2019 Head Staff Announcement – Division Head

 

Our latest Head Staff update is to announce that Jess Humphries (AC/BC) will be riding into Camp next summer to take up her position within the Head Staff team as a Division Head for 2019.

Jess is no stranger to Camp after working with us for many years previously and will be joining an ever growing number of valued international staff that have done 5 years at Schodack – an amazing achievement in itself. Jess has experienced Camp life both inside the bunks as a Bunk Counsellor and outside them as an Activity Counsellor having helped to run our horseback riding program for many years and we are thrilled that she is returning for 2019.

Below Jess tells you a little more about herself and shares her favorite memories of last summer…

 

Hello, for those of you who don’t know me, I’m Jess Humphreys. I first stepped foot on camp in 2014 as one of the Horseback Counselors. As with many it was only ever supposed to be for one summer, but being given such a good CAIL bunk and having the best summer, it was hard to say no to returning. So five years later I’m still here, and still can’t say no to coming back. I spent four wonderful years up at Horseback, getting to meet all the different campers, until making the switch to Junior Girls GL last summer. Leaving my boys up the corral hill was tough, but having experienced AC life and bunk life has given me a more rounded experience. I’m always excited to come back to Camp, not only to see my friends. But also to see all the kids after 10 months away. Just being back at Camp is the most amazing feeling, and one I just can’t turn down.

Here are my 5 top memories of camp last summer:

 

1. Seeing My Former Campers On Staff

When I first got to camp I had the privilege of being Senior 1 Girls CAIL. Even though I didn’t speak much for the first week or so, they soon won me round and made my summer the best. To then have them again as SS and CIT’s made my summers better and better, and our relationships even stronger. To step foot on camp last summer and see them all as counsellors themselves made me so immensely proud. From seeing them grow up from these little 12/13 year olds to now, it makes me realise how special my job at camp has been. It is those girls who made me want to come back year after year.

 

2. Tribals Break!

Having a bunk of junior girls who didn’t get their cookies before bed was a challenge to say the least! But a 1am break made the start of Tribals so fun for us all. The campers loved it and it was just another exciting thing to be a part of.

 

The whole Camp in the Amphitheater during the Tribals break

3. Placing at BPN

It was no secret that Triple Crown had not been our bunks strong point for Talent Show and Lip Sync, but then at BPN the girls pulled it out of the bag. They did amazingly well, and managed to place third. The twist of doing it A Capella (a first we think for BPN) really paid off. We were all so so proud of them all, and that was easily a highlight of my summer.

 

Jess (back, center left) with her bunk the Chinook Girls before BPN

4. Down Time

Some of the best times at camp are when you have down time. So what do you do when you find yourselves with an hour free? We decided to use this to have a big water fight. Using water bottles, and a filled up trash can, we had an absolute blast. Aside from water fights, we had some of the best chats and laughs while messing around in the bunk, and it’s that time that you get to know your campers even better.

 

5. Being Back At Camp

Stepping foot back on camp is an amazing feeling. For the first time though, this year I was a little apprehensive. I arrived the morning of Lip Sync and didn’t know how people would react to me coming so late in the summer. There were so many new faces, but I fell straight back into it. Getting to see all my friends and the campers again was amazing, and I instantly felt like I’d been there all summer. Every  time I get back there I feel like I’ve never been away. I’m so exited for what this summer holds!

 

Jess is currently living in Liverpool, UK and is completing her MA in Law. We are excited to see Jess in this new role and know that she will be a valuable member of the Head Staff team. She brings a lot of experience with her to the position.

2019 Head Staff Announcement – Division Head

Our latest Head Staff update is to announce that Grace Roeder (BC/AC) has agreed to take on a her latest Schodack adventure by taking a role within the Head Staff team as a Division Head for summer 2019.

Grace is well known across Camp for her wacky line-up announcements with her co-staff and we know that she is going to do a great job taking on her newest challenge as part of the Head Staff team for next summer. She has worked both inside the bunks as a Bunk Counsellor and outside them as an Activity Counsellor leading our popular adventure trips off-camp and we are thrilled that she is returning for 2019.

