Monthly Archives: January 2019

2019 Head Staff Announcement – LTC

Another HUGE announcement and this one completes our Head Staff team for 2019…and what a team it is!

It is with great pleasure that we announce that Abigail Tubin will be returning to Schodack for another summer as Leadership Trainee Coordinator (LTC).

After growing up at Schodack, Abigail will be joining us for her 11th Summer. In that time she has worked as a Bunk Counsellor before moving on to work in the LT Program and then joining the Head Staff team last year as one of the LTCs. We are really excited that Abigail will be taking on this role again to offer guidance and support to all of the LTs and her fellow LT staff.

We reached out to Abigail to ask why Camp is so important to her and to share with us some of her favorite memories of Schodack… 

Hi everyone!

For those of you who don’t know me yet, my name is Abigail Tubin. When I started camp in 2007, I never could have anticipated sitting in front of my laptop thirteen years later writing my introduction as LT Coordinator for the second time. Now, I couldn’t imagine it any other way. Camp has always been my happy place, somewhere I could let loose, laugh a ton, and allow myself to be inspired every single day. More than anything else, camp has always had this magical way of bringing out the best in me and keeping me wanting more.

So much has changed since my days as a junior girl. I laughed my way through a hilarious Super Senior BPN, fell in love with my permanent bunk as a 2nd year CIT, guided my own group of junior girls as they conquered their first summer as campers, and cheered on two incredible years of CITs as they navigated their last. But while so much has changed, even more has stayed the same. My campers – every one of them – inspire me every single day. They keep me wanting more of this magical place and I can’t wait to do it all again.  

Here are my favorite memories from last summer:

  1.   Canada

The LTs look forward to the annual trip to Canada the whole summer. Every day is jam-packed and filled with fun, touristy excursions. My personal favorite is jet boating. Sitting in the front row with my amazing staff, I had an absolute blast zooming through the rapids and cheering with the girls when I could catch my breath!       

Abigail with the all of the LTs Jet Boating in Montreal last summer

  1.   Winter Day

Although I loved every Challenge Day last summer, Winter Day was one for the books. Watching the LTs sled down the Corral hill and deliver presents to the whole camp was one of the highlights of my entire summer. I have no doubt that some of our Winter Day events will end up in another All Star Day a few years down the road!    

  1.   Bunk Plaque Night

BPN has always been my favorite Triple Crown event and last summer was no different! The CITs worked so hard (and overcame a few minor setbacks) to put on an incredible performance and I could not have been prouder of their win. The candle lighting tradition was so special and I will never forget how powerful the CITs were that night.   

Abigail (4th from right) with the CIT staff ahead of Bunk Plaque Night last summer

  1.   LT Banquet

At the end of the summer, we treat the LTs to a fun meal out to celebrate all of their incredible contributions to camp. We get dressed up, take a ton of pictures, and eat some yummy food. However, the best part of the night for me was giving out certificates to the 2nd years. I had the privilege of working with that specific group of campers for both of their summers in the LT program, so I could not have been prouder of the incredible counselors they had become. I cannot wait to watch them thrive on staff and I am so glad I get to share that piece of their journey with them this summer.     

  1.   Nights in the Lodge

Even though the LT program is filled with tons of big, memorable events, my favorite memories from last summer are all of the small moments – the times when I got to hang out with my girls at the end of the day, stargaze on the tennis courts, laugh with them, and tuck them into bed. These girls made camp what it is for me and I couldn’t imagine my life without my 49 little sisters.   

I’m so excited to see everyone again this summer and make so many new memories!

Abigail

We cannot wait to have Abigail back at Camp helping to guide our Leadership Trainees throughout the summer. Currently Abigail is in her final year at Wake Forrest College where she is studying Politics and International Affairs. When she graduates she plans to participate in a teaching fellowship before heading to Law School.

2019 Head Staff Announcement – LTC

Jake (right) with fellow General Jonah Malter during Tribals last summer

It is with great excitement that we are able to announce that Jake Mechanic is going to be returning to work with the LT Program again this summer. He will be taking on the Leadership Trainee Coordinator role and we know that with Jake’s long history at Camp and his experience of working with the LT Program he will do a great job.L

This summer at Schodack will be Jake’s 13th year and in his time on staff since graduating the LT Program he has been a Bunk Counsellor, a Group Leader and an LT Counsellor as well as a Seminole General in 2018.

As Jake will be returning to work with the LTs again this year we thought we would ask hime about his favorite memories of being an LT himself. Here is what Jake had to say…

 

If you add up the time I have spent at Camp Schodack (this summer will make it 24 months, or 2 years total), it comes out to 10% of my life. While some may say that’s too much, every moment I have spent at Schodack has made me a better person, and the more time I have spent there, the more impact it has had on me.

That 10% spans the gamut of emotions, from the unbridled joy of watching my campers win Triple Crown, to the devastation of leaving those campers just ten days later. It reaches both the heights of being a Tribals General and the depths of a homesick Junior Camper who refused to participate in activities. It captures the ear-shattering noise of Phil Collins’s ‘In the Air Tonight’ before Upper Camp BPN, and yet also the barren silence of sweeping an empty bunk on the last day of camp; the sound of a summer fading away.

