Welcome Back Rachel Max Lewis!!!!!

Rachel showing her Camp spirit

Hello Schodackians!!! Rachel Max Lewis will be returning to Schodack full-time as our Assistant Director of Bunk Life and we can’t wait for you to get to know her. Here is a brief introduction to help you get acquainted!

Rachel grew up at Schodack over 13 summers during which time she was Seminole Captain and General, beloved Head Staff Member and was even awarded Most Improved Lacrosse Player in 1992! Rachel has a passion for summer camping that stretches far beyond her time spent at Schodack.

Rachel, back row third from right, with some of her closest friends from camp in the mid-1990’s

After graduating from Penn State with a B.A. in Public Relations/Advertising, Rachel spent eight years working in PR before realizing her true passion was being a camp professional. As her first foray back into camp life, Rachel became Operations Director of a co-ed residential camp and learned all the “behind the scenes” side of running a camp. In the fall of 2009, Rachel joined the full-time staff of an all-girls overnight camp in NH. As Associate Director, she worked closely with families throughout the year and was responsible for lots of the camp programming and administration during the summer. From 2015 through this past summer, Rachel was the Director of a day camp on Long Island where she was responsible for the entire camp operation.

 

Rachel & OPJ back in the day (1994)

Rachel is also very involved with the camping industry as a whole. She is active in the American Camp Association and has served on the Tri-State Program Planning Committee and as a Standards Visitor. She has also worked closely with Project Morry, a year-round youth development organization giving children wonderful opportunities at summer camps and beyond. Rachel was also on the board of our very own Schodack Campership Initiative (SCI), which kept her involved with Schodack and our mission of providing the Schodack experience to children from underrepresented backgrounds.

It was even through her connections in the camp world that Rachel met her husband Randy, who is a life-long camp person too. Randy grew up going to sleepaway camp in Texas and is looking forward to being at Schodack as much as possible in the summer.

 

(Rachel with her husband, Randy)

We also wanted to hear from Rachel on some of our most important questions:

What are some of your favorite Schodack memories? 

So many! I was a Seminole Wolfpack Captain in ’94, Seminole Avalanche General in ‘98 and I remember every one of my group names starting in 1988 as a Cheyenne Girl. In 1993, my bunk won Bunk Plaque Night (I understand now called BPN) as Super Senior Girls Forever Young and I still remember every word to the song! My camp friends are some of my closest friends in the world… the friendships made at Schodack are unique and can truly last a lifetime. 

What were some of your favorite camp activities?

I have SO many favorite camp activities…here are some of my top ones: flashlight sing, Apache Relay, Tribals Marathon, Tribals shoe hunt, playing jacks in the bunk (I’m bringing this back!), kickball, Carnival, Camper Choice, Trip Days AND so many more.  I know there are so many new activities at Schodack too and I can’t wait to learn all about them.

What are your favorite camp meals?

Wednesday pizza, cookout dinner, Chicken McSchodack, fudgesicles for afternoon snack and frozen Charleston Chews for canteen! 

What are some of your favorite things to do, non-camp related?

Randy and I love traveling, skiing, cycling, yoga, baking, hanging out in NYC (where we live), spending time with family and friends and of course eating ice cream which is my favorite food!

What else would you like our families to know?

I am just so excited to be returning to Schodack. Sharing the camp experience with children and parents is my absolute passion and I feel very fortunate to be able to do it at a place I love so much. I look forward to meeting all of the current Schodack families and encourage anyone to reach out if they would like to connect.

Rachel can be reached at rachel@schodack.com and she will be at our Meet and Greets throughout the spring so she can meet many of our Schodack families. Welcome back, Rachel! We are thrilled to have you in this role at camp.

 

2019 Head Staff Announcement – ACS

We are excited to announce that none other than Kristyn Bennet will return to continue her role from this past summer as Activity Counselor Supervisor.

Kristyn has been at Schodack for a 3 years and has been a pool counselor, was Head Pool in 2017 (along with being a Tribals General!) and then joined the Head Staff as an ACS this past summer. Kristyn brings incredibly valuable experience and knowledge of our activities to Camp and we are thrilled to have her back.

We asked Kristyn to tell us why Camp is so important to her and why she keeps coming back…

 

Hey, hi, hello Camp Schodack  My name is Kristyn and Iʼm so excited to be heading back to camp again in 2019! I would never have thought four years ago when I took a chance to travel across the world to somewhere strange and new that it would become one of my favorite places in the entire world where I would return year after year!

My first couple of years spent pool side were amazing (cold mornings and a few green moments included) but getting to experience so many new sides of camp last year as an ACS was like discovering camp all over again with new eyes and it brought a new level of excitement to the magic I already love about camp. This is why Iʼm so excited to be returning to the role again next summer! Though many of you are wishing the winter days away so we get closer to camp and the hot summer weather, over here in Sydney it isnʼt too different from camp, which always reminds me of all the amazing times and memories of last summer. The downside is that it also makes me miss all the people responsible for my American summers being incredible. Its those times that make me even more excited for the summer of 2019 to come!

