Hello Frost Valley Family!

 

I am writing to you today on #CoreValuesInAction Wednesday, with a CHALLENGE that I have for you all!

 

A big part of community to me, is serving those around you, and bringing people together. Community falls perfectly in the month of November, when we celebrate Thanksgiving and do just that! We all come together to share a meal, and celebrate what we are thankful for. Not everyone is able to share a meal on this day, and many people are hungry every day. This is the time of year, that we should give back, and help our communities combat hunger.

 

My challenge to all of you is to do some volunteering in your communities around this time of Thanksgiving! Donate to a food bank, volunteer in a soup kitchen, or put together a community dinner at your school. Research ways to combat world hunger, support indigenous peoples, and spend time with friends and family. Take the core value of Community and put it in action this Thanksgiving season!

 

Giving Tuesday is coming up, and if we all put community into action together, we could make one of the biggest impacts the world has ever seen from a summer camp!

 

Here are a list of resources to look at in the NYC and NJ areas to get involved in your community:

https://www.newyorkcares.org/holiday-volunteering-referrals

http://www.njfamily.com/NJ-Places-You-Can-Volunteer-Thanksgiving-Week/

 

If you accept my challenge and put COMMUNITY in action, please email me at lhutchinson@frostvalley.org. I will feature your story in the blog, and send you a core values tshirt! Looking forward to hearing all of the AWESOME ways you are impacting your community!

 

Peace, Love, and Bibbley,

Lindsay

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
IMG_5845

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

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

13641173_10103614983680574_7745312396143261705_o

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

IMG_5845

We all CARE about each other!

img_1371

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

 

 

With Winter Camp in full swing, what better way to celebrate than with a full day of Winter Olympix. The day was hosted by Team Canada, and the teams competing were Russia, Switzerland, Norway, and Greenland. The games included Giant Curling, Capture the Snowman, Gramcracker House Building Contest, and Jeopardy.  Greenland’s Gramcracer House was actually a Narwhal! Banners were made, faces were painted, and cheers were created. And like every night of Winter Camp, it ended with a Summer Throwback Dance Party!

Greenland's Narwhal

Greenland’s Narwhal

Click here to watch a video of the Dance Party!!!! featuring one of our favorite summer songs!

family

 

Here at Frost Valley, we all feel like part of a big family, and some of us actually are family! Here we have the Boynton family, all siblings, in Pokey Totem village, Forest Village, and Mustang Village. How many family members do you have at camp or know who went to camp?

A camper from session 1 quoted, “I came in to camp feeling like a stranger, and came out with a family.” We couldn’t say it better ourselves!

Thank you to all the families who made it possible for our campers to be at camp. We are having such an amazing time, and are feeling so lucky to have your campers here with us! What a respectful, funny, and full of energy group we have!

Greetings from Wawayanda Session 2 2015!

 

We have been having an ABSOLUTE blast here already during Session 2 and wanted to let you all know how happy everyone has been! We have already had some epic dance offs, played Ultimate Sicko Ball, hung out with Al, celebrated a few birthdays, and took our swim tests! There is nothing better than sunshine and laughter, and other than a few short rain showers, we have had nothing but that!

 

On Sunday night, we all gathered at our favorite spot on camp, CiT Point, to celebrate the beginning of the session with our Opening Campfire. We had skits, songs, silly counselors, and even a surprise visit from a beaver who was gathering some sticks in the lake for his home! We had such a blast, bibly!

 

Monday began our first full day, complete with new specialties, new friends, and lots of new activities! We learned cheers of our Villages, which we will sing at Hoopla during lunch. Also, we all had our waterfront orientation and took the swim test! Everyone is safely in the water level of their comfortably, and swimming lessons will begin tomorrow to all campers who want to improve! Lakota Village won Gold at the Lakolympix Swim Test Event! We built shelters in the woods, did team building and trust walks, and played Geronimo with Al!

 

Today, we were in full swing, and there was so much creative programming happening! Gladiator was played in the dining hall with Outpost and the CiTs, Pokey Totem climbed the Y Tower and made candles, Susky and Forest did some aerobic workouts, and Lakota played Geronimo. We all ended the day with a camp-wide game of Ultimate Sicko Ball, one of our favorite camp games.

 

We are looking forward to the week ahead, and cannot wait to share more stories with you!

 

Peace, Love, & Wawayanda,

Lindsay

 

*Photo From Opening Campfire*

11741746_10206410938446135_654646515_n

Dear Session One Campers of 2015,

 

From the bottom of our hearts, we want to thank you for the best start of summer 2015 that we could have ever imagined. Not only were we the BIGGEST session one that Wawayanda has ever had, but we were definitely the funniest, most creative, and the best looking bunch there ever was.  We could always count on you, for making us laugh, for teaching us how to dance-off, or for singing TSwift with us.

We will never forget the mud fight on the slip and slide hill, the overnights in rain locations, our 1-week camper friends, Larping Day, the time we all got tattoos, the fireworks, and especially the meatballs on spaghetti night. We will keep these memories with us all summer long, and we thank you for giving us such an exciting two weeks to start off the summer.

We are SO proud of you. Each and every one of you! You have become better versions of yourselves, tried new and adventurous things, stepped out of your comfort zones, and made new friends. You have shown your counselors love, created magical moments with each other, and brought the Wawayanda spirit to life.

As you lay down tonight, and have your last sleep in the smelly cabins in Pokey Totem, or in the rustic cabins on the hill, we hope that you dream of summers to come. We will miss you when you leave tomorrow, and we wish you the best of luck in the school year.

 

With all of our love,

Lindsay, Nick, and Dom

 

closing session 1

image

It can now be said, that all of the first Session of Wawayanda Campers are all tucked in and sleeping safely in their bunks. We had a fun, high energy opening campfire this evening, full of laughter, cheers, and lots of songs. We even made Lakota Omlettes, and Outpost Pot Roast! Here’s all of Wawayanda, doing funny faces for a panorama photo shoot.

 

We wanted to thank all of our parents for sending your campers here to camp. We are so honored and excited to spend the next 11 days (4 days for some of you) with them! We are looking forward to sharing many magical moments and stories with you throughout the summer.

 

Peace, love, and Wawayanda,

Lindsay