Model United Nations
What is Model United Nations?
Model UN is an activity where students discuss and debate global issues from the perspective of a country other than their own.
Delegates first begin their research on their assigned country. Delegates are tasked with researching not only their assigned country's position on the given topic, but also the country's history, culture, and important facts about the country. At Model UN Camp, we also put students into direct one-on-one contact with our counselors to help give them ideas on their country's policy positions, and recommend resources. Intrepid delegates may even contact their teachers or even a country's embassy for information and resources on a given topic. Armed with this research, delegates prepare 1-page position papers to describe their country's stance on an issue.
Once the camp begins, students assemble into bodies simulating the different organs of the United Nations. Students will take their research from three different topics and, over the course of the week, argue for their assigned country's perspective on the issues at hand. As the days progress, delegates begin writing draft resolutions that follow a very similar format to that of real UN resolutions. These are voted on and passed to finish the topic of discussion before moving on to the next one the following day.
Model UN encourages delegates to think from a perspective different from their own and to articulate their arguments with facts and reasoning. It requires further introspection into every student's own opinions and teaches substantive understanding of a wide range of topics while also encouraging students to use skills like public speaking, negotiation and debate.
In Model UN, the each committee's goal is to create one or more resolutions. Resolutions are the actions that the committee decides to take to address the issue at hand. After debate on each topic, delegates are encouraged to come together to find common ground and to create collaborative solutions to the topics.
When will students be doing Model United Nations?
Students begin their first Model UN committee session on Tuesday afternoon discussing the first topic of the week. Each day will consist of one committee session. Each topic receives roughly four days of committee sessions, where delegates work with each other to create solutions to the issues they debate.
Throughout these four days, our counselors are actively engaged in the 'teaching moments' of committee, seeking to challenge students, and help expand their thinking.
In addition to committee session, the week has multiple seminars and workshops designed to help students develop skills in public speaking, debate and negotiation. Outside of committee and seminars, each week is filled with fun and interesting activities, ranging from world trivia, adapted camp games, nature hikes, UN-themed campfire activities, and much more.
What does preparation for Model UN Camp involve?
Each committee will have a resource called a background guide that program delegates will receive by email. The guide is approximately 6-8 pages in length and serves as a starting point for delegates' individual research. The guide also suggests other resources and asks questions that will help inform students as they try to evaluate how their assigned country feels about the issue in question.
Model UN Camp recommends that students prepare a 1-page briefing, or "position paper", on their country's position on each of the three topics that will be discussed during the week. Our counselors are happy to work with students via email or telephone in one-on-one sessions that will help aid their research and development of position papers in the days and weeks before camp begins.
What if my child has never done Model UN before?
That's great: they'll have more they can learn! We encourage delegates of all levels of experience to attend the program, and we are always eager to help students in their preparation. Training for the program begins as soon as students are registered, so we recommend that newer students sign up as soon as possible. Once registered, campers are assigned to a counselor who will provide one-on-one guidance and recommendations on their country's policy, as well as writing assistance and advice on the debate process. Register today and they'll be quoting UNSC resolutions before the first day of camp.
Who can attend Model UN Camp?
Model UN Camp is open to all students between the ages of 13 and 18, or those between entering 9th grade and 12th grade.
How long is a session of Model UN Camp?
Each of Model UN Camp's two sessions will last for two weeks (13 nights), with students arriving at the program on Monday, and participating through the following Sunday during different weeks of the summer:
The first session of camp will run from July 13 - July 26, 2015.
The second session of camp will run from July 27 - August 9, 2015.
For students who stay for both Camp Sessions 1 & 2, we offer lodging, food, and scheduled activities during the transition day at no additional cost. For more information on dates and different programs offered, please visit our sessions page.
Should I register my child for both sessions?
It depends upon your child's interest and availability. We design our programs to complement each other, with very little overlap in subject matter. We pride ourselves on the friendly culture our program helps to create. We've found that Model UN Camp starts to feel like home, and encourage all students to stay for both sessions if they are available to.
We provide a significant discount for students staying for both sessions.
When should I sign up my child for Model UN Camp?
