Child Application

Welcome to The Fresh Air Fund’s 2020 Child Application.


Please call 1-800-367-0003 if you have any questions or need help completing the application.


Click here to see a list of Community Partners that can help you sign up in your neighborhood.

Before you begin... 

If you would like to view this form in a different language please select from those available in the drop down.  All responses must be in English.

Thank you for applying to The Fresh Air Fund's Summer 2020 programs!

Generous donors enable us to offer safe and fun sleep-away programs at no charge to NYC families.

Although we accept applications until all beds are filled, completing your application by April 30, 2020 increases your child’s chances of participation. Please complete and submit the application and all documents as soon as possible.

Please call 1-800-367-0003 if you have any questions or need help completing the application

Eligibility Criteria
There are three eligibility criteria:

  • Children must live in and go to school in one of NYC’s five boroughs
  • Camp Junior: Children must live in the Bronx, but may go to school in any of NYC’s five boroughs
  • Family receives public assistance; or
  • Child is currently in foster care or living in a shelter or other temporary/transitional housing; or
  • Total household income: Camp - meets USDA income guidelines for free/reduced lunch ; FT - is no more than $10,000 above USDA income guidelines for free/reduced lunch. (See next section.)
Age: (Unless noted, child must be age by 08/10/20)
Friendly Towns Applicants
  • New: 7-13 year old girls & boys
  • Returning: Can reapply until age 18
Camp Applicants
  • New: Girls 8-13 years old, Boys 8-15 years old
  • Returning: Can reapply until age 15
Specialized Programs for girls & boys:
  • Career Awareness Program/Camp Mariah: 11-12 years old by 06/29/20
  • Explorers Summer Learning Program: 11-12 year old by 07/13/20
Teens who will be 16 or 17 years old by June 29, 2020 may apply to The Fresh Air Fund’s Counselor-in Training (CIT) program which prepares young adults for future leadership roles working with children in camps and other professional settings. Participants develop leadership, team-building, and communication skills, and are role models to young campers. This selective program requires an interview in addition to the camp and CIT applications. To apply, complete this application and select “CIT” on Page 6 (Program & Session Selection). Once submitted, you will receive information on the next steps. More information is available on our website at

2019 Income Guidelines for Families

The Fresh Air Fund's income guidelines are based on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's guidelines for reduced price meals.  We accept applications from families earning up to $10,000 per year over the published USDA income guidelines which are released annually. Those applications are only considered for our Friendly Towns program.

We work hard to serve as many New York City children as possible every year, but since spaces in host families and at camp are limited we can only accept applications for those who meet these guidelines.

Families that earn more than $10,000 per year above the USDA income guidelines are not eligible for any Fresh Air Fund program.  Alternative summer programs can be found by contacting organizations such as the American Camp Association, available at or 1-800-777-CAMP.

Medical Forms

Medical forms may be submitted at a later time. Submitting them by April 30, 2020 increases participation chances.

  • Each child must submit a medical form that is signed, dated and stamped by the child’s doctor.
     Option 1: The Fresh Air Fund medical form (2 pages)
     Option 2: DOHMH form used for school and the “Authorized Medications” form - page 2 of FAF medical form. (Both forms must be signed by same doctor.)
  • All children must have both doses of the MMR vaccination.
Medical forms dates:
  • Friendly Towns: Medical forms must be dated on or after 01/01/19.
  • Camp: Medical forms must be dated on or after 06/01/19

Summer 2020 Program Summary
Since 1877, The Fresh Air Fund has served more than 1.8 million New York City children. That tradition carries on through our summer and year-round programming. Every child’s Fresh Air experience begins with a summer that can last a lifetime in either our Friendly Towns or Camping programs. 
Each summer, thousands of NYC children are matched with host families for seven- to 10-day visits.  Children are encouraged to explore life in a different community and visit local area sites, take a break from technology, learn to swim (or practice their swimming skills), breathe in the fresh air, and make new friends. They develop and strengthen skills such as independence and resilience during their visits and have the chance to just be kids!

