Monthly Archives: August 2017

Stockwell Superstars honored at end-of-season ceremony

By |2017-08-31T15:27:28-04:00August 31st, 2017|

Here at Lake Stockwell Day Camp, all of our campers are special to us. As the summer camp season came to an end this week, we decided to honor a group that we call “Stockwell Superstars” – campers who attended all 10 weeks of camp (from late June until early September). Each of this year’s 22 “superstar” campers received a Lake Stockwell Day Camp blanket – something that will surely remind them of the warmth and coziness of camp when the weather turns chilly. Congratulations, Stockwell Superstars! We can’t wait to see you again in Summer 2018!

Former camp counselor, current college president credits Ockanickon with his success!

By |2017-08-31T15:41:46-04:00August 31st, 2017|

by Susan Miller, Director of Marketing/Communications Joe Bertolino has a prestigious position in the world these days; he’s president of Southern Connecticut State University and prior to that, he was at the helm of Lyndon State College in Vermont. But before he rose to acclaim in academia, Joe started out as a reluctant camp counselor. In fact, it was here at YMCA Camp Ockanickon, Inc. where his leadership skills were honed. Joe – known fondly as “Spiffy Joe” during his tenure at Ockanickon (more about that later!) - came to our camp in a most inauspicious way. Here’s how he [...]

Rangers reflect on Boots & Boats trip of Aug. 2017 –

By |2017-08-30T15:15:14-04:00August 30th, 2017|

Imagine what it’s like to get out of your comfort zone: no running water, no bathrooms, no access to showers, no TVs, no tablets, no cellphones. That’s just what a group of teens did this summer, as part of our Boots & Boats Ranger trips. The co-ed trips took place three times this summer – the most recent one happened in early August. It involved spending five days backpacking part of the beautiful Appalachian Trail and four days canoeing the Delaware River. The trips are single gender, but both boys and girls participated. (The way it works is, the boys [...]

The magic and spirit of camp travels far and wide!

By |2017-08-30T14:05:45-04:00August 30th, 2017|

A camp alum wrote to us (at a few months back, asking if he could buy a water bottle from camp's famous Trading Post. Since he was deployed with the US Navy, we sent him the water bottle (along with a complimentary camp T-shirt) free of charge. We only asked that he send us a photo of him and the camp water bottle. Below is his letter. Just another example of camp's good reputation being spread far and wide! Hey there, camp friends! I received the water bottle you guys sent me a couple weeks ago, but we've been [...]

Camper comes home, but her heart remains at Matolly!

By |2017-08-22T13:51:47-04:00August 22nd, 2017|

by Suzette Belz, VP of Development and Major Gifts Last week, I mentioned that my daughter Isabella (Izzie) was attending Matolly for the first time. I remember the anticipation preparing for this experience. I was so excited for her to go to Matolly. It is an experience of a lifetime - and my girl was going to experience it all. Izzie kept going back and forth on whether I should come visit her at lunch time or not. She was afraid that she was going to be homesick if she saw me. The best was when she told me, “Mom, [...]

If only the world could be more like camp…

By |2017-08-31T09:47:05-04:00August 21st, 2017|

I was at our last overnight camp checkout, prior to our co-ed week of camp, and I felt moved to share some of my thoughts and observations. I saw crying children. They were crying with the joy for what they had just experienced. They were crying with melancholy at leaving behind new and lifelong friends. They were crying because there is something indescribable in the camp experience that they couldn’t articulate but knew that they would miss. I know this feeling, I felt it many times in my youth and continue to experience it in the faces of children all [...]

For some kids, leaving summer camp is just plain hard to do!

By |2017-08-21T10:04:19-04:00August 21st, 2017|

…Because I Don’t Want to Leave!   By Greg Keresztury Last Friday, during checkout at Lake Stockwell Day Camp, the Director Lynn Passarella, and I were helping to facilitate the pickup process when we both focused immediately on a younger camper who we saw crying her eyes out as her counselor walked her up to the road to go home. This was quite abnormal, so we both went over to her and asked what was wrong, as did her mother who saw her coming over as well. The camper looked at Lynn and me, took a deep breath, and then [...]

The day Matolly became Motunui

By |2017-08-21T09:49:51-04:00August 21st, 2017|

By Greg Keresztury, Director of Operations During Session 6, I stopped by Matolly to observe camp in action as I typically do often during a session: are the campers enjoying the experience, are they safe, are they engaged by the counselors?  However, upon arriving at Matolly after a golf cart ride through the woods from my office, I quickly found myself in Motunui!  For those not familiar, this the home village of the main character in Disney’s Moana, a popular film that hit theaters late in November of 2016. A section of Camp Matollionequay, our sleepaway camp for girls, had [...]

An overnight adventure at ‘sleepaway’ camp

By |2017-08-18T12:38:13-04:00August 18th, 2017|

On a recent camp day, some of our Ockanickon campers had an overnight "camp out" in the woods. Even though they were already at sleepaway camp, the campers packed up the belongings from their cabins, and ventured off into our own wild. There, they pitched tents, made a campfire, cooked meals, made s'mores and generally enjoyed the camaraderie. The experience gave them a different perspective of camp and its beautiful, magical surroundings. Here's how one of the Village Chiefs described waking up the next morning: "I woke up in the tent early in August and braved the morning air. The [...]

The Power of Yet!

By |2017-08-18T10:19:16-04:00August 18th, 2017|

by Greg Keresztury, Director of Operations This summer, Ockanickon, our sleepaway camp for boys, introduced an Emblem program in which campers can participate in various activities with an opportunity to earn an emblem for that activity which indicates mastery of the activity.  Emblem categories include: athletics, nature, adventure, art and creative, and character.  Emblems are not easy to earn, nor should they be, and the program provides an opportunity for campers to set goals, hit specific “skill level milestones” on their way to earning an emblem, and then ultimately master an activity to earn the emblem. Few emblems are awarded [...]

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