Head Staff Announcement – Mike Palese!

We can’t wait to have “Hipster” Mike Palese back for his fourth summer at camp, third on head staff and first as an ACS! During the year, Mike conducts research for the Sonoma County Government to lower carbon emissions of county buildings and looks for the most effective alternative energy source for their government facilities. He has also been working on a research project to bring off-grid energy sources to small villages in Indonesia.

Mike can’t wait to be out in the sun all day this summer and to be returning to see all of his friends and to make new friends. This year Mike’s campers from his first summer will now be on staff with him so it will be a full-circle experience! 

Fun fact: Mike is red-green color blind!

Karen’s Korner – Clothing Exchange!

As you’re gearing up for summer camp packing, please remember our CLOTHING EXCHANGE. As in the past, the warmth and generosity of Schodack families has fueled the CLOTHING EXCHANGE – returning families offering out-grown Schodack clothing for other families to use. If you have gently-used clothing that your child has outgrown and that you’d like to donate to someone else, send me an email with the style/color/size and I’ll match it up with families looking for camp gear.

Then, simply pack the clothes in a plastic bag marked “clothing exchange” and pack it in your child’s duffel. When we unpack your camper’s duffels, we’ll take the donated clothing and distribute it as needed.

For those of you who are looking for camp clothing, send me an email with what you’re looking for (i.e. green zip-up sweatshirt, size youth small) and I’ll try to find a match. If I find a match I’ll let you know, and we’ll then make sure the clothes, cleaned and with your child’s name written inside, get to your child’s cubbies.

We’ll keep the extras washed and folded and ready for emergencies!

As many of you may remember, we offered a drop off/pick up of gently used Schodack gear at this year’s New York/New Jersey reunion, and it was a big hit! Thanks to all of you who participated!

Happy Packing!!

Karen

karen@schodack.com

Guest Blog Post: Marcy Lief!

I can not put this off any longer, June is quickly approaching and I need to face my fears! Ok, here I go…I am going to take out the camp trunks, rummage through them and figure out needs to be replaced, what I need to buy, label, rewash, fumigate and try to get another summer out of. This year I am going to start early to ward off that, “How am I going to get this done” anxiety!

Year after year packing for camp became a project that I couldn’t help but get attached to. The allotted number of each clothing item is permanently stuck in my head as the items are being compiled. I sit with piles of socks and my sharpie for what seemed like hours. I take out my sewing box and name labels for the rest of the clothes. Blue for Brittney, black for Andrew and I sew away as I sing camp songs from my time at camp… Oh yes, I sew, old school! And once that is finished, I count each item over and over to ensure it’s within the limit.

 

Once everything is counted, I begin to place the items into the trunks and leave them unzipped once finished for any potential last-minute additions. On the day they are delivered a feeling of relief overwhelms me as if I took the final exam of the semester.

 

 

 

So as June approaches this year these feelings are resurfacing, however after 15 years I surrender my reign over the camp trunks as my children are now adults and onto other endeavors. I must admit I am going to miss this process! As every part of their childhood this seems to have flown by this had too. So when you and your child are discussing which type of sunscreen he or she wants to bring to camp, just pause and take in the moment because these years will fly by!

 

Head Staff Spotlight: Izzy McAree

The thing about being an international at camp, a British International at camp, is how unaware I was of what I was about to experience, the journey I had started, the obsession that had begun. Back in 2013, as an undergrad physical education student, spending my summer in America just seemed like a great way to fill in the gaps between each semester. Sure, I had heard about Camp America, s’mores, camp fires and star gazing, but nothing could’ve prepared me for the life-changing experience that Schodack has been. And yes, Camp Schodack changed my life, it’s dramatic I know, but if you know, you really do know and that’s what makes it so special. I can’t begin to summarize how I feel about 40 Krouner Road, and if you’re reading this having experienced a summer at camp, I know you’ll understand why. Amongst the green grass, perfect sunsets, gorgeous weather and plethora of sports, it is the wonderful Schodackians, both campers and staff, whose paths I have had the pleasure of crossing that have made camp the neverland I so adore. And I know you would all agree, that in one way or another, Schodack has changed your life too.

I’ve always found it amusing how camp makes the world feel so small yet so big all at once. No matter how many times I unexpectedly run into someone from camp, those huge oceans laying inconveniently between us (you and I) never feel bigger than in the cold winter months. It quickly become normal to have several different time zones on your radar, to say goodnight in the morning and to wake up inundated with messages from all corners of the world. Despite this, my ‘camp friends’ have taught me more about kindness and friendship than I could ever imagine. Friendships that survive not only the test of time but the thousands of miles often between us. It’s these friendships, built on green and white foundations of all things Camp Schodack, that allowed me to so easily fall in love with everything camp had to offer, and why, at 23 years old, I still can’t think of a better way to spend my summer than with firecrackers, roof tops and apache relays at the 12123.

