After a few hot and humid days (and one day mostly of rain) session two has blessed us with sunny skies, cool and dry with a breeze. Everyone here—and “everyone” is the right word, as this is a completely full session!—is hitting their stride. I’ve gone around the last few days looking for a variety of scenes and views and people, to give my faithful blog readers a sense of how paradisal this place can be.

A group of CITs is minutes away from departing on their multi-day hiking trip. Do you sense excitement?

A view from the Biscuit Creek Bridge looking southward at Biscuit Creek as it moves through camp. This photo was taken two days ago and you see the river is low. But yesterday’s rain filled it up a bit.

Elodie and Claire, two of our talented CIT Coordinators.

KC Johnson, longtime staff member, drops off her daughter Cole. They travel all the way from California for camp. KC is mighty proud.

Matt and Jeff, at left, return—both of them former Directors of Camping Services. Here they are with a range of former campers and staff.

Marquis is proud of his badge (he is the VC of STEP this summer) and his Al’s Challenge Night t-shirt, acquired last night at Tacoma/Lenape/MAC Boys/STEP Challenge Night.

PAC village is looking for a bird, a plane, a superman.

Tacoma tie-dye hands.

These four alumni each have their own children in camp this session.

Camp Hird opening campfire.

Biscuit Lodge at dusk, as I walked back from opening campfire.

Our director of equestrian programs, Emily Gorman, is able to dine on pizza and popsicle at once. A rare talent. (Well, not to much…at camp.)

At Frost Valley YMCA, we believe that a happy camp experience begins with healthy fuel for the day! We set the standard for the campers to make good food choices by offering a menu directed towards a healthy diet. Our menu is designed to not only kick-start the day, but also keep the campers going for an active, fun and engaging camp experience!

Below you will find the Main Summer Camp Cycle Menu for Week One and Week Two for Summer 2018.

Summer Camp Week One Menu

Summer Camp Week Two Menu

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.

The campers here at Frost Valley are already fully immersed in this summers specialties! Along with tie dye and candles, our arts and crafts counselors are offering an amazing new experience for our campers in our Screen Printing studio

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Sam, from England, is getting an education in the camp classic Gaga.

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Campers who signed up to learn skills in our Wood Shop are getting a great experience making wooden ornaments using a coping saw.

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Rising before the sun, Adventure village began their Mini Trips bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Today all five Mini Trips left for their four day and three night adventure into the mountains. These are their photos before boarding the buses.

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Adirondack Backpacking Trip.

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Adirondack Canoeing Trip.

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Shawangunks (Gunks) Climbing Trip.

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 Catskills Backpacking Trip.

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Merrel Pavilion Trip.

Reminder there will be NO photos or blog posts until the Mini Trips have returned on Wednesday.

 

Happy Trails.

James

Assistant Adventure Director

 

This morning  adventure awoke and gathered in the village for an activity we call morning ritual. This is where the village will meet and discuss the days core value, each day we pick one of Frost Valleys 8 core vales which are Caring, Community, Respect, Responsibility, Honesty, Inclusiveness, Diversity, and Stewardship. Today’s core value was Honesty, here each camper opened up and shared one fact about themselves with the group and after that they made their way to breakfast.

After breakfast we dove into a hard skills rotation. This is where the campers shuffle from station to station. At each station they learn a new outdoor skill: how to work a backpacking stove, how to read the signs of a coming storm and what to do if one comes, what a good camp site should look like, how to minimize our impact on the forests and our natural environment. Before we head into the woods we want to make sure we know everything we can and get on the same page about safety.

After the skills rotation the campers broke out into smaller groups to take part in some camp activities that they wanted. We offered candle making, soccer, and water color painting at the lake. For water color painting campers learn different tips and techniques to create their painting. Today the subject was the very beautiful Lake Cole and to create the image they mixed paint with water from the lake giving them a painting made with the subject in which they painted. A very cool concept for the campers.

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Before dinner the whole village got together and jumped into the lake for the swim challenge. Today we had perfect weather to enjoy a dip in the lake! Tonight the campers are making their way to a flashlight tag game we call French Rev. After they will head back to the village to wash up and do devo with their tents. A great day of learning and running around!

Happy Trails.

James

Assistant Adventure Director

One of the true joys of working on our Activities Department is the designing and execution of all-camp events. Olympix is an old camp tradition that evolves and grows year to year, with this year being no different. The host team was Argentina, and our 8 competing nations were made from the nationalities of some international members of our counselor staff.

There is so much that can be said for this event. It is passion and pride. It is competition on a level playing field; who can be the most spirited, enthusiastic and sporting. It is all of camp, for 2 days, loving the experience together in one community.

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Today was a busy day for Adventure Village as they get ready to depart on their 4 day 3 night Mini-Trips.  It starts off in the morning with an activity called the duffle shuffle. This is when we have each camper set out all clothing and items that they want to take on the trip. Then as a group check that each person hasn’t forgotten anything important, but also that they haven’t over packed. This is extremely important as it means our campers don’t carry unnecessarily heavy backpacks. The village then breaks into their individual trips and do a rotation of four different trip prep stages.

The first is food pack out, this is where each trip works from their menus to weigh, sort and pack out each ingredient that they will need over the coming days. The second is gear pack out, again this is where each trip collect, sort and test all gear and equipment that they will be using on their Mini-Trip. If there is something broken or missing they can make sure the problem is fixed before they leave camp. This saves a significant amount of time and makes life much easier when on the trip; it also gives the campers a chance to become familiar with the equipment before using it on trail.

Our canoe trip then goes to Lake Cole with the Trips Coordinator to freshen up their paddling strokes, their portage skills and to enjoy the water. In the mean time the rest of the trips go to team building. This is where trips leaders set up a series of games, tasks and challenges that the group must work together to solve. This, while bringing the group closer together, shows in a very understanding way the importance of communication, collaboration and trust in a team environment. The final activity that they will attend is goal setting and trip expectations. This is where the goals and expectations are set for each individual and the group for the adventure ahead.

The groups will embark on their great adventure bright and early tomorrow morning.

 

 

Happy Trials

James Fox

Assistant Adventure Director
Frost Valley YMCA
2000 Frost Valley Rd.
Claryville, NY12725

Today we welcomed both new and returning campers to Adventure Village and as always we like to begin the session with opening campfire. This first campfire is a special one in Adventure Village as it is here that they get their first taste of what its means to be in Adventure.

As this can be a some what  of a nervous experience for new campers we figure the best way to introduce them to the village is to have returning campers share their stories and tell them ‘what adventure means to them’, this always leads to new campers standing tall and sharing with us ‘what adventure means to them’.

From blindfolded trust walks to a hidden campfire by the stream and the teaching of songs and cheers, to the Raccoon poop (brownie mix and chocolate chips) initiation, and the drinking of the Hemlock tea, to the stories/testimonies of campers and the sounds of the great outdoors.

This was Adventure’s Opening Campfire.

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Happy Trials

James Fox

Assistant Adventure Director
Frost Valley YMCA
2000 Frost Valley Rd.
Claryville, NY12725

 

Greetings from the Catskills,

Today the village split up into three different groups and each went on a different day/half day hike here on Frost Valley property. One group hiked to the peak Double Top Mountain and found the abandoned plane crash. Another hiked over Wild Cat Mountain and visited our Farm Camp, where they got to meet all the animals they have there. The last group got to explore some of the beautiful wonders we have here on camp with a focus on environmental education, exploration and awareness.

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Happy Trails,

James

Assistant  Adventure Director.