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Campfires Issue: Spring 2013

New York YMCA Camp 300 Big Pond Rd Huguenot, NY 12746 877-30-YCAMP

Greenkill Gets a New Look!

Table of Contents:

By Jeff Conklin and Steve Sumnick

Greenkill Gets a New Look!

Pg. 1

CIT Program in 2013

Pg. 2

Putting SEDL into Practice

Pg. 3

Kids Page!

Pgs. 4 & 5

World Series of Birding: 25 Years!

Pg. 6

Share your Camp Story

Pg. 7

Thank you!

Pgs. 8 & 9

Summer Camp

Pg. 10

New York YMCA Camp has made some exciting changes to our facilities for our new participants of 2013. One change made was to our dorms at Greenkill. Maple and Kleinstuber have had a complete remodeling. Maple has now become our main staff house with a few guest rooms while Kleinstuber has been renovated to fully support our wonderful camp participants who choose to stay at our year-round village of Greenkill. In Kleinstuber we have put in new beds, flooring, paint and bathrooms. The flooring has a wonderful wood grain treatment to give our guests that rustic feel. The ceramic tiling in the bathroom has been redone in the bathrooms as well as new sinks and tubs. Sticking with our goal of becoming as green as we possibly can, the sinks have been outfitted with motion activated faucets. To allow our guests to feel as though they are completely at a home away from home in the woods, we have also added all new light fixtures and completely new and comfy furniture for our lobbies and rooms. We have also added two full beds and two single beds to each dorm room. We have done all of the above and more, to Maple. We have opened up our lobby to include a fully functioning kitchen and included a coffee bar and prep table. The rooms have also incorporated one full bed and one single lofted bunk with a 5 foot desk space underneath. We have the utmost respect for our employees so it was absolutely necessary to give them a living space that can feel like a second home. Another new and exciting change that was made to our Greenkill facility was to our dining hall. Our goal was to make it a more soothing atmosphere for dining. We’ve changed the color scheme with the base being a color called “cozy fireplace” and the name really does it justice. The colors are proving to be much more relaxing while at the same time complimenting the beautiful atmosphere of the outdoors. Rod iron chandeliers replace the institutionalized lighting and a dimmer switch will be added to make for a very relaxing setting during evening dinners. Area carpeting will be laid that blends in with the new curtains and provide a warmer feeling. A very creative idea has been implemented to cover the garbage receptacles and bring the sense of the great outdoors inside. Finally, a unique method for covering our tables is being developed- a method that has not been done anywhere else. The kitchen staff is working very hard to make these changes and we are very excited to present a warmer and more inviting atmosphere for our guests. We can’t wait for all of our guests to enjoy these new and wonderful changes to our facilities!


World Series of Birding: Our 25th year! By Dan Zmoda In 1983, several like-minded people got together to discuss ways to showcase the various habitats in New Jersey and how wildlife, especially birds, depended on those areas. Over dinner and a few beverages, the foundation was laid for the inaugural World Series of Birding. Sponsored by the New Jersey Audubon Society, the WSB is a competition in which teams try to identify, by sight or sound, the most species of birds in a twenty-four hour period. So, at midnight on May 19th, 1984, thirteen teams started something that has grown to incredible proportions over the last 30 years. By the following stroke of midnight, the team with Roger Tory Peterson as one of its members, had seen or heard 201 species within the state, something that had never been done before. In 1989, the New York YMCA Camp agreed to sponsor a team of former naturalists from the Greenkill Environmental Education Center. With high hopes of showing up the big guns, the Greenkill Naturalist Alumni Team (GNATcatchers) breezed into the finish line with a grand total of 102. If it wasn’t for the Zoological Society of Buffalo, we would have been dead last. But hey, we were hooked! Besides being a competition, the WSB is also a fundraiser. Each team raises money for its sponsor or for a concern close to its heart. We have always looked for donations to help bring children to the campus in Huguenot for either Summer Camp or Outdoor Education. Over the years we have averaged $2000 per year toward this cause, brought in by pledges from friends, family and staff. Pledges are made as either a dollar amount per bird or a single donation. So, if you had pledged 25 cents per bird and we see 150 species, your donation would amount to $37.50. Since it’s a species count if 300 Canada Geese are seen, it counts the same as if we hear one Great Horned Owl. Over the years we have become much better at song recognition and now ID close to 60% of our total by ear. Much better than that morning in 1989 when one of us asked, “We need to know the calls too?” Our team has gone through changes since then also, and since 1993 has stayed with the same four people - Scott Reichert, Mark Schilling, Fred Von Mechow and Dan Zmoda. For some strange reason, we keep coming back. This will be our 25th year of trying to outdo someone, but we just haven’t figured out whom yet. Even the middle school groups are putting us to shame, so now we have our eyes set on the Senior Category. It just doesn’t impress too many people when you say you beat a group of 3rd graders. If this article introduced you to something you never thought of doing, let it lead to something you probably should have done. Write a check to a worthy cause and help the GNATcatchers in their effort to send kids to camp.

