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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo of the Day; All of Adventure Village are  here and having fun.

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This photo was taken after lunch yesterday 06/29/15.  Yesterday was a day of swim tests, specialties break outs, trip sign ups, campfires and a variety summer camp activities.

Due to technical issues we were unable to blog yesterday and from our own account. This issue will be fixed shortly.

Happy Trails.

Zach Eigenbrodt.

Adventure Director
Frost Valley YMCA
2000 Frost Valley Rd.
Claryville, NY 12725
845-985-2291 ext. 265

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

 

Almost every day, I am asked the same question. I wish it was about what species of tree has those beautiful flowers outside the dining hall or how I got into doing my job. But no, it’s always, “How do you live here without service?”

I love to make the joke that we turn the clocks back to 1995 here when it comes to our connection. Buy a phone card and you can call home from any of our phones at camp. This may sound odd in 2015, but most of us still have a landline at home (I think).  They work just as well.  If you ever did have an emergency, we have staff answering the phone 24 hours a day, and we can track anyone down if needed. By the way, in case you’re wondering, I use those phone cards too. All of our program staff live right on site, and I use the cards on my personal landline to call my own family and friends. There is no secret cell phone service for our staff, another regularly-asked question. I’m also one of the people who will answer the phone at two in the morning if your group or family has an emergency.

One of the ways that Frost Valley is not living in 1995 is the Internet. Long gone are the days of AOL 3.0 dial-up. We do have wifi hotspots across the camp, and you’re welcome to take advantage of them. However, these are carefully placed so you’ll be able to enjoy all of the beauty that Frost Valley has to offer. The Welcome Center, Margetts, The Dining Hall, and Geyer Hall are all equipped with a connection, and although I don’t have a Smartphone, I’m told that you can even use that wifi to send texts and use an app to place phone calls.

What I love more than anything about being a little disconnected at Frost Valley is that we’re having conversations. Sometimes after classes are over on Saturday and before dinner begins, I’ll go to the Lower Solarium of the dining hall to get online with my beloved Kindle that you see above. However, I usually don’t do more than turn it on before I’m wrapped up in a discussion with everyone who is back there. We all talk about our day and bond over our love for Frost Valley. Along with mobile devices, you’ll almost always see our guests knitting, reading, and sharing conversation. It’s incredibly refreshing.

And what is like to live here? Pretty amazing. There are nearly 50 staff members living at Frost Valley, and we’re pretty close. We play board games, do dance classes together, hit the staff gym, take a lot of hikes, and even use the Archery Range in our free time. We also go into town together, and I’ll often go with lists from other people who need a few things. It’s a really special community, but just like you, we also sneak away to get on our mobile devices and text.

I invite you to join us for a weekend and see just how great life is without a direct connection. Whether you’re climbing up the Y tower, getting up close and personal with a salamander, or taking a canoe around the lake, you have the opportunity to relax without worrying that you may have a text or email. So take in those beautiful trees outside the dining hall – they’re Crab Apple Blossoms by the way – and join us for a weekend where you can unwind with your group or family and know that you’re in the hand of nature’s beauty and a staff that is excited to work with you. I look forward to seeing you soon!

 

 

The summer can present a unique challenge for parents: how can we keep children occupied when they’re out of school? Frost Valley YMCA offers several options for parents in our community, such as Day Camp, and thanks to local businesses this option is now more affordable.

By providing scholarship dollars for children to come to camp, Frost Valley can offer children a safe environment that ensures a summer filled with productive activities to boost summer learning, encourage growth, and foster healthy friendships. Campers at Frost Valley enjoy swimming in Lake Cole, going on field trips, riding horses, and exposure to a variety of different cultures from around the world. Achievement, Relationships, and Belonging are essential dimensions of well-being that Frost Valley cultivates through Day Camp programs.

Several local businesses have made donations that support financial assistance, including Premiere Sponsor Blue Hill Lodge & Café, which generously gave $5,000 to support local families. This support helps to ensure that all families have access to quality summer care for their children. Local business sponsorships support more than 90 campers with roughly $22,000 in financial assistance.

This article originally appeared in the Tri-Valley Townsman, May 2015. 

Frost Valley YMCA became the first in New York State to receive Hospitality Green’s “Green Concierge: Silver Tier” award for its commitment to sustainability during the second annual Green Tourism Conference, on April 15, 2015. The conference aimed to promote eco-tourism throughout the Catskill and Pocono Mountain Regions, and Frost Valley’s CEO Jerry Huncosky was a keynote speaker.

By implementing new strategies for a greener future, Frost Valley has graduated from a Bronze Tier — achieved in 2011 — to Silver Tier, the second highest honor in the Green Concierge (GC) Project conceived by Hospitality Green, a New York-based consulting firm specializing in environmental and operations consulting services.

“Green living is an integral part of our mission at Frost Valley YMCA, and we offer several programs that teach children and families about water conservation, home energy audits, environmental protection, food sustainability — both through choosing ethically sourced food and by composting, and much more,” says Frost Valley CEO Jerry Huncosky. “We are honored and privileged to receive this recognition as we continue our path to a more sustainable future.”