 

Here are Grace’s Top 5 memories of this past summer…

Hello Schodack Campers and Families! My name is Grace Roeder and I’m going to be the Middle Girls DH this summer. If you don’t know me, allow me to introduce myself. I am a graduating senior at Monmouth University in NJ. I’ll be graduating in the spring with my bachelor’s in Biology and Secondary Education in hopes of being a Science teacher. I’ve lived all over the country in VA, UT, NJ, and now Western MASS is where I call home. I am extremely excited and thrilled to be back at camp for my 4th year, and this year as a Head Staff member! I didn’t have the opportunity to grow up at camp, but it’s felt like my summer home for the past 3 years. My camp friends have become my summer family. My first year at camp I was a BC for the lovely Lakota girls. My second and third years I was the female Adventure counselor and CAIL for the Toltec and Senior 1 girls. It was awesome getting to see the same group of girls grow up over 3 summers. But this year I’ll be heading back to where it began, middle camp, to give the middle girls a summer full of adventure, fun, and memories that they will never forget. Some of the memories I will never forget from my time Schodack are….

 

1. Simply participating every day with my girls is a memory I won’t forget…

As the Adventure counselor for two years, when I wasn’t off somewhere “adventuring” I was hanging out with my girls. I’d join them for Softball, Horseback, first period swim, and art and crafts among other things. I loved taking advantage of my time at camp to hang with my girls and try everything!

 

2. White Water Rafting Announcements!

Making these announcements with my Adventure Co-staff were some of the highlights of my summers. One of the magical things about camp is being able to reach outside your comfort zone by going in front of the whole camp, singing “Row, row, row you’re raft…”, and having a giant trashcan full of water dumped on your head. Being silly at camp isn’t frowned upon. It’s highly encouraged.

Grace and her Adventure co-staff Denholm making one of their legendary whitewater rafting announcements

 

3. Triple Crown Events…

These are something unique to Schodack that I try to explain to my “non-camp” friends, but they just don’t get it. I had the pleasure of watching my girls the past 3 years, put on amazing acts, dance their hearts out, and sing BPN songs that made me cry. That feeling of winning a Triple Crown Event is something you can’t describe. If you know, you know.

 

4. Sitting OD…

Another of my favorite memories was sitting On Duty in my CAIL bunk at night. After a long day on the river, or getting back from a camping trip, it was nice to catch up with my bunk. I would sit and listen to their adventures from the day, what was for dinner, or how so-and-so did this-and-that at campers’ choice. They would ask me for stories or to stay up for just five more minutes. It felt like I was home.

 

5. Every memory…

My last memory is a culmination of all the laughs, memories, and experiences I’ve shared with all the staff and campers at Schodack. I can list so many funny stories about camping trips or activities, but it all comes down to the people I was with at the time. My friends and campers are my most cherished memories.

Grace performing on stage during the Counsellor Show in 2018

Memories are so important. They help us get through the 10 months of the year until we can finally get back to those green grass fields, cheers in the Dining Hall, and Schodack sunsets. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my few years at Schodack is to make every moment count. Our time at Schodack if finite. But what we choose to do with it…. That’s infinite. And I plan to give all of the Middle Girls a summer they will never forget!

 

Grace is currently completing her Degree at Monmouth University. We are really excited to have Grace on the Head Staff team for this coming summer. We know that she will do a great job. 

2019 Head Staff Announcement – Division Head

 

Our newest Head Staff update is to announce that Jeremy Kaish (former camper, LT, BC, GL & LT Staff) will be returning to Schodack to continue in his role as a Division Head for summer 2019.

Jeremy is a long time Schodack veteran who we are really glad is going to be continuing in his role from last summer. It is great to have someone with Jeremy’s experience of Schodack on the team as he will not only be able to guide the staff he works with but also to offer advice and support to his fellow Head staff (and hopefully continuing delighting us all with renditions of “Meatball, Meatball…!”)

 

Below Jeremy reflects on his Top 5 memories of this past summer…

It was about this time ten years ago that I first saw Schodack; it wasn’t in real life, unfortunately, but on a DVD my parents and I had received in the mail because the new set of now-digital videos wouldn’t be filmed for another five years and Google Earth wasn’t quite up to par yet. I don’t remember what I saw on that DVD that compelled me to pick Schodack, but I absolutely know what has kept me coming back all these years.

My friends and I always say, “the more things change, the more things stay the same.” A lot has changed over the past decade: cookout pizza went from circular to rectangular and back again, lineup moved from the flag pole to the Rec Hall steps (except when we’re feeling particularly nostalgic), and the junior(!!) campers I had my first year as a counselor are now making their way to staff. And even with all that, a lot has stayed the same, too: third campers’ choice is still undeniably the best time of day, dining hall cheers still elicit a kind of unbridled joy from camper and staff alike (Kaish for meatball?), and you can still stare at the Tribals plaques for hours even though you’ve already done it for hours before.

