Which Fresh Air Program Is Right For Your Child?

How do you decide if you should sign your child up to visit a volunteer host family with the Friendly Towns program or attend one of our sleepaway camps? Both programs are a lot of fun – but one of them may be a better fit for your child.

Friendly Towns

Eligibility Criteria

New Applicants

7-13 year old girls & boys

Returning Children

(13-18 years old) can reapply

14+ must be reinvited by a previous host family or one from the same area

Staying In Touch

Parents receive updates and photos from the host family during the trip.

Children’s access to technology and screen time rules are different with each host family.

Accommodations

Children stay with a host family in their home. They may live in the suburbs, a small town, or a rural area.

New Experiences

Staying with a host family is a unique and fun opportunity to travel to a new place and make new friends.

Favorite activities include learning to swim, going fishing, visiting local amusement parks, riding bikes, camping, stargazing, and making s’mores!

Beyond Summer

Many children return to the same host family each summer, and may visit the same family until age 18. Trips may be longer for returning children.

Camp

Eligibility Criteria

New Applicants

8-12 year old girls & 8-15 year old boys

Career Awareness Program (Cap) / Camp Mariah (6th Graders)

11-12 years old

Camp Junior

9-13 year old boys & girls who live in the Bronx

Staying In Touch

Children are not allowed to bring phones.

We encourage letter writing.

Accommodations

Children live in a cabin with other campers and counselors.

New Experiences

Favorite activities include swimming lessons, hiking, making s’mores, arts and crafts, visiting the camp farm and planetarium, guitar lessons, and environmental science and STEM programming.

Beyond Summer

Many children return to camp for weekend camping retreats and can apply to participate in leadership programs.

Please call 1-800-367-0003 if you would like to speak with a member of The Fresh Air Fund’s Community Outreach Team about which program is the right fit for your child.