Frost Valley YMCA is excited to announce the opening of a new disc golf course designed by the award-winning John Houck of HouckDesign. The course, which is listed by the PDGA (Professional Disc Golf Association), was home to the recent Catskills Classic, a two-day disc golf tournament that took place over the weekend of October 3-4. The tournament brought approximately 25 players of varying skill levels to the Catskills. The same day, Frost Valley hosted workshops led by Houck on course design.

Disc golf is very similar to regular golf, but instead of hitting golf balls, players throw discs of varying weights and design in an attempt to land them in a basket at or below par. The Frost Valley course, which was designed to have minimal impact on its surrounding environment, features 18 holes in a fun and challenging layout that leads players through the scenic woods of the Catskills.

“We are very excited to be able to introduce a sport that is rapidly up and coming,” says Frost Valley’s Director of Operations Tom Holsapple. “This course is designed to be enjoyed by players of varying experience, from pros, to beginners, to individuals with disabilities.”

The course’s creation was made possible thanks to generous funding by the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust and can accommodate players of virtually any ability, from children with disabilities to lifelong, expert disc golfers. According to course designer John Houck: “The place and the people are just incredible. I’m not even sure what words I can use to describe the property, other than spectacular.”

Frost Valley YMCA celebrated Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. on January 16-19 by offering a weekend to connect with family and put into practice some of the same values shared in King’s teachings.

As always, the weekend was filled with fun programs, such as snow tubing, yoga, ice fishing, and family crafts, but Frost Valley also incorporates meaningful, lifelong lessons — both subtle and outright — in each activity.

For starters, inclusiveness and caring for others are highly encouraged throughout the Valley. Both kids and parents are given the opportunity to try new, sometimes challenging activities that they may need extra encouragement to try — an uphill hike can seem overwhelming to some. But in the spirit of inclusiveness, Frost Valley’s supportive environment encourages participation and allows others to overcome their fear.

Frost Valley sees families who visit from not just New York, but from a wide variety of locations. As families meet and mingle around the fireplace, in the dining hall, or during an activity, a greater respect is gained for cultural awareness and diversity. The more families learn about each other, the more they learn about themselves.

While global awareness is important, Frost Valley also places an emphasis on including the local community. Those in the surrounding area should mark their calendars for Spring Break Day Camp from March 30-April 3. Campers ages four through 15 can enjoy four fun-filled days of hiking, sports, games, arts and crafts, climbing, and trips to a local swimming pool. Campers will also get to visit Frost Valley’s Educational Farm to meet and learn about animals (Frost Valley expects plenty of baby animals to be newly born), visit a maple sugaring house to taste fresh-made syrup, try candle making, and much more.

Originally published in the Tri-Valley Townsman, Jan. 2015.