Jake (second in from right) with the LT staff last summer

While some people may focus on those easily recognizable highs and lows, what I remember most about camp when I am trying to distract myself from accounting projects and economics exams are the little things. For me, the little moments are what make camp what it is: the genuinely happy greetings you get from everyone who passes by, doing cheers in the Dining Hall, or just sitting peacefully on the Veranda during Campers’ Choice. There is an old saying about the whole being greater than the sum of its parts, and I think Schodack exemplifies that as well as anything. It’s not so much those moments individually, but it’s the fact that they happen again and again and form the foundation that camp is built off: being kind, funny, conversational and unafraid to be yourself.

As Leadership Trainee Coordinator for this upcoming summer, my job will be to give this year’s LTs the amazing experiences I had back when I went through the program. I am beyond excited for the opportunity and would like to share five memories that stand out from my two favorite summers as a camper.

5. Canada

The Roots Store, La Ronde, Old Montreal, jet boating, Pizza Pita, and eating Dominos at 1:00 AM while watching ‘Storage Wars’ on TV. The two trips I took to Canada were incredibly memorable, as was last year’s when I was LT staff. I can’t wait for my front row seat when we go jet boating!

Jake (back row second in from right) with the LT Staff in Canada last summer

4. Getting my Permanent Bunk

Being the Senior 3 Boys’ permanent with my friends Josh Goldberg and Jonah Malter was the perfect way to end my Waiter summers. I was also fortunate enough to work with my brother Rick, who was a “Co-GL” for the bunk. They were so much fun to hang out with and put on one of the most memorable Upper Camp Lip Sync’s of all time with “Ringtones.”

3. Meeting New People

One of the most unique parts about being an LT is the opportunity to be in a bunk with people who were always a division away from you. While last summer’s LTs were reunited with old friends, this year’s group will get the chance to live with people they never have before. It was a great experience for me as a first year to meet the second years and learn how to be an LT.

Jake (back row third from right) with the Waiters at Bunk Plaque Night last summer

2. Triple Crown Events

Nothing compares to the rush of heading into the Playhouse for Upper Camp Triple Crown as a Waiter. While celebrating a win is always amazing, going through the Ex line during BPN is a moment I will remember for the rest of my life.

1. Late Nights on the Veranda

Going back to my intro, the best parts of camp are the little things, and nothing was better than spending hours hanging out with your best friends, talking about anything and everything, and eating construction packs from My Place (thanks for always being down to split one, Henry).

While those were my top five memories from my LT summers, my job is now to give this year’s LTs the best seven weeks of their lives and I can’t wait to get started!

 

Jake is currently studying at College working towards completing his Masters in Accounting with the aim of becoming a CPA. He brings with him a huge amount of knowledge and enthusiasm for the the LT Program and Camp Schodack and we know that he will be a valuable member of our Head Staff team this year.

2019 Head Staff Announcement – Head Counsellor

 

We have another amazing Head Staff announcement this week with the news that Dani Mackay will be returning to Schodack to spend another summer with us at the 12123!

Dani, who will spending her 8th Summer with us at Schodack is going to be our Head Counsellor this year working alongside our new Assistant Director and also supporting the work of each of our Division Heads. Dani has held a number of roles previously at Schodack including being a Group Leader when she first started in 2012 and then moved up to being a Division Head for the next 6 summers.

It is always wonderful to have such highly experienced staff come back to Camp and we are thrilled that Dani will be joining this years team.

We asked Dani to tell us about her favorite memories of Schodack and what makes her keep coming back year after year…

 

For me, some of the most magical memories are the ones behind the scenes. From being in a room full of successful “grown-ups” all dressing hurriedly in costumes or covered in green and white paint to approach a rooftop – and the trembling that comes with holding up an arrow for the first time.

Danni with all of the Head staff in 2016 during the 2-Day Break

Sitting under a tree during second campers choice and helping a camper conquer homesickness, the disappointment that comes from a bad game of gaga, or a disagreement with a friend.

The Rec Hall filled with staff members hanging onto every word of a Dr. Seuss poem or a repeated story – needing nothing at that moment other than each other and the flickering light of a candle. We’ve all said it before these memories are special, simple, and they are magic.

That magical warmth is felt in ways that are unexplainable to anyone who hasn’t experienced it for themselves. It is present in every face as the buses pull up on opening day, and it is present still in the silent and teary audience watching the “Burning of the Year” with each person bargaining what they would do for just one more week in their second home.

 

Danni with former Division Head Allie Johnson

 

To summarize all of my favorite memories would be impossible, because every summer at Schodack is full of magic and full of memories. However, I can rest assured that each and every person that steps on to those grounds is what makes it all happen, campers and counselors alike.

It is thanks to this, that year after year, we all find our way back “home”. I’m looking forward to Summer 2019 and all of the memories we will create together. See you soon!

 

Dani is currently working as an Educational Interpreter teaching Deaf/Hard of Hearing students and lives in Florida. It is wonderful to have her back at Schodack for another summer and she brings a lot of professional knowledge with her to the role as well as a great understanding of Schodack.

Welcome Back Rachel Max Lewis!!!!!

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.