Electives

Summer Day Camp Electives

Each week, campers choose an elective that they will participate in for the duration of that week of summer camp. Some of these activities are more athletically geared and involve a lot of physical activity, while others delve into arts-based craft and creation. No matter what the focus, each elective’s curriculum is constructed to help campers build skills and have a great time doing it!

Each elective is facilitated by a lead counselor with some degree of experience in the subject area, as well as additional staff members who assist in instruction and supervision. We understand that campers who sign up for each elective vary in age and skill level (i.e. some have never played baseball, while others are veteran Little Leaguers), and we work to cater each day to your camper’s specific needs and abilities.

Campers sign up for electives at song time on Monday morning. Below is a list and description of some of the electives offered at our summer day camps, with the applicable age groups denoted.

Please note that not every elective can be offered every week. The popularity of an elective and the number of sign-ups will often determine when we are able to offer an elective. In addition, some of these electives are not conducive to mixed age group participation (i.e. baseball). In these cases, we will either split into age-specific groups if there are enough sign-ups within the age groups, or we will offer it for the age group with the most sign-ups.

This is not a comprehensive list, but a description of some of our most popular electives. In 2014 we also offered Drawing & Painting, Lego, Ropes Course, Videography, Netball and Wilderness Skills

ARCHERY

Seniors and Teens

Archery has always been a Day Camp Sunshine favorite. In the archery elective, we seek to help campers develop patience, discipline, and perseverance. It’s not easy to pick up that bow for the first time!

Campers will begin the archery elective by learning basic terms and skills and move quickly, throughout the week, toward utilizing those fundamentals to play games, compete, and have fun. All archery equipment is operated and supervised by trained, certified professionals who are eager to see campers improve, develop, and hit that bull’s eye!

ARTS & CRAFTS

Middlers, Seniors, and Teens

The Arts and Crafts room is a frequent destination for campers looking to exercise their creative muscles. Our Arts and Crafts Coordinator always has a numbers of projects in mind, including jewelry making, lanyards, melted (or Perler) beads, drawing, painting, candle making, and construction. Campers of all ages are able to participate in basic Arts and Crafts.

Older campers may be interested in more advanced crafts, led by not only our Coordinator, but also members of staff with unique individual talents! Campers can choose to delve deeper into specific crafts, such as scrapbooking, tie-dye, batik, basket weaving, woodworking, and leatherworking. Not only does our Arts and Crafts program provide campers an opportunity to create and showcase different crafts, but it also helps develop their aptitude in craftsmanship, coordination, and precision—all while having lots of fun!

BALL GAMES (Nine-Square in the Air, Gaga, Never-Ending Dodgeball, etc.)

Middlers, Seniors, and Teens

This elective allows campers the opportunity to participate in nontraditional “camp” sports, not often found in recreational or school leagues. Each day of the week focuses on a different activity, of which Gaga is by far the favorite! At the end of the week, campers elect their favorite game to revisit and play a second time.

BASEBALL/SOFTBALL (and variations)

Middlers, Seniors, and Teens

Perhaps more so than any other elective, campers come to us with a wide range of experience baseball and softball. Some are apprehensive about even picking up a bat or glove, while some of our teens come with years of Little League experience. The baseball elective is designed to be an educational, lower stakes environment to both introduce and develop skills.

Campers in this elective will learn sportsmanship, teamwork, and persistence. Younger campers will learn basic terms and skills, and get the opportunity to play not only baseball, but also its many variations: kickball, wiffle ball, home run derby, and others.

basketballBASKETBALL

Middlers, Seniors, and Teens

Along with our outdoor courts, Day Camp Sunshine has two gymnasiums available for basketball games: the Rec Hall at Main Camp, and the Youth Center Gym. The basketball elective utilizes these spaces as an environment to allow campers to improve their shooting, passing, bouncing, coordination, and teamwork skills.

Campers in this elective will participate in both basketball and basketball-based games, such as “Around the World,” “Knockout,” and “HORSE.”

BEACH VOLLEYBALL

Middlers, Seniors, and Teens

Our sand volleyball court, built in 2012, hosts our beach volleyball elective. Depending on their age, campers work on serving, setting, bumping, and digging techniques. Older campers play with real, regulation volleyballs while younger campers use soft, larger balls that stay airborne longer and pass over the net more easily.

CANOEING

Middlers, Seniors, and Teens

This “old school” camp activity has always been among the hallmarks of Day Camp Sunshine’s elective time. The canoeing elective takes place in the larger of our two ponds—known as the “cow pond”— located near the teen pool and Fellowship Village. Campers who are able to paddle may do so, and ample seating is provided for younger campers to sit in a canoe and enjoy the ride.

A trained, certified lifeguard is always present near the cow pond, and we provide all campers with PFD (Personal Flotation Devices), or life vests. Campers begin by learning the strokes necessary to navigate a canoe, and move throughout the week toward such games as relay races, “Canoe Polo,” “Follow the Blind,” and others.

DANCE

Middlers, Seniors, and Teens

Each summer, the specific focus of the Dance elective varies in conjunction with the skill set of the Counselors on staff that summer. In the past, we’ve offered a praise dance elective, an 80’s jazzercise elective, and others. This year, international counselors on staff specialize in hip-hop and street dance.