While Summer 2019 is still a long way away (223 days at the time of writing, but who’s counting), it already feels very special. I am beyond thrilled to spend another seven weeks with my middle boys, the very same age I started at in 2009. I’m already planning for the best seven weeks of the year, but let’s take a look back, in no particular order, at some highlights from 2018:

 

1. Viking Day…

While we may spend the majority of our summer in upstate New York, the middle boys took a day trip to the fjords of Scandinavia for Viking Day. Highlights of the day included team banner making, raft racing, and fortress battles. It was a blast watching everyone in the division, campers and staff, get into the Viking spirit!

 

2. Middle Camp Sport Nights…

A couple times throughout the summer, all of middle camp would gather on the old basketball court for a sport night. I loved watching everyone come together for games of basketball (a particularly competitive game of knock-out comes to mind), gaga, soccer, and whatever card games piqued the collective interest that night. It was always one of my favorite ways to round off the day.

 

3. Triple Crown…

When I think of the nine acts put on by the middle boys last summer, the first word that comes to mind is proud. I am always so impressed with the level of showmanship all of the boys always display on stage. I can’t wait to see what they have for Camp in 2019!

Kaish as Dr. Strange for the 2018 Tribals Break

4. Tribals…

Participating in a Tribals break was always a dream of mine, and I’m so glad I got to be part of this break. While I don’t think anything will live up to the legendary Batman break (shout out to the one and only Doug Herbst), this action packed, middle-of-the-night break was truly incredible and I’m so happy I helped make it happen.

 

5. All of the little moments…

It’s hard to quantify, but my favorite parts of every day are the moments when I walk into one of my bunks and the boys are up to something wacky or silly or creative or anything in between and I get to join in with them. Camp is made in the little moments, and I’m so, so ready for all of the new ones that will come in 2019.

Kaish addressing the entire Camp at the 2-Day Break in 2018

Jeremy graduated from Northwestern in the summer and is now completing his MA. We are really excited that he is returning to Schodack for the summer. Jeremy brings years of Schodack experience with him that will help the staff he works with as well as the rest of the Heads Staff team.

 

 

 

2019 Head Staff Announcement – Division Head

We LOVE getting to send out a new Head Staff update every other day at the moment, so you can imagine how excited we are to announce that our newest Head Staff member is all the way from Down Under! Ella Brown (former AC & GL) will be returning to Schodack to dive in to her role as a Division Head for summer 2019.

Ella first came to Schodack in 2013 where she worked as an Activity Counsellor at the pool, then took a break to finish her degree before returning as a Group Leader. As with all our Head Staff, Ella has worn many hats at Schodack including leading half of Camp when she was chosen as General for the green team with fellow DH Ben Weiner in 2018. We can’t wait to see what new ideas and energy she rings with her to this role.

Below Ella introduces herself to our families in her own words and shares her Top 5 memories of this past summer…

Hello hello! My name is Ella and I can’t believe I’m even saying that I’m heading back for number 4!!! After spending the summer by the pool in 2013, University in the southern hemisphere got in the way of returning for what I thought was ever but a couple of years later the pull to come back was as strong as ever and the call was made. The 2 summers that have followed have been the most wonderful, unexpected, life affirming experiences and I can’t wait to see what summer 2019 has in store!

Schodack has always been a lesson in embracing the unexpected, from being exposed to Camp for the first time as an 18 year old a long way from home, to finding myself joining bunk life and spending 2 summers with junior girls, each summer has exceeded expectations and formed relationships and experiences that are unparalleled.

Reflecting on my top 5 memories from summer 2018 have made me even more excited for what is to come!

1. Triple Crown…

Watching what these campers are capable of year after year is a spectacle in itself but there was something pretty special about watching the Mic Mac’s experience their first (of hopefully many) Triple Crown events. From watching only five of them getting up on stage in front of the entire camp just 2 weeks in to camp, to backing it up with the sassiest Lip Sync and rounding out the summer with a mind blowing rap for BPN was unreal to be a part of.

