Frost Valley is a community built on love and our core values. We stand for respect, caring, honesty, responsibility, stewardship, diversity, inclusiveness, and community for all people. For all people.

 

Being a part of this community is a special thing, and the core values are what drew me to the YMCA movement many years ago. Being a part of the Frost Valley YMCA movement, has made more of an impact on me than I ever thought possible. Our commitment to these values, and our intentional implementation of them in our programming every day, for every person, has guided me to become a stronger, more intentional leader. What I try to do each day, and what I’ve committed my life to, is providing children a safe place to learn about themselves, build relationships, solve healthy conflict, relate to people with differences, and learn how to care. That is how I can contribute to my community, and I thank my campers for inspiring me to do so. Our campers are some of the most caring, positive, change agents in this world. I’m convinced of it 🙂

 

Many people describe our community as being a big family. I believe this as well. We are a loving community. We share stories and provide guidance to one another. We hug each other when times are hard and try to lift one another up. We cheer each other on and encourage each other’s dreams. But the part that makes us such a strong and unique family is our differences. Each one of us bring to camp our own experiences and perspectives, and each one of us leaves with a better understanding of someone who’s experiences and perspectives are different from our own. We celebrate these differences, encourage each other to share and discuss differences, and coach our youth through navigating some of these differences as well.

 

I am proud of this community. I am honored to be a part of it. I am humbled constantly by the amazing youth that are part of this community. I encourage all of my campers to continue to embrace each other’s differences, support each other through hardships, and spread the values that we practice at Frost Valley throughout your communities at home.

 

Once you become part of our family, you are part of it for life. Thank you for being part of my community.

Ubuntu, I am because we are.

Peace, Love, Bibbley,

Lindsay

Happy Wednesday All!

 

It has been a warm start to November here in the Valley, and we are excited to kickoff #CoreValuesInAction for this month highlighting COMMUNITY! Community is represented by the color orange, and was one of the more recent additions to FV’s list of values. We added community (along with diversity, stewardship, and inclusiveness) a few years ago, to make our list of values stronger. We feel that community is a strong and positive value that encompasses a lot of what we do here in our programs: teambuilding, living in a cabin with strangers, and being part of something greater than yourself.

 

Here is how community is defined by some of our campers from Summer 2016:

“Community: I love working together to make things happen” – Sophia, Susky Village
“Community, because everyone here gets along and acts as a family… This camp is the definition of fun… I love this camp so much and I feel like myself around other kids my age” – Justin, Outpost Village
“On the night of my overnight, the threat of thunderstorms loomed overhead, making it unsafe to sleep outside. So, as a result, my cabin (Turrell) all slept in our main room, on the floor, and talked all night. We really bonded, and a powerful sisterhood was formed.” – Lakota Camper
“I displayed community by helping the first year campers in my cabin.” – Outpost Camper
“I like community because all of the core values fall under it. To make or have a good community you need to hace all of the core values!” – Roxana, Susky Village
“It let me bond with all of my new friends that I couldn’t have without a community.” – Beckett, Outpost Village
“Helping to create a welcome atmosphere in the cabin and village” – Milo, Forest Village
“I like community the most because all the campers and the counselors felt like a mini community inside of camp.” – Jack, Mighty Village of the Trees
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The Session 1 Camp Wawayanda Community!

If any campers have a story that puts community into action in your communities, please send them to me at lhutchinson@frostvalley.org. I will feature your story in our blog and send you an orange core values tshirt!
Looking forward to hearing your stories!
Peace, Love, Bibbley,
Lindsay

#CoreValuesInAction has been brought to life in a big way at Woodstock Day School, thanks to the hard work by a few of our Outpost Campers. Zach, one of our campers during Summer 2016, wrote to me with an awesome story of how he and his classmates, also Outpost Campers, were putting Core Values into Action:

 

Hi Lindsay This is Zach 3rd Session cabin 39. I wanted to tell you this story and it might work for this month’s caring core value. There was a new girl in our class and she is sick and can’t come to school. We are going to send a video card to her each week as a class, and 1 kid will send a hand written card. Also we will cook meals for her family. The two students who came up with the idea Paix and Niko both Outpost session 3 campers . Jerome (Cabin 38) and Ben (Cabin 39) will be a part as well because we are all in the same class. We feel that by doing she will get to know her class better.

