YMCA Camp Ockanickon
Camp Matollionequay
& Lake Stockwell

Posts made in August, 2012

A thought of the day…

Posted by on Aug 29, 2012

One day a philosopy professor brought a large glass jar and some beautiful river rocks to class with him.  “Raise your hands when the jar is full,” he instructed his students, and began putting the big rocks into the jar.  Soon the lid would no longer fit, and all the students raised their hands to indicate the jar was full.  The professor then pulled out a bag of smaller black and white pebbles and poured them into the jar.  As the pebbles rolled down, they filled in the little gaps between the big river rocks.  The students smiled and raised their hands.  This time the jar was completely full.  Then the professor produced a bag of sand and began pouring it into the jar.  When the sand had filled the tiny gaps between the rocks and the pebbles he triumphantly placed the lid on the jar and asked his class if the jar was now full.  They all clapped and agreed, “Yes, it is full!”  At that point, the professor opened the lid and slowly poured two cups of coffee into the jar.  The coffee completely filled the tiniest gaps between the rocks, the pebbles, and the grains of sand.  “Now, life is very much like a jar,” he said.  “The river rocks represent the most important things in life, such as your ethics, your family, your loved ones, your health.  Even if you lost everything else, your life would still be full with these most important things in it.  The pebbles are the things in our lives that are pretty important – but our happiness shouldn’t depend on them.  Things like our job, house, car, etc.  Finally, the sand represents everything else – the countless small, busy things in our lives.  If we fill up our jar with sand first, then we won’t have any room for the river rocks or pebbles.  If we fill our lives with just the small stuff or the busy stuff, we won’t have any room or time for the things that mean the most to us.”  After a brief moment of silence one of the students asked, “Professor, what does the coffee represent?”  “Ah, I’m glad you asked,” replied the professor.  “It means that no matter how full your life is, there is always room for a cup of coffee with a...

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Summer Staff Super Heroes

Posted by on Aug 27, 2012

There is a group of young people here at Camp that we can never give enough credit and “thank you’s” to.  These folks are truly the ones that make Camp Magic happen.  Our year-round staff and board and committee members do a tremendous amount of work, so please don’t think we are slighting them.  But the summer staff, the young men and women living in the cabins, leading our villages around, cooking our meals, running the activities, keeping Camp clean, mentoring campers, and generally being great role models 24/7 deserve our gratitude and respect in a big way.  These “kids” work for very little, get hardly any time off, put their “outside” lives on hold for 9-14 weeks, and go above and beyond the call of duty every day, all summer long.  They play, sing, and lead until their voices are hoarse, their clothes are filthy, and their friends and family back home wonder if they are still alive because they have forgot to call home for weeks.  One moment, they are teaching a camper to paddle a canoe or setting up an overnight and the next they are counseling a young person going through a rough time at home or returning a phone call to a parent.  They write birthday cards to every camper.  They set up and break down the Dining Hall countless times (the CIT’s also deserve a lot of credit for this one!).  They are PRESENT every time a camper needs them.  They plan evening activities.  They pull the trash (usually at the last minute!).  They participate all day long in countless activities with their kids.  They strategize how to turn a village of boys and/or girls into a tight-knit team of friends.  And then they volunteer for everything else that comes up that we didn’t think of ahead of time.  After all of this (and more) in a 17-18 hour day, they may be lucky enough to sleep for 6-7 hours before getting up and doing it again.  And they always have a smile on their face!  They don’t do it for fortune (believe us, we know how  much they get paid!).  They don’t do it for fame.  They do it because they love being challenged.  They do it because they love working with young people and teaching them about character and how to make friends and how to be a part of a community.  They do it because they can’t imagine themselves doing anything else with their summer.  Most of all, they do it to give back.  From the bottom of our hearts, thank you to the summer staff of Lake Stockwell Day Camp, Camp Matollionequay for Girls, and Camp Ockanickon for Boys.  Though the majority of the world will never know what you did this summer and how many young lives you impacted for the good, we know several thousands of campers...

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Roll Up Your Sleeves!

Posted by on Aug 25, 2012

When you volunteer at Camp Ockanickon, you take an active role in bringing about meaningful, enduring change right in your own neighborhood. For RUYS, our Camp staff develops a task list ranging from jobs that require no specific skills to jobs that require someone with carpentry, plumbing or electrical skills. RUYS is an amazing opportunity for students looking to fulfill community service hours and companies, individuals and families who just want to make a difference and help give back. We look forward to seeing you!...

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A thought of the day…

Posted by on Aug 22, 2012

…there are three things we all should do every day.  We should do this every day of our lives.  Number one is laugh.  You should laugh every day.  Number two is think.  You should spend some time in thought.  Number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy.  But think about it.  If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day.  That’s a heck of a day.  You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special.                                                                     ~ Jim Valano, college basketball...

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Labor Day Family Camp

Posted by on Aug 18, 2012

Family Camp Weekend is a time for the entire family to experience traditional summer camp activities and to be campers together! Families live in our rustic cabins and lodges, enjoy delicious meals in our dining hall, and participate in camp activities facilitated by our talented summer staff. Whether you are experiencing Family Camp for the first time or have been coming for years, it is always a wonderful opportunity for your family to enjoy each other’s company and to make new friends....

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This is Goodnight But Not Goodbye

Posted by on Aug 15, 2012

As the end of the summer has drawn near my mind has turned again and again to an opinion expressed frequently at camp by campers and staff alike- the idea that camp is not real life. I myself have said this many times, and lately I’ve got to thinking about what exactly this means. Real life, for campers and staff, means work, hard work, homework, schoolwork, it means the prospect of not being included, accepted or valued as we ought to be, it means exposure to all kinds of role models, not always positive ones. It also means electricity, real beds, long showers, internet and air conditioning. Then for a few golden weeks or months a year we have camp life, no phones, no air con, 3 minute showers. But we also have independence, inclusion, acceptance, we sing and stamp and dance at meals, we have an identity, our own identity, we can be ourselves at camp, we are exposed to positive role models and have the incredible fortune of being able to influence in a real way the lives of others. So, how do we conclude that camp is not real life? At camp we have many of the qualities that people think of when that envision a perfect society. Camp is a place where we can truly be ourselves and strive to be the best we can be. Nowhere else in my life do I find myself day after day laughing so hard I feel like I’m going to break a rib. In no other job (and I’ve had a few) have I gained such satisfaction and joy or felt so valued and loved. We all have to grow up and get ‘real life’ jobs someday and leave camp behind. But in my opinion, real life and the real world should be striving to be more like camp, because to me, and countless others, of all the places we’ve been in our lives, camp has been the most real. -Beth Nelson (Apache Village...

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