Ella (center back) and the Mic Mac girls at Bunk Plaque Night 2018

2. Tribals break…

A break any of us won’t be forgetting any time soon… from the looks of bewilderment and shock when “FOOD FIGHT” was shouted across the dining hall to the pure confusion over being woken up at 1am to finally break tribals after days of anticipation, last years break was truly memorable.

3. 2 Day…

Being chosen to be a General for 2-Day was the most extraordinary, exhilarating and fun filled time of my life. Running around camp and seeing everyone come together and get involved as well as becoming a tiny part of Schodack history was truly unforgettable.

Ella and Co-General Ben getting dunked during Bucket Brigade for 2-Day

4. Fire Circle…

Both a weekly and summer highlight, each Fire Circle had a completely different feel as the summer progressed and the opportunity for the whole camp to come together to reflect on the week and celebrate Camp together is very special.

5. Camp being ‘Camp’…

Cherished memories coming from the most average, simple, moments makes camp what it is. From karaoke bus trips to the lake, showers in the heaviest of downpours, ridiculous walks to lineup, endless giggles at highlights of each day, dance performances on the porch… every day is filled with so many magical moments that aren’t found anywhere else.

So here’s to never growing up and finding out what Schodack has in store next summer….

It is great to have Ella returning to Schodack for another summer. We are excited to see her in this new role and know that she will be a valuable member of the Head Staff team.

2019 Head Staff Announcement – Division Head

Our latest update is here and we are excited to announce that Simone Teich (former camper, LT, BC, GL, LT Staff) has decided to take on a new role for 2019 by joining the Head Staff as a Division Head. 

Simone is another long time Schodack veteran who we are really excited to have joining the Head Staff team for next summer. She has worked with both boys and girls bunks in her roles as a BC and GL and did an amazing job with both. It is great to have someone with Simone’s long history, positive attitude and happy demeanor joining us again.

Here are Simone’s Top 5 memories of this past summer…

Hi everyone!

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Simone Teich. I have been here at Schodack since 2008, starting off as a little Menominee Girl living in G4a. From the very first day, I fell in love with camp. Little did I know I would be coming back summer after summer for eleven, going on twelve years. My first summer on staff I was a counselor for the youngest girls on camp, a Comax Girls counselor. I went on the be a Middle Girls counselor for the Yakima Girls. I loved all of my girls so much, but decided it was time for a change. Having been at camp for so long I wanted to try something that hadn’t been done in years. I became a group leader for Junior Boys. I had such an amazing experience that I knew one day I wanted to explore it further. After my summer as a Chicopee Boys Group Leader, I went on to LT Staff, working with the oldest kids on camp. I am so excited to be working with my Junior Boys again, but this time as their Division Head! Having worked with both the youngest girls and boys, and then with the oldest kids on camp, I have learned so much about myself from not only working, but growing up at a place as magical as Camp Schodack. I learned the meaning of kindness, acceptance, warmth and true friendship. There are so many reasons why I decide to come back to camp, too many to count.

Sitting on my couch with the heat on and a hot cup of coffee in hand, I think warm thoughts, dreaming about the summer time. Here are a few of my favorite memories from last summer…

1. Reliving my CIT summer

I remember being a CIT back in 2013 and 2014. I made so many amazing memories and so many new friendships, experiences that I will never forget. The bonds that I created will last a lifetime. Coming back to be CIT staff allowed me to encourage the girls to make their own memories and friendships, the same way that I had all those years ago. Working with these girls was a dream come true, and growing close with all of them was an unforgettable experience.

Simone and the CIT staff of 2018

2. BPN (Bunk Plaque Night)

The CIT candle lighting tradition has always been a very special moment during the summer for both the CIT’s and the Ex-CITS, for as long as anyone can remember. The girls worked so hard to put their amazing summer into words, and perform a song in front of the entire camp. It was an emotional and amazing night when the CIT’s won first place. This was a moment that I will never forget. The girls worked so hard, and as the saying goes, hard work always pays off.

The CITs ahead of BPN 2018

3. Challenge Days

The LT Challenge days are an event that the LT’s look forward to from the time they are junior campers. There was one day where it was cold and rainy, but that wasn’t stopping the fun we had planned. We put a tarp down, covered it in soap, and made a slip and slide at the bottom of the Corral hill. The kids had such an amazing time that they made the staff go too. It was such a fun and carefree day, everyone was running around in the rain, having the best time. Rain or shine, camp always brings a smile to everyones face.

