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Turn Your Beach Day Into a Beach Stay.
Turn Your Beach Day Into a Beach Stay.
Turn Your Beach Day Into a Beach Stay.
236 backers pledged $50,789 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$50,789

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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.

Beach 96th St. Summer 1909. Courtesy Stevie S. Stevens and rockawaymemories.com
Beach 96th St. Summer 1909. Courtesy Stevie S. Stevens and rockawaymemories.com

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.

Rendering of Camp Rockaway
Rendering of Camp Rockaway

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.

Camp Rockaway postcard
Camp Rockaway postcard
Camp Rockaway rewards
Camp Rockaway rewards
Rockaway Beach (Images of America) by Vivian Carter
Rockaway Beach (Images of America) by Vivian Carter

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.

Disclaimer - your letter may contain sand and will likely smell like a campfire.
Disclaimer - your letter may contain sand and will likely smell like a campfire.
STOKED is a NYC based action sports mentoring program.
STOKED is a NYC based action sports mentoring program.
STOKED in Rockaway
STOKED in Rockaway

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.

Rockaway - renaissance and recovery
Rockaway - renaissance and recovery

Next steps: 

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.

Thanks!

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.

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FAQ

  • 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.

    Last updated:
  • 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.

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  • 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.
    Subway: http://www.mta.info/nyct
    Ferry: http://www.seastreakusa.com/viewpage.aspx…
    Bus: http://www.nycbeachbus.com/
    Bike: http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/Greenpoint-to-Far-Rockaway-beach

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  • Camp Rockaway will have every safety precaution in place to make your stay with us as peaceful and enjoyable as possible.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • Yes! We welcome families and look forward to having you and your children camp with us.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    A personal thank you note on a Camp Rockaway POSTCARD. This will look awesome on your fridge.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    We'll send you a thank you POSTCARD and a colorful, first edition, Camp Rockaway FRIENDSHIP BRACELET, because once a camper, always a camper. Wear it with pride.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    All you can eat S'MORES and unlimited BUG JUICE at our successfully funded pop-up PARTY, plus a Camp Rockaway (party edition) FRIENDSHIP BRACELET. You earned this and we can't wait to thank you in person.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    A personal thank you LETTER on Camp Rockaway stationery! All summer long we'll be partnering with programs (like STOKED) to get low income and under served kids camping in their own city. Part of your pledge will sponsor that effort and you'll get a full report from one of our lucky campers. They'll tell you about how excited they are to explore the beaches and the bay, make campfires, stargaze and sleep out in tents! We'll also send you a FRIENDSHIP BRACELET and a CAMP ROCKAWAY BANDANA to get you stoked in the near term.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    The PARTY invite, and the FRIENDSHIP BRACELET, no doubt. Plus, you're pledging yourself a spot on a historical WALKING TOUR of Rockaway Beach with Vivian Carter, author of Rockaway Beach: Images of America (Arcadia Publishing). Check out Vivian's blog and see what you're in for:

    http://rockviv.com/2014/05/01/janes-walk-2014-fifth-avenue-of-the-peninsula-beach-116th-street-and-rockaway-park-into-the-new-century/

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    The PARTY invite, a thank you POSTCARD and a signed copy of Vivian Carter's BOOK; ROCKAWAY BEACH: Images of America (Arcadia Publishing). You've also got a spot on one of Vivian Carter's historical WALKING TOURS of Rockaway Beach and a copy of the official VISITOR'S GUIDE / MAP to Camp Rockaway and the Rockaway peninsula. Continue the adventure with this awesome GUIDE.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Start packing your trunk and sewing name tags into your clothes, you are headed for CAMP! The ultimate prize, a ONE NIGHT STAY AT CAMP ROCKAWAY during our soft opening. You're a pioneer! Be one of the first to experience camping by the beach in NYC. You will have plenty to write home about, we promise.
    *Limit two persons per tent. Please contact us if you need an extra spot.

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    ALL the Camp Rockaway souvenirs (FRIENDSHIP BRACELET, BANDANA, ROCKAWAY BEACH BOOK, and VISITORS GUIDE / MAP) and ONE NIGHT STAY AT CAMP ROCKAWAY during the soft opening.
    *Limit two persons per tent. Please contact us if you need an extra spot.

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  9. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $550 or more About $550

    A TWO NIGHT STAY AT CAMP ROCKAWAY during the soft opening! Make it a real excursion. Stay two nights and bring home a summer's worth of arts and crafts projects - FRIENDSHIP BRACELET, BANDANA, ROCKAWAY BEACH BOOK, and VISITORS GUIDE / MAP.
    *Limit two persons per tent. Please contact us if you need an extra spot.

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    Reward no longer available 10 backers
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    Pledge $3,000 or more About $3,000

    CAMP ROCKAWAY IS ALL YOURS for one night during our soft opening. Invite your friends, family, office or wedding party out to the beach. It's like renting a summer house minus the close quarters and the snoring.
    *Limit 20 persons.

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,500 or more About $5,500

    CAMP ROCKAWAY IS ALL YOURS for TWO nights during our soft opening. The only thing better than a camping trip with your favorite people is a longer camping trip with your favorite people. *Limit 20 persons.

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Funding period

- (30 days)