growing healthy communities, frost valley life newsletter, fall 2015

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Frost Valley YMCA's tri-annual newsletter, Frost Valley Life, demonstrates the impact of our programs on our participant communities



    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

    growth-filled summer.


    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.

    Jerry Huncosky | 1

  • 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. | 2


    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



    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,

    and more.


    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!


    November 13-15, 2015Spend the weekend at

    Frost Valley giving back to the camp you love.


    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.


    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

    their peers.

    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. | 3


    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

    Summer Meeting.

    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.

    2009 Eva

    Gottscho passes

    away, four days before

    her 96th birthday, on

    June 17.

    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