Monthly Archives: November 2016

Exciting News From SCI!

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A message from The Krouners:

Our family has always been deeply committed to making the Schodack experience available to a more diverse population of campers. To accomplish this, we began personally scholar-shipping campers in 2004. In addition, we spearheaded the establishment of The Schodack Campership
Initiative (SCI) because we wanted to give Schodack alumni and current families the opportunity to join us in this wonderful endeavor.  Operated by Camp Schodack alumni and parents, SCI is a non-profit organization dedicated to sharing the Schodack experience with children who come from underrepresented backgrounds.

Our family will always offer these camperships because we have seen how it enriches the camp experience for everyone and we hope others, through SCI, will join us in this endeavor.

To that end, the SCI Board is excited to make two announcements…

* Recently, there was an installation of a new executive board.  Please join us in welcoming…
– Brett Cohen, President
– Andrew Lief, Vice-President
– Greg Maltzman, Treasurer
– Leah Zygler, Clerk
– Sydney Blumstein, Board Member
– Brian Snerson, Board President Emeritus
– Ben April, Board President Emeritus

Also, please join us in thanking outgoing Board President Ben April and Board Vice-President Larry Klein.  Under their leadership and guidance, SCI has averaged two camperships per year over the past several years.

* You can become a permanent part of Camp Schodack by participating in the SCI Brick Campaign.  SCI is selling bricks and will be creating a beautiful walkway with them on camp.  Leave a lasting impression on camp by sharing your family name, favorite bunk or a special memory from camp.  Bricks cost $250 each.  For more information and to register, click to: http://www.scicharity.org/brick-campaign/  We will also have forms available at the upcoming camp reunion on 12/3.

Happy Thanksgiving

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As the holiday draws near, we are struck by how much we have to be grateful for, and we’d like to express our gratitude to all of you. Camp Schodack provides us with endless happiness, both in the work it enables us to do and through the friendships that flourish at our summer home year after year.

To Our Current Families and Campers

We feel tremendously lucky to have such caring and appreciative people as part of our Schodack community. You make it all possible! Our campers make us smile every day, and we are grateful that you choose to share your summers with us.

To Our Loyal and Dedicated Staff

Your care and responsibility is second to none, we are grateful for your commitment to camp and to children. You are fantastic role models for our campers, and we are honored that so many of you call Schodack your second home.

To Our Wonderful Alumni

We so appreciate your passion for Schodack. You care both about our history and our future and we love keeping a strong connection with each of you.

 

For all this, we are truly thankful. We hope all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, and we look forward to seeing many of you at the Reunion in December!

The Krouners 

and your Camp Schodack Family

Staff Spotlight: Shira Buchsbaum’s Guest Blog Post!

Shira with her Tribals team's plaque.

Shira with her Tribals team’s plaque.

Let me list all the clichés: the wind is howling outside my dorm room window as I write this, I’m listening to old alma maters, Facebook’s recent memories are showing me that I left camp 3 months ago to the day.

There’s a lot of uncertainty in my life right now, but this past summer taught me how to deal with uncertainties. Wrangling 90 LTs (“the children”) with a co-staff of six was no easy task. We had classic mix ups like bringing the kids to The Playhouse (when it was the Garden) and the Garden (when it was the Playhouse), but we all came out on the other end tanner, stronger, and happier.

More clichés: on really tough days and even on not-so-tough days, I scroll through photos from this summer … and last summer … and the summer before that. I listen to all the songs my girls have put in the massive Google Doc labeled “Triple Crown Ideas 2017!!!” I ignore the emails reminding me to pre-register for next semester, I procrastinate writing my final papers, I pretend that I don’t need to start applying for my concentration. I read old yearbook notes.

“Are you coming back?”

It’s the worst question. It hovers over the table during late-night My Place runs. It lingers in the Common Room while you sit on duty with your girls. It hits you like a bus on the last morning when that junior camper gives you a bear hug and tearfully looks into your eyes while clinging to your chest.

There’s an inverse relationship between the impact of the question and the certainty of your answer: as you get older and older, that simple ask digs deeper and deeper into your chest, and your response wavers as the summers churn on by.