Volunteer host families complete our rigorous screening process which includes: application review; a home visit and in-person interview; three reference checks; and background checks for all household members 18 years of age or older. We have opportunities to visit rural, suburban, and small-town communities in:
  • The Northeast region (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut);
  • The Mid-Atlantic region (New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and Washington DC suburbs);
  • The South Atlantic region (Virginia and North Carolina); and
  • Southern Ontario, Canada
Staying with a host family is a unique and fun opportunity. NYC parents are very involved in the matching process. Based on the information provided in the application, our team members work to identify three to five families that meet most, if not all, of the indicated interests. They then work with each applicant’s family to select the host family for their child. NYC families and host families are required to speak with each other before the trip to get to know each other and create a communication plan, and after the child’s visit. And unlike at our camps, NYC families receive updates and photos from the host family and can speak with their child a few times during the visit. 

Trips depart between Tuesday, 06/30 and Friday, 08/20
  • First-time applicants: must be 7-13 years old by 08/10/20 (children cannot go on a trip until they turn 7 years old)
  • Returning applicants: can participate through The Fresh Air Fund until they are 18 years old − 14 years and older must be invited by a host family 
Each summer, thousands of NYC children attend one of The Fresh Air Funds six sleepaway camps. Five camps are located on our more than 2,000-acre Sharpe Reservation in Fishkill, NY which has nature trails, lakes and streams, high and
low rope courses, a model farm and a planetarium. Sharpe Reservation is just a two-hour bus ride from NYC. Our sixth and newest camp, Camp Junior is for Bronx residents only and is located in Harriman State Park, a 90-minute bus ride from NYC.
We are proud to operate Camp Junior in partnership with New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Palisades Interstate Park Commission and the Bronx Borough President in memory of Lesandro “Junior” Guzmán-Feliz. 

First time applicants (visit for camp details)
  • General Camp
    − Girls must be 8-13 by 08/10/20;
    − Boys must be 8-15 by 08/10/20
  • Specialized Programs for current 6th grade boys & girls:
    − Career Awareness Program/Camp Mariah: must be 11 or 12 by 06/29/20
    − Explorers Summer Learning Program: must be 11 or 12 by 07/13/20
Returning applicants
  • Campers in good standing can participate until age 15 (limited spots for 14-15 year old girls)
2020 Camp Sessions
Application Processing & Registration
  1. Submitting by more than one method can delay processing. Completing the online application is the easiest and quickest method.

  2. A Fresh Air Fund team member will begin reviewing your child’s application within two weeks of receipt.

  3. If the application is incomplete, we will call, email or text you up to five times to let you know what is missing and to help you complete the application. If we are unable to reach you within those tries, the application will become “inactive.”

  4. You may “re-activate” the application at any time and continue submitting documents until it is complete, but you will have to call us at 1-800-367-0003 for application updates.

  5. Once the application review is complete, we will communicate the participation decision (registered or declined) with you via phone call and email.

  6. If registered, you will receive details via written confirmation (mail, email and/or text). Please do not assume that your child has been accepted into a program if you do not receive this confirmation.

  7. Completing the application by April 30 may improve your child’s chance of being accepted for a Summer 2020 experience. Application completion includes all supplemental forms (medical forms, immunization records and health insurance cards, and if needed legal guardianship papers, foster care agency forms, Fresh Air Fund evaluation forms, and US Passport for Canada trips).

Before You Start

Be sure to gather the following information and documents:

  1. Information for three (3) Emergency Contacts - must be at least 18 years old and cannot be a parent or guardian.

  2. Copy of front and back of health insurance card. Not applicable if child is in foster care.

  3. Copy of your child’s valid US passport - if you are interested in a Canada trip through the Friendly Towns program.
Summer Food Service Program: Information for Parents
This is related to Page 4 of the Child Application.  Read it carefully and keep it for your records.

The Fresh Air Fund participates in the Summer Food Service Program. Meals are provided to all children free of charge. Federal funds help cover the costs of meals provided to all eligible children. (For The Fund to be eligible to receive reimbursement for meals at a camp, children must meet the income guidelines for reduced price meals in the National School Lunch Program). Children in households that receive food stamps or benefits under the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR), or Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) are automatically eligible for the program. The following 2018-2019 income eligibility standards will be used for determining eligibility for reimbursement: 

Income eligibility guidelines

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English. 

Meals will be provided at site(s) and times as follows: 

Camps Anita Bliss Coler (ABC), Hayden Marks Memorial, Hidden Valley, Tommy, and Camp Junior will serve breakfast at 8:00am, lunch at 12:30pm, and dinner at 6:00pm on the following dates: 
Monday, June 29, 2020 - Friday, July 10, 2020 
Monday, July 13, 2020 - Friday, July 24, 2020 
Monday, July 27, 2020 - Friday, August 7, 2020 
Monday, August 10, 2020 - Friday, August 21, 2020

Camp Mariah will serve breakfast at 8:00am, lunch at 12:30pm; and dinner at 6:00pm on the following dates:
Monday, June 29, 2020 - Friday, July 22, 2020 
Wednesday, July 29, 2020 - Friday, August 21, 2020

This institution is an equal opportunity provider. Persons interested in receiving more information should contact: The Fresh Air Fund, 633 Third Avenue, 14th floor, New York, NY 10017 Telephone: 212-897-8900. 

