Camp Ockanickon

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So far Camp Ockanickon has created 97 blog entries.

Striving and succeeding, on this journey that is camp

By | 2018-08-15T12:25:33+00:00 August 15th, 2018|

by Greg Keresztury, Director of Operations Last year I wrote about blog post called "The Power of Yet!" which chronicled Oneida Tommy’s unsuccessful attempt to earn the rare “Archer’s Hand” at Camp Ockanickon.  As you may recall, the “Archer’s Hand” is when one earns all 5 archery emblems in the same summer.  Tommy had earned 4 of the emblems from our Emblem Guide which at Ockanickon is a guide of challenge goals, but the emblem for Everdeen Archery (our 3-D archery course in the woods) had eluded him. I wrote about how Tommy tried multiple times that summer, and came [...]

Inspiration for “The Gift of Opportunity”

By | 2018-07-19T17:15:06+00:00 July 19th, 2018|

By Suzette Belz. Vice President of Development and Major Gifts   This year, when I was planning the theme for the Annual Campaign, I decided to ask my almost 11-year-old daughter Isabella - who has benefited from both day camp and overnight camp - what is the gift we give children when they come to camp. Her immediate response was, “The Gift of Opportunity!” I was filled with emotion when I heard her say that. She is right; here at camp we are giving the gift of opportunity to thousands of children to explore, grow and thrive. We are giving [...]

Scouts and friends come out in droves (with drone!) to help spruce up camp

By | 2018-06-18T17:10:45+00:00 June 18th, 2018|

Eagle Scout Service Projects at YMCA Camp Ockanickon - By Susan Miller, Director of Marketing/Communications It truly takes a village – maybe even a hefty community – to prepare for the thousands of campers and visitors who come to YMCA Camp Ockanickon each year. Fortunately, we have a legion of dedicated volunteers who step up when help is needed. And that includes local Eagle Scouts. Back in May, Jacob Delancy of Medford, a Boy Scout with Troop 20, took on a most ambitious Eagle Scout Service Project at Cherokee Beach, one of four beaches at our 800-acre camp. He and [...]

Martial arts at day camp? Yes, we’re offering it this summer!

By | 2018-06-04T14:13:45+00:00 June 4th, 2018|

A Lake Stockwell Day Camp experience is about so much more than swimming, boating and archery, according to Lynn Passarella, the camp’s director. Lake Stockwell Day Camp, is part of YMCA Camp Ockanickon, and it has been since 1990. “We also specialize in afternoon ‘after camp’ programs that encourage children to become their very best selves,” Lynn explained. One such program is martial arts, which will be run at day camp this summer by Brian Preston of Martial Arts Fitness Center in Marlton. “We’re excited to partner with Lake Stockwell and the YMCA Camp Ockanickon organization,” said Preston. “Our youth [...]

More than summer camp …. School Age Childcare is our specialty, too!

By | 2018-05-22T12:03:38+00:00 May 22nd, 2018|

Here at YMCA Camp Ockanickon, we take great pride in running challenging, character-building, inspiring and enjoyable programs for children, teens, adults and families.  Through our summer camps, our class trips and retreats, our camp membership, our teen programs, we serve thousands of people each year in a positive way. But off property, we also have a great reputation as a top-notch childcare provider in area schools through our School's Out Program. Read about our School Age Childcare Director, MaryAnn Birchler, and her School's Out Program here: http://www.southjerseylocalnews.com/news/more-than-summer-camp-ocky-is-a-haven-for-kids/article_ec4b01fc-fa45-5770-9365-43b074cee5fa.html    

We grow great role models at camp – and we’re so proud of them!

By | 2018-05-02T14:28:01+00:00 May 2nd, 2018|

By MaryAnn Birchler, School-Age Child Care Director One of the best parts of my job is watching our participants grow into kind, mature young adults. When starting my position as the School’s Out Director in 2006, I remember meeting Charlie Kowalski; he was a first grader at Chairville Elementary at the time. Since then, I have been able to watch him succeed in so many areas. He then was a Stockwell camper and eventually became a Stockwell counselor. Before I knew it, Charlie was working at School’s Out, too. I must say, I think there was a ton of dust [...]

Working at day camp – it’s more that just a summer job!

By | 2018-04-26T11:18:32+00:00 April 26th, 2018|

by Lynn Passarella, Director, Lake Stockwell Day Camp It’s no secret that we want the very best staff working with our campers each summer. The job market is very competitive this time of year, as summer camps have to compete with internships, sports schedules, vacation plans and so much more. Our society has also embraced the concept of landing a “real job; it’s what so many young people search for after their college days come to an end. But I’m here to tell you -there is nothing more real than being an employee at Lake Stockwell Day Camp. The experience [...]

Life is stressful. Fortunately, there is serenity at camp!

By | 2018-04-17T16:56:26+00:00 April 17th, 2018|

by Susan Miller, Director of Marketing/Communications Let's face it, most of us spend a lot of time on overload! The evening news can be maddening, our electronic devices can be distracting and our daily to-do list is typically longer than the hours we have to accomplish it. Add to that family, work, social and financial tensions - and day-to-day life can feel like a pressure cooker. Heck, even a job at camp can be daunting and demanding. When life's stressors start to pile up, I try to take a step back, take a deep breath and find a way to [...]

My bus route quest …. finding a way to bring kids to camp!

By | 2018-04-10T12:43:15+00:00 April 10th, 2018|

by Cate Wobbe, Assistant Director, Lake Stockwell Day Camp When Greg Keresztury, our Director of Operations, told me that I needed to add two new bus routes for Lake Stockwell Day Camp this year, it seemed a daunting task, to say the least.  The goal of adding the routes made sense, as we wanted to provide easier access to camp for families throughout Burlington and Camden counties.  However, I had no idea where to begin. What towns needed more stops? What if I can’t get buses to camp on time? What locations would make a good bus stops? Where the [...]

All hands on deck for camp clean-up!

By | 2018-03-30T11:47:28+00:00 March 30th, 2018|

by Susan Miller, Director of Marketing/Communications The recent nasty Nor'easters certainly put a hurtin' on our 800 acres of pine forest here at camp. We had more downed trees than we could count; many of them blocking trails or leaning precariously on structures. Our trusty maintenance staff was  doing its best to get ahead of the mess, but help was certainly needed. So on Thursday, March 29, nearly all full-time camp staffers - and a bunch of kind-hearted volunteers and seasonal workers - spent most of the day clearing debris, raking leaves and sweeping and dusting from a pretty messy [...]

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