Musings about summer days at Ocky

Posted by on Jun 30, 2016

Why Kata McKenna loves her summers in Medford (written when she was 9 years old)….   I love summer because i love to swim at the lake at Camp Ockanickon, or as the locals call it: Ocky! I get excited on hot, sunny summer days, when the air is filled with laughter, shrieking and happiness coming from the camp. I can hear them all the way here at my house. I’m thrilled with the anticipation of going. I put on  my bathing suit, get my towel and I’m ready to go. When I arrive, I see my lifeguard buddies, friends and family. I drop everything and bolt to the water. It feels relaxing. My mom calls it, “The Lake of Shining Waters,” as she makes her hands like a ripple. As I lay back into the lake water, the noises are muffled, but it feels calm and peaceful. I hear voices, laughing. “Marco…” “Polo….” “Marco…” “Polo…” “Marco….” “Polo!” “I got you!” All of a sudden, my cousin Naomi yells, “Want to go to the deep end?” My relaxing time has vanished. I race to the ladder and climb up onto the dock. I hold my nose and jump forward, feet first. The family game of tag has begun. Before anyone says that I’m it, I tag them and say, “You’re it!” Time flies by, as the sun sizzles overhead, but there’s always a breeze at the lake. I see smiles and happy faces, mine included. This is what I have longed for all winter. Right away, my mom yells, “Hey Kaya, want to go on a kayak?” And I say, “Sure. A day is not complete without kayaking.” I get out of the water, don my life jacked and I’m ready to paddle. I say, “Ready, Mom!” Mom says, “Ok! I get into the kayak and Mom pushes the kayak out into the water. We synchronize our paddles to the cadence, “right, left, right, left, right left,” until we reach the middle of the lake. Then we lift our paddle out of the water and we gently glide. I put my hands in the water and it feels slightly cool. Then I take my hand out and hold my mom’s hand and say, “Best friends forever.” You cannot beat this moment. Summer means “Ocky” and the memories we make. Yes, I love summer. It calls me …. “Marco…” “Polo….” “Marco….”...

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Traditions Live On — By Suzette Belz, VP of Development

Posted by on Jun 21, 2016

I joined Camp early in January because I believe in the mission of the organization. I knew that I wanted to work here, but what I didn’t know was the true impact that Camp has on everyone. I grew up in Venezuela and I never got to experience Camp myself. For the past five months, I have been witnessing what Camp has given back to so many. Camp truly shapes the lives of thousands of children; Camp gives children the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive and to discover their potential. Camp for so many is where they met their best friends, where they became counselors, villages chiefs, directors and even Chief Executive Officers. Camp is where many met their husbands and wives, Camp is so special that people come back to get married here and bring their families back. Camp is the place where memories and legacies are built, where the traditions live on and the impact of Camp transcends generations. Camp is the place that many call home. Camp turned 110 years this year, and I had the opportunity to meet many of Camp’s children that today are adults during the Alumni weekend. These individuals shared their stories and validated everything that I have been learning about Camp. I am excited that my daughter Isabella, who is now 8, will be experiencing all of this and more this summer.  My other daughter, Sofia, is only 2, but she will get to experience this wonderful place next year. Here at Camp, we work hard to make sure every child, regardless of means, gets to experience the magic of Camp. We couldn’t do this without the support of many individuals, businesses and foundations — and for that we are thankful. I would like to encourage everyone to consider supporting Camp’s Scholarship Fund, so we can continue providing these opportunities for children for generations to come. Suzette Belz VP of Development and Major Gifts...

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