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Most of our campers attend for 4 weeks, though a two-week session is a great way to try our traditional camp program for the first time. Sessions can be combined in order to stay for 6 or 8 weeks.
Combinable sessions allow your family maximum flexibility! See Dates & Rates page to find the sessions that work best for your family.
Appel Farm Arts Camp is located 30 minutes south of Philadelphia and 2.5 hours from New York City and Washington D.C. in beautiful, rural southern New Jersey.
Appel Farm Arts Camp
457 Shirley Road
P.O. Box 888
Elmer, NJ 08318
We’d love to meet you, take you on a tour, and answer your questions about Camp!
Registering your child for camp at Appel Farm is easy! You can register by phone, by mail or online with an $900 deposit to hold your child’s space.
- Call our Camp Directors, Tracy or Cara, at (856) 358-2472 or (800) 394-8478.
- Mail your Camp Registration form to Appel Farm Arts Camp, P.O. Box 888, Elmer, NJ 08318.
- Click here to register online, or for more information about registration.
Our dynamic learning program is based around a five-period day with two Majors, two Minors, and a Free Choice period. Your child’s Majors and Minors will meet for 75 minutes each, Monday through Saturday, and Free Choice will allow your child to explore other areas of the arts each afternoon, take a dip in the pool, or hang-out with friends.
Sundays are a special time for campers to take a break from their normal routine to try new things, relax, and create their own schedule of varied workshops held throughout the day.
Majors are offered every summer in core program areas: Theater Performance, Technical Theater, Music, Dance, Visual Arts, Photography, Video, Creative Writing, LEGO® Robotics and Design, Sports & Swim. All Majors classes culminate with performances and exhibitions, to which families are invited. Campers choose their Majors soon after they register for camp using the Major Selections form, and choices are guaranteed. Campers will have the option of changing their Majors during the first few days of camp.
Minors vary every summer and reflect the unique strengths of current staff. Campers can explore an art form, learn a new instrument or study a specific area in depth without the pressure of having to prepare for a performance. Several Minors are developed within each core program area. Campers choose their Minors on the first day of camp. Campers design a dynamic program centered on two Majors and two Minors that they will study six days a week for the entire session.
Acting Class, Theater Production, Theatrical Design & Set Construction, Stagecraft & Run Crew, Costume Design, Chorus, Piano, String Ensemble, Wind & Woodwind Ensemble, Brass Ensemble, Elmer Pops, Rock Band, Recording Arts, Rock Vocal Ensemble, Rockestra, Percussion Ensemble, Ballet, Modern, Jazz & Hip-Hop Dance, Painting, Drawing, Sculpture, Ceramics, Fiber Arts & Crafts, Multimedia Art & Printmaking, Journalism, LEGO® Robotics and Design, Instructional Swim, Soccer, Green Corps, Photography, Video, Creative Writing, Tennis, or Group Games.
Examples of Past Minors
Beginning Guitar Class, Rock Band, Elmer Pops, Chorus, Piano, Experimental Music, Improvisation and Comedic Acting, Musical Theater, Stage Combat, Set Design & Construction, Stage Management, Choreography, Dance for Musical Theater, Tap, Folk Dance, Murals, Color Theory, Landscape Painting, Story Art, Printmaking, Green Corps, Mosaics, Experimental Photography, Rocktography, Music Videos, Acting for the Camera, Memoir Writing, Playwriting, Journalism, Instructional Swim, Tennis, and Group Games.
Our experienced, mature counselors, all over the age of 20, are carefully chosen to be positive role models who will empower your child to gain self-confidence, awareness and independence. With over 100 professional artists and arts educators from around the world, we offer a 1:3 staff to camper ratio, so campers are always sure to receive meaningful one-on-one instruction. Our extensive staff screening process includes personal interviews, reference checks, and a background check to ensure the safety of your camper.
Camp tuition is all-inclusive, including all programming and instruction (exception Horseback Riding which has an additional fee); basic supplies and equipment; meals and healthy snacks; laundry services; healthcare; summer mementos; and transportation to and from bus and train stations in Philadelphia, or Philadelphia International Airport. Appel Farm does not require camp uniforms, and we have a strict no tipping policy.
A bus is available for campers traveling from New York City and West Orange, NJ, for a small additional fee.
Campers will need a little spending money for personal use on off-camp trips or for the canteen. Spending money will be kept in a secure account and unused funds are returned at the end of the summer. Our canteen does not sell any food or drinks, just camp merchandise, stamps, and essentials like toothpaste and batteries.
Yes! Young people, who would not otherwise have the resources to participate in Appel Farm Arts Camp, may apply for this opportunity through the Rising Young Artist Scholarship & Tuition Assistance Program.
There are several forms we need parents to fill out before campers arrive, including Major Selections, Success Form, Technology Agreement, Transportation Form, Bunk Requests, Health History, Immunization, Mental, Social, and Emotional Health, Physician’s Exam, Parent Authorization, and Additional Options. Once a camper is registered, parents will receive an e-mail with a link to our camp forms as well as the Camp Handbook, which has loads of detailed information about the Appel Farm experience for the whole family.
You may also access and complete your camp forms online via our website in the Current Parent Area.
Most camp families bring their children to camp, but we have transportation options for campers traveling alone. Appel Farm offers a chartered, chaperoned bus, for a fee, to transport campers and their luggage between New York City, NY, West Orange, NJ and camp for each 2-week session. We will also pick-up campers at Philadelphia International Airport, Amtrak 30th Street Station, or the Philadelphia Greyhound Station for campers in all sessions.
