What Sets Sandy Hollow Camp Apart From Other Day Camps | Hamptons Moms

How many years has Sandy Hollow been in existence?

This year, Sandy Hollow will celebrate its 52nd season.


You are a traditional day camp. What does that mean? Walk me through a camper’s typical day.

We begin each day with The Pledge of Alliance and a morning greeting followed by brief announcements. Through our structured, well-planned schedule, our campers are able to participate in a multitude of experiences including arts and crafts, tennis lessons, instructional and free swim, sports, games, yoga and gymnastics training, and music. Circle games and storytime are favorites for our younger groups.

Your age range for camp? (youngest age – oldest age)

Our campers range from 2.5 to 14 years of age.


Do you offer bus service options?

Yes, we offer door-to-door transportation.


Tell me about your art program.

Children engage in daily creative experiences with an art specialist using paint, canvas, fabric, clay, mosaic tile, and a variety of other art and craft media. Campers take pride in creating expressive art and bringing home painted canvases, sculptures, weaving, tie-dye, and other projects. Our annual art show during week eight provides young artists with a memorable opportunity to display and speak about their favorite works of art. It is well-attended and has become a favorite Sandy Hollow tradition.


Who are the camp counselors? What’s the ratio of campers to counselors?

Our counselors are mainly certified teachers, graduate and college students. Older high school students may assist some groups. Many counselors are former campers who return year after year. While ratios are dependent upon group size, generally our youngers groups are led by three counselors while older campers usually have two counselors per group. Additional counselors are assigned as needed.


What is your camp motto?

At Sandy Hollow, we believe in safety, fun, learning and of course… “the golden rule.”


What sets you apart from other camps?

The beauty of our program is that there is a universal appeal. There is truly something to interest every camper; from the gifted athlete and the budding artist to the swimming enthusiast or the camper who simply enjoys fun in the great outdoors with friends. Sandy Hollow is a special place where all children succeed and enjoy the camp experience.


What do you believe is the secret to camp longevity on the east end of Long Island?

Our secret to camp longevity is the longstanding Hughes family tradition which began with our parents, Benita and Bill, two teachers who loved and dedicated their lives to children. They believed that sound physical programs and creative activities are essential to a child’s growth and development. This perspective remains the cornerstone of our program. Throughout the years, generations of Sandy Hollow families have brought their children, nieces, nephews, grandchildren and friends back to us for an authentic day camp experience infused with good teaching, values and standards that some fondly refer to as “old-school.” We continually strive to give back to the community that has supported us for half a century. 


What do you think is the most important thing for children to experience in summer camp?

It is our hope that all campers participate in a range of social, active, and creative experiences that bring joy, build confidence and foster personal development.


What kinds of practices or behaviors do you value as a camp that you hope will be a common thread amongst the campers?

We strive to promote an inclusive atmosphere where respect and tolerance are expected. It is important that campers celebrate cultural diversity as well as personal differences and uniqueness. At Sandy Hollow, campers are encouraged to participate and try new activities that emphasize team-building and cooperation. We practice peer mentoring, where campers help one another in activities or skills in which they excel. Our goal every summer is to build a community where all of the campers feel equally important and valued.


What do you think is so special about the east end of Long Island?

There aren’t too many places in this country that feature proximity to both beaches and farms. The fresh air and magical light are unmatched. The diverse population that migrates to the Hamptons every summer promotes a unique blend of those who appreciate the east end.


Do you do anything with the campers that’s typical or unique to the east end of Long Island?

Fond memories of Sandy Hollow summers include shows at the Parrish Art Museum, trips to the Cornell Cooperative Farm in Yaphank, bowling trips to Riverhead, and Hampton’s mini golf, of course! 


What’s your favorite part about the east end?

The beauty and serenity of the east end make us feel as though we are in a peaceful, idyllic haven. 


What’s your favorite month in the Hamptons?

Our favorite month is either June or July, depending upon the first scheduled day of camp. We look forward to reuniting with returning campers as well as meeting new families at the start of each summer. The excitement on the children’s faces radiates throughout the grounds as we all look forward to a full summer of fun.


What is your favorite thing to do out east?

We love spending time as a family. We are lucky to work and play at the camp, a place that holds special memories and represents our legacy.


Favorite places for families out east?

We love everything about the east end. Some of our family favorites include: swimming at Big Fresh Pond, watching the fireworks at North Sea Fire Department’s annual carnival, horseback riding at Deep Hollow Ranch in Montauk, visiting the aquarium in Riverhead, enjoying a scoop of ice cream at The Fudge Company in Southampton Village and a trip to the Shinnecock Reservation to see the annual Powwow on Labor Day weekend.


Favorite place for dinner on the east end?

We always enjoy our picnic dinners from La Parmigiana and Clamman on the deck of Coopers Beach as the sun sets.


What do you want our readers to know about Sandy Hollow that we haven’t covered in this interview?

When you entrust your child to us, please be assured that we will care about every aspect of their camp experience. It’s truly a nurturing, family-centered environment with a personal touch. We know every camper and parent by name. As owners and directors, we are always on-site and take a hands-on approach. Sandy Hollow is the longest consecutively, family owned and operated day camp on the east end of Long Island. We are a part of Hampton’s history!

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