YMCA Camp Ockanickon
Camp Matollionequay
& Lake Stockwell

Posts made in September, 2014

School’s Out at Camp

Posted by on Sep 29, 2014

School’s Out at Camp Hello to all of our wonderful School’s Out and School’s Out at Camp families!  YMCA Camp Ockanickon is truly blessed to have you as a part of our organization!  I have had the pleasure of meeting many of your children at Lake Stockwell Day Camp this past summer.  Seeing the continued support throughout our camp is a testament to not only the staff but to our mission! This past Thursday we had our first School’s Out at Camp day!  Although the weather was a bit dreary, the children came in smiling and eager to take on the day!  After an awesome breakfast, served by Chef Kimmie, and some fun games in the Dining Hall, the staff made their way to Lake Stockwell Lodge where the children had fun making clay creations.  They also got to play Gaga in our covered pavilion…who said you can’t play outside in the rain?!  Then it was back to the Ocky Dining Hall for some yummy pizza! After their belly’s (and ours too!)  were full, our Challenge Course Director Rich Rupert was able to brave the elements and safely get the kids on our giant swing…and yes, through much coaxing, I too took the challenge.  All I can say is “WOW”.  It was an experience I won’t soon forget, and the kids and staffs supportive “You can do it!” comments really gave me the encouragement needed to overcome my fears.  Everyone then proceeded back to the Dining Hall for snacks, games and more fun! In keeping with the spirit of our mission, we would love to welcome any new families interested in attending our School’s Out at Camp days.  If you have any questions, please visit our website at www.ycamp.org, or call the main office at 609-654-8225.   Below are the School’s Out at Camp dates.  Hope to see your kids there! School’s Out at Camp dates: 2014 dates:  11/4, 11/6-11/7,  Winter Camp – 12/27 – 12/30 2015 dates:  1/19,  2/13, 2/16  4/3,  4/6 – 4/10   Melissa DiMona School’s Out/Lake Stockwell Day Camp Assistant Director...

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“Falling” in Love with Camp This Autumn

Posted by on Sep 18, 2014

  As a Matolly girl since 2000, summer is, of course, my favorite season here at camp.  As August  winds down and the sound of dining hall singing is replaced by rustling leaves and the visiting day groups, it’s sometimes a little sad to be on camp post-summer.  Luckily, my second favorite season, fall, is headed our way.  I know I’ve already been layering sweaters and scarves, and am a little embarrassed to admit that I’ve already used my heater this September. Though summer camp is still 9 months away (yes, the countdown is already on here in the office!), there are a ton of activities to get involved in this autumn.  Put on your Matolly/Ocky/Stockwell long sleeve shirts, fleeces,    and sweatshirts and come visit us!   I love watching the leaves change on our beautiful property while participating in our fall events.     Next weekend, September 26-28, is our Mother/Child Adventure weekend. I know on Matolly check-in days, we have lots of moms who ask if they can stay for the summer.  Now is their chance to spend a weekend with their children experiencing the same fun activities our summer camps offer! Specifically for Military personnel and their families, camp is hosting a Military Family Retreat Weekend on October 10-12.  Boating, challenge course, archery, arts and crafts, and more will be available.  Last spring’s Military Family Retreat was a hit and we are looking forward to seeing those families (and new ones) back at camp this October. October 12 is our annual  Family Fall Festival.  On that Sunday afternoon, camp’s program areas will be open and your family can walk around Ockanickon and try all the activities camp has to offer. Take a turn on the climbing wall, try your hand at archery, and go for a family boat ride.  Food and snacks are included with admission.   For our adult campers, October 24 marks our 8th Annual Wine, Beer & Whiskey Tasting.  The event will take place at The Mansion in Voorhees and proceeds will help provide financial aid to help families and campers who need some assistance affording camp.  There will be live musical entertainment by Patrick Oberstaedt and his Jazz Scholars with No Commitment and Friends, a buffet dinner, as well as live and silent auction items.       On November 14, our Coach Bingo Fund Raiser returns.  This event sold out last winter! There will also be a Chinese Auction. Tickets include 10 games of bingo, soda, water, coffee and tea. All guests must be 18 and older and are welcome to bring their own food and adult beverages.  This is the perfect opportunity for a girls’ night out, though we did have some men join us at the last event, too! Just in time for Thanksgiving, our chef, Kimmie Graham will host a Thanksgiving Pie Cooking Class on November 23.  Camp will provide all of the ingredients and supplies and everyone will leave with two...

