We have been in business for over twenty years and throughout this time have seen an exceptional portion of those students who have stayed with us for over ten years go on to be accepted and graduate from the most prestigious Ivy League and other top universities in the United States. Five students attending, accepted, or graduated from Princeton university, two from MIT, and two from Columbia just to name a few (check out the article here: http://www.icanj.net/chess_class_in_nj/chess_academy_best_players/1149/index.html ). One student has become a full time math professor and received her PhD from Dartmouth.
We take pride in cultivating some of the brightest and strongest minds in this country from the earliest of ages (generally five, or six years of age depending on the child). Not all of our students, even those mentioned above were our strongest players but all agree and do not regret the time they spent here, or the decades long friendships created, nor the contribution our school and our instructors made to their overall development as human beings.
Chess camp forms a core foundation of this development. In a fun and engaging atmosphere campers are challenged to train, and improve their minds with one of the oldest “brain gyms” in existence. Chess is the equivalent of your local fitness center except instead of your body it trains your mind. Seeing with your eyes and processing with your mental abilities, and doing so over and over, forces a person’s brain to build more and more neural pathways so information can be memorized, and stored for access later. Eventually even if a child steps away from chess those pathways remain and can be utilized for processing other information. A concentration tolerance is also built up as one moment of distraction, or lack of focus may mean certain defeat. Some of our “graduates” have said this necessity to constantly concentrate in chess makes taking long exams, or long presentations where constant focus is required a breeze.
Throughout any given week of chess students are provided with 8-10 hours of instruction (generally in the morning when the mind works best). This allows for faster development than one hour of instruction during the school year. It’s like going to the gym five times a week for two hours a day versus going to the gym one hour a week. While both bring benefit our camp does more and does it faster if the camper is prepared to let it. Campers also have the opportunity to participate in many team sports and athletic activities outside which according to chess legends from Fischer to Kasparov and even Carlsen today has always been a necessary aspect of improving a person’s mind.
Lastly, we run chess tournaments (USCF rated in the Summer camp; unrated in Winter and Spring camps) every week to provide an outlet for the knowledge gained and to encourage healthy and respected competition. Competition creates a desire to win and improve which challenges someone to better themselves regardless of what place they end up getting.
Furthermore, and especially for campers signed up until five o’clock, we provide additional outlets like Math (NYCBoe certified math teacher with twenty years of experience) Music (professional musician) , and Art ( NJ certified teacher with thirty years of experience, a PhD in education, and a Master’s degree in Art), or if they so wish more chess.
Prizes, trophies, and recognition of achievements summarize the end of each week. We provide a breakdown of the results of most weeks on our website, as well as facebook with plenty of pictures for the enjoyment of parents, and grandparents alike. Years later when a younger sibling comes to camp it is a joy to show them their older brother or sister when they were that same age.
Please write, or call with any questions and please accept our sincerest promise that signing up your child for our camp is one thing you will probably never regret.
The ICA faculty