As I reach my ‘blanket summer’, I feel a great sense of gratitude for having accidentally stumbled across the most fantastic place on earth. I am humbled everyday by the beautiful people I am proud to call my friends, who go about their day taking care of the Earth and treating people kindly. There isn’t a single day that I don’t think about camp and how so much of who I am today I attribute to the time I have spent at Schodack… because that’s the thing about camp, it gets ahold of your heart and never let’s go.

Round 2: Schodack Games!

Want a fun way to think about camp?!?! We’ve got some fun challenges that will test your Schodack knowledge!

Any camper who successfully completes our crossword puzzle and word search will get their name in a special edition of the Schodack Scoop this summer! Just click on the images below, print out the sheets and send us a picture of you with the completed puzzles! You can email them to camp@schodack.com or post them to our Facebook Page.

(FYI – This is the “Intermediate” round! The “Advanced” round is coming soon!!!)

HAVE FUN!!!!

 

Guest Blog Post: Julia Friedman – From Camper To Counselor

As I’m entering my fifth summer at Camp Schodack, it’s hard to believe that I was a camper for only four summers. On my first day of camp, I walked into a bunk of girls who had practically grown up at camp. They knew everything there was to know, whereas my only knowledge of Schodack consisted of some random broken green and white arrow framed in my living room. I had grown up hearing stories about Schodack from my dad and uncle but in 2013, I was ready to form my own memories.

On the ride up, everything was a blur. I was worried about whether or not I’d make friends, if I had all the things I needed, who I would bunk with, and most importantly, if I would make do with the endless dining hall options.  As soon as I stepped off the bus, it all fell into place. My ears filled with the cheers of campers and staff who were as excited as I was to start off the second half of the summer. My concerns of finding friends disappeared as soon as the girls in my bunk bombarded me with hugs as if I had known them my entire life. My first day flew by with swim tests, lice checks, yearbook pictures, and the counselor show. By the time I crawled into my bottom bunk of G4b that night, I knew I was home.

Julia on Visiting Day when she was younger!

My summers at Schodack had been filled with “firsts.”  From learning stacking games to winning triple crown events, the “firsts” seemed endless. With camp drawing closer and closer, I am constantly thinking of all the “firsts” that will take place this summer. Meeting my bunk for the first time and watching all the instant friendships form. Writing Triple Crown scripts for my campers for the first time. Being able to participate in the counselor show that I so excitedly watched for my first night activity as a camper.

 

Julia with her friends during a LT Challenge Day last summer!

In my new role as a counselor this year, I’m so excited to have the chance to do whatever I can to ensure that my campers have as incredible of an experience as I did. I’ll be thinking of all the meaningful moments and role models that I had throughout my summers, and will try to pass on the amazing memories that I had to my own campers. Schodack  is a magical place and I see it as my job to ensure that my campers experience the magic that I still see every day.

 

 

What’s so special about the magic of camp is how something that might seem imperfect at home, takes on a whole new meaning. The downpour that you would watch from your couch at home is turned into a chance to run through the rain, laughing with your best friends. Serving meals to the entire camp in the dark with no utensils for Medieval Night is not as crazy as it really sounds. Staying up until the morning writing scripts for triple crown is what you wish you were doing while staying up studying for midterms during the year. The list is endless.

Camp is almost 100 days away, and I know you’ll all be able to feel this magic and see exactly what I mean.  

Head-Staff Spotlight: Jamie Weiss!

Since I was eight years old, almost every part of my life has been influenced by camp. Even as I’m writing this, my “Camp Schodack” playlist is playing softly in the background. It has over 150 songs – BPNs, alma maters, third camper’s choice tracks – and it is the culmination of the past 14 years of my life. I know that I’ll never be able to fully convey what camp means to me but I can tell you why I keep coming back.

I keep going back to camp because it is my home. Not only is it my home, but it was home to my father, my aunt, my cousins, and my sister. Schodack is where I learned to swim, ride a bike, take a five-minute shower, and stand on the Dining Hall roof in front of over 300 people and feel completely at ease. Schodack is where I learned to be a team player, a leader, and a friend.

I keep going back to camp because whether I’ve known them since 2004 or since just last year, my camp friends are the most important people in my life. The impact they have had on me in such a short amount of time is astounding. Truly, my words fail when I try and explain how grateful I am to Schodack for putting this group of people in my life. For lack of a better phrase, camp friends just “get it”. Whether that is in the form of a 3 a.m text in the dead of winter about a talent show idea or just sitting in plastic chairs at the canteen area eating gummy bears realizing that life simply cannot get any better.

I keep coming back to camp because over the past six summers that I’ve been on staff I have watched my campers grow up. This has been the most rewarding experience – one that has had a fundamental impact on my life. I have seen them conquer the climbing tower and I have seen them get into college. These young men and women who entered my life when I was 16 years old are some of the most intelligent, kind-hearted and hilarious individuals that I have ever met.

