May 28, 2020 Category: Stories

Fresh Air @ Home – Staying Connected While Physically Distancing

“The Fresh Air Fund is my second home. There are always really fun activities to do at camp,” 11-year-old Jaccari, a Hidden Valley camper shared.

As we navigate through a new normal, many of us are reflecting on what home means to us and Fresh Air children, like Jaccari, have shared with us that The Fresh Air Fund is a second home.

Bringing the Outdoors Inside

Fresh Air experiences create a safe space for New York City children to explore the outdoors, discover new talents, learn new skills and develop confidence. Launched in April, Fresh Air @ Home brings the excitement of Fresh Air indoors and provides opportunities for our  community to connect.

Activities are posted on social media platforms and on The Fund’s website’s COVID-19 Resource Page. Programming is focused on bringing to life experiences from camp and the Friendly Towns Program – featuring art, nutrition and cooking, Fresh Air virtual games and even outdoor activities like a nature walk at Sharpe Reservation.

Get Creative!

Fresh Air @ Home kicked off its programming series by celebrating Earth Day with an art project inviting participants to create their own Earth Day Collages, a fun and interactive way to learn about the environment.

A virtual trip to The Fresh Air Fund’s Virtual Art Gallery provided inspiration to be creative while at home. The gallery features art created by campers. One camper featured shared that art is a creative outlet that helps them express their feelings. Fresh Air @ Home art projects help kids stay busy while at home and express themselves.

For National Poetry Month, we posted an original poem by Camp ABC camper, Effie, based on her camp experiences and encouraged our Fresh Air family to share their own poems about camp and Friendly Towns too!

Cooking with Fresh Air

Interactive culinary workshops and visits to the Nutrition Center at the Camp Model Farm are an essential way for campers to learn more about where food comes from and how to prepare healthy snacks and meals at home. The Friendly Towns Program also gives Fresh Air children an opportunity to share, learn, try and make different cuisines with their host family.

As we spend more time at home, and in the kitchen, Fresh Air @ Home is sharing fun recipes from The Fund’s Sharpe Reservation – whether you’re in the mood for some salsa or blueberry muffins!

We also want to thank one of our dedicated volunteers, Brendan Chareon, who shared additional recipes, and food tips and tricks like how to properly store fresh foods and even how to pickle vegetables using a simple brine.

Exploring the Outdoors – The Fresh Air Fund’s Sharpe Reservation

Even as we physically distance, we can still explore the outdoors virtually through a nature walk at The Fund’s Sharpe Reservation – and enjoy a glistening view of the lake and the view from the top of Pawnee.

The Fund’s Model Farm has so many animals that we can learn about. Through our Fresh Air @ Home programming you can now meet our amazing farm animals like Peggy the pig and Jasmine the American Milking Devon cow!

Penny the Pig with her piglets at The Fresh Air Fund’s Sharpe Reservation’s farm!

Let the Games Begin!

Every week, Fresh Air @ Home programming includes interactive games from a Fresh Air scavenger hunt to bingo – for every member of the Fresh Air family to join and play!

Thanks to a Fresh Air camper suggesting Fresh Air Fund Bingo – we had so much fun! Our Young Women’s Giving Circle (YWGC) even played together during their weekly virtual meeting.

“The girls completed their bingo cards and shared them in our group chat.  It was cute to see them compare cards and stories. They love it! It keeps them engaged and acts as a connecting point,” said Kristin Short, Director of Camp ABC and Off-Season Camping.

Staying Connected

Although summer will look different this year, The Fresh Air Fund is planning for a virtual programming season to keep the Fresh Air community connected as we continue to support each other and create new memories.

Follow us on Instagram: @thefreshairfund, Twitter and Facebook: @FreshAirFund to see what’s next for Fresh Air @ Home.