To learn more about the World Series of Birding please visit eriesofBirding/WorldSeriesofBirding.aspx To make a pledge please visit eriesofBirding/WorldSeriesofBirding.aspx 2

Putting SEDL into Practice By Jason Marker

In 2009 the New York State Education Department and the Office of Mental Health developed guidelines for school districts to incorporate Social and Emotional Development and Learning (SEDL) practices which focus on 5 skill areas involving social and emotional competencies in children:

Self awareness: recognizing their own emotions, values, strengths and limitations. Self management: the ability to manage emotions and control behaviors as a means to reach goals. Social awareness: the ability to demonstrate empathy and understanding towards others. Relationship Skills: the ability to form positive relationships and positive conflict resolution. Responsible Decision Making: the ability to make ethical and constructive choices in regards to both personal and social behaviors

Following the SEDL guidelines can help play an important role in making a safer school as well as a positive school culture. The guidelines are an excellent way for schools to grow both academically and socially. There is also the opportunity to build a better school-family-community relationship. Studies show that students learn best when all of their needs are met; this includes their academic, emotional, physical, and social needs.

One study involving over 700 SEDL programs found many benefits including: 11% Improvement in achievement test scores 10% Decrease in emotional distress such as anxiety or depression 23% Improvement in social and emotional skills Greenkill can work with schools to develop plans for the school that allow the staff to set goals and action steps in achieving SEDL goals. By having students participate in Outdoor Education curriculum which incorporates so many of the SEDL outcomes, participants in the OE programs will come away with a greater sense of self, respect for self and others, communication skills, social skills, and critical thinking.


1. Clouds 2. Rocks 3. Wibit Handle 4. Lifeguard Floating Device 5. Girls wrist band 6. Pool Noodle Color 7. Number on head band 8. Life vest Buckle


Photo Hunt! Can you spot the 8 differences?

Color Camp’s New Mascot Snicklefritz!


CIT Program in 2013 By Neil Allmark The CIT program has been a popular part of camp for many years with a focus on teaching participants the skills necessary to be a future staff member at camp. We have taken the program and examined it to see what is working in terms of educating our participants. The New York City’s YMCA Camp’s CIT program will have a new look and feel in the Summer of 2013. The new focus will be on learning skills that will be not only be applicable for our industry, but also for working with their peers and supervisors wherever their careers may lead them. Along with implementing the YMCA’s four core values of Respect, Responsibility, Caring and Honesty, we are introducing some new and exciting elements to reinforce those values. Our program will stay true to its roots of teaching our participants how to work in the camp environment and giving our CITs a basic understanding of how our summer camp operates from the front office, to program instruction, and all the way to the maintenance department.

“The CIT program taught me the power of a strong team and the value of communication and working with others.” - Alex. 2011 CIT The CIT programs offered in the past have had an abrupt move from training to jumping right into a cabin with a counselor and their campers. We have addressed this and believe that gradually transitioning our CITs into working with campers will benefit both the CITs and counselors alike. The program will be based at our Talcott Village (our older children’s village) where during our first week, we will be focusing on classroom based training, using group discussions, role playing, listening and talking with speakers from different departments of camp and our association office. This will give our CITs the proper foundation to become fantastic and positive leaders. CITs will also have the opportunity to have fun with their peers and choose their own activities. During the second week of the program, we will begin to introduce the CITs to the staff and campers in the McAlister Village (our younger children's village). Utilizing half-days and evening programs will allow them to become properly acclimated to working with one another. CITs will have the opportunity to plan and co-lead evening programming at both villages, spend time getting to know staff and campers they will be working with, yet still have a fun time with their peers at Talcott. In the third and final week of camp the CITs will be based at McAlister Village and assigned a cabin with a staff member chosen as their mentor. CITs will move with their cabin group throughout the day, assisting and observing when necessary. They will learn the importance of supervision and how the values of the Y play out within the cabin group. During the three week program, the Teen Directors along with staff who have worked alongside the CITs will be evaluating their progress daily. Each evening the CITs will meet with the Teen Director to discuss the events of the day and evaluate what they did and what they saw. The evaluation will culminate in a program appraisal in the third and final week of the program.


