growing healthy communities, frost valley life newsletter, fall 2015
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DESCRIPTIONFrost Valley YMCA's tri-annual newsletter, Frost Valley Life, demonstrates the impact of our programs on our participant communities
FALL 2015 | FROST VALLEY YMCA | frostvalley.org
Frost Valley Life
SUMMER 2015 REVIEWJune 21 June 28 June 29
Nearly 400 summer camp staff from over
a dozen countries worldwide arrive in the Valley to prepare for another summer
filled with lifelong memories and values-driven
The first day of summer camp begins! During summer 2015, well see over 3,000 overnight campers and 1,000 day campers, making this a groundbreaking summer: In 2015
we served more children than any summer in our 100+
years in camping!
Thanks to a generous grant from Autism Speaks,
campers with autism in our Day Camp program join us in our inclusive
and adaptive environment where they make friends, try new things, and have a
GROWING HEALTHY COMMUNITIESFROM THE DESK OF JERRY HUNCOSKYCEO | Frost Valley YMCA
After another year of Frost Valley summer camp, brightly colored leaves have almost immediately begun to appear on our trees. These autumnal changes always serve to rejuvenate as we embark on another season of school trips, family retreats, and teambuilding programs. The new scenery is awe-inspiring but not half as much as the growth and transformation we see in the children and families who come here.
This summer we hosted more campers than ever before in our history. We watched some children arrive shy and unfamiliar as they entered a new, screen-free environment, which would soon become the place where they learned new values, made new friends, and created lifelong memories. We met campers who have never left the inner city. We were humbled as they discovered a world outdoors they didnt realize existed. We also greeted lifelong campers returning to this special place they so often refer to as their second home.
Fall is often thought of as a time of harvest. As we continue to focus our efforts on environmental sustainability and stewardship, the children and families who come here learn that the fruits of the earth the apples in our orchard, the veggies in our farm, and the wild edibles in our forests are to be carefully tended to, protected, and enjoyed in good health.
But fall is also a time of thanks. Without you, none of the following stories, programs, and new additions to our values-based offerings would be possible. Its clear what were thankful for: kind and caring donors like you.
I know I speak for all of us here at Frost Valley YMCA when I say thank you.
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June 30 July 5
Frost Valleys new healthy snack truck makes its rounds throughout camp thanks to a generous grant from
the National Recreation Foundation. Campers and staff love stopping at
the truck for treats like frozen fruit
kabobs and other nutritious snacks.
We celebrate the many cultures represented here as our international staff members share their traditions and customs during summer camps annual Small World Festival. The day
concludes with another annual
favorite fireworks over Lake Cole
in celebration of Independence Day.
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STEWARDSHIP & SUSTAINABILITYFARM DAY CAMP
Frost Valleys Day Camp programs aim to promote achievement, relationships, and belonging, and this year, these lessons were brought to the Frost Valley Educational Farm for our first-ever session of Farm Day Camp.
The Frost Valley Educational Farm is a 515-acre working farm thats home to a barn filled with livestock, a spacious chicken coop, verdant organic gardens, a craft studio and indoor space, and plenty of room for campers and animals to run and play. This summer, as children enjoyed a variety of activities that center around sustainable living, compassion, and stewardship of the earth, the air was filled with happy laughter, bleating goats, and the earthy scent of a garden thats ready for harvest.
Farm Day Camp is abundant with educational opportunities, and children learn experientially. In the gardens, campers walk among herbs, vegetables, flowers, and other vegetation, and study these plants by using their senses of taste, smell, and sight.
When I teach in the garden, my biggest goal is to help campers understand where their food comes from, says Missy Cottone, Garden Manager. When you ask them, at first theyll say the grocery store because they dont often think about how food is grown. So, we walk through the garden, tasting things like
QUILT & CRAFT WEEKEND
November 6-8, 2015Please join us as we
celebrate 20 years of Quilting in the Valley for our special anniversary
weekend. Enjoy classes in quilting technique, felting,
Y-GUIDE ALUMNI WEEKEND
November 13-15, 2015Whether you want to connect with former
Y-Guide Alumni or let your entire family have the Frost Valley experience, this is
the weekend for you!