Homesickness is common in campers of all ages, and the Appel Farm community works hard throughout each session to help campers adjust to being away from home and learn coping skills. Appel Farm staff members are trained experts for campers struggling with homesickness, and will be sure to use proven strategies to nurture and empower campers to be successful away from home. We also provide a free information package called the Appel Farm Family Care Package to any camper families who are nervous about being away from home or going to camp for the first time. The package contains a DVD with the secret to a successful summer, coping tips and insider information about daily life at Appel Farm to prepare campers and their families. We find that most campers adjust to Appel Farm quickly as they make new friends and reunite with old ones.
Family Visiting Days for our 4, 6 and 8-week campers are held on the Sundays marking the midpoint of each 4-week session. These days are special opportunities for our campers to show their families around camp, participate in family workshops in the arts, and catch up on the news at home. Families are invited to join us for lunch, or may opt to take their child off camp for the day.
Families are also invited to camp performances at the end of each session.
Receiving news from home, fun e-mails, letters, and care packages is a highlight of being away at camp! Parents are encouraged to send letters and e-mails to their campers frequently throughout the session. Each day parent’s e-mails are printed out and distributed to campers with their regular mail during rest hour.
Counselors encourage campers to write letters home often and we host “Letter Writing” parties occasionally to ensure all campers are motivated to keep in touch. Parents also might receive a video “letter” from their camper via e-mail. Of course, parents can keep track of their child throughout the summer at Appel Farm by checking in often at our website where we continually update hundreds of pictures of campers in action. Parents are also always welcome to contact a Camp Director with any concerns they are having or to check in on how their child is doing.
We understand the importance of being able to contact your child in the event of an emergency. The Camp Directors live on site and are available to help your family at all times. During business hours, (Weekdays from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM) you can reach the directors by phone at (856) 358-2472 or (800) 394-8478, or you can e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org. If it is after business hours, and you have an emergency that cannot wait until morning, please call the Infirmary at (856) 358-2476. Our nurses are available 24 hours a day and can best relay an urgent message to the Camp Directors after hours.
Appel Farm campers always enjoy our beautiful 25-meter swimming pool. Campers may choose to take swim as a class to learn aquatic and safety skills based on the American Red Cross Learn-to-Swim program or they can swim every day for fun during Free Choice in the late afternoon. The pool is also open several days each week in the mornings for early-bird lap swimming and on Sunday morning and afternoon for free swim.
At the end of each session, campers perform or exhibit the art they created in their Majors, and camp families are invited to attend. Schedules for performances are sent to parents via email and posted on the camp blog as soon as they are finalized each session. All camp performances are recorded and available for purchase after camp each year.
We launder campers’ clothing and linens once a week, so put your camper’s name on everything! Mark all clothing and personal belongings. You can use iron-on transfers, indelible ink or securely sewn labels. Campers are asked to put their dirty clothes and linens into the bunk’s laundry bags, which are sent out to We Wash It Laundry Service. Laundry is washed, dried, folded and returned to the campers the next afternoon.
We ask that campers bring two sets of sheets for their bed, so they can switch out their sheets on laundry day. Campers will also need a sleeping bag for our Overnight Camping program. Linens packets including sheets, pillow cases, a blanket, towels and washcloths, as well as sleeping bags, are available at no cost for campers who are flying to camp.
A goal at Appel Farm is to make campers and staff more aware of the food we eat, the value of nutrition, and of larger concerns for the environment.
Meals are a wonderful time when campers and staff enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as afternoon and evening snacks as a community.
Meals are served buffet-style, and campers sit with their friends. The always-nutritious menu offers balance and variety that includes vegetarian options at each meal. Campers start the day with a meal that could include pancakes or breakfast sandwiches, oatmeal, fruit and granola, cold cereal or yogurt. At lunch and dinner, campers make selections of a main entrée, a vegetarian entrée, side dishes, soup, the salad bar and dessert. Fresh fruit, beverages, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are always available!
Please inform us if your camper has any food allergies, or special food requirements.
Medication is not a problem at Appel Farm. All medicine and healthcare is dispensed from the Health Center, which is staffed by two resident Camp Nurses, and a Physician who visit camp MWF. Campers visit the Health Center after meals or before bedtime to take their medications.
All of our bunks house 8-14 campers with at least 2 adult counselors. Typically, our bunks are organized by age and grade level, and campers are able to request bunkmates who are in their same age group.
Campers participate in educational trips with campers and staff in their Majors, outreach programs into the community, and even recreational trips to the beach and other fun and educational sites around New Jersey.
The entire camp community gathers every evening to enjoy an entertaining and educational activity to build community.
Some evenings we can be found participating in special events such as the Carnival, a photo scavenger hunt, dance through the decades, or even the World Fair Campfire; however, most nights the stage is lit up by performances by our campers, staff and guest artists.
We offer a Counselor In Training Program that allows 4 or 8-week campers ages 16 and 17, or campers going into 11th or 12th grade, to develop leadership experience, give back to the community, and learn basic counseling and teaching skills. CITs are still campers. Like other campers, CITs will live in a bunk, participate in majors, minors and camp events, but will also assume additional responsibilities, and earn a few special privileges and benefits.