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Our Programs | SEED Program | Parent & Child FAQ:

We are currently not accepting online applications for the 2013 SEED Program at Camp Oh-Neh-Tah. Please check back for an announcement concerning the 2013 summer program.
If you have any questions, please call 212-532-7050.

What is the SEED Program?
For over 70 years, Girls Quest has provided out-of-school enrichment programming for over 300 disadvantaged girls each year from the greater New York and Catskills regions. At our Summer Experiential Education and Development Program (SEED), located at Camp Oh-Neh-Tah, girls ages 8 to 13 participate in experiential education programs that promote literacy, ecological awareness, teamwork, peer support and role-modeling, creative expression, problem solving, and leadership.

Where is Camp Oh-Neh-Tah?
Camp Oh-Neh-Tah is located on 464 acres in the Catskill Mountains, in East Windham, NY.

What kind of housing and facilities are at Camp Oh-Neh-Tah?
Each cabin has electricity and houses 10 girls and 3 staff. The showers and latrines are in close proximity to the cabins. Facilities include a dining hall, library, theatre hall, and a windmill that holds a ceramics studio.

How is the food at camp?
Meals in our dining hall are nutritious, kid-friendly, and served “family style".

Here is a sample menu:

Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Pancakes Tacos Spaghetti & meat sauce
Scrambled eggs Mac & Cheese Garlic Bread
Oatmeal French Fries Tossed salad
Fruit juice Popsicles Mixed Fruit
Milk Milk & water Brownies

*There are also vegetarian options and peanut butter & jelly sandwiches offered as a daily supplemental to a particular meal. Special dietary needs can be accommodated.

What items are recommended to pack for camp? Should my child bring money?
The girls play in a rustic environment and bring home very dirty clothing, so send inexpensive or older clothes that you are willing to discard. Do pack one nice outfit for our final banquet. Laundry services are provided on a weekly basis for essential items only.

There is no trading post at SEED, so money is not necessary or permitted. If found, this and other banned items (electronic games, music players, cell phones) will be taken from your child for the duration of the program and returned at the end of her stay. For an overview of suggested items, you can download our Packing List.

Furthermore, it is more likely than not that your child will leave or lose items at SEED, so it is suggested that you do not send anything valuable or expensive. We do go over all lost and found items with girls, but make sure to label all belongings with your child's name. Girls Quest is not responsible or liable for lost personal items.

What is the Summer Learning Gap (SLG)?
The Summer Learning Gap is the loss of learning and knowledge that occurs during the summer months when children are not in school. The SEED Program seeks to close this learning gap and focuses on building our girls' abilities, confidence, and attitudes by effectively incorporating activities that support a child's school-year learning with our summer educational sessions.

How are counselors selected and what qualifications do they have?
Our staff is carefully selected for those qualities of leadership, personal values, and caring that enable them to relate to and motivate young people. Criminal background and reference checks are completed on staff prior to hiring. Staff participate in an extensive pre-camp orientation. All staff are closely supervised by experienced administrative staff.

The staff at Camp Oh-Neh-Tah are mature, enthusiastic, and diverse. Most of the staff are from all across the United States, and we also have international staff that provide an opportunity for girls to learn about other countries and cultures.

Most are college students studying education, social work or related fields.

What are some of the program's activities?
The program is designed to provide each girl with daily literacy-based enrichment activities as well as a wide array of additional classes and activities to choose from. Other activities offered:

Swimming, boating, high & low ropes course, drama, dance, music, basketball, volleyball, soccer, archery, environmental education activities, farm animal care, nutrition, cooking, camp magazine, art, ceramics, fashion and design, Native American lore, crafts, hiking, cookouts & overnight camping, non competitive games and initiatives, yoga, fitness, all camp activities, and clubs (knitting, crocheting, creative writing, double-dutch, etc).

How does Camp Oh-Neh-Tah care for the health and safety of its girls?
The Health Center is staffed with a licensed nurse to handle girls' & staff's day to day health needs. All medication is checked-in at our bus site and stored in the nurse's office at SEED, where your child will take her medication under the supervision of the medical staff. Your child's physician must approve all medication with specific instructions for our nursing staff.

Is there financial assistance available to send my child to camp?
Full scholarships are available on a first-come/first-served basis to girls who attend public schools and qualify for free or reduced lunch in school. Information on additional scholarships is available upon request. Please email us at for more information.

Can we visit camp? Send Letters or E-mails? Send Care Packages?
We do not allow parents to visit their girls while at camp. Correspondence with your daughter is a critical aspect of her camp experience. During their first few days at camp, girls are strongly encouraged to write a letter home. You can also send e-mails and faxes via the camp administrative office. We do not offer e-mail as a way to keep in touch with your daughters. The girls do not have access to a computer during their stay at camp. It is fine to send a care package to your child as long as it does not include any candy or food items.

What if my child is homesick or does not like SEED?
Can my daughter be sent home early?
Developing independence includes learning to trust and take care of oneself, so we recommend that you give your child time to adjust if she writes that she is homesick or upset. This may take up to one week. Parents should not tell their child that she can come home if she is homesick. Children must agree to attend for a full session, unless there is an emergency or illness.

In the past, participants have been sent home for bad behavior, family emergencies or illness. It is the responsibility of the parent to pay for all travel costs if a child gets sent home early by Girls Quest. Monies collected for the remainder of the session will not be refunded.