Middletown Goshen Convalescent Children's Home (DBA Braeside Camp) Has been in existence since approximately 1897. It began as a place for children to come and recover from tuberculosis in the great outdoors. Created by an immigrating Scottish couple (Mr. and Mrs. Corbett) looking to honor the life of their child who died from Tuberculosis, the camp served mainly as a fresh air health camp for children from New York City at it's inception.
It was around the mid 1930's, in the wake of their deaths from the disease, that the camp transitioned over to a not for profit organization dedicated to providing an authentic, enriching and educational overnight camp experience for kids in the Orange County area who might not otherwise be able to afford such an experience.
It is our belief that the unique experience of being away for a sustained period of time allows for profound developmental growth through all of the experiential opportunities that occur. It has also come to light that with the tremendous amount of pressure put on schools to have children perform to todays stringent academic standards our programs provide children with all of the social emotional and behavioral skill building that used to be inherent in their primary school experience
Braeside's five core programs are swim instruction, nature/environmental education, Therapeutic Arts, and Cooperative Games/Sporta. We also offer a 5th specialty class our children choose from that includes creative writing, dance, drama, multi media, exercise and nutrition, cooking and yoga to name a few. We also offer a newly added Kinder Camp that integrates creative and engaging learning activities into the daily schedule. This program targets a select cohort of hand picked local Kindergarten students requiring some remediation prior to moving on to the first grade. Our Kinder camp has proven successful in jump starting these kids towards a much more positive and successful transition to what is now a very difficult 1st grade level.
We promote the philosophy of unconditional positive regard and direct staff each day to catch children who reflect the Braeside Bees (Bee Respectful, Bee Responsible, Bee Kind) and they are called upon and praised during meal times for these daily achievements. We recently integrated the Olweus Bully Prevention Model that teaches the value of diversity.
The camp is truly a collaborative agency serving the community in a variety of ways. Braeside hires 6-8 staff members each year through the summer youth employment program giving low income teens an exciting vocational experience. Braeside works with Big Brothers Big Sisters, Newburgh Schools Homeless Liason, Middletown Homeless Shelter, Astor, OC Youth Bureau and School personnel throughout Orange County to recruit children in need who would benefit from the experience of being away at summer camp. We have established relationships with Mt St. Marys, OCCC and Orange Ulster Boces to recruit the very best up and coming career minded staff looking to have careers working with children so that our campers receive the best care and attention. Braeside also has longstanding volunteer service commitments from Middletown, Chester and Minisink Kiwanis, Goshen and Middletown Rotary, The O.C. Jr League, O.C. Probation, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Mechanicstown Fire Company, Orange County Rentals, The Dyson Foundation and the Orange County Jr League.