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Camper comes home, but her heart remains at Matolly!

By | August 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 | August 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 | August 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 | August 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 | August 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 | August 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 [...]

The Magic of Camp

By | August 15th, 2017|

by Suzette Belz, VP of Development and Major Gifts It has been a year since I last wrote a Blog about Camp. So much has happened during this time. I have met lots of wonderful people along the way. I have met alums that no matter how long it has passed since they were last at Camp their memories of Camp still as fresh as ever. I see their eyes light up when they share their experiences with me. So many share the same bond, the same sentiment about camp being a home away from home. Many say that thanks [...]

Why is Color Wars so great?

By | August 14th, 2017|

By Greg Keresztury, Director of Operations Last week, I wrote a blog post in which I explained what Color Wars is at our sleepaway camps: Ockanickon for boys and Matollionequay for girls.  As promised, here are my thoughts on why I think Color Wars is such a great event, and a fun 2-week session. Unity One of the things I most love about Color Wars is how unifying the event is.  I know this statement seems odd, because our two camps are split into 2 competing teams, Red and Black.  However, I love the excitement campers have when they learn [...]

Here’s what camp looks like from my perspective…

By | August 14th, 2017|

By Susan Miller Here at camp, I’m the marketing/communications director – a job that entails lots of paperwork, meetings and behind-the-scenes stuff that helps support our operation year-in and year-out. But unlike other desk jobs, I get to walk through the glorious camp property to get to my office – and the journey is almost always a poignant, lovely one. On a recent morning, I ran into Jim, a groundskeepers here, who was tidying up near the Trading Post (our camp store). Jim is hard-working and dedicated, like most people working here. He’s generally a quiet man, but once you [...]

So you think you know Color Wars …

By | August 10th, 2017|

Color Wars! What's it all about? by Greg Keresztury, Director of Operations For our readers who may not be familiar with Color Wars, it is a special event experience that occurs during a 2-week session at our overnight camps (Ockanickon for boys and Matollionequay for girls).  Color Wars took place during Session 5 this year, and will return during Session 4 next year (our second 2-week session of the summer). During Color Wars, our campers at both camps are split into two teams: Red and Black.  Returning campers and staff are always on the same team each year – which [...]

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