Yesterday I led a game of Geronimo and, as usual, our super-volunteer “camp mom” Sandra Shapiro Bohn took photographs of the proceedings. Later she sent me some of the pix and I saw that one of them included David Sacker’s daughter Catherine and Steve Spiwak’s daughter Olivia. Both are in Windsong this summer. I sent a copy of the photo to David, and another to Steve, and then we noticed the convergence: another sign that there are lots and lots of campers here whose parents were once Frost Valley counselors. And in this case there’s more: Steve Spiwak was David Sacker’s counselors back in the day! (And the late and much-missed Oran Giannotti—whose own daughter Cecilia, or Cece, is on the staff here this summer too—was the VC of that village (Hemlock) that summer.

Here below is the photo of these two wonderful alumni kids.

To add to the feeling of continuity: last night, late, I told Windsong a story—”The Doubletop Plane Crash Mystery,” which is itself a throwback to our earlier periods.

A note about the photographer, Sandy Bohn. She is here once again as a volunteer, coming all the way from Arizona, using up most of her vacation days from work. And this is her 50th summer in the Valley: her first summer was 1969, when she was a Pokey camper. Happy anniversary, Sandy!

A few days ago I highlighted a village—Susky—in which there were a number of campers whose parents had been counselors back in the day (the 1990s, to be more specific). Well, here are two other photos featuring campers whose parents were counselors. One is Sunny whose mom is Keara Giannotti (and whose aunt Dani and late uncle Oran and grandfather John) also served as members of the FV staff in earlier years.

Then there’s Sacky cabin 15. Four alumni kids there: Mary Hahn (daughter of Eileen Barnes Hahn), Anya Rubin (daughter of Melissa Rubin), Julia McNeill (daughter of Katy McNeill), and Emma Greenberg (whose uncle is Alex Shalom).

It happens that Susky this session includes a number of children of former Frost Valley summer staff—counselors, VCs, CIT directors, etc. Here’s the great KC Johnson telling part of the story:

So here’s the lowdown on Susky Cabin 48.  Katy McNeill-Harmon and I were Windsong counselors in summer 1992.  Kate Landis Loewengart was one of our campers!  I think Katy had her as a camper in Sacky too! So in cabin 48 you have Lauren (Katy’s daughter), Julia (Kate’s daughter), and Cole (my daughter)!  So fun!  Who’d a thunk it? Dari Litchman’s daughter Zoe is at camp this session too.  Then you have the direct line:  Zoe (Dari, my counselor, twice! Sacky & Sequoia) —> Cole (me) –> Julia (Kate was my camper!).
Okay, now here’s Kate Landis Loewengart telling her version of this intergenerational convergence:
My daughter Julia is in 48 with Cole (KC) & Lauren (Katy McNeil)  — who were both my counselors in Windsong in 92! Add in Dari & Rachel Matthew’s daughters in the Village…where it appears that all the girls have found each other and are making the connections… Then, to take us to a 3rd generation, MY camper Mary Chopard daughter Morgan (and Dad Noah O’Connor) are next door… THREE generations of Alumni kids in one village ❤️ Knew you would appreciate.
Yes, we do appreciate! Amazing. It goes on. Continuity is such a rare thing in our world, don’t you agree. But clearly Frost Valley makes a magic that young adults remember and, later, when they are parents and pondering the futures of their own children, remember with a great passion. Another 1990s guy, who later went into Y work and came back as a camp director, and then worked as Director of Camping Services—Jeff Daly—is also a first-time camper parent: his and Kelly Zingone Daly’s daughter Mary is a camper at Farm Camp. And the daughter of Mike McNamee (counselor, VC, etc.—1980s), Fionn McNamee, is a counselor and thus a colleague of David Mager’s (1980s) son Gus. And it goes on.

Kate Landis (now Kate Landis Loewengart) is spending her days dreaming of camp—the camp she herself attended as a kid, and then she became a staff member and then life did its year-by-year thing. Until her amazing daughter J——, fun-loving and ready for action, starting come to Frost Valley on her own. Now she’s in Susquehanna (Susky) and loves to play Geronimo. Here she is yesterday, trying to evade me in a round of “Swat” (Geronimo is really three games all in one, Swat being the third). I sent this to Kate and her response was: “So jealous!”

Frost Valley is about families and also about the continuities that generations can make. We here want to be part of that experience.

After a few hot and humid days (and one day mostly of rain) session two has blessed us with sunny skies, cool and dry with a breeze. Everyone here—and “everyone” is the right word, as this is a completely full session!—is hitting their stride. I’ve gone around the last few days looking for a variety of scenes and views and people, to give my faithful blog readers a sense of how paradisal this place can be.