4. Canada

The LT’s take their annual summer trip to Montréal, Canada. We do so many amazing activities, from walking around Old Montréal, going to La Ronde and last but not least, jet-boating! Getting to experience all of these moments with the CIT’s and the Waiters was so awesome. We made so many memories. The staff sat front row in the jet-boats and I was terrified. I ended up having the best time, sitting next to my best friends, and loving every minute. Now I understand why the kids have been looking forward to this trip since junior camp!

5. Banquet

Last but not least, one of my favorite memories from not only this summer but every summer, is the Banquet that the LT’s host for the last dinner on camp. After the meal, all of camp goes outside and we count down the years that everyone has been at camp. This time of the summer allows me to reflect and appreciate all of the amazing years that I have spent at camp.

Thank you guys for listening to my amazing memories from Summer 2018! I am so excited to hear all of the amazing memories that you will make in Summer 2019!

See you this summer!

Simone

We are very happy to have Simone on staff again this year and know that she will bring her many years of experience with her from all of the roles she has previously held at Schodack.

2019 Head Staff Announcement – Division Head

We are proud to announce that Ben Weiner (former camper, LT, BC and GL) will be stepping up to join the Head Staff team as a Division Head for summer 2019.

Ben has held a number of roles at Schodack including helping to run Night Activities and also overseeing Ultra Leagues this past summer. Ben is known for his great presence across Camp and we know that he will carry that with him into his new position.

Here are Ben’s Top 5 memories of this past summer…

 

HELLO SCHODACK AND FRIENDS.

My name is Ben Weiner. While my Schodack experience technically began in 2010, Schodack has been in my blood since my Father, Rob; my Aunt, Wendy; my Uncle, Danny; and my Cousins, Andy and Jill joined the Schodack Family in the 1970’s and 80’s. I started back in 2010 as a Shawnee Boy living in the farmhouse, infamous for being the cleanest bunk in camp history (check the record books it’s true). Ever since I set foot on Camp, the infectious feeling of friendship, fair play, and compassion has always felt right to me. Nine summers later I wasn’t ready to say goodbye, so I’m beyond excited to return for summer number ten! Spending the past four years on staff, with the last two as a Group Leader, has not only lead to incredible personal growth and happiness, but some of the best memories of my life. I’d like to share with you my best memories of Summer 2018, which I will cherish forever and cannot wait to replace with even better moments next summer:

1.Euro Hand ball…

While this is more of a game then a memory, for those of you who do not know, Euro Hand Ball is the greatest sport in Schodack History. My love of the beautiful game was instilled in me by my former counselor Adam Offitzer, and I made sure to share that energy and excitement with the Chippewa Boys last summer! If you haven’t heard, Euro Hand Ball is a game very similar to ultimate frisbee, except it is played with a yellow squishy ball about the size of a spherical jumbo cookie. Euro Hand Ball was the highlight of any given day, as the Chippewa Boys and our staff would compete and have fun, and when it was all over the kids always demonstrated Schodack sportsmanship.

2. Bunk Plaque Night…

There is always an unbelievable feeling in the air. While it is a thrill to see all the bunks perform, two groups were especially memorable: the Junior Boys, who I’ve known for the past three summers, and the Waiters, many of whom were my former campers. BPN is one of the best days of the summer, and the pride the kids take in their acts is incredible to see.

3. Ultra Leagues…

I have been a commissioner of Ultra Leagues, the  in-camp competitive soccer and basketball leagues, for the past three summers, but this summer was one for the books! Shout out to Crimson and Lime for playing a basketball game that went into triple overtime, and a special shout out to ex-Waiter Lewis Woloch for leading Orange Glory to their second consecutive Upper Camp basketball championship! It was a pleasure to watch you play!

Ben as a 2-Day General this past summer

4. 2-Day…

This past summer I realized a childhood dream as I was chosen to become a Tribals General. What made it even more special was the people I got to spend it with. My brother Ari was next to me when they called my name, my campers tackled me, and I don’t think I’ve ever been that happy, ever.

5. Bunk Time…

Sometimes at camp, the best memories are the little things. Playing cards with a friend, singing old BPN songs, or talking to your campers or counselors. With the Chippewa Boys last summer, there was never a dull moment. When we hung in the “Divot”, The Farm House common room the kids named after a Fortnite landing spot, it was always good vibes and fun.

Ben with his bunk at soccer

I hope you enjoyed my top 5 memories from Summer 2018, and I look forward to spending Summer 2019 making more memories with the Schodack Family. 230 days and counting.