To file a complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form (AD-3027) found online at:, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call 
(866) 632-9992. 

Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:
 1) mail: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 1400 Independence Avenue,           S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410. 
 2) fax: (202) 690-7442 
 3) email: 

Important Notes & Reminders

    1. We ask a lot of questions. Whether applying for camp or to visit with a host family, knowing a lot about your child helps us better your child and family. 

    2. Submitting and completing an application does not guarantee placement. We wish we had room for every child who applies, but our spaces are limited, especially for our camp program. You will receive verbal and written confirmation of your child’s acceptance and placement. Applying for the Friendly Towns program may improve your chances of participation.

    3. Application completion. Applications are deemed complete when all required forms are received. Includes: medical forms, immunization records, health insurance cards, legal guardianship papers, foster care agency forms, Fresh Air Fund evaluation forms, and a US Passport for Canada trips, as applicable.

    4. Returning families receive priority consideration. Spots are filled by returning children through March 31. Placement of new applicants begins on April 1.

    5. Additional or updated information and in-person interviews. For certain programs and in some instances, additional forms or an in-person interview may be required to make an application decision. Returning applicants: interviews must be conducted by March 16. New applicants: interviews must be conducted by May 22.

    6. Medical Forms. Be sure to schedule your child’s doctor’s appointment as soon as possible. In our experience, this often delays application processing. (See Medical Forms section above) If child has moderate persistent or severe persistent asthma, an Action Treatment Plan is required. If your child takes insulin, a Diabetes Treatment of Action Plan is required.

    7. Foster Care. If the child is in foster care, please ensure that the application is signed by the person legally authorized to make decisions for the child and complete Page FC1.

    8. Call us. Whether for an application status update or if you have a question, please call us at 1-800-367-0003. We receive thousands of applications and do our best to communicate with every family but suggest that you do not wait to hear from us.

    9. Court-approved guardianship papers. If you are not the child’s legal guardian, we require legal proof of guardianship.

    10. Special Needs Accommodations. The safety and supervision of all children is our priority. Our programs accommodate children with special needs/circumstances, but they are not specifically designed for all special needs. We will refer you to the American Camp Association if we are not able to accommodate your child in one of our programs. 

                  Important Dates

                  We suggest that you follow these dates: 

                  Important Dates
                  Before you start the application, please note:
                  • This is a 2-part application
                    • Part 1: Eligibility Review
                    • Part 2: Child Application
                  • You must complete both parts in order to SUBMIT an application
                  • There may be up to a 30 second delay before Part 2 pops up - please be patient
                  • if you are not able to complete the application in one session, please be sure to hit the SAVE button so that you can return to where you left off at a later time
                  Please call us at 1-800-367-0003 if you have questions or need any help completing the application.


                  Primary Parent/Guardian
                  Please list the person who will be the child's Primary Contact. This person will receive verbal and written application updates and communication from us.

                  Secondary Parent/Guardian
                  Please list the person who will be the child's Secondary Parent/Guardian

                  Household Information

                  Household Information

                  Household Income

                  Household Income
                  List ALL People in the Household and Indicate If They Earn Income
                  For this section you will need to list ALL persons who live in the home and select if they do have or do not have any income.   

                  For those individuals that do have income, you will be required to list all YEARLY earnings per person in the household for: work; welfare; child support; alimony; pensions; Social Security; retirement; SSI; VA benefits; or other income sources in the appropriate sections. Enter "0" in the income field where applicable. 




                  There is No Household Income Needed

                  Child Information

                  Please list the names of the children for who you will be submitting a program application.  If you are completing a brand new application but the child has attended a Fresh Air Program, please select Returning.  Otherwise, please select New. 
                  Below is the list of children that are currently part of your household.  Please mark each the child as New if you did not complete an application for this child or Returning if the child has attended a Fresh Air Program

                  Form Operation
                  Once you verify your responses on the next page, please click 'Confirm' only once. Double clicking can inadvertently affect the application.