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Outpost Campers Niko, Zach, Ben, Jerome, and Paix

This project has been designed entirely by the students of the class, making this a very special  project. Regularly, the students of the Woodstock Day School complete Community Service projects, but this one is very unique and very personal, showing how much kindness and generosity our campers have. Here is a picture of the campers with the letters that they have written. They were making cards with lists of movies, books, tv shows etc. for the student who is sick to watch or read so she doesn’t get bored. They came up with some really good (and funny) ideas!  Last Friday, the parents of the students in the class dropped off a load of food for the family as well!

 

When everyone at Frost Valley heard this story, we knew that we had to share it with the rest of the community!  Zach, Paix, Niko, Jerome, and Ben, you have been an inspiration to everyone here, and we hope that you know how much of a positive impact you and your classmates are making in your community! You have demonstrated so many of our Core Values, especially caring, and we are so glad that you shared this story with us!

 

 

If any of our campers have a story about putting the #CoreValuesInAction, please email Lindsay at lhutchinson@frostvalley.org and you too could be featured in the Frost Valley Blog, as well as receive a Core Values TShirt. During the month of November, we will be featuring the Core Value of Community! Looking forward to hearing your stories!

 

 

Peace, Love, Bibbley,

Lindsay

#CoreValuesInAction

Hello hello hello, and happy #CoreValuesInAction Wednesday!

 

As I write this blog, there is snow outside of my Margetts office, falling on Filries Field. I have a winter hat on, and am drinking a cup of tea. WOW, do I miss summer or what?!?! The past four years that I have been here for the fall, it has always snowed in October. I hope everyone else is enjoying the Fall before it turns to winter!

 

This October has been different though. We have been celebrating with a new initiative, Core Values in Action, and have been sharing stories of our summer campers practicing the core values at home, and displaying them actively in their communities. I am SO EXCITED to share with you a few of the stories that we got about the Core Value of CARING!

 


“Since I attended Frost Valley camp, I am more aware of the core values and have done the following.   I volunteered at the library and helped care for the younger students.  I was the banker for the summer reading program, and helped with the activities.  I won a customer service excellence award for my time at the library.   I have helped my mom walk two of our Pekingese dogs more often.   I care very much for my family and show them I care by telling my parents and brother that I love them, and hug them too. I care about my friends at school, and help them with their work if they need it.  I also care about my school and am in the process of running for student government treasurer.  It is something I am excited about doing. I am already looking forward to next summer at Frost Vallley.  I told my parents to sign me up.” – Blake, Outpost Village
“I help people when they are feeling down because I want them to be happy… I take care of my dog take her out for long walks and I help clean the floor like trash.” Jennifer, Lakota Village

“Me and the rest of our family “adopted” a stray cat. She was really thin and skittish when we first got her but now she is healthy and friendly she even lets us pet her.

#CoreValuesInAction??” Madeline, Lakota Village
” My example of caring is when my aunt Ami was still alive.  She was old and could not go out to do pretty much anything.  My mom and I went to Bistro To Go, which is a place that sells readymade food.  We used to buy food there and bring it to her and her husband, and they really liked it.  I think that is an example of caring because we brought food for them, and I would be thankful if someone did that for me. ” Ben, Outpost Village

I hope you all enjoyed these stories as much as I did! It is awesome to hear from friends about the awesome things they learned at camp that they are bringing back to their communities! Send me your stories putting any of the Core Values into Action, and you too will be featured in our blog and receive of a Core Values Tshirt!
Be on the look out for next weeks #CoreValuesInAction story, featuring 5 of our Outpost Campers!
Peace, Love, Bibbley,
Lindsay
#CoreValuesInAction

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

 

#CoreValuesInAction are here and its time to introduce the Core Value of the month, Caring! Caring is one of the core values that Frost Valley shares with all of the other YMCAs in the U.S. Its color is red which is the color of your heart, where your caring actions come from. I think that some of the most generous “caring” folks at camp are our counselors. They love and care about all of our campers so much, and their dedication to making camp the best is because they care!

 

To introduce Caring this month, I’ve put together a few photos and quotes from this past summer that were given to me by our campers! I hope to inspire you with these thoughts on Caring, so that you are able to put this core value into practice at home, in your schools, and in your communities.

 

“I think we all need to be caring to each other. We need to check to make sure we’re all okay in order to have fun.” – Lakota camper

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Campers celebrating their core values during Wawafest! Red = Caring!

 

“I like caring because it means to me that I actually feel like a family to other people” – Everly, Pokey Totem

“I like caring because people need help and you should be nice! Also, when someone wants help, help them!” – Brynn, Pokey Totem

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We all CARE about each other!