Last one:

I posted in my girls’ Facebook group last month, explaining that I had received a life-changing internship offer and that I would not be returning to camp.

“Being your counselor and friends has literally redefined who I am as a person,” I wrote. “Which of course begs the question, ‘Why would you not come back to camp?’”

I’ve checked all the boxes at Schodack: I was a camper, a CIT, a bunk counselor, an activity counselor, LT Staff. I’ve painted a couple dozen dedication plaques and a few more Tribals plaques. I spent five mind-bogglingly exhilarating days as a Tribals general alongside three of the most kind-hearted people I’ve ever met – two of whom I grew up with at camp. I’ve won Apache. I’ve stargazed on the tennis courts, I’ve run around in yellow rain boots and tutus, I’ve made handshakes with 44 girls, I’ve danced and sung “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” in the rain with my campers.

I’ve gotten up early and gone to bed late, worked 18-hour days, 6-days a week, come home early from days off to spend more time with my kids. I’ve made best-friendships and more memories than my brain can remember or my heart can hold.

I’ve gotten to do it all in a short 12-summer tenure. So why come back once again, even though that Apache will never be run again, even though those best-friendships are opting to do internships instead, and even though some of my girls are now in the Schodack Staff 2017 Facebook group with me?

Every summer from here on out is just a cherry on top. My memory-making is coming a close, but I want to be there to ensure my girls have every opportunity to make those same memories. I want to be there for their water fight with behind the Lodge. I want to cheer them as they go down the waterslide while it’s torrentially down-pouring. I want to watch them fall in love with being a counselor.

No internship could be as life-changing as realizing that your purpose in life is to work with children and encourage that same sense of curiosity, excitement, passion, dedication and love that was once cultivated in you by your counselors. Let my peers work for senators, travel the globe, intern in hospitals. I’ll be with my kids.

 

Alumni Spotlight: Jon Carter’s Guest Blog Post!

Carter at the start line of his famous event, Carter's Challenge!

Carter at the start line of his famous event, Carter’s Challenge!

My Return to the 12123…

To Paraphrase Dwayne Johnson, aka ‘The Rock’…”Finally, Carter has come back to Schodack!”

Seven long, cold, camper’s choice-free years had passed before I finally set foot back on that hallowed turf that has been a 2nd home for so many of you and one that I considered a first home for a long time after spending years working year round with Paul, Matt, Owen, Karen & Peggy.

To say that I was excited would not do justice to the overwhelming joy that was building up inside me as I booked my flights. I contacted old staff and campers and harassed the year-round team to make sure that I could come to Schodack not just as a visitor, but as a member of the team – ready to put my energy, skills and experiences to use and once again be a part of the magic that happens every year in Nassau, NY.

When I last left Schodack (finally having a Tribals Plaque to call my own with the greatest Co-General ever in Julia Kaplan) I quoted a song lyric in my yearbook article saying that, “There has never been any place quite like this one, and for once in my lifetime, maybe I’d be foolish not to stay.” To return to Schodack this summer reminded me of that feeling, but it also hit home that the joy of camp being 2 months and not 10 (as so many of us have wished for in the past) and the fact that eventually most of us have to leave to take on other challenges is that we get to grow up, find someone to share our life with, have a family and then share with those new family members the greatest place in the world…Camp.

Camp is and always will be the best education I have ever had. I remember reading Will Borowka’s blog talking about how he knew he was ready for college because Camp had prepared him for it. I feel the same about every challenge I face and I will always try to share Schodack with everyone I know and meet.

I could write about my love of Camp for pages and pages, but I’ll keep it short and just say, I want to thank the all of you who were at Schodack this summer for the amazing welcome that I received, in particular the Head Staff who let me wonder around like I owned the place and the Waiters that welcomed me on my very first night!

Finally, I’ll leave you with my top 3 Schodack moments and a final thought:

  1. Breaking Tribals as Willy Wonka – because we made something truly amazing happen that night for staff and campers alike.
  2. Every time I drive around the corner toward Camp, pick a song to play and start the countdown…10, 9 ,8…
  3. My very first night at Camp, sleeping in B3. I was anxious, excited, a little scared and having no idea what was about to happen for that summer. I’ll forever be a little jealous of everyone that gets to relive that feeling.

