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.