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.
Annie Copp and Zach Aronson are the Directors of Danbee, along with Mark Toporoff. Annie and Zach met as camp staff members at a premier camp in Maine and have dedicated their careers and lives to camp ever since. Annie, Zach and Mark have a combined 75 years of experience in the camping industry and all three were educators prior to starting their careers in camping. Mark has been a part of the Danbee family since 1991 and has been a Director for 26 years, alongside his brother Jay Toporoff, who is now our Director Emeritus. They were former campers, counselors, and key staff members at one of Danbee’s brother camps. Our Directors and full-time team devote their time and energy year-round to planning and implementing programs for each summer and developing relationships with our campers and families. Danbee’s directors are actively involved in both the American Camping Association and the Western Massachusetts Camping Association.
Camp Danbee is divided into three separate areas: 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, Atlanta, Chicago, 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 and wakeboarding, sailing, paddleboarding, 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 five Registered Nurses, three student 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. Clinic 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 mealtimes 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 has a fever, in the case of a head injury, 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 periodically 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 Winadu and Mah-Kee-Nac. The number and format of the socials depend on the camper’s age. Teenage girls are encouraged to develop friendships with the boys at our brother camps. Interactive programming are offered as socials, such as trivia nights, lawn games, campfires, and gameshows.
Danbee’s menu is designed to appeal to children as well as our dedicated staff. 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 are offered at both lunch and dinner. At lunch we also have a full sandwich and panini station, and at dinner there is a Pasta Bar. Snacks during the day and at bedtime include fresh fruit and other healthy choices. Danbee is “nut safe” which means that we do not serve nut products but we do on occasion have products that may be noted as “made in a facility with nuts”. When that occurs alternative nut-free snacks are always served 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, Los Angeles 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 every other day. Emails may also be sent through the Danbee website. 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 event 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. Our goal is for each camper to already feel “Danbee-ized” prior to boarding the bus! We assign each of our campers a seat on our bus to camp to take the “who will I sit with” question off the table on arrival day.
To get in contact with a Director or Assistant Director, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our office at 413-655-8115.
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 “Discovery Tours” (10:30 AM to 12:15 PM) every Saturday and Sunday, with the exception of our Parent Visity day, where girls participate in camp activities with other prospective campers while parents tour camp and meet with the directors. Find out more about our tours HERE or book a tour HERE!
Once you have chosen Danbee for your daughter, fill out our online application form HERE. We will send you all the pertinent information regarding transportation, visiting days, trips, clothing, and other pre-camp information.
Yes. Danbee must comply with regulations of the MDPH & is licensed our local Board of Health.
Feel free to contact us if you have questions or would like more information about Camp Danbee: 413-655-8115.