year. Those who have attended school in-person and those who have continued to attend after-school activities are spending time with coaches and teachers that they know and trust in smaller-than-usual class sizes.

Fortunately, Megan Ranney, M.D., M.P.H, an emergency-medicine physician at Brown University, told Business Insider that we’ll start seeing a light at the end of the tunnel in the spring. This is great news for everyone and especially our children. But how can we ensure our children will be comfortable in social situations they’ve been missing for a year? Camps will play an integral role in preparing our children to re-enter a society they may not be comfortable with.

5 Reasons Why Camp is Important After a Year of Remote Learning:

Read the complete article here: www.nymetroparents.com