Category Archives: Camp News

January Round-Up

View of the sun rising over the horse corral hill earlier this month

January Round-Up

As always, life never really stops here at Schodack HQ and lots has been happening since our last round-up last month. As we sneak up on February, we want to let you know about everything that’s been going on behind the scenes.

This month’s blog features updates on recent staff recruitment, information about upcoming events happening near you, Schodack in the news, and a feature on some exciting developments taking place at camp right now.

So sit back, relax and get ready for your fill of Schodack news!

Staff Updates

January has been a big month in the world of staff updates here at Schodack. Many of you will have seen the blog posts confirming that Jake Mechanic and Abigail Tubin are coming back to head up the LT Program! They will be working closely with Owen as the Leadership Trainee Coordinators for 2019.

We also announced that Dani Mackay is returning to Schodack after a year away and is going to take on the highly important role of Head Counselor.

Earlier this week we released our latest blog with the news that long-time Schodack veteran and alumna Rachel Max Lewis is returning to Schodack as Assistant Director of Bunk Life. We are thrilled that Rachel is joining our year-round team and are so glad she has received such a warm welcome already!

New Assistant Director for Bunk Life Rachel Max Lewis

In other staffing news, one of the exciting things that always takes place at this time of year is the International Recruitment Fairs where we look to hire some of our specialist activity staff, many from the UK and Australia.

Owen and Carter attended these and were very impressed by the quality of the staff applying. There will be some brilliant new staff members starting their journey with Schodack this summer! As always we would like to thank those that were able to come and help out at these events, especially Izzy McAree, Ru Shah, Max Walker and Josh Baker.

From left to right: OPJ, Izzy, Ru, Max & Carter in London

Finally, we are excited to announce another returner to the 12123 this summer. We are so happy that Allie Johnson is returning to Schodack as our Tour Coordinator/Food Liaison!!!! Allie is a full-time teacher in Texas during the year and as Tour Coordinator this summer, she will be one of the first faces that interested families meet when they visit us at camp. She will also be available to assist all our families who have children with special dietary needs. This will be Allie’s 8th Summer at Schodack and we are psyched to have her back!

 

Camp Projects

Over the course of the winter there have been a few interesting facility projects taking place at Schodack. But, the most exciting project at the moment is a complete renovation of the Farmhouse. The Farmhouse is an original building to the property, and was where the Krouner’s lived when they first moved to Nassau in 1908. Since then it has taken on a number of functions throughout camp’s history before becoming one of our most beloved bunks on Boys’ Camp (it has the perfect roof for roof ball and the middle “living room” is highly coveted!).

As with all the projects at camp, this renovation has been thoughtfully and carefully planned out, especially considering the history and what this building means to the Schodack property. Fitting our other renovations, beautiful knotty pines walls are being installed along with new ceilings and refurbished hardwood floors. The bathroom is getting a complete makeover and the middle room’s layout is being improved. But we’ve made sure to keep the original charm too…immediately when you enter the building, a unique section of wood from the original interior of the building is being framed into the current wall, preserved as a wonderful reminder of the building’s history. We can’t wait for everyone to see it!

 

 

 

Schodack In The News

Many of you may have seen our recent post on social media featuring an article from New York Family’s website talking about the important factors to consider when selecting a summer camp for your child. Schodack has been featured in New York Magazine many times before and comments from our own Matt Krouner are in this one too. In case you missed it you can read the article HERE

Another great example of Schodack being in the news was when two Schodack Alumni (Ben & Nikki Kaufman) opened a store in Manhattan called ‘CAMP‘. It is the first store of its kind and is a truly unique experience. It is located in the Flat Iron building and features many camp favorites such as a s’mores station, camp activities, arts & craft and more. You can read all about it by visiting their website HERE.

You know those friendly voices you hear when you call the camp office during the summer? Well one of them belongs to Shelby Fine and we are proud to announce her new venture into yummy desserts through the launch of ‘Shelby’s Treats.’

Shelby has been baking sweet treats for friends and family for years and after loads of rave reviews and requests from friends, Shelby has decided to open her kitchen to the public. Fresh baked and delivered straight to your home, office, party, or event!

To get a sneak peek of some of the wonderful treats Shelby is cooking up, check out her Instagram page here

Camp Events

So much has happened since our Winter Reunion back in December, so we are very excited to have some great events on the horizon.

We have Meet & Greets taking place beginning in February and we hope to see lots of you when we are in your town! The first takes place on February 10th in Manhattan, followed by March 2nd in New Jersey and then April 27th in Westchester. More details for each event can be found on the poster below.

We have also now released the date for Rookie Day 2019! Many of you had your first taste of Schodack at one of our past Rookie Days and we cannot wait to welcome a whole new generation of campers at this years. Pass this along to anyone that is interested in visiting Schodack! More details can be found on the poster below.

     

 

As always we love to her from our Schodack family all throughout the year and we want to know what you have been doing. Holding your own mini-reunion? Send us a pic! Have you achieved something amazing at school? We want to hear about it!

Let us know about everything that is going on by emailing carter@schodack.com. Who knows, maybe you’ll get a mention in our next big round-up!

 

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.

 

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.