My final thought is that I think I will always teach everyone I know the importance of learning the difference between a lump in your oatmeal, a lump in your throat and a lump in your breast. Life is lumpy. Life is unfair. Luckily for all of us, Camp Schodack will be there to help teach us to tell the difference.

Good night, Sig.

 

 

Staff Spotlight: Will Borowka’s Guest Blog Post!

Will coaching apache.

Will coaching apache.

On the first day of college, I felt swallowed up and overwhelmed by the road ahead. Something felt strange. I had never before been in a community so populated, so large, yet despite this I had never felt so alone. Scrambling, I searched for familiarity and security.

Later, I sat in an orientation meeting about the “keys to success in college,” stuck somewhere between boredom and anxiety. Several students and faculty sat at a panel and told us Freshmen what they believed were the essentials to get the most out of college, and do well, academically and otherwise at Skidmore. Everything seemed generic, and started to sound the same. “Work hard. Balance your schedule. Try things new things. Make friends.” It all seemed easier said than done. In need of some fresh air, I snuck out from the room to read some of the “stoptime” stories which I had heard so often over my many years at Schodack. And in this moment, I realized that I was more prepared and confident for the path ahead than I was giving myself credit for.

Everything that was discussed in the meeting (and more), I had found at Schodack. Throughout my years at camp, I learned all the tools that I needed to be fine at school. Tribals taught me that competition can bring out my best, but only if I keep my head on straight. Campers’ Choices taught me independence, and how to think for myself. I learned to embrace my inner crazy as a Junior Camper, how to lead and when to be led as a Waiter, and how to speak up and support others through hard work and care as a Bunk Counselor. And, of course, I learned from the very start that there’s nothing out there better than Apache. Nothing.

But above all of this, I learned something new about myself every day at Schodack. Camp taught me to be myself, no matter who’s watching. Camp taught me to speak my mind, to show my true colors. Camp taught me that it’s okay to be different, to be whacky, to dress up and make believe. Without Schodack, I wouldn’t have learned about true friendship, the kind of friendship that’s on the phone with you at 1:00 AM on a moment’s notice when winter seems unbearable and you need a shoulder to lean on in the worst way. The kind of friendship that reassures you that before long, it will be summer, and joy, spontaneity, and calmness will be restored, friends will be together again, and everything will be good.

And then there I was again, back at college and out of my daydream. Eventually, the meeting ended, and so did orientation. Now, several months into school, I am still reminded of these values on a daily basis. Camp is an inseparable part of me. Schodack impacts every interaction, every thought, every decision I make, and I could not be more proud of it. The experiences I have shared at Schodack have been the most important, essential, and influential moments of my lifetime, and the tools acquired and lessons learned have prepared me for college in ways which no other chapter of my life has. And, inherently, it has provided me a home.

That is ultimately why Schodack has prepared me for a life in college. For as long as I can remember, Schodack has been my home, even when I couldn’t physically be there. Now, in a time when I need home more than ever, I know that I always have it, no matter the circumstance.

Karen’s Korner – Meet and Greets!

Gatherings from Virginia to NYC to Boston marked our first weekend of Schodack “Meet and Greets,” our community-based events designed to bring current, new and prospective Schodack families together for an afternoon of fun! From the Starnut Gourmet Coffee shop in McLean, Virginia, to the Hippo Park Playground in Manhattan, to Panera Bread in Brookline, MA, our “Meet and Greets” were a popular destination for returning and new families alike!

Here are a few photos from this past weekend’s events. Keep an eye out for info about our Meet and Greets coming soon to Scarsdale, Westfield, NJ, and Brooklyn. Stop by for some treats, schmooze with new and returning families, and feel free to bring friends who’d like to learn more about us! Stay tuned for the upcoming announcement about raffle winners at the NYC Meet and Greet – up for grabs was some Schodack gear, an Amazon gift card, an “extra night of canteen for your bunk,” and a “first to cookout” award for a lucky winner and his or her bunkmates!

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We hope you will join us at the next Meet and Greet!!

Warmly,

Karen