First time at camp: here’s what you need to know

Hoops for Troops

Whether you are attending a camp in Rye or White Plains, use this checklist to make sure you are prepared for a fun-filled week of basketball!

  • Medications: MVP’s certified athletic trainer will collect any medications every Monday morning. When you drop off your camper, please come inside to drop off the medication and sign a consent form for the trainer to administer the medication if need be.  If you do not have medication for your child, no other health documentation is necessary.
  • Sunscreen: All age groups will be outside for a portion of the day at  our White Plains camp location this summer, although no age group will be outside more than half the day and in some locations certain age groups will only be outside for short periods of time. It will be important for children to be protected when they are outside. Our trainer will have sunscreen on hand if necessary. [The Rye camp will be indoors.  Students will have an option to practice on an outdoor court during rest time.]
  • Attire: Campers should attend the first day wearing shorts, sneakers, and a t-shirt. On the first Monday of each week, all campers will receive two MVP team t-shirts for wear the rest of the week.  Baseball hats are discouraged as they hinder peripheral vision.
  • Water bottle: Campers should bring a water bottle with their name on it to minimize the need for cups. Campers will have access to water stations on the sidelines of game areas. You are welcome to send other drinks and/or snacks as well if you choose.
  • Snacks: MVP provides lunch each day, but it is optional whether or not you’d like to send you camp with additional snacks. 
  • Backpacks:  Older students prefer keeping slides, water bottles, sweat towels, and phones in their own back pack.  Students should keep these bags labled with their name and within their proximity.  MVP doesn’t encourage campers bring valuables to camp; they can use the camp phone if there is an emergency.
  • Lunch Program: The plan is for this program to be the same as in past years but it is subject to change as we get closer to camp:
    • Monday: Plain or pepperoni pizza
    • Tuesday: Chicken Tenders
    • Wednesday: McDonald’s burgers
    • Thursday: Plain or pepporoni pizza
    • Friday: Italian subs, choice of ham and cheese, turkey and cheese, turkey no cheese, Just cheese (veggie lunch). Mayo and mustard on the side.
    • We’ll put out fresh fruit, too.
    • If you have allergies or do not like the lunch we provide, then please provide your own lunch.  We have refrigerators for brown bag lunches, but no microwave.
    • Gatorade will be served with lunch.
  • What not to bring:There are no lockers and MVP cannot be responsible for anything brought by the camper. This includes cell phones and other electronic devices. There is not a lot of time to play video games and we understand that it is difficult to separate a millenial from his / her phone.  We have had incidents of phones going missing, so we encourage you to consider letting our staff handle communications between you and your campers. You can call us anytime at (914) 946-1231.
  • Weather:  If it rains in White Plains, camper court time will be reduced.  But we still have organized plans to keep players active and engaged.  Campers will play basketball, just not as much as if we were using our outdoor courts.  If there is extreme heat, our trainer will determine when outside exercise is prohibited (based on heat index).  On hot, playable days, campers will rotate from our indoor courts to our outdoor courts.  Camper safety is our number one priority.  Our trainers are experienced dealing with the summer heat.
  • Code of Conduct:  We have three goals for all of our campers:  have fun, learn basketball, and stay safe.  Feeling safe and being safe depends on camper behavior.
    • Listen to coaching staff.  Our coaches are experienced and they know the rules of the camp and the rules of basketball.  They are also the referees during the games and will do their best to control the game.  If a camper refuses to listen to a coach or walks away from a coach, that camper will have a meeting with the camp director.  A penalty could be missing the first half of a game.
    • Do not leave the camp.  Campers cannot leave the campus and are limited in their movements on campus.  If a camper leaves the campus without permission during the camp day, he / she will be dismissed from the camp without a refund.  If a camper is found in an unsanctioned part of the campus (away from his team / age group), he/she will meet with the camp director and may miss an entire game.
    • Bully-free camp:  Every camper has the right to feel comfortable with who they are and how they play. MVP will not tolerate campers putting their hands on another person in a non-basketball manner.  Campers who throw punches will be dismissed from camp without a refund.  Trash talking will not be tolerated.  Campers who participate in trash talking will lose playing time.  If campers do not feel comfortable because another camper is doing or saying something, they need to report it to their coach, commissioner, or camp director.
  • Drop off and pick up:  New this year, parents will download an emailed MVP placard that they will complete with the last names of the campers in their carpool.  This should be displayed in the driver’s side front window at pick up time.  Our goal is to provide a safe and timely procedure where parents don’t have to leave the car (but they can choose to park also).  Each week, we will have anywhere from 75-125 cars picking up campers between 3:45 – 4:00.  We need parental understanding and patience for the system we have put in place.
    • Resurrection Middle School, 946 Boston Post Road, Rye, NY 10580
      • DROP OFF – Drivers should pull into the entrance and follow signage / camp personnel.  Note: after dropping off camper, car will exit to Milton Road.  Drivers can also drive to the Resurrection Two Year Old Program at 88 Milton Road, park their car and walk across the parking lot to drop off their campers.
      • PICK UP – Drivers can follow the same procedures as above.  Remember to have the MVP placard in the driver’s side window to assist us in delivering your campers to your car.
    • School of the Holy Child, 2225 Westchester Ave, Rye, NY 10580
      • DROP OFF and PICK UP – Follow MVP signage to the field house.  MVP Staff will be in the circle ready to deliver your child to your car.  If you’d like to park, follow signs to the field house parking lot.  Remember to have your placard in your car window.
    • Highlands Campus at White Plains Middle School, 128 Grandview, White Plains, NY 10605 –  NOTE:  This address will take you to the front of the school and a parking lot where you can park your car.  The camp entrance is in the back of the school.
      • DROP OFF and PICK UP – School bus and staff entrance across from 5 Hartsdale Road, White Plains.  There will be MVP signage to highlight the entrance.  Use this entrance to drop off and pick up.  Be patient as there may be a line forming.  If so, patiently fall into line (especially at pick up).  Have the MVP placard in the window of your car.  Some drivers prefer lining up at 3:30 for pick ups.  We will try to start the cars moving by 3:40.  If you pick up at 3:59, you are not late.  Don’t let your kids bully you!  It does take time to safely dismiss 200 campers.