-Weiner

We are all very happy to welcome Ben back to the Schodack family for next summer and are looking forward to him moving into a new role that we know he will be great at.

2019 Head Staff Announcement – Super Senior DH

We are hugely excited to announce that Shira Buchsbaum (former camper, LT, BC, AC, LT Staff and DH) is back to take on a very important role within the Head Staff team as the Super Senior Division Head for summer 2019.

Shira is a long time Schodack veteran, loved by her campers and the staff that work with her. She is well known for her incredible passion for Camp which is rivaled by none! We could not hope for a more suitable person to be leading our oldest campers in their final summer before becoming Leadership Trainees.

In her own words, here are Shira’s Top 5 memories of this past summer…

I opened a Word Doc to write this blog post and saved it under a new folder: Camp 2019. The first file of a summer that feels thematically discordant with the red and gold-leafed New England autumn that hovers outside the window of the library where I currently sit. Who would’ve thought that as a senior in college, I would be able to return once again to Schodack? Who would have guessed that amidst graduate school applications and senior thesis writing, I would already be thinking about the Super Seniors of 2019? A silly question: probably every single one of my camp friends, and home friends, and college friends, my parents, my sister, my beloved bed in the Upstairs Farmhouse, and my cat. There was never a question that I would return to camp. Summer No. 15, I’m yours.

In 2011, my seventh summer at Schodack, I lived in the (not-yet-renovated) Icehouse with sixteen Super Senior 1 Girls. It was a summer of unbridled fun: among other things, we laughed our way through our very well-written but poorly-rehearsed BPN (sorry, Casey Singer), and we idolized our Division Head, Coby Greenberg (who was, then and now, one of the lightest hearts I have ever met). I loved Super Senior summer. It is, to this day, my favorite summer as a camper, and I could not pass up the opportunity to encourage the same zaniness, joy, and friendship in the outstanding group of now teenagers(!) with whom I have worked for the last two summers.

Camp whizzes inside my head all day long, thanks to group chats and photographs that pop up on my phone, and while I text back-and-forth with Carter and Doug about our wild ambitions for the fast-approaching seven weeks in the green-and-white, here are a few of my favorite memories from this past summer that keep me returning for more:

1. Every Buchsbaum Bonfire of the Summer

Drew Gumins (the ultimate SPOPS!) and I revived the original Cookout Pit by Archery just for the Senior Girls for s’mores, singing, joking, and star-gazing. Sitting around a crackling fire built just for us was the perfect way to bring our division together on clear, quiet camp nights.

Getting ready for The Apache Relay with Activity Supervisor Kristyn

2. The SPLURGE!!

Getting to surprise all of the Senior Campers with My Place to celebrate a great Senior SPLURGE Special Event Afternoon. All senior campers took place in a number of challenges and competitions over the afternoon and it was a great success.  

3. Every Triple Crown Event

They are all unforgettable, but watching all four of my bunks absolutely SMASH Lip Sync this summer was insane: the Senior 1 Girls inspired me to watch Mamma Mia! for the first time, the Senior 2 Girls had me in stitches with their name game, the Senior 3 Girls ran a full Broadway production with The Addams Family, and the Senior 4 Girls performed incredible choreography to their DJ Earworm mash-up. I was floored.

4. The Messiest Day EVER with Senior Girls!

Cracking eggs on heads, dumping syrup down backs, launching Caesar salad dressing in the air, and slipping up the hill in The Well on an oily tarp was a hilarious way to round out the summer. I loved watching the girls bond over how nicely egg yolk moisturized our hair after the day (and many showers) concluded.

Messiest Day Ever!!

5. The Last Night of Camp

It is unavoidably emotional, but sitting in the darkened Rec Hall, listening to our division sing our special song brought me to tears and demonstrated to me how much our incredible girls have grown together over the past summers. I am so excited to see them move into the Super Senior and CIT programs – the beauty of camp is limitless!

 

We are all very excited that Shira will be working with our Super Senior Division next summer and also happy that she will be on hand to provide guidance and support to her fellow Head Staff.

2019 Head Staff Announcement – SPEC

It is with great excitement that we are able to announce that Josh Baker (former GL, Scho-Karts and DH) will be reprising his role as Special Programs and Events Coordinator (SPEC) for summer 2019.