New York YMCA Camp has always been a proponent in giving our youth the tools to allow them to succeed in life. Our CIT program is no exception. This program will help our future leaders take the next step in their emotional, physical and mental development. We are very much looking forward to our new crop of CITs for the Summer of 2013!

Share your Camp Story! Upon the recommendation of my college gymnastics coach I started out as a senior counselor during the summer between my junior and senior year at Southern CT State University. That was the summer of 2007. One year at the YMCA National Gymnastics Training Center Camp and I was hooked for life. The friendships that have developed between fellow coaches have really grown into a relationship that is more like family. One week with them and you feel like you have known them your entire share successes, challenges, and learn from each other. The hours may be tough and the days are long, but being able to introduce children to the sport that I grew up with and love is an unbelievably rewarding experience. It’s been a month since camp and I’m already counting down the days until next year.

Thank you so much for allowing my friend, Susan Terry, and I to drive through the Y camps this past month. I can’t express how much living at the YMCA camps from 1948- 1956 meant to me. I learned to appreciate nature, hiking, water sports and tennis. I actually learned to drive on the ball field below our little house. Greenkill looks especially wonderful with all the new buildings. I also noticed the work being done on the dock there. Both my parents, Ted and Beth Archer, enjoyed playing tennis, canoeing, ice skating and hiking. When we moved there full time in 1952 I rode my bike into Port Jervis on Saturdays so I could visit friends. Susan Terry was one of those friends. Also, kids came out to camp to visit me! Thanks again! I belong to the YMCA Sports Complex in Englewood, FL where I swim, do yoga, and use the exercise machines. Yea for the YMCA! Keep up the good work.

I sing a song to my son every night; he in his crib, me on the bed. It's a silly made up song, called "Bubba, Daddy". Just a few days ago, he had trouble falling asleep, and I was tired of singing the same song, so I was thinking "What's soothing, short, and sweet?" "Day is Done" came to mind (not sure if we called it Taps or Day Is Done). As I lay there singing it, it brought back memories of standing in the dark at the McAlister Chapel, dirty and dusty, the sound of crickets and shuffling feet, the smell of sweaty kids and a smoldering campfire. The sound of the camp director or their designee dismissing villages, "Youngest Boys can head back. Quietly, please!" Getting snack at the picnic table, hoping beyond hope it was chocolate chip cookies, disappointed as hell when it was fruit. It was startling. The details I remembered that I didn't know were still tucked away, in the part of my brain that I guess is reserved for camp memories.

Brittany Otto 2007

Susan A Burgess 1948 - 1956

Bob Lassonde

The love I have for this camp is unreal, each year I work here I leave a piece of my heart. Jenna Dobbin 2010 My first encounter with the YMCA was when I was a teen. I used to go to my local Y to play ping pong and hang out. At the age of 17, I started working for the Neath YMCA in Wales, UK just as a part time youth worker. I first started working to help earn some extra cash while I was in school. Within a few months, I was hooked! I loved working for the Y so much that I applied to work at Camp McAlister at New York YMCA Camp. I was 18 and had never been on a plane. The journey over was so nerve wracking! I arrived at sleepaway camp, and little did I know how much of an impact this would make on my life. I loved Y camp so much; connecting with the kids, meeting staff from all around the world, getting to know the American culture and learning and being a part of the Y mission. I went home at the end of the summer with a determination to come back the following summer. The next summer I worked at Camp Talcott with middle school aged youth/teens. I found my calling. Not only was the summer a great success (with many more to follow after), but I met my future husband. In 2003 I made the giant leap across the pond and married my camp “sweetheart”. After leaving camp that summer we moved to Brooklyn. Fast forward to now- there has not been a time when the YMCA has not been in my life, whether it was spending my spare time working out at the Greenpoint YMCA or volunteering at New York Y Camps. In 2005 I started working full time for the Flushing Y and moved over to Chinatown in 2009. I have continued with my passion of working with middle school youth/teens and have been a part of many of the great teen programs at the Y. I have also had the privilege of chaperoning Global Teens trips to Hong Kong, Mexico and Italy and taking part in a study tour to South Africa. In the last year, my husband (who also works for the YMCA of Greater New York) and I had a baby. Our son Maddox is very much a part of the Y and is sure to be a future YMCA camper. Lisa Garcia 1990s

