Fishing is one of life’s great pastimes and more importantly it teaches us many life lessons, most of the time unbeknownst to the participant. When truly understood, it becomes more than just a hobby or a means to catch dinner. Firstly, fishing teaches us that we need to be patient. Every aspect of life requires some degree of patience, so learning that not every cast delivers a fish at the end of the hook gives us perspective. The things we want don’t always come right away. Sometimes all we need to do is wait until the opportunity presents itself. Fishing [...]
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 [...]
Each summer some of our oldest camper's embark on the adventure programs here at Camp known as Rangers. Our traditional Boots and Boats campers navigate the Delaware River and hikes the Appalachian Trail while our newest addition, Rocks & Rafts, will spend a week in Stover State Park whitewater rafting, climbing, and rappelling. Over the last few weeks the instructors for these programs have participated in a variety of training events. Some spent time with our challenge course staff working on their rope skills while others worked with longtime canoe instructor Art Kleinspehn to perfect their strokes on the water. [...]
This past summer marked my 15th summer here at camp. Reflecting back on my many years on “The Nation”, as many of the Ockanickon alumni refer to camp, I cannot help but think about the many personal milestones and world events that have happened while spending at least one full week on camp for every age from years 11 through 25. To put that on paper, I realize that 60% of my possible summers since birth have involved a stay at camp lasting as little as a week to 2 full years and counting. Given that those summers include all [...]
Check out this wonderful Facebook post from one of our Stockwell VC's, who has been making a difference in our campers lives all summer long; Today started the last week of my summer at Camp Ockanickon, even though we're nearing the end, I still had an abundance of new Shawnee's to add to our lively bunch! One, who is having a rough time in life was shy and reluctant to leave my side, but by the middle of the day at playground he was running around and interacting with the other campers. At the end of the day when I [...]
When the summer campers leave for the summer, camp hosts a variety of special needs camps, free, for children. Many of these children come from backgrounds and circumstances that make the camp experience fresh, new, and exciting. It also makes it kind of scary. Sleeping in the outdoors, climbing a rock wall, or even just seeing a few bugs can make the experience an exposure to the unknown. In the end it makes children more confident, more outgoing, and leaves them with memories that they can carry through their toughest times. One of the very unique experiences at camp is [...]
As I have come to grow older birthdays have held less significance for me in terms of my age. I have long since hit all of the ages where I gain new rights and am considered more an adult (I do not count the right to rent a car and drive a recreational vehicle that I earned on my most recent birthday as milestone privileges). As a result, my birthday has meant that when people ask me how old I am, I need to remember to give a number that is one larger than the age that I had been [...]
Watching the seasons change our environment is one of the great benefits to living here at camp. I love the sudden change when the leaves grow back and everything is green again. The changing seasons always bring about new families staying here at camp. For instance the geese are raising five babies that follow them around near the lake everyday. Behind Ockenhouse there are two wood ducks named Wilma and Fred waiting on their eggs to hatch. Watching deer in the Matolly field eating with their young is a sight to see. If you haven’t gotten a chance recently to [...]
Late last week Jamie and I were out at the challenge course when a little bit of an ornithological schoolyard fight played out in front of us. The red tailed hawk below had it's eye on a meal somewhere close to a blue jay's newly hatched nest. As the baby blue jays chirped away mom came over and started to let our hawk friend know that these guys were off the menu. A few well placed dives onto the hawks head with it's beak and the hawk got the message - taking off for a meal further down the road.
Later this week, one of our long time camp counselors and friends, Scott, and his wife Stevie, will celebrate their marriage right here at camp. Scott spent a number of years here with many of us as a counselor, Nature Director, village chief, and year-round outdoor education and group retreats instructor. Best of luck to Scott and Stevie as they begin their new life together strating right here on the Ockanickon Nation.