Josh has held a few different roles at Schodack before taking on the task of coordinating all of the Night Activities, Rainy Days and of course…TRIBALS! which this year involved Superheroes, stolen hatchets, food fights, Thanos, Thor and even the Incredible Hulk!

Here are Josh’s Top 5 memories of this past summer…

Hello you amazing Schodackians,

In case you have no idea who I am, my name is Josh Baker. I began my camp career what seems like a lifetime ago back in 2014 as one of two Scho-Karts Counselors living the dream in Coop 7 and CAIL to the Pawnee Boys! It was these 2 months at Schodack where I made lifelong friendships and my love for everything camp was cemented. After this I knew that there were so many reasons for me to return to camp, even if it meant putting the real world on hold! And so my camp journey continued, going from Activity Counselor to Group Leader, two years of being a Division Head and finally being SPEC in 2018. Which brings me to now, after my 5th Summer at Schodack, at the ripe old age of 26 I’m sitting at my computer, wrapped in my 5 year blanket (well worth the wait) thinking about all the incredible memories that keep me going back year after year.

Now that it’s getting colder and Camp seems forever away, I invite you to join me in looking back on my 5 personal highlights of Summer 2018 in an effort to bring you a little slice of summer at Schodack… In no particular order.

1. When it Finally Rained (Lake Schodack water fight/double rainbow)

During the great drought of Camp Schodack in the Summer of 2018, the grass was a beautiful shade golden brown and despite everyone enjoying their tans and blister days we were all hoping for a little bit of rain to cool us all down. Luckily half way through the second session our wish was granted, not only did it rain, but it rained so hard that Lake Schodack was the biggest I’ve ever seen. What started as a simple dance in the rain turned into an all camp water fight, followed by some serious sliding down the slip and slide at the coral hill. In case that wasn’t enough to bring joy to your heart, it was all topped off with an incredible double rainbow.

2. 1am Break

This past Summer I was incredibly lucky and honored to be given the role of SPEC. Feeling a lot of responsibility with this title I wanted to ensure that the kids had a Tribals break they would remember for years to come. So with the help of the OPs team and all of head staff we managed to trick the entire camp into thinking Tribals wouldn’t break… only to wake them all up at 1am to the sound of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Immigrant Song’ playing over the sound system. Seeing the bunks erupt into life in the middle of the night is really something I will never forget.

3. World Cup

Despite the fact that football didn’t end up coming home for England this year, the atmosphere around camp was incredible as people from all corners of the world that were gathered at camp stood with us in support. Reminding me that regardless of the reason, everyone at camp always bands together and supports each other unconditionally, something that isn’t seen in many other walks of life.

4. The Final Fire Circle

Fire Circle is one of my favorite parts of camp, and I know that feeling is shared by many. However this summer the final one stood out most for me as Paul gave everyone an individual opportunity to talk about what camp means to them. Leading to some extremely touching and heartfelt moments that only a place like camp can create.

5. Seeing my 2014 Pawnee Boys Graduate the LT Program

Finally, something very much important to me, was seeing the boys I was a CAIL for all the way back in 2014, graduate the LT program. Watching those boys and all the other LTs graduate filled me with immeasurable pride, knowing that next summer all the campers will be in the incredible hands of a group of people who genuinely care and are just all round great humans.

I hope that you enjoyed my Top 5 memories from summer 2018, and I invite you to think about yours every time you start to miss camp. I look forward to creating more amazing memories with you all next summer too!

See you next summer at the 12123,

Baker out!

We are all very happy to welcome Josh back to the Schodack family for next summer and are looking forward to all of the excitement and experience that he brings with him to this role.

Introducing the Schodack Holiday Mystery Box! New for 2018!!

(Brett Cohen with his children Ilivia and Sawyer and his wife Randi)

Hi,

My name is Brett Cohen.  I was a camper, waiter, bunk counselor, group leader and SPEC over the course of 13 amazing summers at Camp Schodack (1985-1997).  Currently, I serve on the Camp Schodack Alumni Association (CSAA) as the Schodack Campership Initiative (SCI) representative. SCI is a non-profit that funds camperships for children from underrepresented backgrounds to attend Schodack each summer.  I’m also the parent of two current Schodack campers.

Right now, I’m excited to combine my role as an alumni parent with my CSAA and SCI roles to launch an amazing new initiative—something that I’m hoping will become a great annual tradition in your home.

Introducing The Schodack Holiday Mystery Box!