A group of CITs is minutes away from departing on their multi-day hiking trip. Do you sense excitement?

A view from the Biscuit Creek Bridge looking southward at Biscuit Creek as it moves through camp. This photo was taken two days ago and you see the river is low. But yesterday’s rain filled it up a bit.

Elodie and Claire, two of our talented CIT Coordinators.

KC Johnson, longtime staff member, drops off her daughter Cole. They travel all the way from California for camp. KC is mighty proud.

Matt and Jeff, at left, return—both of them former Directors of Camping Services. Here they are with a range of former campers and staff.

Marquis is proud of his badge (he is the VC of STEP this summer) and his Al’s Challenge Night t-shirt, acquired last night at Tacoma/Lenape/MAC Boys/STEP Challenge Night.

PAC village is looking for a bird, a plane, a superman.

Tacoma tie-dye hands.

These four alumni each have their own children in camp this session.

Camp Hird opening campfire.

Biscuit Lodge at dusk, as I walked back from opening campfire.

Our director of equestrian programs, Emily Gorman, is able to dine on pizza and popsicle at once. A rare talent. (Well, not to much…at camp.)

Frankie, daughter of Rachel, is a camper in Susky this session. Rachel was a long-time camper and counselor and is beyond pleased that Frankie loves Frost Valley. Generations of campers! Frankie has a knack for turning to her counselor, somewhat ironically, and declaring that she is an angel. Here’s a sample of that hilarious claim.

Quite a few of the campers now here in camp are the children of former counselors. There’s nothing quite like witnessing the thrill being experienced by these parents. They can’t quite believe they are leaving their kids behind her—as they themselves check them in, help them unpack in the cabin, and then manage to find a way to leave the place they love so much. Below are just a few photos documenting all this.

Owen (a camper in Pokey-Totem) proudly holds up a photo of his mom, Jane Goldman, taken during her time here. In the photo Owen holds up, you can perhaps make out a young Josh Tucker (then CIT Director).

Josh Tucker with Kate Loewengart. Kate’s daughter Julia is a first-time camper here this session.

Rachel Matthews (at right) and her daughter Frankie (in Susky).

After such an intense experience, living together and moving through the days together with so many people, it is difficult to say goodbye—to say the very least. Here is a range of photos from the final day of session 2. From these you can get a sense of the range of responses to impending departure, and, also, of the frenetic activity that goes into making it all work smoothly, so that everyone gets the best and most fitting ending possible. See a few captions below the photos.

X holds forth.

These girls from Sacky cabin 17 wrote and here perform their cabin song. It’s quite good.

The CITs, after a month together, desperately say goodbye.

“Big Al” and Meems, Tacoma counselors.

They’re all staying another session.

CEO Jerry Huncosky preps the dining hall floor for check-out.

Lizzie loves waterfront. Her dad, Chris, when he was a camper in the 1970s here, loved waterfront too.

Mike McNamee, who was a counselor and VC in the early 1980s, stands with Ceri Duff, daughter of Stuart Duff, who also worked at FV in the 80s and his Mike’s best mate. Mike’s daughter Ffion was a CIT here this month. They traveled from Wales to make it happen.

Morgan describes for the Hird how the final day will work.

Michaela and Heather, creative writing instructors on the A-team.

We got some warm good sun for about six hours yesterday and the Frost Valley people made the most of it. I saw the energy elevating and decide to take a walk around and see what I could see with my camera. Here is what I found. I’ll try to caption some of these pics to give some context.

Counselor “Zudie” swished this shot.

Garden near the greenhouse. Campers sign up for a “specialty” course (over four days) on gardening!

The CITs teach Outpost a game.

Reunion of Lenape boys and their former counselors, now Outpost VC and CIT Coordinator.

Jesse at the Trip Center.

Amelia is proud of the “zine” she has made at Arts & Crafts.

Freestyling Tacoma in the dining hall.

Zack Zabriskie is the son of Lance (John) Zabriskie, staffer from the 80s.

The Historical Room of the Welcome Center. Here we house our Wawayanda/Frost Valley archive.

Lindsay (Camp Wawayanda Director) and Zach (Adventure Director) stroll across the field, no doubt on their way to make a good decision.

After a great run down the zipline.

Top: Eileen Barnes Hahn (long-time camper and counselor who was later the director of Camp Wawayanda) with her family at check-in for session 2. Her daughter Mary is going to be a camper here this session. Bottom: several trustees came to help out at check-in, including Bill Baker, Josh Tucker (whose two kids are back in camp), Kate Lewis (ditto), with Jerry Huncosky. Dave Bieler, whose daughter Joss is in camp, was also around but missed posing with us.