We are glad that you chose to send your child to our camp and we look forward to seeing you soon!

Celebrating our 25th year!!!

This summer MVP Basketball Camp will celebrate its 25th year serving the youth in and around Westchester County!  It’s hard to believe that over 25,000 children have attended our camp over the years; 6000 campers have been given full scholarships.  This was Stan Greene’s mission when he founded the camp in 1994.  As a non-profit camp, MVP’s goal is to bring together the youth from all parts of our diverse community; this includes those children whose families could not afford a camp tuition. (read more about our scholarship program in a previous post).

MVP Basketball Camp has had many locations in our 25 years but the Highlands School in White Plains is our home.  In 1995, we began our mission and story with two weeks of camp at Highlands and two weeks at Greenwich (Ct) High School.  Most of our campers were from Westchester and we formed a great relationship with the White Plains School District, so we settled into the Highlands School for the next decade.  When we looked to expand (north), the Fox Lane Campus in Bedford provided an excellent environment for Northern Westchester youth.  We even spent two summers at North Salem Middle / High School.  Over the last four years, we added the Resurrection School in Rye to our rotation.  When the Highlands school became unavailable, we found courts in White Plains at Ebersol Rink (glad the ice melted!), the Rochambeau School and finally the Eastview School.

We are very proud to be Westchester County’s premiere basketball camp.  We take great pride in bringing Westchester children together each summer and providing opportunities for all children to play and learn in a safe, enjoyable atmosphere.

We look forward to celebrating with you this year!

What’s New in 2019?

MVP Basketball Camp is excited to announce that we are back at the Highlands School in White Plains.  “Highlands” has been MVP’s home since 1995 but we have had to move to other White Plains sites over the last few years because of renovations to the district’s school buildings.   This summer we will be back to the location that we know and love.