VOLUNTEER WORK WEEKEND
November 13-15, 2015Spend the weekend at
Frost Valley giving back to the camp you love.
FESTIVAL OF THE HOLIDAYS
December 4-6, 2015The best gift of all is
sharing quality time with your family. Kick off the holiday season with a
stress-free weekend here at camp, celebrating with your family beneath the
Frost Valley Christmas tree.
HOLIDAY FAMILY CAMP
December 26, 2015 - January 3, 2016Spend quality time
with your family in our Catskill Mountain winter
wonderland! On New Years Eve, join us for an exciting party including dancing,
trivia, plenty of party food, and cheer during our very
own ball drop.
basil and kale, studying how sunflower seeds are harvested, and examining how things grow. One camper was amazed at how cabbage grows, it was a huge deal to him. He wont forget that!
Beyond the garden, a large red barn acts as another classroom setting. Even just seeing and touching the animals is a learning experience. When campers meet the animals, its therapeutic;
theyre excited, they ask a million questions, and they usually develop a bond with a particular animal, says Livestock Manager Charlotte Harrison. Its a good chance for them to slow down, explore their thoughts, and learn about animals.
Barn lessons provide an understanding of the life cycles of animals, in addition to how to care for them, feed them, clean up after them, and in the case of goats milk them.
Farm Day Camp provides such a different experience for children. They milk goats, pull veggies, and collect eggs and theyre excited to take part in it all, explains Day Camp Director Katia Martin. Campers also
learn where food comes from and the cycle of sustainability at the farm: raising a cow leads to eating beef, then food scraps become compost, and compost is returned to the earth by being used in the garden. Plus, because its a smaller group, the campers are able to build stronger friendships and truly connect with nature, all while having a simple, back-to-basics camp experience.
SUMMER 2015 REVIEWJuly 12 July 19 August 3
Frost Valley offers a second session of Kidney Camp this year. Through Frost
Valleys partnership with Ruth Gottscho Kidney Foundation and the Childrens Hospital at Montefiore, campers in the program receive treatment for chronic kidney disease, kidney transplants, and other illnesses requiring dialysis and medical
supervision, while also experiencing a traditional summer camp with
Another year of sportsmanship, teamwork,
cultural exchange, and spirited cheers fill the Valley during summer camps annual Olympix event. Congratulations to New Zealand, this
years spirit award winner!
During summer camps annual Battle of the Themes, campers and staff bring
TV to life here in our screen-free zone. With a Nickelodeon
theme integrated into every activity, this event is filled with costumes,
challenging games, and creativity.
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FROST VALLEY CELEBRATES 40 YEARS OF KIDNEY CAMP!1960
Ruth Gottschos parents found the Ruth Gottscho Kidney Foundation to assist families in purchasing home dialysis
machines and focus on finding a way to help children with kidney disorders attend
summer camp alongside their peers.
1975 Former CEO Halbe Brown oversees the
development of the Ruth C. Gottscho Kidney Dialysis Center at Frost Valley YMCA, the first of its kind, for campers with kidney diseases. Staffed by caring professionals
from the Childrens Hospital at Montefiore, Kidney Camp officially opens on July 17.
2001 The Childrens Hospital at Montefiore expands their partnership with the Ruth
Gottscho Kidney Foundation to include sending
pediatricians to Frost Valley to serve as primary care
physicians in the infirmary.
2008 Eva Gottscho is inducted into Frost
Valleys Hall of Fame at our Annual
2008 The new Guenther
Family Wellness Center, featuring a modernized
dialysis unit, is dedicated with a ribbon-cutting
ceremony on September 13, with Eva Gottscho,
95, in attendance.
away, four days before
her 96th birthday, on
2010 Dr. Frederick Rick Kaskel is honored with Frost Valleys Excellence Award for 35 years of
dedicated service to the Kidney
2015 Maya Doyle, LCSW-R, PhD
and Dr. Frederick Rick Kaskel
are honored as the 2014 Eric
Blum Volunteers of the Year on
August 15.HOW IT ALL BEGANA HISTORY OF HELPING OTHERSAs a child, Ruth Gottscho always wanted to attend summer ca