Blog

Some Thoughts on Climbing, COVID, and Camp

By |2020-07-09T16:17:57-04:00July 9th, 2020|

By: Greg Keresztury, Chief Operating Officer At the time that I am writing this piece, we are three days into 2020 summer camp. We at YMCA of the Pines are grateful to Governor Murphy for the opportunity to provide a summer camp experience for youth this summer. Given how uncertain things looked in the spring amid the COVID-19 outbreak, we are all taking every opportunity to seize joy and enjoy each moment this summer, no matter how small. We are also thankful for the New Jersey Department of Health for the guidance provided to allow us to operate this summer [...]

Bread and Butter Quick Pickles Recipe

By |2020-05-02T22:14:03-04:00May 2nd, 2020|

From our Camp Kitchen: Bread and Butter Quick Pickles By Chef Jason Hello everyone! The following recipe is for the Bread and Butter Quick Pickles that were demonstrated in a video on our Facebook page featuring yours truly! My recipe makes quite a bit of pickles so you can feel free to halve the recipe if needed… but if you’re a fan of Bread and Butter Pickles and have the storage space, go for the whole thing! And remember, these are not intended to be jarred in the traditional sense, in a mason jar, and stored on a shelf. These [...]

An open letter to our Camp Family about why I am grateful

By |2020-04-13T17:34:39-04:00April 13th, 2020|

By Mark Dibble, CEO   An open letter to our Camp Family about why I am grateful   I’m worried about a lot of things. I’m worried about my children. I’m worried about my wife. I’m worried about my parents. I’m worried about the health and well-being of everyone I work with, everyone I love, and everyone for whom I care. I’m not worried about our future as an organization. I’m not worried because the YMCA of the Pines has had excellent leadership in the twenty-first century and we are in excellent health. Instead of being worried, I am grateful. [...]

Welcome our New Camp Matollionequay Director

By |2020-03-26T17:15:42-04:00March 26th, 2020|

To our YMCA of the Pines Community: At YMCA of the Pines, we are committed to hiring exceptional people, as we are dedicated to being an “Employer of Choice” in both the camping industry, and the YMCA movement. Our efforts to raise our organization’s profile within the camping industry and the YMCA movement were evident based upon the candidate pool for the Camp Matollionequay Director position, as we had a bevy of qualified and exciting candidates apply for the position. We conducted an extensive interview process, as candidates interviewed with our leadership team, program directors, and our board chair. Candidates [...]

Color Wars 2020

By |2020-01-22T16:21:30-05:00January 22nd, 2020|

When your name is called…please come up and join your nation. …This will now be your nation for life; wear your color with pride and honor, for you have joined a great nation. Who is IN for 2020 Color War?      

Renovation for the Ocky Dining Hall

By |2020-01-22T13:05:29-05:00January 22nd, 2020|

Renovations for the Ocky Dining Hall! The Ockanick-Inn, also known as the Ocky Dining Hall, is being restored and getting some new tables, and it’s all designed to improve the camper/participant experience! As you may recall from early 2019, the Ocky Bowl and Dining Hall have been areas of focus for updates and restoration work. The goal is to provide a more welcoming, enjoyable camp experience for our summer camp campers, and our group participants. Read this article from April 2019 to learn more about the Ocky Bowl upgrades. Now that the Ocky Bowl upgrades are complete, we are excited [...]

Camp Matollionequay Director Update

By |2020-01-08T10:27:51-05:00January 8th, 2020|

We at YMCA of the Pines are grateful to Gabrielle Ostroski and her service to Camp Matollionequay and YMCA of the Pines for over 20 years. Her commitment to youth development, and the core values of YMCA of the Pines (caring, honesty, respect, responsibility, courage, and inclusion), has been integral to the growth and development of a generation of young women at Matolly. Gab helped Matolly weather the storm in 2004 in which the camp dams broke, and the fallout during the subsequent summer in which there was no lake. In the years that followed, she led with integrity and [...]

Let’s get cooking at Winter Camp!

By |2020-01-07T12:27:27-05:00January 7th, 2020|

By Chef Jason This year at Winter Camp I wanted to take a slightly different angle at what we were teaching the children to prepare. We all know allergies are something that affects the lives of people across the spectrum of ages, lifestyles, and so on. I don’t see any rhyme or reason as to who may be affected by what when it comes to allergies. Although not 100% of the children and staff here at camp are directly affected by allergies, I bet everyone knows at least one person in their lives who has some sort of allergy or [...]

Our trips are for campers …. and, in some ways, for parents and guardians, too!

By |2020-01-07T12:34:27-05:00December 27th, 2019|

By Carol Yard, Outdoor Center Director So many times when a camper gets dropped off for a trip into the wilderness and we ask that they leave their phones behind, it’s the parents who have more of a problem with it than the child.  We had a participant this summer whose mother called approximately every 3 hours the first two days to stay updated on all the happenings with her son.  Then we told her he would not be available to talk for 4 days straight when he was out on trail.  That even we, at basecamp, wouldn’t necessarily know [...]

Thankful for so much … including the opportunity to be part of Lake Stockwell Day Camp

By |2019-11-25T11:11:22-05:00November 25th, 2019|

By Lynn Passarella, Lake Stockwell Day Camp Director   As Thanksgiving approaches, it’s nice to reflect on what we are grateful for this year. After 10 summers here at camp, I am still thankful for Lake Stockwell Day Camp. Camp has brought me a variety of “things” that I will be forever grateful for – meeting my husband through friendships, watching my daughter grow up in the camp environment, seeing campers year after year, relationships with staff members, and everlasting summer memories.   This year I have asked Stockwell staff members, “Why are you grateful for being part of Lake [...]

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