What a great 1st Session!!!

Posted by on Jun 30, 2010

Everyone is making friends, enjoying loads of activities, and developing new skills.  More than half of the Boys Camp enjoyed the Polar Bear Swim at 6:30 this morning.  The water was warm, but the air was a little on the brisk side!  We then enjoyed our Monk’s Breakfast with the Benedictine Monks chanting in the background. Before entering the Dining Hall, everyone took a vow of silence that we adhered to throughout the whole meal.  It was great to have a break in the heat today.  We all enjoyed the cool weather.  It’s rare that I see anyone in long sleeves at Summer Camp!  The CIT’s left for their overnight in the Pine Barrens this afternoon and the rest of the Villages had their White Feather Ceremonies tonight.  To all of our camper parents out there, you should be very, very proud of your sons.  These young men have really created a beautiful community this session.  I don’t think I have ever seen a session with so many campers genuinely caring about each other as much as this session.  There is a feeling of inclusion and friendship that you can find all over Camp.  When your campers come home at the end of the session, please ask them about the friends they made at Camp, if they helped anybody else or if anyone helped them, and if their counselors taught them anything about character and values. Brent Birchler Boys Resident Camp...

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Fun at Lake Stockwell

Posted by on Jun 30, 2010

Check out the action at Bettes Beach 🙂 Summer is finally here!  I have been looking forward to this week all year! From the looks of it, the campers and staff have been anxiously awaiting Session 1 too.  We’ve been enjoying the swimming, sun, new experiences, reunions and laughter that make summer camp so special. I can already tell that it’s going to be a fantastic and unforgettable summer!

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The inherent goodness in young men never ceases to blow me away

Posted by on Jun 28, 2010

It has been a pleasure to watch the Ocky boys during their first 2 days of Camp.  They are truly living the old-fashioned Camp mantra of “the Other Fellow First.”  Since they have arrived yesterday, I have watched our Ocky campers helping each other at activities, cheering each other on in the Bowl, and making sure everyone has a room on the bench at Air RIflery.  The best part of my day came when I forgot to put the pellets out at the Air Riflery range for the Algonquin’s activity period.  I got it out to them as quickly as I could and apologized for making them wait.  They were all patient and told me it was ok.  One young man named Michael said, “Don’t worry about it, Brent.  Everyone makes mistakes.”  That put a huge grin on my face.  I thought that was pretty incredible for a 12 year old to recognize that everyone makes mistakes and that it is ok to do so. I love it when I get to witness our boys actually “get it.”  It is truly magical to watch a group of campers become a family for their time here at Ockanickon.  We have had to wait 10 months for Summer Camp to arrive, and it is finally here!  I am so excited for my 20th summer here at Camp.  It only gets better every year! Brent Birchler Boys Resident Camp...

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Blue Heron in flight

Posted by on Jun 25, 2010

Hello Friends… As I write this the countdown timer to Resident Camp reads 1 day, 14 hours, 22 minutes and 18 seconds…. and 2 days, 8 hours, 22 minutes and 18 seconds to Day Camp It is late in the evening on Friday. Staff training finished up hours ago. The food has been ordered. The grass is cut. The The cabins have all been cleaned. There is a Boating area… 3 of them actually… with empty canoes waiting… at the ready. The horses are fed and settled in for the night. The Main Office… quiet at this hour after days, weeks and months of phone calls, mail and forms flowing in and out at a breakneck speed. The tractors and hay wagons sit quietly under the stars. Lifeguard towers stand at attention, ready to hoist up their occupants and grant them an eagle-eye view and command over the waterfronts. The staff have all the tools they need to give each and every one of our Campers a good time and to make this a Summer to remember. Are YOU ready? Travel safe… and we’ll see you soon! Be good… Chef...

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Building Character since 1906

Posted by on Jun 21, 2010

Today, my dear readers, is the Summer Solstice. The official first day of Summer. Our General Staff Training week began yesterday, preceded by a week of “AD Staff” Training (AD is short for Administrative). These two weeks our Camp Directors spend hours upon hours instructing, coaching and preparing all of our Staff for the journey ahead of them and for their various roles here at Camp.  From Village Chiefs to C.I.T. Directors… from Rangers to Lifeguards… and everything in between. These fine young men and women will soon be ready to give each and every child who attends any of our programs this 2010 Camp season… Ockanickon for Boys, Matollionequay for Girls and Lake Stockwell Day Camp… a Summer to remember. As I looked around at the faces during Dinner on Sunday evening I saw kids I knew when they were Campers… 7 or 8 years old… 12 or 13 years old… now in the role as Counselor… or Lifeguard… or Arts and Crafts Director… ready to pay it forward to the next generation. I see the quiet C.T.T who now blossomed into a brilliant young man and is brimming with personality. I cross paths with the Ranger who struggled during her journey and is now solid as a rock and a true Role Model for our children to look up to. With the exception of a new group of wonderful International Staff from around the world, I see a lot of familiar faces. That to me says “Dedication”. Giving back to the place that has given so much and has meant so much to them. Kudos to our amazing Camp Directors… Gab Ostroski at Matollionequay, Jen Segelken at Lake Stockwell and Brent Birchler at Ockanickon… for cultivating such a wonderful group of Staff who come back year after year to help us all pay it forward. If you are signed up for any of our Summer Camp programs, rest assured, you are in good hands, good company and you will most certainly have a GOOD TIME!! If you are NOT signed up for any of our Summer Camp programs… WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!?!? Don’t miss out on a Summer to remember!! Give us a call and sign up today while we still have a few bunks open!! Until next time folks… Be good… Chef...

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