The Highlands campus provides us with up to 10 outdoor courts in addition to the two renovated gymnasiums inside.  Another  renovation to the building was to install air conditioning in the cafeteria.  This will provide our campers with a comfortable cooling space when or if the heat becomes unbearable.

This year’s public school calendar has forced us to adjust our camp calendar.  Most public schools are in session until Wednesday, June 26.   The following week is shortened by the July 4th holiday.  Therefore, we will hold a 3 day Skills Academy in Rye from July 1-3.  We will return to Rye August 4-8.  Our Rye facilities are air conditioned which will be perfect for the mid-summer heat.

We look forward to providing another summer of basketball, fun, and friends!

MVP Summer Staff

The success of the camp really falls on the people who are working with the campers day in and out.  They make the biggest difference in the camp experience.  Each week we have between 18 and 22 coaches working with our campers.  They are comprised of college and high school coaches / teachers; college players / students; and a few recent high school graduates.  Over half of these coaches have been with the camp for longer than ten years.  We have eight staff members who were campers in their youth.  They are here because they LOVE the camp and what it stands for!

Have you ever wondered who fills up the water coolers each day?  What do you do with the portable baskets?  We have an amazing staff of four who attend to these needs.  On the hottest of days, they refill and add ice to our three water stations three times a day.  They move six portable baskets onto the courts at 8:30 am and then move them back into a safe confined space at 3:30 each afternoon.  This is no easy task as each hoop weighs over 200 lbs.  Luckily, they are on wheels.  These are the same guys who help serve lunch and clean up the cafeteria when our campers are finished with lunch.  Our camp would not run smoothly without their dedication to the camp.  Thanks fellas!

And thanks to Noel Muyskens, our Executive Director.  Noel has been with MVP Basketball Camp since 2006.  Noel has announced that he is going to retire as Executive Director at the end of the year.  But he is still committed to the camp and its mission; Noel plans to join the Board of Directors and to keep the camp moving forward.

Let us know if you’d like to join the hard-working staff at MVP.  (You must be at least 16 years old to volunteer and a high school graduate to coach. )

Scholarships are part of our mission!

Since our inception in 1994, more than 25,000 children have attended MVP Basketball Camp and more than 6,000 have received full scholarships. No deserving child has ever been turned away simply due to an inability to afford camp tuition.

MVP’s mission evolved from the belief that in our increasingly fragmented society it is more and more difficult for children from different socioeconomic backgrounds to meet and share an experience together. “MVP” typically stands for “Most Valuable Player,” but at this camp “MVP” signifies “Most Valued Person” because there is so much more to basketball, and for that matter to life, than being the high scorer. MVP uses basketball to teach goal setting, fair play, leadership, perseverance, and hard work in order to make the most of each camper’s individual talents.

This summer, MVP once again, brought in over 300 campers on scholarship.  During our June 25th week, 66 campers came to us from three organizations.  The Theodore D. Young Center in Greenburgh, Abbott House, and Jefferson Elementary School in New Rochelle, supplied the 66 deserving young campers along with bus transportation to and from their sites.  During the week of July 23rd, 40 campers from Mount Vernon’s Boys and Girls Club, the NewFlex Hoops team, and Off the Streets came up from Mount Vernon and a group from the Coachman Center in White Plains also took advantage of our scholarship program.  Three more groups from Yonkers participated in our last week at camp.  24 children from the Andrus Center, Hostos, and KICs took advantage of our scholarship program.

In total, MVP provided 313 weeks of scholarships for Westchester children this summer.  Our scholarship children are not the only beneficiaries of these experiences.  Parents of tuition campers value that their children are getting a “worldly experience” so close to home.  They are making friendships that could not be made just in their immediate community.

Summer ’18 Recap

550 pizzas.  Over 2000 burgers. 40 gallons of Gatorade.  These are just some of the numbers compiled at MVP Basketball Camp this summer.  However, we take greater pride in the following:  1012 campers participated in basketball camp activities during our six weeks of camp.  For the 24th year, MVP Basketball Camp has served the families throughout Westchester County to provide fun and quality basketball instruction for children from 6-16.

