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Our Mission

Our mission is to provide a safe, non-competitive environment where campers age 9-17 have freedom of choice to explore the performing and creative arts taught and supervised by professional artists so that they can not only learn who they are as artists, but more importantly, who they are as human beings.

Buck’s Rock is no ordinary performing and creative arts sleep-away camp.

It’s an awe-inspiring, mind-blowing, confidence-building summer adventure. Buck’s Rock is a residential (sleep away) summer camp, where young artists ages 9-17 can make their own choices, follow their own passions, and create their own incredible summer experience. There are over 30 fully equipped and professionally staffed studios, a giant swimming pool, a farm, garden, performance spaces, radio station, recording studio, and tons of outdoor and evening activities. There are so many things to do, we can’t fit them all in this paragraph. It’s no wonder young artists stay inspired and engaged morning, noon and night.

Located in the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains in Western Connecticut, Buck’s Rock is an extraordinary place to spend a summer creating, learning and making friendships that will last a lifetime.

Describing the feeling of being at Buck’s Rock is like trying to explain what it’s like the first time you ride a bike. It usually goes something like this: “OMG, look at me….look what I did…” followed by a bunch of exclamation points. Well, that’s basically what a summer at Buck’s Rock is like.

We know. It might sound too good to be true—over 30 fully equipped and staffed studios, total creative freedom, and a super relaxed environment where no one is judged or pressured. But it is all true. At Buck’s Rock you work at your own pace in your own time. By the end of the summer, you’ll have enough work to fill a portfolio…or two!

Still need convincing?

Watch some of the videos, read our testimonials, or look through the gallery. Check us out on Facebook and Instagram…yeah we’re there too. But if you’re the type that likes to experience things first hand…come and see us. We love visitors. But, be warned…once you have been to our campus, you won’t want to leave.

The Directors  


Noah Salzman
I’m a glass-blowing,
ping pong playing,
camp director.

In 1981, I discovered my passion at Buck’s Rock. It was glassblowing. Sure, I did other things like woodworking, jewelry making and playing softball, but it was blowing glass that captured my imagination. Little did I know that my first summer at Buck’s Rock would shape my entire life. It opened up opportunities to work with glass superstars like Dale Chihuly and led to my attending RISD. Buck’s Rock also gave me the confidence to trust my instincts, which led me to pursue another passion—education. I have been a teacher, a principal and now I’ve got an educational consulting company. What’s really amazing is that my story isn’t unique. There are 75 years of young adults who went to Buck’s Rock and have gone on to pursue their passions.

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Hometown: I was born in New York. Live in San Francisco but consider Buck’s Rock my home.
What did you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to be a teacher.
What is your favorite food? Buck’s Rock roasted corn
Favorite things to do: I love to blow glass, play ping pong, shoot archery, cook, practice martial arts, sail, create, explore, experiment, learn, teach, and share.
Favorite saying: Once a Buck’s Rocker, always a Buck’s Rocker
Favorite Studio: Glass blowing…but culinary is a close second
What do you do when you’re not at Buck’s Rock: I started an educational consulting firm
Little-known fact: My mom wrote a book about my life…well her’s too
Weirdest personal talent: Mastering a new hobby
Best part of your job: Ringing the gong
Favorite ice cream flavor: Buck’s Rocky Road
Proudest moments: The birth of my son and daughter
Spirit Animal: Tiger
Favorite cartoon theme song: Underdog
Where’s your happy place: Buck’s Rock
Secret ambition: To become the new director of Buck’s Rock
Obsession: Gadgets…I’m a gadget geek

Smadar Salzman
I’m a cheese making,
toddler chasing,
guidance director.

Hometown: I live in San Francisco and consider myself a NorCal native, but spent large portions of my childhood in Latin America.
What did you want to be when you grew up? First a teacher (age 6), then a singer (age 12), then a psychotherapist (age 15).
What is your favorite food? Sushi. And popcorn. And ice cream.
Favorite things to do: Get crafty in the kitchen, hike in nature, travel and explore new places, have new adventures and experiences.
Favorite saying: “There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” – Leonard Cohen
Favorite Studio: Culinary… but the voice shed is where I secretly spend the most time.
What do you do when you’re not at Buck’s Rock: I’m a psychotherapist in private practice specializing in interpersonal, developmental, and complex trauma. I’m also a research associate in the field of child development and human relations- or in other words- a mom.
Little-known fact: I spent my teenage years riding dirt bikes and going to heavy metal concerts.
Weirdest personal talent: Having no sense of humor. I’ve always been oddly serious.
Best part of your job: Having my work be meaningful.
Favorite ice cream flavor: I never met a flavor I didn’t like.
Proudest moments: Obtaining my graduate degree and psychotherapy license. And every moment I see my kids do something kind and thoughtful for others.
Spirit Animal: Black bear
Favorite cartoon theme song: I spent my early childhood off the grid with solar electricity and no TV, so I kind of missed out on cartoons.
Where’s your happy place: Anywhere with an amazing view of mountains or ocean or sunset or sparkling city lights.
Secret ambition: To live on a farm with lots of animals and kids running around doing creative things in the kitchen.
Obsession: Learning new culinary crafts, from bread baking, to cheese making, to trying every recipe until I find the perfect chocolate cupcake.