Here are some of my favorite memories from the last amazing Schodack summer:

 

1. Tribals Break

Being a part of the secrets and surprises that comes with the fakes and break of tribals was one of the most fun and exciting things I have been apart of. Seeing the excitement it brought so many campers and staff made it even better! From food fights, roof battles, cookie crushing and finally the 1am break, itʼs something I was so happy I got to be a part of and bring that magic to everyone!

Kristyn on the HC roof during a Tribals fake

2. Daily activities

As I said before, getting to go around to all the activities I had not fully experienced at camp before was a highlight of my summer. Not only for the activities but for all the different bunks I got to do those activities with. I loved that I could go from Junior to Senior camp and always have the best time at every activity.

3. Triple Crown Events

I love watching all the different events during the summer (though Lip Sync is probably my fav). Triple Crown days bring a certain amount of excitement to camp and getting to see all campers give so much energy to their acts with their counsellors cheering them along makes sitting in the PlayHouse on warm, summer days worth every second.

4. Canada

I was lucky enough to get to go along on the LT Canada trip last summer and Iʼm so happy I got the experience. Not only because it was a new place I got to see (not to mention jet boating was incredible) but I was so glad I got to get to know all the LTs so well and form bonds that I would not of had otherwise. Iʼm also so excited to see some of them on staff this year and do an amazing job!

5. Burning of the Year

All the hugs, tears, signing year books and listening to different people talk about what Schodack means to them is why this is one of my favorite nights of the summer. Even though it brought the end of camp, watching the 2018 burn as I think about the amazing summer I have had always makes me happy and so thankful for every moment.

Look forward to seeing you all very soon and doing all over again in 2019!!

 

Kristyn is currently working as a nanny and studying social entrepreneurship in Sydney, Australia. We are very excited that she is able to return and complete another summer at Schodack.

2019 Head Staff Announcement – ACS

We are very excited to announce that long-time Schodack favorite, Lewis Fear will be joining our Head Staff team as an Activity Counselor Supervisor for summer 2019.

Lewis is known to everyone on Camp for having taken care of our waterfront program as Head Lake for the past 6 years. He is also joining the rarified company of international staff to return to Schodack for more than 5 years. Amazing!!! Lewis will be bringing his energy, experience and passion for Camp to the Head Staff team this year.

We asked Lewis to let us know his favorite memories of Camp and to share the reasons that he keeps coming back year after year…

Hello campers, staff, parents and alumni, my name is Lewis Fear, or as I have been known for the past 6 summers, Lewis Lake.

I came to camp in the summer of 2013 after I met Matt earlier in London at a Camp America hiring fair. When he met a young, short hair, no beard, fresh faced Lewis not knowing what to expect, both of us never of thought I would be returning to camp for my 7th year in a new role as ACS. For 6 years I was down at the lake soaking in the Schodack sun and watching some incredibly talented campers waterskiing, wakeboard and slalom. For the last 4 years I have been the head of the lake program. Now after these wonderful years at the lake, I am going to try on my land legs instead of my sea legs, so to speak. 

A fresh faced Lewis (on the left) at the London fair after meeting Matt for the first time

I’ve  been lucky enough to have the same boys from Super Junior until recently when they are now on staff and I can’t wait to see the great work they will do this year. Words cannot describe how excited I am for this summer in my new role, there will be so many differences from the lake to being on camp all day…for one, when it’s a bit hot I cannot take a quick dip in the lake to cool off! But that’s ok!

Top 5 things I love about camp:

1. Seeing Campers achieve their goals

I honestly think one of the greatest parts about camp is seeing how excited a camper and their bunk mates get when one or all of them achieve something new which could be the first attempt or the 100th. The excitement shown is always the same, it brings me a lot of pride seeing them achieve their goals.

Lewis with campers at the LT Carnival

2. Down time with your bunk

As an Activity Counselor you get given a bunk who you eat meals with, do OD with and evening activities with also. These times are some of the funniest moments possible when you, your bunk staff and your kids are just having fun, creating personal jokes and close bonds with the campers and staff.

3. Being with your CAIL bunk

My CAIL bunk. I am lucky enough to have the same group of amazing boys who were called Chippewa boys. I was with them from Super Junior until they graduated the LT program. I have never been more proud of a group of boys than this bunch. I am looking forward to see them on staff this summer.

Lewis (far right in red) with the Waiters ahead of Bunk Plaque Night this summer

4. Tribals

Tribals has been a huge amount of fun every year at camp and after being 2-day general in 2015 I have been itching to be involved in creating the magic that is tribals.

5. The Lake

I must say the Lake is my home away from home. I love the lake program in all its glory. From the old lake to the new one I will miss the lake but am excited to go in a new direction this summer and enjoy a whole new side of Schodack.

Last note I am so excited for this summer and seeing all the friendly faces of returners and to meet all you new campers and staff member who are reading this

See you all soon – Lewis

Lewis is currently working as an Au Pair in New York with one of our Schodack families. He has a wealth of experience and institutional knowledge about Schodack that will be invaluable in this new role. We are very excited that Lewis is joining the team again next summer.

