YMCA Camp Ockanickon
Camp Matollionequay
& Lake Stockwell

Posts made in November, 2012

Gobbler Run

Posted by on Nov 24, 2012

And the results are in! Thanks for coming out to support our Annual Campaign! Hope you all had fun! http://www.tnteventmanagement.com/Results/2012/GOBBLER%20RUN%20RESULTS%202012.HTM

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Winter Camp

Posted by on Nov 17, 2012

Are you missing Camp yet? Then be sure to sign-up for our annual Winter Camp! Spend time with your friends and keep your fingers crossed for some snow! http://www.ycamp.org/documents/2012WinterCamp.pdf

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Yet another dose of Camp Magic…

Posted by on Nov 16, 2012

Hello dear readers… Last weekend we hosted our third wedding this Fall season and the lucky bride and groom couldn’t have asked for a better day on Saturday. While the temperature was a tad chilly, Camp was in tip-top shape thanks to the hard work of our staff and the wedding party who did an amazing job setting up the dining hall here at Ockanickon to create a warm and amazing feeling inside the Dining Room and around Chapel Island. This Saturday we witnessed the union of a Matollionequay Alumni, Kristin to her beau Kenny. Kristin had been, amongst other things like working for our School’s Out program and our Trading Post, she was our Matolly Rangerette Director for a few years… leading dozens of young ladies on trips up and down parts of the Appalachian Trail and the Delaware River, north of us here in New Jersey. Kristin loves the outdoors and you can find her many days hiking around the Camp with Kenny, their girls Kiley and Avianna. I think chosing Camp to for this wonderful event was an easy choice for Kristin and Kenny. At the end of the night on Saturday they invited me to a post reception campfire down by Bette’s Beach by the lake. I was honored to, not only prepare their feast that night, but to be included as a friend. I had a chance, around the roaring fire that night, to speak for a moment of loftier things. On the very spot which we sat, Camp had a very special guest photographed in front of a long gone totem pole. The mans name was Tich Nhat Hanh… a very famous and prolific Buddhist Monk. At the time he visited Camp in June of 1962 he was a young man who had been exiled from his native Vietnam for his religious beliefs. He spent a great deal of time here that summer, living on the property and interacting with the children and staff. In his memoir from that time, titled “Fragrant Palm Leaves”, page one of chapter one reads… 26 June 1962, Medford New Jersey “I am in a Cabin called “Pomona” in the woods of (northern) New Jersey. It was so dark when I arrived that I was startled my first morning by the beauty and peacefulness here. Mornings here remind me of Phuong Boi, the monastery we built in the highlands of central Vietnam. Phuong Boi was a place for us to heal our wounds and look deeply at what happened to us and our situation.” The next 60 or so pages of this memior recount his time spent at Camp Ockanickon… and to those of us who find Camp a special place, you’ll find that reading the passages feel like they were written yesterday. One of Tich Nhat Hahn’s main teachings is of the practice of Mindfulness. Being active in the present moment always....

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Best care package ever … ?

Posted by on Nov 13, 2012

What is the best care package I ever saw someone recieve? My parents weren’t big on care packages, and I wasn’t really one to ask for them so I’m out of the running. However, after years and years at camp, we’ve seen some pretty interesting things come through gates from the postal service. Which one really was the best? Was it somebody’s mom’s fresh, homemade brownies? No. They were good, but not top prize. Was it the remote controlled helicopter that arrived on a Lazy Sunday? Very cool, but that broke way too quickly. One summer, an enormous box came for someone in my village. This was the biggest care package we had every seen. Whatever was inside was bigger and cooler than anything and everything that everyone else had recieved all summer long. The lucky recipient opend the first box and found … Another box. Okay, must be pretty important to require such extensive packaging. He goes tearing into the second box. Another box. Have you ever seen the Russian Matryoshka dolls? The ones that fit inside of each other and keep going and going. This is what we had here, reincarnated in cardboard form. We watched as this elated, jubilant mail recipient quickly turned to a much more somber, determined tone as he tore through box after box. Finally, dozens of boxes later, a letter. From Dad, Love Mom. Be good all and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!...

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Breakfast with Santa!

Posted by on Nov 10, 2012

As the seasons start to change, we get to look forward to the holiday season. We hope to see you all this December at our annual Breakfast with the Santa. Please remember that this event does sell out quickly so reserve your spot soon. http://www.ycamp.org/documents/2012BreakfastwithSanta.pdf

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Posted by on Nov 4, 2012

Our dear friends and family… After escaping Hurricane Sandy relatively unscathed Camp had the extreme honor to host another wedding here on our hallowed grounds. Checking in on Friday, the wedding party, friends and family were quick to start transforming our humble and rustic facilities… especially the Ocky Dining Hall… into a magical and unique setting for a simply amazing event… the marriage of Jeff and Becca. That evening, after one of our traditional BBQ dinners, the gang once again spent the night preparing the place to hold this very, very important day. Preparations for this weekend all began days ago after one of the worst storms New Jersey has ever seen roared thru the region… beginning with a call I made to order all of the food for this weekend. In the cold dampness of that morning, without power to our house here at Camp Matollionequay, I called to make sure all the food from all the various vendors we use would arrive before Friday to ensure our planned menu would go off without a hitch. After much uncertainty throughout the week, all the food we needed to pull together an outstanding spread did arrive. I was a little nervous until the last truck left… but… shhhhhh, don’t tell the bride. Very quickly the rest of our staff sprung in to action starting that very Monday, even while Sandy’s effects were still being felt. From tree removal to leaf raking and blowing… from road grading to cleaning and setting up the Ocky Dining Hall… the Group Services, Maintenance and Housekeeping staff all went above and beyond to ensure Camp looked at its best by the time the weekend arrived. The Maintenance duo of Jamie and Bob were even in the Dining Hall just a few short hours before the reception, hanging new track lighting that highlighted and accented our buffet line perfectly! Many times people only relate weddings, banquets and parties to the Food Service department… but here at Camp, it’s a total effort by everyone working as a team. Dave Kaubin, our Outdoor Recreation Director and myself, orchestrate these types of events but the team of people we have working for us and around us… in my humble opinion… can not be beat. They take on every challenge and succeed. Succeed with time and energy to spare… succeed by making the extra effort… the extra care… because good business begins with building honest, strong and lasting relationships… and friendships for that matter. Personally, I like to look at the effort expended by all of us here at Camp, our “wedding gift” to  the happy couple. (Oh… and… a free year membership to Camp!!) Included in this special weekend… guess what? We had Archery, Boating and our Climbing Tower open for a few hours on both Saturday and Sunday for those in the party to enjoy… not to...

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