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Posted by on Sep 10, 2014

Imagine it’s your first day of college. Your parents drop you off. You move into a strange room with a strange new friend. Your life in higher education is about to begin. Then hours after your parents leave someone in a bright tie-dye shirt herds you and three hundred of your new friends into a caravan of buses. You’re going to Camp. For nearly a decade Stockton College has started their incoming freshman experience just like this. Hour after Welcome Week begins students arrive at Camp Ockanickon to participate in SOAR, Stockton Orientation Adventure Retreat. For three days students participate and interact with their peers on the challenge course, swimming, boating, archery, and number of faculty-driven orientation sessions. All amongst the pines, around the cabins, and in the sand here at Camp. Why Camp? What is it about this experience that drives the school to embark on such a journey with their students? Stockton College normally has about a 60% graduation rate for incoming freshman after four years. A little higher for those in the five, six year plan. Compared to other similar schools this is already an impressive number. What’s even more impressive, 98% of the students that participate in SOAR graduate from Stockton with a Bachelor’s Degree. Three day of Camp to virtually guarantee success in college. Pretty awesome. Our appreciation and thanks go out to Stockton College and their students for allowing us to partner with them in this wonderful experience. Best of luck to the Stockton class of 2018....

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Quotes From Our Past

Posted by on Sep 4, 2014

In 1925 and 1926, Ockanickon’s leadership was looking for a permanent home for the camp. After finding the Medford site, they designed a pamphlet to share with potential donors. In addition to a description of camp’s first 20 years and why a permanent site was necessary, they included some quotes from previous campers and other prominent YMCA supporters. The pamphlet was dubbed “Acres for Character.” Their words still ring true today. “The organized summer camp is America’s most significant contribution to the educational system of the world.” Dr. Charles Eliot President Emeritus Harvard Univerity “The Young Men’s Christian Association through Camp Ockanickon offers to boys an opportunity which nothing but such a camp can give.” Henry F. Stockwell Chairman Camp Committee “The real heart and soul of Ockanickon as I remember it, lay in it’s genuine Christian spirit, and in its atmosphere of honest fun and fellowship. A regular camp with something more. I am sure that I would not think of Ockanickon half so much (for I have been to other enjoyable places) if it were not for something more.” Alfred Driscoll Haddonfield, NJ Future (now past) Governor of NJ “I went to Ockanickon the first year because the gang was going. After that I went as often as I could because I wanted to go there more than any other place. I experienced then, and observe now, that the camp does more good for a boy in the allotted time than any other institution I know of.” Adrian E. Moreau Freehold, NJ “Ockanickon is where a real self reliance is created, where fellows get the rough corners smoothed off, and new and inspiring ideas are caught from contact with other fellows. The fun, the discipline and the friendships made it an experience of incalculable value in my life.” Charles DeHart Thorofare, NJ “Ockanickon’s greatness lay in it’s SPIRIT and LEADERSHIP, and as long as they remain, the camp in its new location will continue to be as inspiring to boys of today and tomorrow as it has always been to me. I can never say enough for the good it has done for me, and for the friendships which I formed there.” William J. Bailey Collingswood, NJ “The memories of the summers spent at Camp Ockanickon are so happy, the friendships which I made are so true, the lessons which I learned are so vivid in my mind that I am hoping my two boys may enjoy the same privilege of many happy days at the camp.” S. Roger Oliver Burlington, NJ “Camp Ockanickon has come to mean more to me as the days go by; the comradeship of the campers, the cooperation of the leaders, and the friendly advice of the camp directors, all have come to make life richer and fuller.” Edward W. Carter Pitman, NJ “I have come up from the rank of camper...

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