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How to Care, created at Wawafest!

“Caring makes the future!” – Jack, Pokey Totem

 

“When you’re sad you can have a caring friend to cheer you up!” – Jacob, Outpost

 

“At one point in your life you are going to have to care about a lot of your stuff” Harrison, Pokey Totem

 

Caring is: “Caring about nature, being there for someone, a person that you rely on, standing up to bullying, being nice to people even when they aren’t nice, and accepting people for who they are” – Wawafest Caring Campers

 

Please send any stories about #CoreValuesInAction to me at lhutchinson@frostvalley.org and I will send you a super sweet Core Values t-shirt!

 

Hope everyone is enjoying the start of Fall! Come see us sometime soon in the Valley for an awesome atmosphere of brightly colored trees, crisp air, and yummy apple cider!

 

Peace, Love, Bibbley,

Lindsay

Lindsay Hutchinson

Director of Camp Wawayanda

 

 

Yesterday was the first brunch of summer 2016. On Sundays each session, campers (and hopefully counselors!) get a chance to sleep in and go to brunch at 10am. Brunch is one of the most anticipated activities for campers, because during brunch campers are treated to the “Island of Dreams,” an ice cream sundae bar that accompanies waffles and other brunch options. It’s a great way to kick of Sundays, for Wawayanda brunch is followed by morning reflection. Morning reflection is a time where campers and staff perform songs and skits that go along with a theme selected by the counselors in training (CITs). Wawayanda’s morning reflection theme for this session was “covalent bonds”. After morning reflection cabin groups went back up to their villages for double rest hour, before heading down to the staff soccer game which is followed by the 1st session all camp activity, Small World. Small World is a culture sharing event where international staff members plan booths for campers to explore the food, music, and history of different countries. The afternoon was sunny but not too hot, perfect all camp weather! In addition to the booths at Small World, campers were able to try healthy snacks from our snack truck, cool off under the hose of a local firetruck, and play in our bouncy castle.

One of the best things about Frost Valley is our commitment to making a summer camp experience accessible to all.With that comes a variety of programs designed to fit the needs of campers. Yesterday morning we received news that one of our campers who is a part of the Ruth Gottscho Dialysis and Children’s Kidney Program was eligible to receive a new kidney! The camper, who is part of Pokey Totem, left camp yesterday to get his new kidney. The village chief of Pokey Totem and the staff organized a going away party for the camper; all of the campers in the village sent him off with cards and a sign congratulating him before he left. The picture above is from the going away party. Moments like these are what make the summer camp experience magical, and show the commitment our staff have to the campers. We wish the best of luck to the camper and his family. We are so excited for him!

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A rainy day at Frost Valley led to quality time spent in cabin groups. Susky village spent their evening performing lip-sync dances in their cabins meanwhile Lakota, Outpost, and Thunderbird competed in the classic evening activity Challenge Night. Pokey Totem finished up their day with a dance party in the dining hall (photo featured above). They definitely didn’t let the rain get them down! Tomorrow our one week village, Thunderbird, will be going out on overnights. Half of the village will be going to Nially’s Crossing while the other half will be at Moonshadow, two of our most scenic overnight sites! Check back tomorrow for more photos of Wawayanda fun!

– Phoebe Torchia, Assistant Wawayanda Director

 

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Summer camp was in full swing for the first full day! During a beautiful and sunny morning, campers played Geronimo, learned cheers, played tag and went to waterfront orientation. Some campers were able to complete their swim tests, and the rest will be taking them tomorrow. At dinner, cabin groups got together to take their cabin photos! The photo featured here is Outpost Cabin 38, all of the boys were excited to have their photo posted so all their friends and family could see what a great time they’re having at summer camp!

We’re looking forward to an amazing rest of the week and session! Check back tomorrow for more blogging and photos.

Peace, Love, Bibbley,

The Wawayanda Directors,

Phoebe, Lindsay, Sian, Sevani

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What a beautiful night for the first campfire of session 1! All of our campers were introduced to all of the staff, we sang some silly songs, and  watched the sunset by the lake!

Pokey Totem even showed us their running man challenge and danced for everyone! Here’s the video!

http://Pokey Totem Running Man!

More photos and blogs to come! We are SO excited that everyone was here!

Peace, Love, Bibbley,

The Wawayanda Directors

Lindsay, Phoebe, Sian, and Sevani