December 18, 2023 Category: Our Impact Our Programs

2023: The Fresh Air Fund’s Year in Review

As the year comes to an end, we’re excited to celebrate and look back at how special 2023 was for The Fresh Air Fund!   

Whether it was traveling to a new state to stay with a host family through the Friendly Towns program or attending sleepaway camp for the first time, Fresh Air kids gained confidence, stepped outside their comfort zone, made new friends and made memories that will last a lifetime!  

85% of parents/caregivers said their child is more confident being away from home after going to camp 

Campers were excited to make new friends and reunite with old friends. 

“I was nervous at first, but I just kept telling myself to be brave, which is why I’m so happy I came to this camp because that’s what it’s all about,” says Niyah, 13. “Camp Junior teaches you how to be confident, self-assured and brave.” 

Confidence stems from many different camp experiences and activities. Certain physical challenges, like climbing the high ropes course or learning to swim, definitely instill bravery. If you can walk from one end of the ropes course to another, you can do anything! Campers also develop confidence from making friends in an unfamiliar environment and trying new activities like hiking or archery. 

85% of parents/caregivers said their child learned important skills after going to camp 

Archery was a favorite new skill for many campers. 

The confidence that campers gain at camp allows them to participate in many different activities and build important skills. Camp also provides critical opportunities to develop leadership skills. From participating in the Counselor-in-Training (CIT) program to collaborating on projects with fellow campers, there are leadership opportunities everywhere at camp. 

“Some skills I learned from being a CIT are leadership and communication skills,” says Camp Hayden-Marks CIT Isaac. 

Soccer, basketball and volleyball were great team-building activities at camp. 

94% of youth said they felt more comfortable traveling to new places after their visit to Friendly Towns

The Friendly Towns program also provides opportunities to explore a new environment. By fully immersing themselves in these unfamiliar places, children build confidence. 97% of parents/caregivers said that their child is more confident after attending Friendly Towns. That confidence helps them when they return home to continue to try new things, meet new people and overcome challenges. 

Kimberly visited a waterfall with the Bergeron family during their week together. 

96% of youth said that they felt healthier and more active during their visit to Friendly Towns 

When children visit a host family, they get to try new outdoor activities, such as swimming, biking, playing sports or hiking. After participating in the Friendly Towns program, 85% of children found a new skill that they were good at! 

Tyrone visited the Friedman family for the second summer in Spring Lake, New Jersey. 

Thank you to everyone who made our programs this year possible! We can’t wait for 2024! 

Join our countdown to Fresh Air Summer 2024! 

Learn more about signing up a child for a Fresh Air Fund summer program; volunteering as a host family, making a donation or volunteering in NYC.