Camp Danbee is located in Western Massachusetts in the small New England town of Hinsdale. The camp is set in the beautiful Berkshire Mountains, on Lake Ashmere. We are just three hours from the New York/New Jersey Metropolitan area, and two hours from Boston.
Brothers, Jay and Mark Toporoff are the Directors of Danbee. The Toporoffs are educators and have years of experience working with children and young adults. Jay and Mark have an extensive background in camping. They were former campers, counselors, and key staff members at one of Danbee’s brother camps. They devote their time and energy year-round to planning and implementing programs for each summer. Danbee’s directors are actively involved in both the American Camping Association and the Western Massachusetts Camping Association. They also are committed to philanthropic work with America’s Camp (for kids impacted by 9/11) and Camp Sea Stars North ( for kids impacted by the events of 12/14 in Newtown, CT).
Camp Danbee is divided into three separate camps: Campus (girls finishing 1st through 5th grade,) Acres (girls finishing 6th through 8th grade,) and Wel-B-Yon (girls completing 9th grade.) An experienced Head Counselor and an Assistant Head Counselor coordinate each of these smaller camps. In addition, each age group is supervised by a Group Leader. Eight to ten girls and three counselors live in each cabin. Camp activities are scheduled so that girls participate with girls in their own age group. Fun and exciting all-camp special events and evening activities throughout the summer bring the entire camp together. These activities include: Camp Leagues, Camp Sing, July 4th Talent Show and many evening activities.
The majority of Danbee’s campers come from the NewYork/New Jersey Metropolitan area. In addition, campers from Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Florida and as far away as Colorado, California, the Caribbean, Europe and South America attend Danbee.
Danbee girls, up until the age of 11, are required to wear the official camp uniform. Our older girls wear Danbee uniforms three days a week and are required to wear solid color (non-designer) clothing on non-uniform days.. The purpose of the uniform is to eliminate the pressure and the resulting competition that girls can often feel about “what to wear” at camp.
Danbee’s program is designed to enable every girl to feel successful. Our program allows campers with diverse athletic, fine art, dance, gymnastic and aquatic abilities to grow and learn new skills throughout the summer. We don’t have tryouts or “A” and “B” teams. Girls who are interested have the opportunity to participate in inter-camp games throughout the summer.
Clinics and specialty electives include horseback riding, ice hockey, basketball, soccer, softball, gymnastics, dance, field hockey, tennis, golf, lacrosse, water-skiing, sailing and cycling. Our philosophy is to help each girl learn by concentrating on skill building and teamwork with professional instruction.
Danbee offers a well-rounded program. Activities on our waterfront include: water skiing, sailing, windsurfing, canoeing, kayaking and fishing. Girls swim in the lake, as well as in our two heated pools. Danbee provides campers the opportunity to express their individual artistic interests in a variety of arts and crafts studios and theatrical productions.
Other popular activities at Danbee include: woodcraft, cooking, archery, ropes and climbing wall, nature, outdoor camping and hiking. Offering over 30 different activities Danbee gives each girl the chance to explore new challenges and specialize in activities she enjoys most.
Each camper at Danbee has choice in the daily schedule. Our younger girls (finishing 1st through 4th grade) have a limited amount of choice, as we want them to take advantage of everything the camp offers. Senior campers (finishing 5th through 9th grade), have a completely individual, choice-based program. All girls are required to participate in a full schedule, but choice gives them the opportunity to focus on and enjoy their favorite activities. The program provides girls with diverse abilities and interests the opportunity to thrive.
Danbee’s health care staff consists of four nurses and a physician that cover our health center seven days a week and 24 hours a day. During orientation the health care staff reviews each of our camper’s medical history and medications. Sick call is held after breakfast and before dinner, but campers who are ill are escorted to the health center by their counselor at any time. Children receive routine medications at mealtime and bedtime according to the documentation on their health history. Local physicians attend to campers who need to see a specialist. Our doctors are affiliated with the Berkshire Medical Center, a satellite hospital of UMASS Medical, located 15 minutes from camp.
Parents are always called when a child stays overnight in the health center, needs to see a specialist or needs to be started on prescription medication. We also contact parents or the emergency contact person immediately in the event of an accident or injury. In addition, our campers are checked weekly by our nursing staff to ensure that hygiene and health is maintained.
Throughout the summer,our teenage campers have regular socials with our brother camps Mah-Kee-Nac and Winadu. The number and format of the socials depends on the camper’s age.Teenage girls are encouraged to develop friendships with the boys at our brother camps. Interactive programs are offered along with dance socials.
Danbee’s menu is designed to appeal to girls. Our food service and chefs provide a large variety of nutritious and well-prepared selections; and alternatives, including vegetarian options, are available at every meal. Three large salad bars and a daily pasta selection are offered at both lunch and dinner. Snacks during the day and at bedtime include fresh fruit and other healthy choices. Danbee is “nut safe” which means that we may occasion offer nut products at special events When that occurs alternative nut-free snacks are always served then as well.
Bus transportation is available from Northern & Central New Jersey, Long Island, New York City, Westchester, Philadelphia and Boston. Our counselors escort campers on flights from Washington, D.C., Florida and the Dominican Republic. A member of our senior staff meets girls from other locations at the Albany and Hartford Airports.
Parents may call their daughters at specified times twice during the summer. Each girl is required to write home at least three times per week, and we ask parents to write almost every day. Emails may also be sent through the Danbee web site. If you ever have a question or concern, you are encouraged to call one of the directors anytime throughout the summer. eLetters are also offered through our myDanbee system. This alternative offers more immediate email communication with your child to occur.
One of our directors meets every girl who is planning to attend Danbee. Spending time with our campers in their home environment assists us in getting to know each girl and contributes to her adjustment to camp. We also host a new camper luncheon on the first Sunday in May at a New York Metropolitan Area hotel. New campers are contacted by a Danbee Pen Pal, a current camper, who makes the new camper feel welcome before the summer and upon arrival at camp.
We encourage all new families to meet with a Danbee director and make their decision during the fall while space is still available. If you are considering camp for the following summer, we suggest you visit camp while it is in session. We offer daily tours and on most weekends we offer “Discovery Days” (10:30 AM to 1:30 PM) where girls participate in camp activities with other prospective campers while parents tour camp and meet with the directors. Once you have chosen Danbee for your daughter, fill out our on-line application form available at www.campdanbee.com. We will send you all the pertinent information regarding transportation, visiting days, trips, clothing and other pre-camp information.
Feel free to contact us if you have questions or would like more information about Camp Danbee: 973-402-0606.