Camp Ockanickon to provide before and after school programs

Providing youth with opportunities to continue to learn and engage in meaningful activities at the end of the school day can boost their academic success.

To help motivate and inspire kids to learn, Camp Ockanickon offers before and after school programs to school-aged children throughout the Medford, Medford Lakes and Shamong School Districts. The programs are based in the schools themselves, offering parents convenience and affordability, while providing children with a safe and secure environment.

The programs combine homework help with play and age-appropriate activities, all supervised by the trained and experienced staff of Camp Ockanickon, a trusted 106-year-old non-profit organization serving more than 10,000 children annually through a variety of rewarding programs.

During the school year, 15.1 million U.S. children are left unsupervised after 3 p.m., according to the Afterschool Alliance, a nonprofit public awareness advocacy organization.

With the start of the new school year, Camp Ockanickon encourages parents to make sure that children are involved in safe, educational experiences after school.

“At Ockanickon, we believe all kids deserve the opportunity to discover who they are and what they can achieve,” said Keith VanDerzee, CEO. “In our before and after school programs, youth are cultivating values, skills and relationships and have an extra support system that encourages them to achieve success.”

Studies show participation in before and after school programs helps boost school attendance and academic performance and reduces gaps in academic achievement among children from disadvantaged households.

YMCA before and after school programs promote a love for learning, social and emotional development, character and creativity. In Camp Ockanickon’s afterschool programs youth receive help with homework, team building and communication skills activities, craft projects, special events, literacy help, and most importantly, encouragement and care from professional staff who strive to be role models. Financial assistance is available to those in need, to ensure every child and teen has the opportunity to learn and grow.

For more information about Camp Ockanickon’s before and after school programs, please contact MaryAnn Birchler, School’s Out Director, at 609–654–8225 or visit