Our normal registration deadline is April 1st, 2015. Students who sign up before this time are guaranteed a space in the program. After this date, registration fees will no longer be given an Early Discount, and space may no longer be available in some programs. For both reasons, as well as to give newer students adequate time to prepare for the program, we strongly encourage students to sign up before this date.
If your family later decides that your child is unable to attend the program, we offer a full refund of all program fees if your request for a refund is received before June 1st, 2015.
How many campers attend Model UN Camp?
Each session of Model UN Camp has between 35 and 50 campers.
Who staffs Model UN Camp?
Model UN Camp summer counselors are college students, recent graduates, or young professionals with a minimum of 2 years of Model United Nations experience, as well as leadership roles within their local Model UN programs. After a thorough background check, counselors are extensively trained in preparation for their roles as educators, supervisors, and role models. Last year, our talented group of counselors ranged from college students to NYC public school teachers to former Peace Corps volunteers.
Our staffers are truly passionate about the role Model United Nations can have in empowering and educating youth.
We do this because these programs had impact on our lives.
Simply, we do it because we love it.
Travel and Facilities
How will students travel to and from the camp?
Those interested in dropping off their children at the program are welcome to do so. Campers who choose to do this are encouraged to show up at 3:00pm on the first day of camp. Please let us know if you will be arriving substantially before or after this time.
For those local or flying to New York City, we are proud to offer a bus to bring campers and staff to and from New York City at the beginning and end of each week. Buses leave at 2:00pm on the first day of the program (Monday) and return back to New York at 12:00pm the following Sunday. Buses to Model UN Camp depart from Downtown Manhattan (The exact address of this will be given at a later date).
For those flying in to New York City, please see below for more information.
What are the camp's sleeping arrangements?
At Stony Point Center, Model UN Camp is housed in one central building, with separate lodge wings for boys and girls. Campers will share a room with one other camper. Lodges have shared bathrooms, living rooms and patio areas. The cabins are newly renovated and have all modern amenities including electricity, hot water, heating, A/C, refrigeration and WiFi.
Counselors sleep in separate rooms within the same wing as the respective Boys/Girls they oversee to make sure everyone is safe (and gets enough sleep!).
Our dorm policy is to put campers into cabins with people they do not know who are of similar ages. We are happy to accommodate specific requests pertaining to sleeping arrangements. If your child would like to bunk with a particular roommate, or needs his/her own room, please indicate this on our registration form, and we will do our best to accommodate your request.
What should I pack for my child?
Model UN Camp provides beds, linens and blankets for each child. Cabins are fully equipped with showers, bathrooms, laundry services, and wifi throughout the property. While not needed, children are welcome to bring items that will help them feel comfortable, including their own blankets, pillows or personal effects. Western business attire is NOT required for Model UN Camp, and committee sessions are conducted in casual wear. They may bring cell phones and to communicate with family members. Our administrative office has access to a land line and internet in case a parent needs to speak with their children, or vice versa. Laptops and other electronic devices are not required, but students can feel free to bring them if they choose.
The following items of clothing are strongly recommended for one week in the program:
(Again, laundry services are available in all cabin wings)
- 8 T-Shirts
- 8 pairs of socks
- 5 pairs of shorts
- 1-2 pairs of jeans, khakis or sweatpants
- 1 swimsuits, 1 coverup (for girls)
- 1 coat or windbreaker (if it gets cold at night)
- 2 pairs of PJs or T-Shirts for sleeping
- 1 pair of Flip Flops
- 1 pair of sneakers
We also recommend the following accessories or items:
- 1 water bottle
- 1 bottle of SPF 15 sunscreen
- 1 bottle of bug spray
- 1 backpack for hiking
- Lip balm
- Toothbrush and tooth paste
- Soap and shampoo
- Comb, brush (hair clips or pony tail holders for girls)
- 2-3 towels
- 1 flashlight
- 1 reading book
- 1 camera or camera phone (if the child is unlikely to lose it)
- 1 small item from home (eg a photo or stuffed animal) to help avoid homesickness.