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The Nitty Gritty  

Cabins

OK, first things first: we do our absolute best to make sure everyone has an awesome cabin experience. We know you’ll have a great time at camp no matter who is in your cabin.

The Food

In a word—yummy. But, it’s also healthy and full of variety. There is always a vegetarian option, as well as dairy and gluten free. We also have ice cream, candy, and snacks at the canteen, which is open daily.

Medical Forms

The Connecticut State Department of Health requires completed medical forms and signed emergency authorization for each camper by May 15th. Better safe than sorry. So, don’t forget!

Camper Accounts

Every camper has a handy Camper Account that can be used for the following:

  • Toiletry items, candy, ice cream, drinks from our Canteen which is open daily from 12-2
  • Material charges for certain workshops like Metalsmithing, Woodworking, Weaving, Glassblowing etc.
  • Field trips that require an admission fee (i.e…Tanglewood, Jacobs Pillow, Shakespeare Festival.

And while it’s hard to predict how much each camper may spend during the summer, we suggest $250 to start. In the event that your budding artist is attempting their own Christo or some other unusually pricey project piece, we will contact you first.

Transportation to Camp

Most campers arrive by car. We don’t have a bus, but we do provide pickup and drop off service to and from JFK and LGA. Just shoot us a call or email us for more details. There is a $75 fee for each airport pickup or drop-off.

Instrument Rentals

If your child wants to rent an instrument for one of our music programs or just for some free form jamming, please contact our Music Department at the beginning of the session. Rental cost ranges from $30 to $60 per instrument.

Junior Camper

In addition to our summer camp programs for teenagers, we offer a 2 week introductory program for 9 and 10 year old boys and girls. It’s just like our regular program, but in a more supervised structured format. Supported by our team of Guidance Counselors and professional instructors, campers will choose and pursue the activities, throughout the day, that most interest them. Junior campers will be grouped by gender and housed separately from our older teenage campers. In addition to their Guidance Counselors, campers will also have a C.I.T. (Counselor in Training) host who will serve as their mentor while at camp.

Please contact us for further details or enrollment information regarding any of our summer camp programs.

Communication

After the first week of each session, kids have access to their cell phones for 2 hours a day (except for Junior Campers). So, you can check in, chat, text, Snapchat, email as long as it is between noon-2 EST. Or you can also send snail mail. (And even though sending letters, packages and postcards might seem old school we promise campers still love getting the real stuff.) You can also check out our blog, Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter. Or, call us at the front office.

Visiting During Camp

Yes, we love visitors! In fact, we want you to come and see what your campers are doing. Just remember, you have to wait until after the first week.

The Blog

Yes, we have a photoblog that is updated everyday. We also video all performances and make them available. And, if you still want more check out Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!

The Yearbook

OK, so this is the pride and joy of the Pub Shop. Produced by a hardworking team of campers, staff and CITs, the Yearbook showcases everything that happens at Buck’s Rock over the summer…and we mean everything!

The Infirmary

Buck’s rock has a health care staff that consists of onsite registered nurses that are available 24 hours a day. Kids who take routine medications will get them from the infirmary.

More info

Feel free to contact us by phone or email. However, we encourage you to visit…there’s nothing like seeing Buck’s Rock in person.

Our Commitment

Buck’s Rock has inspired confidence, creativity and self-esteem in teens for 75 years and we are committed to doing it in the future. We our proud of the amazing community of campers, alumni, parents, and staff that we have built over the years and look forward to its continued growth. Once a Buck’s Rocker, always a Buck’s Rocker.

Scholarships

Friends of Buck’s Rock, Inc. is a non-profit organization (501(c)3) established in June 2001, dedicated to promoting the educational ideals and life philosophy initiated by the Camp’s founders, Ernst and Ilse Bulova.  The organization is a separate entity from the camp; and through the generosity of individuals and the camp directors, has awarded more than 70 scholarships for a summer experience at Buck’s Rock Performing and Creative Arts Camp. Please contact them directly at www.friendsofbucksrock.org

Financial Aid

In addition to the Friends of Buck’s Rock Scholarships, we have a strong Financial Aid Program.  For more information contact us.

Alumni

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