About this project
Hello Happy Campers,
Welcome to our Kickstarter page. We're building a one of a kind campground right here in New York City, and we need your help.
For more than a year we've been researching, designing and drumming up support for Camp Rockaway; a quiet, relaxing camping experience on the shores of New York's original seaside retreat.
Historical Context, Modern Amenities
Recreational camping in Rockaway was popularized at the turn of the century. The first wave of development brought bathing clubs (basically beach clubs), boardwalks, hotels, tent communities and roller coasters to Rockaway Beach in the early 1900's.
Today, a new wave of creative business owners are rebuilding and revitalizing Rockaway. Re-imagined for a new century, Camp Rockaway fuses beach camping heritage with modern amenities.
Safari-style canvas tents are carefully situated in a quiet, beautifully landscaped campground overlooking Jamaica Bay. Each tent comes fully furnished; like a hotel (with real beds, crisp white sheets and summer-weight blankets) only lots more fun. Amenities include private fire pits, outdoor showers and hot tubs overlooking the bay.
Camp Rockaway means you don't have to end your day at the beach with a hot subway ride home. Unwind in a hammock. Send a postcard or browse the visitor's guide to see what else Rockaway has to offer. You'll find great restaurants, night life, cultural events, and the requisite long walk on the beach.
Camping gets everyone STOKED
Camp Rockaway is especially excited to host kids participating in STOKED, an innovative action sports mentoring program that's been teaching low income and under served kids to surf in New York City for over 9 years. With programs from Harlem to Coney Island, STOKED has reached over 3,500 youths through after school programming and weekend programs of skating, snowboarding and surfing. Part of your pledge goes towards sponsoring a STOKED participant for a one night stay with his and her peers at Camp Rockaway. In exchange for your pledge you will receive a hand written thank you letter for sending a kid to camp.
Visitorship as Stewardship
Since Superstorm Sandy, some of the world’s most talented design professionals have worked to envision solutions that increase resilience across the Sandy-affected region. Rockaway has received a great deal of attention and Camp Rockaway is excited to implement a low-impact, environmentally sensitive approach to the rebuilding effort. Our design/build team is LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified and proficient installers of green-building strategies. A key component of our mission is to foster the positive economic effects of visitorship and minimize the negative impact on the environment. Part of your pledge goes directly towards reinvigorating one of New York City’s most unique and naturally beautiful places. Camping is all about connecting with nature, and camping in the city is all about realizing just how special and important our natural environment is.
We've done the research, confirmed the feasibility and built our business plan. Now we need your help to move forward with Design Development and Construction Documents. These drawings (required for filing the plans with the NYC Dept. of Buildings) take time and money. The good news is we're professionals who know exactly what's required. We've got the talent and the experience to make it happen, but we need your help to continue.
A huge thanks to our backers and a super-huge thanks to everyone who's pitched in so far; these are the folks who have designed, consulted and contributed their invaluable resources to bring Camp Rockaway to where it is today: Sandea Green-Stark, Toby Sheppard-Bloch, Katice Helinski, Nick Rada, Cortney Walleston, Lukas Huffman, Claire Molloy, Davina Grincevicius, Branden Poe, Gareth Mahon, Vivian Carter, Jesse Huffman, Rich Watts, Ryan Thacker, Steve Larosiliere, Abi Stock, Kyle Stock, Younglan Tsai, Jodie Gatlin, Louise Ma, Jen Poyant, Beth Perkins, Mauricio Espinosa. Thank you all.
Risks and challenges
This project is a bit out of the box, and although we already have a lot of support from residents, local business owners and city officials, we need to be realistic about the challenges of implementing a campground in NYC. We’ve identified as many potential obstacles as possible; from safety concerns to mosquitoes, and we’re up to the task. As designers and builders we are constantly looking a few steps ahead. We’ve posted information about many of the challenges we anticipate in the FAQ section below. Please feel free to contact us with additional questions.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
No. As much as we love the idea, camping on the beach is not permitted. The tent colonies of the early 1900s made it happen, but we can't pull it off in 2014. What we can do is look for compelling sites on the bay side of the peninsula which has a lot to offer in and of itself. The views are spectacular, the water is calm and the fishing, boating and birdwatching is top notch. Camp Rockaway will be a short walk from the subway and a quick bike ride to the beach.
Bathrooms are pretty basic out here in the wilderness. Just kidding. Bathhouses equipped with flush toilets, hot water, indoor and outdoor showers (your choice!) will be in close proximity to each tent site and the paths will be illuminated at night.
Yes. Take the A train all the way to the beach. You can get there by ferry and by bus too! JFK airport is directly across the bay. And Rockaway is a part of Queens, (so all of us from Queens already know how to get there). For the more intrepid traveler, the bike ride is an adventure.
Camp Rockaway will have every safety precaution in place to make your stay with us as peaceful and enjoyable as possible.
As long as possible. We’ve been keeping tabs on the weather over the past few years with this question in mind. We plan to open in May and host guests through September, but there’s a very good chance we’ll extend the season so we can open earlier and close later. Hot tubs and campfires are reason enough to go camping in early October.
Sleeping in a new place poses challenges for even the most rugged campers. And while we expect you to be excited about staying with us, we want to do everything we can to make sure you get a good night’s rest. Please bring whatever tools and tricks you use at home; a white noise machine, a sleep mask, that full body pillow… Earplugs are complimentary.
Yes! We welcome families and look forward to having you and your children camp with us.
Support this project
- (30 days)