Our summer started on June 23rd with split camps at our Rye and White Plains sites.  Resurrection School, in Rye, hosted our Juniors, Girls (9-13 years old) and Boys 1 (9/10 year olds) divisions.  Our Boys 2 (11/12 year olds) and Boys 3 (13-15 year olds) worked out of the Eastview School in White Plains.  The campers in Rye took advantage of the two air-conditioned gymnasiums as they rotated through one outdoor court.  Rye High School Boys Varsity Basketball Coach Jon Aquilar spoke to our campers about his basketball experiences and took them through some varsity drills.  In White Plains, our older boys worked through the heat (though indoors) to improve their games, while making new friends.  Ronnie Nunn, a long-time friend to MVP, addressed the campers about his basketball experiences refereeing in the NBA for over 20 years.

During the 4th of July week, MVP held an intimate camper experience by holding two, two-day clinics.  The first clinic emphasized individual skills that each player could develop to make themselves better.  During the last two days, campers worked on team play as they worked on the two-man pick and roll and team defenses.

On July 9th, our entire camp moved to the Eastview School in White Plains.  [We were displaced from our “home”, the Highlands School, because of renovations in the district.]  The Eastview School has two large gyms and outdoor courts that we were able to modify to fit our camp needs.  We added three outdoor courts to the existing two permanent structures.  In our four weeks in White Plains, we managed one heat wave with two days of temperatures in the mid 90s.  Our trainer, Amanda, carefully surveyed our campers and advised us of mandatory shade breaks and constant water breaks.  Although many campers wanted to keep playing (where do they find the energy?), we limited our playing time.  Often, rain and thunderstorms broke the summer heat.  While we enjoyed a reprieve from the heat, we were limited to two gyms and had to be creative with our scheduling to try to maximize playing time.  Luckily, we were able to find another gym at the School of the Holy Child.  During the days that forecasted continuous rain, we bused campers down the road four miles to this site.  There, campers enjoyed continuous playing time.  This also opened up space at the Eastview School for the rest of the camp.

We have three goals for our campers each week:  have fun, be safe, get better at basketball.  We hope we provided an atmosphere where this was attainable.  Thanks for being part of our summer.  We look forward to seeing you again either in Rye or White Plains (Highlands School) in 2019 as we celebrate 25 years of camp!

MVP’s “One Word Answer” Video

We asked campers what one word came to mind when they thought of MVP Basketball Camp. Watch their responses in this brief video. We think it substantiates our claim that MVP is not just a place for fun and games (although there is plenty of that!) It’s also a place to develop life skills that can translate to the classroom and beyond.

 

What’s New in 2017?

2017 is here, and the leadership and coaches at MVP couldn’t be happier. The renovations at our main facility are finished and we are anxious to reap the benefits. Here are the changes that will impact MVP’s award-winning basketball camp in this, our 23rd season:

  • News about our White Plains weeks: Our main four weeks in White Plains will be hosted exclusively at Highlands Middle School from July 10-Aug. 4. (No secondary Delfino Park location this year)
  • News about our Rye and Bedford locations: Rye Resurrection and Fox Lane High School will be the host sites for our early June 26 full-week camp. Boys 9-10, Co-ed 6-8, and Girls 9-13 will be in Rye, while the Boys 11-12 and 13-16 divisions will be in Bedford. Parents can use either site as the drop-off and pick-up location for all campers. A bus will leave Rye at 8:25 each morning to go to Fox Lane, and then pick-up northern Westchester kids at 8:50 to go to Rye. At the end of the day campers in Rye will be dropped back at Fox Lane by around 4:05, and then campers at our northern facility will get back to Rye around 4:35.
  • News about our Rye “Skills Academy:” This camp for motivated and experienced 11 – 16 year old boys and girls will take place July 5 – 7 during this holiday week. We will hold the line at 100 campers total to ensure plenty of practice time for all, and outdoor courts will be utilized as well as the air-conditioned gyms.
  • News for female campers: We still offer programs for girls of all abilities ages 6 – 16, but the choices vary by week. All five-day camps can accommodate girls ages 6 – 8 in our co-ed group. Only our first week, June 26 – 30, will feature a girls-only division for 9 – 13 year olds of all ability levels. Only our three-day Skills Academy will feature a girls-only division for experienced 11 – 16 year olds. During our final four weeks, July 10 – Aug. 4 in White Plains, experienced female players will be placed in the appropriate boys age group if they wish to be challenged in this way, but MVP will not offer a separate division just for older girls.

