Our Philosophy: Igniting the Spark of Genius in Every Camper

Dwight Summer Day Camp embraces the same philosophy as Dwight School, which customizes the experience for each student based on individual interests and passions. We call this igniting the “spark of genius” in every child. Through a wide range of age-appropriate programs ― including our specialty “spark” camps ― children can explore, discover what they enjoy doing, and pursue that passion while also making friends and having fun.

Dwight is committed to developing the whole child — mind and body — and we believe camp provides a crucial opportunity for kids to focus on activities they can’t get to in the classroom.

Chancellor Stephen Spahn

Dwight’s Summer Camp has deep roots just like the School; both are connected to the Spahn family, which has an impressive history in education and in the summer camp industry. Chancellor Stephen Spahn has led Dwight for nearly 50 years, making him the longest-serving head of an independent school in New York City. His father, Dr. M.C. Spahn, served as Headmaster before him. He also directed Camp Winaukee in New Hampshire from 1938–1975, and Tripp Lake Camp in Maine from 1958–1982.  In addition, Dr. Spahn served as president of the Association of Private Camps.

Physical fitness and teamwork were central to the Spahn family camp philosophy and remain so today. Dr. Spahn, who had been a professional basketball player, was referred to by all campers as “Coach.” Camp was, after all, a great place in which to build self-confidence while learning to work collaboratively. An elite staff coached the campers; and Chancellor Spahn, who grew up and worked in his family’s summer camps, learned how critical an outstanding staff is to maintaining the highest standards.

To this end, he recruited Chiarna Morton, formerly Director of Youth and Family Programs of the YMCA of Greater New York, to head Dwight’s Summer Day Camp. Ms. Morton draws from years of experience and expertise in the industry, and has crafted programs for your children that reflect the Dwight philosophy. The result is a camp that provides a fun and safe environment where each camper can nurture his or her passion, make friends, and grow. 

 

As seen in New York Family magazine ...

"One camp tradition that ranks among my favorites is color war. A time-honored and universal tradition, color war just says 'camp!' It’s a great way to end the summer on a high note, and provides campers with the opportunity to use the skills they’ve learned or honed over the preceding weeks. I am reminded how far campers can come by one in particular, who was afraid of the water at the beginning of the summer. By the time color war came around, she jumped into the pool and completed the challenge with a huge smile on her face. We’ve started a fun, new tradition called 'Sundaes on Mondays.' We kick off the week with build-your-own ice cream sundaes, which kids love to create as much as eat!" 
— Chiarna Morton, Dwight Summer Camp

 

Summer Camp Tour

Dwight Summer Day Camp embraces the same philosophy as Dwight School, which customizes the experience for each student based on individual interests and passions. We call this igniting the “spark of genius” in every child. Through a wide range of age-appropriate programs ― including our specialty “spark” camps ― children can explore, discover what they enjoy doing, and pursue that passion while also making friends and having fun.
 

Dwight Athletic Center

 2116 First Avenue, New York, NY 10029

by phone: + 917-551-6430

by e-mail: director@dwightsummercamp.org

Located on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, Dwight is a coed summer day camp for children ages 4-12, offering a fun mix of sports, arts, and specialty programs. Choose from one to ten weeks.