If you have a camp story you would like to share email it to us at or post it on our facebook page


THANK YOU SO MUCH TO OUR 2012 DONORS -NEW YORK YMCA CAMPOur sincere thanks to all who donated to our 2012 Strong Kids Campaign. Your generosity helped us provide a fun and safe camp experience to more than 600 youth, who could not have participated without your help. Thanks to you all! $10,000+ Virginia Dean Dorothy Doughty SCOPE The Children’s Hope Chest, Inc. The Timber Lake Foundation Yorkville Community Association

$5,000-$9,999 Camp Brooklyn Fund, Inc. The Frank and Gertrude Kaiser Foundation Sharon Stein

$1,000-$4,999 AV Grantor Trust Kenneth and Linda Bell Monica Bermiss Campus Coach Lines Graham Daw Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies Glaxo SmithKline Foundation Marcia Gowen Wheaton Griffin Ruth Haupert- Lengemann Joshua Heitler Dawn Rubel Herbert Edith Hsu-Chen

Patricia Hubard J. Timothy Kelly KeyBank Foundation Frederick Kincheloe Maser Consulting P.A. Metropolitan Judo Association New York State YMCA Funds, Inc. John and Pamela Snowden Arthur Taylor Tres Chic Furs, Ltd. William Lass Land Clearing Thomas Wilson

Up to $999 Noel Acey Lynn Adler Meghan Andersen Kimberly Anderson Sean Andrade Kathleen Andres Alan Appelbaum Loretta Austin Lawrence Baker Jared Baker Jared Barr Dorothy Barth Kellyann Baxendell Emily Beanan Melissa Bell Guillermo Bernal Miron Besic Phillip Bestor Charlotte Black Olivia Bleakley John and Maria Block Garry Blum Hunter Blum Justin Blum Mr. and Mrs. George Bramwell James Bregman Danielle Brown Kevin Brown 8

Phil Brown Carol Brown-Hageman Penny Bruso Dwan Bryant Anna Buckley David Buran Bruce and Susan Burger Susan Burgess Michelle Burke Lauren Burns Jennifer Caiafa Earl Callahan Zachary Carter Dianne Carty Natasha Chalmers Chenango Bird Club Kailee Chimento Beverly Choltco-Devlin Dennis Cialini Mr. and Mrs. Ken Clark Owen Colomb Susan Condon Caitlyn Conklin Jeffery Conklin Kasey Conklin Charles Conklin L. Davin Craine Bob Culver Sarah Culver

Jilian Dalton Cleveland Davis Laura Delany Susan Delmar Alain Demers John Dietz Michael Dobbs Elyse Dull Calla Dulmage William Eagan Lois and Ingvar Eliasson Matt Elliott Richard Engelmann Robin Farr Chris Farrell John Fichthorn Wendy Fichthorn Joseph Fiore Jr. Bonnie Fisher Halle Molly Fitscher Victoria Fogg Carlos Fonseca Juan Fonseca Sheila Fox Leanne Fraccio Jane Francis George Franke Sarah Freedman Friends of FPL Fund

Katherine Fuller J. Charles Fuster Sydney Gabriel Paula Gavin Israel Gelpi General Electric Company Dr. William Gessner Joan Ginter Danielle Gintert Chryse Glackin Harold Glackin Mr. and Mrs. Alan Goldstein Hazel Goldstein Paula Gonthier Ambar Graciani Cassandra Gray Janet Groat Grace Guenther Sonia Gueye Marcha Guzewich Annette Hall Liz Hall Hamilton Village Real Estate Cynthia Hampton Mya Harris Sharon Hartnett Margaret Harvey HCST (HCAVTS)

Up to $999 Cont.