Spotlight On Our North Salem Camp Week

 

Image copyright Jane Haslam Photography 2015

Former NBA Referee Ronnie Nunn

Even with county-wide accolades like a Best of Westchester Award and a twentieth anniversary proclamation from County Executive Bob Astorino, MVP is hardly a household name in the northern reaches of the county. Yet for the second consecutive year MVP is offering a late June week in North Salem for boys ages 9 – 16 with free busing from Mount Kisco and White Plains. Executive Director Noel Muyskens explains why:

“First and foremost, the North Salem High School and Middle School complex is just a great venue,” Muyskens says. “It has two full-sized gyms across the hall from each other, plus outdoor courts for running teaching stations while the kids get a little fresh air. Even the cafeteria, where MVP serves lunch that comes with the package, is just down the hall from the gyms. And unlike some of our more congested venues in central and southern Westchester, drop off, pick up, and parking are a snap.”

Former NBA Referee Ronnie Nunn will be the guest speaker on the second day of camp. This Danbury resident, who also served as the head of NBA referees for a while, runs a very entertaining and informative clinic where campers get a refresher on the rules and then get to try their hand at reffing games.

If you think this program will be far less diverse than MVP’s other offerings, think again. Although there are not a lot of under-resourced children in the immediate area surrounding North Salem, MVP will again provide scholarships for children from the the Boys and Girls Club of Northern Westchester as well as Pathways Academy in Danbury, Connecticut.

MVP’s 2015 camp at North Salem was very well received. Somers resident Johanna Townsend, whose son Nate has attended camps in White Plains also, said she thought the competition level was just as good up here. And like many parents of MVP campers, she sees the exposure to diversity as a real plus for her children. When asked about her son playing with kids from other parts of the county, she commented “that’s the best part about MVP in my opinion.”

Scholarship applicants need to send documentation of family income and a letter of recommendation from school in order to be a considered. Space should remain available up until the last minute. There will be four teams in each of three divisions, boys 9 -10, boys 11-12, and boys 13 – 16.

2016 – Best Lineup of Locations Ever!

Image copyright Jane Haslam Photography 2015

MVP will start the summer June 27 up at North Salem High School and Middle School, which features two full sized gyms, one right across the hall from the other. With three age groups there this summer instead of two, the outdoor courts at this facility will also be utilized. Free busing will be provided from Delfino Park in White Plains and from the Boys and girls Club of Northern Westchester in Mount Kisco.

For MVP’s “Skills Academy” the from July 5 – 8, MVP is happy to announce it’s first ever camp located in Rye at the Resurrection School on Boston Post Road. This facility features two air-conditioned gyms plus outside courts, making this an awesome site for MVP.

During its four weeks in White Plains starting July 11, MVP is very pleased to be back at our long-time White Plains facility, the Highlands Middle School. As an added bonus, the larger of the two indoor gyms at Highlands has been completely remodeled.

However, since the smaller Highlands gym is being re-done this summer and won’t be available, MVP is still placing two of its age groups for the White Plains weeks inside Ebersole Ice Rink at Delfino Park. This facility worked out really well last year. Parents and children loved that the space was open-air to allow for cool breezes but covered to keep away a baking sun or sudden shower.

 

To view specific addresses and maps for each location, visit the Camp Locations page on this website.