Happiness is… Harbor Camp!

Story by Waterfront Alliance

Before the new school year begins, the Waterfront Alliance will send more than 4,000 kids out to the water on Harbor Camp trips. They’ll have raised the sails on the Clipper City, checked out the fighter jets atop the aircraft carrier Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, fished courtesy of the Hudson River Park Trust, observed plankton under microscopes at The River Project, waved to the Statue of Liberty from the deck of the Pioneer, and more.

With the goal of opening children’s eyes to the wonder and fun of New York Harbor and its waterways and waterfronts, Harbor Camp is a longstanding Waterfront Alliance program sponsored by the Alcoa Foundation, TD Charitable Foundation, the Paula del Nunzio Balser and Paul F. Balser Sr. Family Foundation, and the Peter R. & Cynthia K. Kellogg Foundation, as well as many generous individual donors. By the end of this summer, nearly 20,000 children will have passed gleefully through this program.

Marc Santora’s kids at the Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center, ages 5 through 13, went aboard the Intrepid and the South Street Seaport Museum’s schooner Pioneer. “They had a really good time,” Mr. Santora said. “At the Intrepid, they got to see what life was like for sailors when the Intrepid was an actual ship. They even got to see simulators, so they had a sense of what it would be like to drive a boat like that. Our older kids went on the Pioneer and learned how to put up sails and take them down. They learned what it took to be a sailor in the in 1880s. They learned how to tie knots, they got to see some of the wildlife that lived in the harbor, and they sailed!”

This summer, the Waterfront Alliance was pleased to expand Harbor Camp, welcoming several new youth groups to the program. And in a special extra gift to Harbor Camp participants, + POOL, an initiative to build the world’s first water-filtering floating pool for New York City waters, provided learn-to-swim scholarships for children from the Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center.