How a counselor made a difference in the lives of his campers

By |2018-10-16T09:59:55+00:00October 16th, 2018|

by Cate Wobbe, Assistant Director, Lake Stockwell Day Camp I have been a member of the Stockwell family since 2012. In all of this time, I have seen firsthand that part of what makes camp so special is the relationships that people form while they are here. Everyone finds a connection with someone while they are at camp. I especially observe how strong these relationships are during the last few weeks of camp. I see tears as campers say goodbye to their new friends, as staff says goodbye to each other, and as staff members say goodbye to the campers [...]

The things we tell ourselves…

By |2018-10-10T13:34:24+00:00October 10th, 2018|

by Gabrielle Ostroski, Director, Camp Matollionequay “How can I write a blog when I’m not a writer?” I ask myself.  “Who wants to hear what I have to say?”  Sometimes we convince ourselves that we are not good enough.  Which got me thinking …  “Maybe I am a writer. I do have a message to share.”  I have been pondering a lot lately about the things we choose to tell ourselves. Not too long ago, before the summer, my daughter was tasked with learning to tie her shoe laces for school. She had been avoiding this for a while now [...]

Why sleepaway summer camp is important

By |2018-10-09T14:22:46+00:00October 9th, 2018|

There are so many reasons why an overnight summer camp experience is beneficial in the life of a child! Author Michael Thompson even wrote a book about it - Homesick and Happy: How Time Away from Parents Can Help a Child Grow. Read this interesting interview to learn about Thompson's insights into the wonders of camp. And don't forget - Early Registration for summer sleepaway camp in 2019 is open. And keep in mind - if you sign up by Oct. 31, you'll  save 5% on camps Ockanickon for boys and Matollionequay for girls.    

Make plans now for summer 2019 – (We’re already getting ready!)

By |2018-09-20T13:40:54+00:00September 20th, 2018|

  (Register early! You’ll save money, and ensure a positive, life-enhancing experience for your child) By Susan Miller When I was first hired as Director of Marketing/Communications of YMCA Camp Ockanickon back in 2015, I wondered what the full-time staff did here after summer camp ended in August. After all, the campers are gone, the counselors have returned to their non-summer lives …. what was there to do? Boy, was I in for a surprise! Not long after we wave goodbye to the last of the summer campers and staff, we dig right into planning for a whole host of [...]

Outdoor enthusiast joins year-round team at Camp!

By |2018-09-14T10:41:50+00:00September 14th, 2018|

YMCA Camp Ockanickon recently welcomed Carol Yard as the organization’s new Outdoor Center Director. She comes to the Medford camp from Asheville, NC, where she worked as the Program Director for YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly. “I’ve been working and learning and growing in the outdoor education field for most of the last 20 years or so,” said Carol, who will be residing on the camp property. “I got involved with the YMCA through working at the Seattle Y’s BOLD & GOLD (Boys and Girls Outdoor Leadership Development) wilderness trips program.”  In her previous position, Carol oversaw programming, on and off-site, [...]

Summer camp has ended, but opportunities for outdoor activities are aplenty!

By |2018-08-31T16:06:29+00:00August 31st, 2018|

by Susan Miller, Director of Marketing/Communications The last of our Summer 2018 campers are gone (sniff, sniff!) but that doesn't mean we won't be thinking about them! We want them - and you - to know that there are still plenty of fun things to do in the great outdoors, all year long. After all, being outside is good for your health and well-being. Check out this article for ideas:

Fishing, life and camp

By |2018-08-20T14:11:27+00:00August 20th, 2018|

By Suzette Belz, VP of Development and Major Gifts Last week, I decided to go fishing with a group of Ockanickon boys as part of my Customer Experience hours. I haven’t done it before so I challenged myself to try something new. Today’s experience taught me a lot about life in such a short period of time. I could have chosen to do something I knew how to do but instead I took a chance at trying something new. We live our lives afraid of trying something new. We also are always expecting something or chasing something, most of the [...]

Striving and succeeding, on this journey that is camp

By |2018-08-15T12:25:33+00:00August 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+00:00July 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+00:00June 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 [...]

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