Things have changed tremendously over the past 14 years. I’ve gone from being a CIT to being in charge of the CITS, having my senior campers have their own senior campers and I’ve seen the counselors who I had when I was in junior camp with their children who are now old enough to be junior campers themselves. I guess all that’s left to say is that in 30 years I know that I’ll look back on my experience at Schodack and be able to say that I (Seminole) Let The Good Times Roll!

Schodack Games for the Long Weekend!

Want a fun way to think “camp” rather than “snow” during this long weekend? We’ve got some fun challenges that will test your Schodack knowledge!

Any camper who successfully completes our crossword puzzle and word search will get their name in a special edition of the Schodack Scoop this summer! Just click on the images below, print out the sheets and send us a picture of you with the completed puzzles! You can email them to camp@schodack.com or post them to our Facebook Page.

(FYI – This is the “Beginner” round. “Intermediate” and “Advanced” are coming soon!!!)

HAVE FUN!!!!

 



 

The GOAT and Rock-Paper-Scissors!!

The GOAT

There has been a lot of talk lately about The GOAT – meaning the greatest of all times. Bill Belichick and Tom Brady have been tagged with the acronym, while my first memory of its use was by Muhammad Ali about himself!

For camp, perhaps it stands for Greatest of all Tournaments! There are many optional competitions at camp, providing an opportunity for campers to compete. From running and swimming, in team sports and individual, across a whole range of activities.

The common theme, though, is peer. Whether it’s the Golden Bow in archery, or Carter’s Challenge (a decathlon-styled endurance event) – the events are open to everyone, but campers compete against others in their age group and gender.

And this is true for every event on camp that is based on skill…except one.

 

ROCK – PAPER – SCISSORS

I know, I know – your initial reaction may be that this is all about luck. Read on! This tournament has grown into one of the highlights of the summer with over 100 participants, from Junior campers all the way up through staff.

The ‘luck’ is greatly reduced because each round is played ‘First to ten and must win by two’. As Wesley Snipes said in a movie years ago “Anybody can win the lottery!” In Rock Paper Scissors, the skill factor in the first 3 or 4 goes, is minimal. But then the better players start noticing patterns and often reel off 4, 5, 6 ‘wins’ in a row, leaving their opponent bemused by what happened and with an odd smile of “How did that happen?” on their face. I should know! I am hopeless at this game!

An interim round (contested by the oldest players left in) brings us down to the final sixteen and those remaining players acquire huge cheering sections!

We have not yet had a girl win the tournament –Lauren Snerson made the final – though that is surely just a matter of time as more and more are taking part each year. Junior campers have won twice in the last eight years, while Middle Camper Jake Braunhut made it all the way to the finals in 2016 before going down in a close battle to staff member Chris Reilly – PBJ’s stare downs of his older opponent would have made Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson proud!

Back to The GOAT. No, not the tournament: to the Greatest of All Times. To all the skeptics out there who think this is a bunch of baloney, and who think that winning a 100-person tournament is a 1/100 proposition, how do you explain Evan Snerson?

He has contested seven tournaments since he was a Junior camper in 2009 – and he has won it four times! Four! When ‘his camper’, Gabe Lunin-Pack, beat him in the final in 2015, I could swear I heard Al Michaels shouting “Do you believe in miracles? YES!”

It clearly isn’t luck, but maybe the skill level is catching up to Evan, as he was a Round of 16 exit last summer. Is he too old? Is it impossible to keep playing at such a high level? Have his opponents figured him out? Maybe! But then they were saying the same things about Tom Brady too!

 

The twelfth Rock Paper Scissors tournament – July 28th , 2017

2017 Head Staff Announcement…LT Coordinators!

We are very happy to welcome back this awesome duo who will help Owen lead another successful year for the LTs!

 

We are excited to have Jamie Weiss back for her 14th summer at camp and second as coordinator! During the year, Jamie attends UMASS Amherst where she studies history and education.

She can’t wait to be back at camp and in the Rec Hall admiring all of the beautiful Tribals’ plaques! Jamie’s favorite camp meal is turkey dinner!

Fun fact: In addition to her dad growing up at Schodack, her grandpa used to stay at Krouner’s Hotel!

 

 

 

 

We can’t wait to have Ru Shah back for his fourth summer at camp and second as coordinator! During the year, Ru works in experiential marketing for different brands across the U.K from Oculus virtual reality to Cadburys chocolate!

He can’t wait to be back with the waiters and CITs for another amazing summer and see his campers from his first year at Schodack now on staff with him! Ru’s favorite memory from last summer was the LT Banquet!

Since moving back to London five months ago, after spending the past two years working in New York with one of the Schodack families, Ru has traveled to Portugal, Austria, Scotland, Netherlands, Germany and, most recently, he spent a month living in the rural Himalayas in Nepal building a school for over 360 children after the earthquakes devastated their remote village last year!

Fun fact: Ru accidentally ended up speaking live on national television in front of 180 news reporters and journalists in Jordan because he was sitting in the wrong seat!