Students Experience Outdoor Adventure and Teen Holiday Sleep-Away ProgramThe Holiday Sleep-Away Program (HSAP) and the Teen Holiday Sleep-Away Program (T-HSAP) took place in February 2023, at Hands in 4 Youth (the home of Camp Vacamas) in West Milford, NJ. Seventy-four youth attended HSAP and 63 teens attended the camp, which included activities like making s’mores around the camp fire, high and low rope challenge courses, maple syruping, movie nights, debate, robotics, archery, games, team sports, hiking, outdoor recreation, nature exploration and big brother/sister mentorship activities with the HSAP participants.
The HSAP and the T-HSAP offer fun and educational experiences during the winter and spring breaks from school. HSAP serves youth ages 8 to 12, engaging kids in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) activities, arts and crafts and nature exploration to help nurture personal development and academic enrichment. T-HSAP provides teens ages 13 to 17 opportunities to build leadership skills and participate in team-building experiences including sports and games, debate and outdoor recreation.
The HSAP and T-HSAP Winter Session Satisfaction Survey was emailed to members on March 3, 2023.

  • There was a 38% response rate and members said:
    • Their child liked/loved his/her camp experience (96%).
    • It’s likely/extremely likely they will apply for the program again (89%).
    • Some member testimonials:
      • “My child couldn’t stop talking when she got back, she was talking about everything with a smile on her face. And that makes me happy.”
      • “We are extremely grateful to everyone who made this experience a great one. For helping stay calm and to put our fears and anxieties aside. Now we camper and parent can reassure others that the best thing is to give it a try. Thanks so much 1199SEIU HSAP and Hands In 4 Youth.”
      • “My child came home and immediately shared how much she loved everything about Hands in 4 Youth. I know my child and when she loves something she will go on and on about it until the next time. She is impatiently awaiting to return in April for the spring session. She’s made new friends and talks to them daily. Thank you!”
  • Ninety-four of the Winter Session attendees were expected to return for the spring session, which ran from April 10-14.