Winter Reunion & Mystery Boxes

It can be easy to take your Camp friends for granted these days, especially with all the modern ways to stay connected. But nothing beats the experience of being face-to-face and bonding about things that only your Schodack family can truly understand.

This was in full display on December 1st when we held our annual Winter Reunion at Sportime USA. We could not have had a better time. There were the usual camp antics – tons of playing and laughing, standing/sitting in a circle, and talking about Camp-related things that you’ve been dreaming of for months since the busses rolled out.

Matt, Paul and Karen held their parent meeting and talked about lots of amazing new things that will be happening at Camp. This included exciting future developments the Krouner’s have been putting together for 2019 and beyond (no spoilers here though, you’ll have to wait and see!).

There were also LT and Super Senior meetings with Owen to get everyone excited for the summer. We can’t wait for this group to be our leaders of camp this summer! Lots of parents and campers were curious to ask more about the Super Senior Program since it only happens every other year.

In other news, many of you chose to purchase the Holiday Mystery Boxes that were launched by the Schodack Campership Initiative (SCI) and Alumni Association this year.

The boxes were a huge success, selling out faster than we could have imagined. We’ve seen some awesome pictures of campers enjoying the exclusive Schodack swag that was hidden inside! Most importantly, thousands of dollars were raised for SCI, to help give the gift of camp to deserving children.

Keep an eye out for more SCI news and surprises in the coming months. They are always looking for new ways to help bring the joy of Schodack to young people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to attend. Feel free to be in touch if you’d like more information about getting involved with this wonderful cause.

Some of the staff in London at their annual Winter Reunion

All in all it has been a wonderful start to the winter for us here at Schodack. Even after all these years, we are amazed by how much fun and excitement can be squeezed into a short gathering like the reunion and it definitely left us wanting more time all together and longing for Summer 2019. 

Until then, we always enjoy seeing photos and hearing stories from your get-togethers throughout the year. So please, please, please keep telling us what you’re up to and when you get together with your Camp friends. We love staying connected all year longSpeaking of which, some of our British staff just held their annual Winter Reunion this past weekend and sent some awesome pics along as you can see above!

 

Fall Fest, Meets & Greets and Head Staff Updates!

 

Camp during the height of Fall

Lots was still happening throughout September, October and November in the world of Schodack (we really are the Camp that never stops). In fact, there has been so much that we are just now finally able to sit and tell you all about them in this latest Blog. Read on to find out more about what the we’ve been up to this fall…

Fall Fest

First off we held a bigger-and-better-than-ever Fall Fest celebration. Despite the rain and the cold air, a huge number of you came out to visit with us at Camp. We had games set up all over with basketball, corn-hole and a quarter back toss all on the lawn between the Garden and Playhouse. 

 

This was also the setting for our giant, inflatable jack ‘o’ lantern that doubled up as a bouncy castle. The bouncy castle was really cool, but the highlight activity was the pumpkin decorating organized by none-other than Paul Krouner. Our decorating stations had everything from vegetables to arts & crafts supplies to make the most creative pumpkins you can imagine.

 

The Lodge in the height of Fall

It wouldn’t be a Schodack event without delicious food, so we brought in Yanni Too’s incredible food truck who was with us for the whole day. Our Maintenance Team took kids out on hay rides and the live music filled the air courtesy of Hot Tuesday, a local gypsy jazz band who were playing hot! 

 

 

Hot Tuesday performing in the Playhouse and Yanni’s food truck

Most people came just to soak up time at Schodack during the fall and catch-up with Camp friends, but some also stopped by Goold’s Orchard for their 30th annual Apple Festival and Craft Show.

It was a fantastic day and we already know that next years’ will be even bigger and better…fingers crossed a little warmer and less rain!

 

Meet & Greets

Each year we host ‘Meet and Greet’ events in the fall and spring as a great opportunity for new and existing families to come together and talk about all things Schodack. Sometime people bring their friends to learn more about Schodack too!

So far we’ve had events in Westchester and on the Upper West Side in NYC where lots of you came out to see Camp friends and hang out. We hope you enjoyed them as much as we did! Keep an eye out for more Meet and Greets starting again in February…New Jersey, Manhattan, CT, Westchester and Massachusetts we are looking at you!

 

One of our ‘Meet & Greet’ events

Head Staff Updates

October and November included lots of exciting Head Staff additions for 2019. Our Head Staff team is so important to us and Owen is making sure we have the absolute best people for these positions!

We are thrilled that all our Division Heads are officially in for 2019. Each of them has written their own Blog post so we encourage you to click through our older posts to read about each of their favorite memories of last summer and the many reasons they keep coming back to Schodack year after year.

In addition to our DH’s we have Josh Baker returning as SPEC and some more very exciting Head Staff announcementscoming out in the next few weeks, so keep an eye out for more about our Activity Counselor Supervisors (ACS) and Leadership Trainee Coordinators (LTC)

 

2019 Division Heads

So there you are…we have just about caught up with everything that has happened over the past 6-8 weeks, with the exception of our Winter Reunion, the London Staff Reunion and probably a million other things but you’ll have to wait until our next blog post to find out more!

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.