Now well into its eighth decade, the summer camp program at Belmont Day School has experienced countless ‘s-milestones’ over the years. However, nothing may be more joyful and important than things returning to normal in 2023 after the years impacted by the pandemic.
“This summer really felt like camp as usual,” said Zach d’Arbeloff, director of summer programs. “We were able to do everything we had held off on for the last two summers because of COVID-19. We had cross-group interaction, expanded special events, and bumped up our admin team to support groups more throughout the summer.”
Over the 2023 camp season, Belmont Day welcomed more than 900 campers, most attending multiple sessions (pre-camp, general camp sessions A-D, post-camp, and specialty programs) from mid-June to late August. Summer camp was at its intended capacity except for a small handful of open spots. d’Arbeloff credits the growth of the summer team for making it such a special summer for all those campers and their families.
“For many of our camp staff, this was their third year working with at Belmont Day,” d’Arbeloff said, noting that camp was closed in 2020. “They’ve grown from fresh counselors in the summer of 2021 to experienced staff ready for more challenges. This helped our program progress and become more dynamic as they are more comfortable and confident working with campers and planning fun activities for them.”
The 2023 summer team brought the camper experience to new heights by returning to camp traditions and creating new offerings. Overnights were once again an option for the Pioneer campers, Hot Halloween included a new haunted house building program, and the STEM camp expanded with Coding for Campers.
“The overnight returned after a three-year hiatus due to COVID. It was awesome to have our oldest campers spend a magical evening at BDS,” d’Arbeloff said. “They enjoyed a variety of crafts during ‘crafternoon,’ completed an epic scavenger hunt, and had an evening swim before watching a movie together and sleeping in the Barn!”
“Also, we expanded our special events this summer,” d’Arbeloff said. “Natalie Murphy ’16 did an amazing job of making them more consistent throughout the session and having more cross-group activities and competitions to keep the spirit and vibes high.”
Despite the rainy days, Summer 2023 will be remembered as sunny and warm, thanks to our campers and staff’s joy, laughter, and smiles. Thank you to our campers and their families for being a part of the Belmont Day Summer Camp community.
The summer team is already thinking about Summer 2024. If you are too, registration will open after the first of the year. We’ll keep you posted!
“We have some fun ideas for new programs, special events, and guests. It should be another awesome summer at camp in 2024!” d’Arbeloff said.