Learn About Our Friendly Towns Program

The Fresh Air Fund will be operating the traditional Friendly Towns program for Summer 2022 on a limited basis. The Fund will contact eligible Fresh Air children and host families. Check back soon for more details and information.

All participants, staff, volunteer leaders and eligible members of host families are required to be fully vaccinated. An application will not move forward without proof of full vaccination. Read more here.

The Fresh Air Fund is not currently accepting applications from new host families.  

If you are a returning host family, please click here 

If you are interested in hosting during a future summer, please complete this form.   

A visit to stay with a host family is full of new experiences like making s’mores, playing in the backyard, catching fireflies, riding bicycles, barbeques, swimming, making new friends and having fun!

How are host families selected? Most host families learn about the program through a neighbor or friend. Every family goes through a rigorous screening process including a home visit, interview, references and a background check.

Volunteer host families live in small towns, suburban and rural communities along the East Coast. Many families live in the tristate area. 

Many children return to the same family each summer, forming special friendships and gaining new perspectives.

Any private visits between Fresh Air participants and host families are not part of The Fund’s programming and are not official Friendly Towns visits. This means that the typical support, programming, and coverage you receive from The Fresh Air Fund is not available, including: medical insurance information, 24/7 Support Services support, updated background checks, local volunteer support, home visits, transportation assistance, and liability assistance.  

How We Choose Host Families



All families complete an application and phone conversation with a trained local volunteer.



Next, we visit each home to make sure that it is a safe and kid-friendly environment.



Everyone living in the home is interviewed in-person.



Families provide 3 references. 1 must be from a professional who has worked with children.



Finally, we run a background check on all household members. (18 years or older)

New Hampshire
New Jersey
New York
North Carolina
Rhode Island
West Virginia

Where Do Our Host Families Live?

Volunteer host families live in small towns, suburban and rural communities along the East Coast. Many families live in the tristate area. 

Meet Our Host Families

Emanuel gets along really well with my son Max. For a child, it is a big leap of faith and an adventure. I’m in awe of that.

Polly, Host Parent

I was emotional dropping him off because we’re really close. Evan had a lot of positive things to say about Friendly Towns – he enjoyed swimming and did a bunch of new things and went to new places. He came home really excited about his experiences.

Jason, Fresh Air Parent

Vasaune has such a good attitude about trying new things. I find him so courageous. He is working really hard to improve his swimming skills. He likes to roast marshmallows – and simple things, like playing in the backyard. He is a part of our family.

Danielle, Host Parent

All families should take the opportunity to host. Bella’s visits have been defined by time spent together as a family, sharing a home, and laughing together.

Courtney, Host Parent


Every host family plans different activities. Some favorites are playing in the backyard, fishing, riding bikes, picking blueberries, swimming, visiting a local amusement park and star gazing.

We ask our host families to describe the types of activities their family enjoys and tell us about their community. Then we work closely with the parents of Fresh Air children to create a match with a host family that is a good fit.

Learn More

A Day In Friendly Towns

Meet a few of our Fresh Air kids and follow them on a day in Friendly Towns!

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A Summer Can Last a Lifetime

Many children return to the same host family year after year – and stay in touch. We love hearing from our alumni and host families about the special relationships they formed and about the impact of their Fresh Air experience.

Learn More