You may be asking yourself…”Self, what is The Schodack Holiday Mystery Box?”  My answer is simple…”I can’t tell you because it’s a mystery.”

But, here’s what I can tell you:  For $50, you’ll receive EXCLUSIVE Camp Schodack gear delivered in time for this holiday season.  The box will include fun and unique Camp Schodack stuff appropriate for campers, staff, alumni and anyone who loves Camp Schodack.  The contents will remain a surprise until you or the recipient opens the box.  It will make a great Hanukkah gift or stocking stuffer.  And, you absolutely don’t want to miss out on this.

As a parent, I know that the struggle is real when it comes to finding a perfect holiday gift.  As a Schodack parent, I know my kids will love getting Schodack stuff in the middle of winter.  Heck, as an alumni, I might get one for myself!

Anyway, you get the idea.  Great for them.  Easy for you.  And, while this promotion is brought to you by the Camp Schodack Alumni Association, all proceeds benefit the Schodack Campership Initiative helping to send underrepresented children to camp.  Everyone wins.

We’re certain you’ll love the surprises that await inside The Schodack Holiday Mystery Box.  And, we’re hoping this becomes an annual tradition with new and exciting surprises each holiday season.

Order now to ensure that the box reaches you before the holidays by CLICKING HERE!!!

Ask any questions in the comments and I’ll do my best to respond.

Thanks,

Brett

 

Welcoming Back a Camp Legend: Jon Carter

Hello to all you wonderful campers, parents, alumni and staff of the 12123 aka Camp Schodack!

For those of you I have not yet met, my name is Jon Carter and I have had the pleasure of working at Schodack for 10 years. I started as an adventurous, if what slightly nervous 19 year old in 2002, and am thrilled to be joining the year-round team (again!) This blog post will tell you a little more about me, my history at Schodack and what I will be doing in the future.

My first role saw me as a Group Leader for the youngest boys on camp living in what was then called the “Annex” and is now “C1.” During that summer I also ran the Radio Shack during Camper’s Choice due to my experience working for a radio station back in the UK. I returned in 2003 to continue as a Group Leader and once again had the joy of working with the youngest boys on camp. It was in this summer that the famous (or possibly infamous) “Carter’s Challenge” was conceived – If you don’t know what it is, just ask your children!

(Official time-keeper for Carter’s Challenge this past summer)

What started as a summer adventure to live and work in America had by now become a passion and I began to wonder if I would ever spend a summer away from Schodack, So, when the call came from Owen in 2004 asking if I would like to join the Head Staff team I couldn’t refuse. I spent the next 2 years as the Special Programs & Events Coordinator (SPEC) which culminated in one of my all-time favorite memories of camp, breaking Tribals as Willy Wonka in 2005.

Following that summer I moved to Canada with 2 other British staff but that adventure was cut short when I received a call from Paul asking if I would like to join the year-round team. Shortly thereafter I was in the American Embassy in London collecting my visa to begin my role as the LT Director and Staffing Coordinator which I continued to do for the next two years.

When my visa expired I returned to the UK and was sadly unable to return in 2008 but made sure that my absence from Schodack didn’t last too long and returned in 2009 to become the Substitute Activity Counsellor (SAC). After that summer I returned to the UK once again and took on a number of roles including opening a jazz restaurant with my brothers Michael and Olly (both former Schodack staff).

(In 2009 as Co-General with Julia Kaplan for Seminole Strike)

At the ripe old age of 27 I decided that after having spent so much time working with young people I wanted to do this as a career, so I enrolled full time at the University of Roehampton to pursue my Bachelors in Education. This is where I spent the next 9 years getting my degree, working with the Student Life team, the Students Union and eventually helping to run the largest of the 4 Colleges at Roehampton. I was also elected to serve on the Board of Trustees as a Director of the University for 3 years until I left earlier this year.

After a 7-year hiatus, I came back to visit Schodack for the 60th reunion in 2016 and realized just how much I had missed camp. I came back to visit again at the end of summer 2017 and then received another life-changing call from camp, this time from Matt asking if I would like to come back full time! That brings us to the present, when on Monday, October 1st I officially began my role as Alumni, Communications and Events Coordinator which will see me taking on a number of exciting things at Schodack.

I hope to meet all of you in person over the coming months and cannot wait to dive head-first back into my Schodack adventure.

All the best – Carter

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing”

Carter currently lives in London, England with his fiancee Anya.