To attain a Silver Tier certification, Frost Valley has included new achievements to its list of green policies, such as facility energy audits, staff training on sustainable practices, better water conservation, and more, in addition to its current standards, which include:

  • Energy-efficient LED and CFL light bulbs throughout camp, with motion sensors in most low traffic areas
  • Recycling and composting
  • Practicing forestry conservation
  • Using Green Seal-certified, nontoxic cleaning products, as well as EcoLogo soft tissues and paper towels made from recycled content.
  • Sourcing local produce whenever possible, offering food that contains zero trans-fats, and using ethically sourced food whenever possible, including rBGH-free milk, Fair Trade coffee, and poultry and meats without antibiotics.

To learn more about Frost Valley YMCA’s green efforts and achievements, please visit our Sustainable Practices page.

In photo, from left: Two members of Hospitality Green provide Director of Operations Tom Holsapple and CEO Jerry Huncosky with the Silver Tier award.

Although the last gasps of winter persisted longer than many expected, a little snow on the ground certainly didn’t disrupt Frost Valley YMCA’s Spring Break Day Camp, which took place March 30-April 3.

Dozens of campers spent their school break enjoying nature hikes, climbing, sports, arts and crafts, and a trip to the Frost Valley Farm, where they were able to watch and learn about the farm and its livestock, including baby goats, lambs, and bunnies.

Campers were in for a special treat on Friday, the final day, when they experienced a taste of culinary education at Frost Valley’s Healthy Home Teaching Kitchen, where they learned how to bake cookies. Later that afternoon, the annual Spring Break Egg Hunt took place in Geyer Hall, a conference and recreation center, where about 500 plastic eggs filled with stickers and treats were scattered among two stories. Campers were divided into age groups and collected eggs in festive paper bags they crafted the previous day.

To campers, these activities are a fun way to spend a refreshing break from sitting at a school desk all day. But Frost Valley staff ensures that each activity is also a learning experience — a means to explore, discover, build confidence, and make friends. These lessons showed through during the culminating Egg Hunt. While campers scattered about, each group tended to display the values Frost Valley aims to teach. The youngest set was the least competitive, preferring to share their finds with friends. When one camper began to cry because he wasn’t tall enough to reach an egg; the other tiny campers gathered around to cheer him up, some offering their own eggs. Soon, he was up, running, and laughing with the rest of them. The slightly older campers were also playful and courteous, while developing strategies and displaying teamwork. It was a great opportunity to see these lessons put into action.

Families who are interested in exploring Summer Day Camp options can attend a free Open House on April 26, which includes a tour of camp, presentation, Q&A, lunch, and a camp craft. Please visit FrostValley.org to reserve your spot.

This article originally appeared in the Tri-Valley Townsman, 2015.

Inevitably both campers and parents will arrive to the same question, “What should I bring to camp?” Well we’re here to help, just as there is a list of things to bring/do before you arrive to camp there is a unwritten list of things that you only learn through the experience of sending your camper to camp a few times…well here you will learn some of those helpful tricks.

1. Bring a headlamp instead of a standard flash light “what’s the difference?” you may ask, I’m glad you did. The reason is that it is crazy difficult to read with a flashlight being held between your head and your shoulder in they evening after lights out (also send extra batteries!).

2. Bring non-scented deodorant, soap & shampoo, and wash all clothes with non-scented detergents before coming to camp. You wouldn’t believe how helpful this is to keep all sorts of bugs/pests away.

3. Leave the electronics at home! You seriously won’t need them, trust me on this. Camp is a place that is not electronics friendly place, there is rain, there are surprise water balloon fights and many other activities that are great for children but not so great for those pricy pieces of electronics. Parents if you need a resource to help you understand/create a convincing arguement this please refer to http://unplugatcamp.com it’s a great resource for understanding the importance of viewing life through your own eyes instead of on a screen.

4. Presents for your bunk mates (think birthday party favors) helps with making friends on the first day easy! I had a camper who would bring a stack of flea market comic books for the cabin.

5. A backpack is always helpful. Plastic bags to put a book in while it’s in your backpack are crazy helpful (just incase there is one of those impromptu and unscheduled water involved events that “never” happen at camp).

6. Pre-filled out envelopes! Put the address and stamp on the envelope before your camper gets to camp. This makes sure that the post office can read the address and cuts down on the likelyhood that your camper will actually send you a letter…speaking of letters…think about how long a letter takes to travel. If you get a letter from your camper on the third day of camp that is anxiety filled things “most likely” have settled down since the time you’ve received the letter. Summer camps routine kicks in on the third day of camp and most campers have settled in by then. Please reach out to us as frequently as you wish for updates on your camper if there is a concern.

7. The comforts of home. “What do you mean by that?” You ask. Send your camper with posters to put up around their bunk, magazines, books (required reading works well), stuffed animals & pictures. This helps make their bunkbed area uniquely theirs and allows them to help break the ice with other campers.

8. A couple pairs of shoes. Ones that are both closed toe & closed heel and a pair of crocs that can get wet and that can be kept in a backpack. That way shoes can stay relatively dry.

9. Disposable cameras, even if just as a backup to their point and shoots. I know, what year is this? It’s the best way to make sure that your campers experience is documented for the ages and honestly how retro-cool would it be that your campers have actual photos of camp.

10. Costumes, instruments and/or a journal. I know I’m hitting you with several things at once (I’m limiting the list to 10 things). A guitar or Jedi costume or simply a way to document their experience will add another dimension to your campers experience.

This is a short list and hopefully a helpful one. Good luck packing and see you on check-in day!

Build Strong,

Kam Kobeissi – Director of Camp Henry Hird