Working with kids was not on Oasis Long Island camp director Jason Miradoli’s radar but that changed after 9/11. He decided to leave his job on Wall Street to pursue his passion and opened a youth soccer academy. As a former player, it was a natural fit for Jason to also go on to coach middle school, high school and college soccer teams.
Jason discovered Oasis Long Island day camp when they were looking for a sports program director in 2014. He got the job, and the following year became the camp director at Oasis Tully Park. Although he didn’t go to camp as a child, Jason loved the environment and even recruited his daughter Sophia to work at Oasis day camp as an instructor and program director.
In 2019, Jason kicked off the inaugural season of Oasis LIU Post. He’s excited about providing children from across Long Island with unforgettable summers at Oasis day camp on the beautiful LIU Post campus. It’s a place where kids can connect and unplug, try new things and have fun.
Oasis Long Island day camp serves families from all over Long Island including Port Washington, New Hyde Park, Melville, West Hills, Old Bethpage, Farmingdale, Huntington, Dix Hills and the surrounding towns of the North Shore, Nassau County and Western Suffolk County.
Keep reading to learn more about Jason’s favorite experiences at Oasis Long Island and
the various programs offered for kids ages three through 15.
What do you love about being a camp director?
Working with children keeps me grounded and the young adults on our staff inspire me. I love watching how kids experience trying new things at all different ages. Whether it’s playing soccer or putting on a performance or learning to swim. They’ll love some things and need convincing to try other things—but they do try because they know they’re in a safe place.
And although I didn’t seek it out, I do enjoy being a mentor to the counselors. We come together for eight weeks, and I really get to know them and see them grow. I lead from the field, not the chair, so we’re all in it together. I admire and respect our counselors.
What are your favorite things that happen on a typical day at Oasis day camp?
I love creating a place where kids get to be themselves in a safe and loving environment. We’re a supportive community at Oasis Long Island and I like sharing a laugh - and sometimes even a tear - with the kids. It might happen during a soccer game, or in the middle of an art project or while we’re eating lunch together.
Some of my favorite moments are when we have to improvise because something happens and our well laid out plans are no longer an option. When a wrinkle pops up – like a rainy day or late arrival - we quickly put on our thinking caps, and the staff and kids pull together and come up with something even better. It’s magical when that happens.
Why do you think kids love attending Oasis day camp?
I think the staff are what kids love the most about Oasis - they’re the hidden heroes. Who you spend your time with makes all the difference in life and there’s just something special about Oasis Long Island.
Our staff is very caring and supportive. They want every camper to have an amazing experience and feel comfortable stepping out of their comfort zone to try new things. The children want to come back each summer because going to camp feels like being with family. We’re always there to help the kids get through the bumps and celebrate their achievements.
Why would you recommend that students become an Oasis camp counselor?
Being a camp counselor allows you to teach others something which is different than just knowing something, like how to swim or draw. When you teach others, then you've really learned it. It builds confidence.
It’s also an excellent step in the maturing process for young adults and teaches skills they’ll use throughout their lives. Counselors have to learn how to communicate with kids of all ages, resolve conflicts and still make sure the children are having fun.
What are you most excited about returning to camp for the 2020 season?
Last summer was our first year at the gorgeous LIU Post campus and I’m looking forward to returning with one year under my belt. It feels like home now, and I’m ready to hit the ground running with my staff to create an amazing experience of fun activities for all of the campers at Oasis Long Island.
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