Registration now for Summer Camp 2018 … Here’s why!

By | October 16th, 2017|

Why Register Early? By Greg Keresztury, Director of Operations Once the sugar sand has settled on the camping season, we almost immediately turn the page to the next summer.  In the world of camping, there really isn’t an “off-season” or “quiet-time,” as we transition from the busy camp season to a different kind of busy.  Yes, believe it or not, we are still working hard when camp isn’t in session, as we almost immediately begin debriefing the summer – asking ourselves what went well and what could be improved for next year?  We begin focusing on themes and special events, [...]

Camp is a place for the ages – all ages

By | September 21st, 2017|

By Susan Miller, Director of Marketing/Communication Members of the seniors club – otherwise known as the Beacons - from the Lighthouse Tabernacle Church in Lumberton have been coming out to spend a pleasant day at camp every year for almost two decades. On a recent Tuesday in September – weeks after the last of our summer campers had said their goodbyes – the Beacons enjoyed a lovely barbecue lunch of hot dogs, hamburgers, pulled pork and various salads, compliments of our talented chefs, Jason and Kimmie. Vera, the leader of the group, said they call themselves “Beacons” because: “We’re gonna [...]

Police officer and others say YMCA camp experience is life-changing

By | September 19th, 2017|

by Susan Miller, Director of Marketing/Communications Whenever I walk through camp talking to kids or visiting camper families, I am struck by the stories about camp's amazing impact. "I wish everyone knew about the benefits of spending time with your kids here," said a dad named Ed on a recent Saturday afternoon. When I caught up with him, he was playing a low-key game of basketball with his son, Jake, at Father/Child Weekend. They had already done archery and some challenge course activities. It was a weekend of no cellphones, no TV, no chores, no distractions - just beautiful time [...]

Medford Sunrise Rotary proudly supports the efforts at camp

By | September 18th, 2017|

At the annual campaign kick-off breakfast on Sept. 13, about 14 members of the Medford Sunrise Rotary attended to offer support to YMCA Camp Ockanickon, Inc. in its effort to raise funds for our wonderful cause. The Medford Sunrise Rotary has been a steadfast supporter of our Scholarship Fund at camp. Last week, they presented a check for $3,500 for this fund, which is used to send deserving children to camp, despite their families’ financial hardships. Last year, 600 children – many from under-served communities in Camden and Philadelphia – were able to attend summer camp at either Lake Stockwell [...]

Annual campaign kick-off breakfast was a hit!

By | September 18th, 2017|

by Susan Miller YMCA Camp Ockanickon, Inc. held its annual campaign kick-off breakfast on Tuesday, Sept. 13 at the Ockanickon dining hall. The event, which featured heartfelt testimonials by scholarship recipients and alumni, started off with an invocation by Rev. Don Muller of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, who noted the positive impact of a camp experience on young people. Camp’s CEO, Mark Dibble, welcomed community members to the event, and talked about the organization’s fundraising goals along with plans for making camp a more diverse and inclusive place. “We want camp to be a place the world strives to be [...]

Trees as a metaphor for life…..

By | September 18th, 2017|

Our quiet but oh-so insightful young Teen Program Coordinator, Kelsey Henry, recently shared one of her favorite quotes - from the spiritual teacher Ram Dass. We thought it was worth passing along - and certainly worth contemplating as we move through this complicated world of ours. Thanks, Kelso, for the wisdom and insight, especially from this beautiful place in our corner of the world, where trees are so prevalent: “When you go out into the woods, and you look at trees, you see all these different trees. And some of them are bent, and some of them are straight, and [...]

A new assistant director for camp’s Outdoor Center

By | September 8th, 2017|

Dan Rozov was recently selected as the new Assistant Outdoor Center Director at YMCA Camp Ockanickon, Inc. Dan spent several summers at Ockanickon as a camper and eventually led adventure trips and teen leadership programs for the boys summer camp. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Parks and Recreation and a minor in Business Administration from West Virginia University. He spent the last two and a half years working for Australia’s leading outdoor education provider, the Outdoor Education Group, most recently as program coordinator at Camp Maryville. While working at Maryville, he oversaw the development of programs and [...]

The Day they put Bacon in the Pretzel Melts!

By | September 5th, 2017|

by Greg Keresztury, Director of Operations One of the reasons camp is so great is that at camp, #MagicMoments occur. Most of them, of course, are unscripted and happen naturally as campers interact with one-another, and with their counselors.  However, a good camp director is always thinking about what he/she can do to help facilitate or create those moments – in fact, a lot of our staff think this way! This summer, I had the opportunity to eat lunch with various villages at Lake Stockwell Day Camp, and ask the campers what they loved about camp, and for an idea [...]

Stockwell Superstars honored at end-of-season ceremony

By | August 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 | August 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 [...]

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