Gersh Academy @ West Hills Day Camp
Long Island’s premier summer day camp program for children diagnosed with autism Spectrum disorders and other neurobiological disorders.
Gersh Academy, with over 28 years of experience helping children with special needs, has expanded to create the ultimate summer day camp program for children on the autism spectrum. Located on 18 acres of Long Island’s beautiful North Shore, Gersh Academy @ WHDC offers children on the autism spectrum the opportunity to participate in a traditional summer camp experience while receiving the support necessary to be in a mainstream setting.
- Small groups and appropriate ratios
- Certified special education teachers
- Placement based on social, emotional and intellectual capabilities
- Support for development of social skills, life skills, and independence
Gersh Academy @ WHDC offers a full lineup of exciting activities:
- Ropes Course
- Radio Production
- Digital Photography
- Fishing & Boating
- Arts & Crafts
- and so much more!
NEW for Summer 2020:
Week 9 – Respite Care at West Hills Day Camp!
We know that the week between camp ending and school starting can be challenging for families if your children fall out of routine while prepping for the new school year. That is why we’ve created this uniquely designed Week 9 Respite Care, from August 24 – 28, 2020.
The program will be run by our highly experienced Gersh Academy staff and will include:
- Social programming
- School transitioning
- Social activities
- Instructional and free swim
Drop off is at 9am and pickup is at 4 pm with free before and after care 7:30-9:00 am, 4:00-6:00 pm
Please call 631-427-6700 for more information or to enroll!
Our small group ratios and staff professionals ensure each camper is having fun in a safe, nurturing environment that fosters social skills, life skills, interpersonal skills and independent living skills while building friendships and promoting personal growth
Positive Social Interaction
Gersh Academy @ WHDC encourages positive social interaction with peers, mentors, and role models. Campers learn how to properly interact with others in an organic, safe, and loving environment.
The friendships made at Gersh Academy @ WHDC last a lifetime. Through shared experience, struggle, and achievement, bonds are formed between campers and counselors that help shape each campers character.
Whether it is conquering a fear of heights on a rock climb or working together in a team sport, campers learn social skills that teach them to navigate the challenges of life through cooperation and teamwork. One of the most important lessons any child can learn is how to communicate their needs to others and work as a group to achieve common goals.
Communication With Families
The level of direct communication with our director is unparalleled by any camp. As our director always says: “Our staff is here for your kids, I’m here for YOU”. Spend your summers with the reassurance of knowing exactly what your child is doing and learning, how they are growing each day, and that they are under the care and guidance of experts in the field of special needs education. Our campers are not just campers- they’re our family.
After campers have gone through our program, Gersh Academy @ WHDC sets them up to be future leaders, role models, and managers. The counselor-in-training program teaches job and leadership skills such as time management, task execution, teamwork, and delegation. There are few quicker ways to instill maturity, pride, and a sense of confidence in a child than putting them in a position of responsibility and showing them they have the inherent skills to succeed at it.
“I just want to thank all of you for making our son’s first camp experience truly one to remember. From day one he came home with the biggest smile on his face, and it never went away. As parents, this meant more than you could imagine, especially when opportunities like these are so limited for our special children to participate. We look forward to doing this again next summer.”
“Thomas has learned so much since being a part of the Gersh family. He participated in activities I NEVER thought possible including zip lining and high jumping on the trampoline. He was trusting of the staff immediately, as were my husband and I. He interacted with other campers so nicely. Thomas absolutely loved the entire experience….. including the bus ride there, to all the special things everyone did for Thomas to make him feel comfortable; having his favorite French fries for him at lunch and sending us amazing pictures throughout the day. The time Thomas spent at Gersh Academy @ WHDC was truly an amazing experience as I could tell by the smile on his face every day when he got off the bus. I encourage ALL parents who have a child on the autism spectrum to choose Gersh for their child. We CANNOT wait for next summer!!!!!””
How To Enroll
Like countless children on Long Island, every child deserves the amenities and opportunities for personal growth and exploration offered by a traditional day camp program. Gersh Academy @ WHDC ensures that each child’s needs will be met by an educated, experienced and professional staff.
This camp is currently closed. Please see here for more information.
Even if you’re still unsure if Gersh Summer Program is the right option for your child, give us a call. We offer a number of other programs, such as schools, housing, and life-skills programs that may help. A quick call could change your and your child’s life.