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.

We learned some sad, sad news in the past few hours. Yesterday, Bob Hettler passed away suddenly. Please come back here for more information and a fuller tribute to this remarkable person—a great camp leader at Camp Fitch and Camp Wawayanda, a key camp director turning a pivotal period at Frost Valley, one of the funniest and sweetest people you’d ever meet. He and Kay Hettler were “recruited” by Halbe Brown to come from Halbe and Jane’s beloved Camp Fitch near Erie, PA, and from the Youngstown OH YMCA—in the early 1970s to help bring new leadership to Frost Valley. Bob and Kay served as camp directors of Camp Wawayanda for Boys and Camp Henry Hird for Girls, side by side, for several summers. They also led 2-week bike trips, and filled in various other roles. After their time at Frost Valley they returned to Camp Fitch where they continued to devote their time each summer, right up to the present. The photos below were taken during their recent visits to Frost Valley. The third picture, taken in the dining hall in the early 190s, shows Bob along with other Camp Wawayanda directors across the decades—as they led the lunch grace during one of the first big staff reunions.

When information is available about any memorial events or project, we will post it here. In the meantime, the hearts of all their Frost Valley friends and colleagues are with Kay and her family and Bob’s brother Bill Hettler and Bill’s family, Amy Atkinson, Ken and Sue Barton, as they struggle with this sudden loss.

ADDITIONAL INFO: The memorial service will be Sunday, November 19 in the afternoon—in Alliance, Ohio, at the First Methodist Church. (Precise time yet to be determined, but probably either 1 or 2 PM.)


On August 18, I’m so pleased to say, Sandy Shapiro (Sandra Shapiro Bohn) will be presented with the Frost Valley Volunteer of the Year Award. Sandy has returned to camp every summer in recent years, using up all her annual vacation days to join us for sessions 1 and 2—as photographer, STEP-day-out driver, Challenge Night judge, and Camp Mom. It is honor for me personally to work so closely with her each summer. Photos below: Sandy at the confluence of Biscuit Creek & Pigeon Brook just a few weeks ago; Sandy in 1969 as a Pocohontas (“Pokey”) camper.


It is hard to accept that Betsy Glick VanOrden is gone. There’s surely a hole in the heart of all of us who worked with her in the early and mid 1980s at Frost Valley. She was the second-ever V.C. of Windsong in 1985. As her camp director and friend, I worked closely with her & came to know her kindness, her amazing intelligence, her honesty, her huge capacity for empathy, her devotion to kids.
A ‘Star Ledger’ obituary gives information about the funeral services (on Saturday). It also indicates that memorial donations can be made to Frost Valley in honor of Betsy.
Here’s a link to the obit:
The photo here was taken by me one night when the VCs and I were celebrating something or other at Cold Spring Lodge. I remember this night. That’s Betsy–seeming more serious than she was that night!–in the middle. We will all miss her.

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).

On August 19, at our annual summer gathering of FV trustees and friends, we will induct Bob Haines, Hunter Corbin, and Chuck & Joy White into our Hall of Fame. Later I will post a copy of the program notes for all of the inductees. For now I’m pleased to post a selection of photos of Chuck and Joy during their nearly twenty years at Frost Valley, during which time they had transformative effects on health and wellness, on composting and recycling, on cross-country skiing, on the modernization and updating of our buildings. But, again, more about all that later. Meantime, here are photos (most of which come to me through the Whites’ daughter Rebecca).

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.