DRAMA

Middlers, Seniors, and Teens

Designed for campers with a passion for theater, the drama elective helps campers to improve their confidence and hone their acting and/or set-making skills. Some weeks, campers will focus on smaller skits, while other weeks are geared toward larger productions.

FLYING DISC

Middlers, Seniors, and Teens

What was formerly thought of as a tool reserved for simple games of “catch” has caught on and been integrated into a number of serious, competitive sports. This elective focuses on two such sports: Disc Golf and Ultimate Frisbee.

At the beginning of the week, campers will start by learning how to throw a Frisbee backhand and, if they are able, forehand. Near the end of the week, campers will participate in a full-out game of Ultimate and a game of Day Camp Sunshine Disc Golf.

NEWSPAPER & JOURNALISM

Middlers, Seniors, and Teens

Participants of this elective are charged with the creation and release of The Day Camp Sunshine Times—one of Liberty Corner, New Jersey’s most trusted news sources! Counselors provide issues of real newspapers for brainstorming purposes, and campers work throughout the week on their own individual and group projects. Projects include articles, editorials, interviews, top ten lists, comic strips, and puzzles.

Once campers are ready, they hit the field. Under counselor supervision, campers traverse the campground, conducting interviews and research for stories both serious and silly. At the end of the week, counselors compile and print the newspaper to be handed out to staff, campers, and parents.

MINIATURE GOLF

Middlers and Seniors

Located on our nine-hole miniature golf course, this elective teaches campers concentration, timing, coordination, and sportsmanship. They’ll have to hit the ball through tunnels, over jumps, and down ramps in a quest to sink that hole-in-one!

Unlike the stronger swings used at a driving range, this elective focuses on crucial putting skills so that campers learn what it takes to putt the ball with control and accuracy.

PAINTBALL

Teens

Part of our teen program includes the ability to participate in our paintball elective. We begin a week of paintball by emphasizing the importance of safety, and appropriate use of guns and ammunition.

In order to participate in the paintball elective, campers must complete a signed permission slip. These permission slips will provided both online and in-person during the preceding week.

PARLOR (Illusions and Balloon Making)

Middlers, Seniors, and Teens

This elective is designed for campers who love magic tricks, balloon animals, and other “parlor tricks” that aren’t easily categorized. Some days of the elective will focus on balloon arts, while others focus on magic tricks and illusions.

In Parlor, campers will also learn the performance aspects of both illusions and balloon making. While younger campers tend to struggle with complex balloon animals and illusions, we ensure that each child leaves this elective with at least one or two “tricks” up his or her sleeve!

PHOTOGRAPHY

Seniors, and Teens

sandcastle makingCampers in the photography elective are given the opportunity to not only take photographs, but also to learn exciting ways to showcase them for the larger camp community. Participants will learn about photograph composition and arrangement, and be asked to brainstorm what makes a good photo. Older campers will also learn basic retouching and color adjustment techniques.

Each week of photography focuses on a different theme, including nature, portrait, “A Day at DCS,” and others. Some of the products of this elective will be featured in exhibits—both on our website and in our end-of-the-year exhibit.

SANDCASTLE MAKING

Middlers

Throughout the week, our younger campers are challenged to use their creativity to build sand structures in one of our recently renovated sandboxes. Counselors supervise and assist campers as they build, construct, and create!

SOCCER

Middlers, Seniors, and Teens

With two fields on our property—one small and one large—there’s no shortage of space for playing soccer at Day Camp Sunshine! Depending on their skill level, campers will learn dribbling and passing techniques, and spend most of the week playing full games of soccer to put those skills into practice.

basketballSTORYTELLING

Middlers and Seniors

In the storytelling elective, our younger campers gather together for some good, old-fashioned reading time. Early in the week, campers are allowed to introduce their own stories to the elective—both stories from books and oral stories of their own creation.

SWIMMING LESSONS

Middlers, Seniors, and Teens

Experienced, certified lifeguards supervise campers in the pools during swim time, and serve as the instructors for our swimming lessons elective. In this elective, counselors and lifeguards work closely with individual campers to build their confidence in the water and ultimately teach them how to swim or to strengthen their swimming skills.

Swim lessons take in the shallow end of our main camp pool which begins at just two feet deep allowing even our youngest campers to stand and feel comfortable as they learn and develop their skills.

Please note: A low staff to camper ratio increases the effectiveness of swim lessons and ensures the safety of swimmers and instructors. Therefore, we limit the number of campers in this elective to 10-15 depending on staff availability.

NEW FOR 2014: After a camper has taken the swimming lessons elective for two weeks, they will only be able to sign up for an additional week if there is space available. 

WATER GAMES

Middlers, Seniors, and Teens

Experienced swimmers can participate in our water games elective which offers a variety of activities centered around fun with water! In the past, water games have included “Escape from Alcatraz,” “Navy Seals Boot Camp,” diving and splash contests, races, “F-I-S-H,” “T-Shirt Freeze,” “Noodle Joust,” and others.

Because this elective takes place in the deeper parts of the pool, campers must have passed the middle and/or deep end tests to participate.

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3575 Valley Road
Basking Ridge, NJ 07920

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P.O. Box 204
Liberty Corner, NJ 07938

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908-647-9624

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