Camp Moore applications for the 2019 summer “Youth Camp” sessions have been distributed to our regular families and will be submitted as they are returned. If you know anyone in the Warren, Watchung, Plainfield areas who may want to join our Special Children’s family, please contact us at [email protected] to be added to our list for this and future events.
Tucked away in the hill of the Ramapo Mountains, Elks Camp Moore offers a fun filled vacation away from home for children with special needs. A week at sleep-away Elks Camp Moore is a remarkable experience, not soon to be forgotten. The primary goal of the camp (also known to campers and their families as “Miracle on the Mountain“) is to further develop the recreational and social skills of each child. In a relaxed and accepting atmosphere, each camper experiences new adventures, lasting friendships, and opportunities that promote independence and greater self-confidence.
Scroll down for YouTube videos.
Elks Camp Moore Summer Camp sessions accept disabled individuals who are between the ages of seven and 18 years (age is the only restriction). Elks Camp Moore provides for 700-800 camper-ships each summer. Each child is sponsored by their local Elks Lodge with the FULL COST OF ATTENDANCE PAID BY THE LODGE. The children attend at no cost to their families.
The director of the camp has a background in Special Education and holds a degree in this area. The counseling and support staff are hired from the United States and other countries around the world. Over 27 countries have been represented at Elks Camp Moore over the years. The staff is fully trained before camp with ongoing training throughout the season. A large majority of the staff return from previous years and are therefore very familiar with the campers and camp life in general. The ratio of counselors to campers is usually 1:2 or 1:1.
The camp is composed of over 18 modern buildings, which are air-conditioned and fully accessible. Among the buildings stand 3 modern camper dormitories, a two story dining hall, kitchen, arts and crafts room, game room, and a fully equipped health center. The camp also contains a large heated pool that is completely wheelchair accessible. The camp holds three types of sessions:
- Youth Camp Sessions, Multiple Sessions for Campers Ages 7-12 or 13-18
- Adult Camp Session, One Session for Campers Ages 19-21
- Adult Weekend Respite, Multiple Weekends for Campers over Age 19
To learn more, you can visit the NJ State Elks Association’s website for our State Project – Camp Moore.or contact us at [email protected] — we will get you in touch with our Special Children’s Committee Chair, PDDGER Betty Volker.
The Elk Lodges of New Jersey provide advice and assistance for the caring of Special Children of every race, color, and creed. More than 88 Special Children have received college scholarships. The Elks maintain clinics, hiring competent nurses, therapists, pediatricians, psychologists, teachers, etc. to help restore children with disabilities. Operations are provided where necessary. Equipment, such as crutches, wheelchairs, walkers, hospital beds, etc. are furnished. Artificial limbs, braces, special shoes, hearing aids, are also furnished. Elk’s Camp Moore provides disabled children outdoor camping experience that would otherwise not be available.
Elks Camp Moore is not the usual disabled children’s camp as it is located in the heart of the Ramapo Mountains. The setting of the camp provides a breathtaking view of the valley below, and mountains in the distance. When a child vacations at Elks Camp Moore it is an experience they will never forget, and a view which a disabled child would not likely ever experience.
The Elk’s believe that like all children, the disabled need to go to camp for new experiences, new friends and to participate in activities that will aid them in their general growth. This Camp allows these experiences in a new environment. Elks Camp Moore’s primary function is to enable children to use and further develop recreational, social and leisure skills through activities presented in a positive, enjoyable and appropriate manner and in a real life situation.
At camp each child is challenged to try new things or to improve on what he already knows. They encourage each child to do as much as he can for himself and by himself.
The following YouTube videos have both been carefully transcribed for audiences that need Closed Captions (click on the “CC” icon along the bottom of the video). The first video was were aired by NJ 12 News in August 20 of 2010 and a separate longer production was made by “Journal.”
Below is a transcript of the “Miracle on the Mountain” video:
Tucked away on the hillside high above Rt. 287 in Haskell, NJ is Elks Camp Moore.
For 30 years, it has a fun-filled vacation get away and safe haven, for children with special needs.
For the families, it is their Miracle on the Mountain.
Stella Fellinger – Elks Camp Moore Parent
We started with having William come up here when he was around 9 years old and it was the best thing we ever did. Every time we ride up 287 and he sees Elks Camp Moore, he can’t wait to get here. And alot of the counselors here actually were campers, so they really, they expose the kids to so many things and they really try to help them in their independence and living skills.
William Fellinger – Elks Camp Moore Assistant Camp Counselor
I really like the counselors they’re always the best at organizing. The campers are so much fun to be with and I’m really enjoying it because it’s really a lot of fun.
Elks Camp Moore provides for 600 to 700 campers each summer. Each campership is sponsored by their local lodge and comes at no cost to their families. The camp is open to individuals with special needs who are between the ages of 7 and 18.
Todd Garmer – Director, Elks Camp Moore
Our campers work on a 1-to-1 or 2-to-1 ratio, so all of our campers, almost 90% of our campers have a 1-on-1 assistant with them at all times.
So alot of their job is keeping them motivated, keeping them excited, basically every activity that we do is something to clap about.
Elks Camp Moore, the NJ State Elks major charity project, has grown to great proportions since 1970. The camp has over 18 modern buildings, all air-conditioned and handicapped accessible. Among them are 3 modern camper dormitories, and a fully equipped infirmary with medical staff.
Ron Mangone – Chairman, Special Children’s Committee
When you get up here and you see that the counselors are 1-to-1 or 2-clients to 1 counselor and they are supervised 24×7, it’s a lot comforting as a parent to allow your child to come up here.
Bec Baldock – Counselor, Elks Camp Moore
I’m Bec, I’m from Australia, I work in childcare with the little kids, like with the babies and the toddlers, but out here it’s really different, like a lot more challenging I feel personally and it’s a lot more rewarding.
Malcolm McPherson – Special Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler
When you’re up here and you see the interaction between the children, the campers and the counselors, it really makes you feel a warm feeling. You see the smiles on the campers, the children’s’ faces, you see the smile with the counselors, and how they interact with one another. You see how well they work together with one another, and the smiles and the friendships they develop.
William Peltier – State President NJ State Elks Association
If you’re not a member you’ll want to become a member, because this is what it’s all about. This is what we do. We’re here for our children, and we’re here to help the kids. They put a smile on their face and more than that they put a smile on ours.
Elks Camp Moore has done so much for the special needs community, and for campers in general, and I knew that if I was going to make a difference anywhere, it was going to be here.
Not yet a member? Are you interested in making new friends, providing direct service to veterans, special children or making a difference in your community? Consider joining the Elks – come down and meet us at Watchung Hills Elks Lodge #885 – click here for our contact information and a map. Send us an email to get the ball rolling at [email protected].