Tracy Hedges-Waleko Mr. and Mrs. George Heitler Robert Heneker Mr. and Mrs. Ben Henneberger Jenna Hoffman Mr. and Mrs. John Hoffman Marty Hoffman Joseph Hogan Yong- Soon Hwang Felix Ivanoff Mr. and Mrs. George Ivanoff Denise Jarrett Dow Jonathan Jeffer Alexandra Johnson Scott Johnson Shawn Johnson Joseph Jones Julia Parshall and Hilla Katki Thomas Kalin Megan Kearney Sidney Kelly Laura Kerper Kevin Kilroy John Knapp Suzanne Knapp Frank Knight Amy Kochem Theodore Korony Bonnie Korte Kathrine Kourakos Estate of Charles H. Lambur Adam Landon Mike Landry Jennifer Lassonde Dr. Michael Lavyne Eden Lawson Alison Leavitt John Lefevre Sam Lefkowitz-Quiana Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Deane Leonard Juliet Lodes Jillian Losier Nathaniel Macapinlac Leone Mack Patrick J. Maguire Main Street Ltd. George Malone Bonnie Maney Jacqueline Marchal Jason Marker Regina Martin Marubeni America Corporation Antoinette Mattoch Sheila McAndrew F. Joseph McCranels Elizabeth McG Hemminger Linda McGivern

Lucy McGuffin Dr. Robert McGuffin Jane McKnight Rachel McMahon Kelsey Meins Arianna Menendez Jenna Merchant Tara Milillo Lindsay Miller Margaret Miller Mr. and Mrs. Tom Milliman Jacqueline Mineo Sophie Montgomery Marialice Morgan MacAllister Moss David Musson Mihoko Nagasu Janet Navon Mr. and Mrs. Sydney Near Lettie Nelson Albert Neumann Donna Ng Katie Nickolaus Mr. and Mrs. Richard Nowak Judy Noyes Liliko Ogasawara Helen O’ Leary Alexei Orlov Ivan Orlov Grace Oswald Selmin Ozbudak Kristen Ozbun Spencer Ozbun Atir Pabon Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Pacillo Willow Parchment Passaic Bujinkan Buyu LLC Dave Passoff Jimmy Pedro Megan Pennino Dr. Fred Pescatore Jennifer Peterson Samantha Petrarca Dylan Pollock Daniel Polowtzky Ben Poresky Richard Poresky Joyce Post Julie Potash Terri Potash Patricia Potter Rachel Pray Mr. and Mrs. George Prentice Marsha Proehl Tariq Ramkalup Jorge Ramos Brendan Rearer

Scott and Nancy Reichert Shirley Reynolds Nancy Rhodes Oleh Riznyk George and Joan Rollman Jorge Rosales Robin Rosenthal Kathryn Ross Lilly Rudzinska Joe Ryan Sylvia Sanchez-Abreu Joan Sandlow Marina Sauschuck Matthieu Sauvage-Mar Nancy Schauffler Brid Schenkl Tracy Schrann Scott’s Painting Thomas Seabasty Shaila Segal Frank Shanbacker Roy Shirwindt Christian Smith Dejanae Smith Eric Smith Wesley Smith Olive Smith Quina Alexander Snow Jeffrey Snow Chris Southard Michael Spivey Madalyn Stella Jessica Stern Mr. and Mrs. John Stevens Racine Stewart Susan Stockdale Gail Stockton Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Strouf Stephen Sumnick T.S.E. Lectric & Plumbing Mark Tanis Mr. and Mrs. Kensuke Tashiro Mr. and Mrs. James Tasker Fiona Thayer Robert Thomas Peter Thorp Mark Tobin Tora Martial Arts Amanda Toth Anna Turek Catherine Uhrig Anthony Unchango Emily Van Ingen Abbie Van Nostrand Randall Van Nostrand Ester and Regilio Vaneer Pamela Vanzandt

Judith Velez Astrid Vermeulen Jill Vexler Diana Villaneuva-Alpar Fred von Mechow William Wakefield Jaida Walcott Jasmone Walcott Jo Ann Walczak Joseph Walters Elizabeth Ward Richard Wasch Frederick Weck Lara Weed Jesse Wells Honna Whelley-Bowen Shirley Whitney Barry Yarwood Martha Youman Elizabeth Yzquierdo Loretta Zannis Lara Zazyczny Sarah Zazyczny F. Christopher Zusi


Summer Camp is Almost Here! Reserve your spot today! Visit or call us at 877-30-YCAMP for more information

Summer Sleepaway: Ages 6-16 June 30 - August 23

Gymnastics: Ages 7-17 June 23 - July 5

Outdoor Adventures: Ages 10-15 June 30 - August 23

Volleyball: 5th - 12th Grade July 14 - August 9

Judo: Day Camp: All Ages K - 8th Grade July 1 - August 23 August 11 - August 17 Summer Family Camp August 30th - September 2nd 10

Campfires - Spring 2013  
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