I truly believe that I have the greatest job in the world. I get to create experiences that make lifelong memories for our weekend guests at Frost Valley, and that is incredibly special and rewarding. I also have to admit that Memorial Day is my favorite weekend of the entire year. We have families this weekend who met here years ago, and the children and parents became friends. Now they come back year after year, so Memorial Day is very much a reunion weekend for them. Other families come this weekend to meet up with extended family, and again, it’s become a tradition. I walk around the dining hall with a lot of kids throwing their arms around me, and I marvel at how much I’ve watched them grow over the past five years that I have been coordinating this weekend.

As I walked around camp, I saw a whole lot of fun. Kids getting soaked in the pond at they dug their nets in to catch frogs, families laughing as they boated around the lake, a large group asking a lot of questions about how to survive in the wilderness, toddlers enjoying a hike just for them, a group of kids fascinated by the idea of Sasquatch living in the woods, and some people just relaxing with a good book and enjoying the chance to disconnect. We even had a couple who became engaged at High Falls! These are the moments that make lifelong family memories, and this is what makes Memorial Day Weekend such a special time at Frost Valley.

On Saturday night, we brought in a local singer, Ira McIntosh, to lead a campfire, and he shared many stories and songs from the Catskills. We all sat around the fire and sung along as he played the banjo and guitar. We ended with a Pete Seeger song called Wonderful Friends, and the lyrics sum up the weekend quite well. Here is the chorus:

When I think of the ways that I’ve grown

I know I couldn’t have made it alone

I owe a lot to the sharing, caring, daring

Wonderful friends that I’ve known

I owe a lot to the sharing, caring, daring

Wonderful friends that I’ve known


We are all impacted by those that we spend time with and the places that we have been. Thank you to everyone who makes the time to visit Frost Valley and make memories with their families. Our staff looks forward to this weekend as much as you do, and we look forward to doing it again next year!


Ashley Ritzheimer

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Ashley Ritzheimer

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