Children are allowed to bring snacks for themselves. However, meals and snacks will be provided throughout the day, including on hikes, so these will not be necessary. At no point in the trip will there be any need to purchase anything. As such, spending money will not be necessary between NYC departure and NYC return.
May I drop my child off at camp myself?
While we do have free transportation from New York City arranged for campers, parents are welcome to drop their children off themselves, stay for some of our orientation BBQ and see their children off. Likewise, parents are welcome to pick up their children at the end of the week. If you do wish to drop off children, we request that you arrive sometime between 3:00pm and 5:00pm on Monday, and retrieve your children at the end of the week by 12:00pm. Please let us know if you will need an earlier or later dropoff or pickup, and we will gladly make such arrangements.
I'm flying in to New York City. How do I get to the bus?
For ease of access in to Lower Manhattan, we recommend flying in to Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR). Newark Airport can easily access Manhattan via NJ Transit Train directly from the Airport. Flying to this airport, though, is not essential, and there are many travel options to reach our bus.
Taxis will connect all major New York airports (JFK, LaGuardia and Newark) to lower Manhattan. This will cost roughly $40 each way including tip. Alternatively, car services can offer a scheduled alternative to taxis at not much greater a cost. Examples of such services include Lincoln Limousine and Carmel Car Service. For further information about getting into lower Manhattan from major airports, please see this helpful NY TImes article.
We will do our best to coordinate travel between campers, and if we have staffers or other campers flying in to the same airport, we will try to enable camp attendees to travel together.
At this time, we are unable to pick up individual campers from New York City airports. If you require assistance making such arrangements, or have concerns about potential travel plans, please call us at (646)-360-0828 or email us at Info@ModelUNCamp.com.
What if my child is unable to participate in certain activities?
While we schedule most activities to be as inclusive as possible, we recognize that some may not be interested in or able to participate in every activity. We always try to have an alternative activity scheduled, and our instructors do an excellent job of revising plans to ensure that every child feels included. Please let us know if your child may have special needs, and we will always do our best to accommodate such requests.
What are meals like?
Each meal is organized self-serve style from a buffet of hot and cold foods. Students dine together in our dining hall alongside counselors and staff. Breakfast is served at 8:00am, lunch is served at 12:30pm and dinner is served at 6:30pm nightly. Snacks are available at all times.
Meals at Stony Point Center are prepared “from scratch” in their own kitchens, using produce from their own gardens and local growers whenever possible, and using fair trade chocolate and coffee.
Put simply, the food is phenomenal.
At any meal, delegates will have a wide range of options to fit their tastes and dining needs. Stony Point Center is very well equipped to handle all food allergies. Our meal plan is planned to ensure that there are vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, kosher and halal options available at every dining opportunity. With advance notice, kitchen staff is happy to provide for other special needs.
How can I contact my child during the week?
Our camp allows cell phones and other electronic devices, but not their use during activities. Additionally, reception problems are common in mountainous parts of New York State. Our facility has a land line and office staff that can be utilized if parents need to contact their child, or if children wish to speak to their parents for whatever reason, including homesickness. Students are invited to bring smartphones, tablets or laptops to the camp so that they may email or phone their parents over our WiFi network.
We are happy to keep laptops, passports, electronic devices and other personal effects secure for campers. Campers are invited to keep their valuables locked in a cabin with our director, and retrieve them when needed.
Health & Safety
How are campers supervised?
Model UN Camp maintains a strictly enforced safety policy, as certified by the State of New York. By maintaining a small program size, and adhering to a 6:1 camper-to-counselor ratio, we are able to make safety a top priority at the program. During the day, our entire group stays together on site, with staffers assigned at all times to oversee indoor and outdoor activities. Upon conclusion of evening activities, campers return to their cabins.
What medical precautions does the program take?
Our activities are planned with an emphasis on safety, by operating out of unobstructed field spaces and swimming facilities overseen by NY State lifeguards.
While we will continue making safety an issue of paramount importance, we are proud of the attention paid to our medical contingency plans, and believe that we are addressing safety in a thorough, responsible manner.
A certified nurse will be available at the facility at all times. In the event of a serious medical emergency, our facility is less than 2 miles away from Helen Hayes Hospital in West Haverstraw, NY.