Friday, June 23, 2017

Friday, June 23: the day before the entire staff arrives

Clouds are coming over, the wind is up, and we are expecting a June storm. This is the calm before the storm, for sure, and the entire summer '17 staff arrives tomorrow. Here are some shots I took just walking around.

Birdhouse/mailbox-style lending library, one of several that have been put around camp.

Biscuit Lodge

Blume House seern from Reflection Pond.

Ketcham Chapel

Michaela and Haley.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

the longest day of 2017 here at Frost Valley

Leadership training week (for VCs, Adventure staff, CIT and AIT coordinators, MAC and Farm and Equestrian leaders, et alia) has reached its midpoint. Next week the entire summer staff arrives and does a week-long training, as always. The following week the first session starts.

Here are some photos (taken with my fisheye lens) depicting various scenes on this longest day of the year.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

trustees' spring meeting

This weekend the trustees met at Frost Valley. On Friday night we dined together at the Castle. Ted Hilton (92 11/12ths years old) was there, in great form. And Rafik Ghobrial—and his wife Kathy—joined us all the way from Houston.

the old Branch NY post office

The old Branch NY post office, later the Devlins' house & then the Whites' house, more recently a staff house called "the Group Home," is being completely renovated by Dale Price & others. I went through the house twice this weekend. Here are two photos—one of the kitchen & the other of the living room. When the Whites lived in this crazy-patch warren of rooms and odd staircases I spent plenty of time in these two rooms.

spring comes to the valley

Early May—cool, wet early spring in the Catskills. We see the first fiddleheads. And the trees above Lake Cole shoot out their first light-green leaves.

birdhouse-style lending libraries

Recently FV alumni visiting the valley for a weekend built several birdhouse-style lending libraries. This morning I walked to one of these and contributed what I suspect are the very first books.

Monday, April 17, 2017

"Bobo" in August 1979

Here is Jurgen Bobrowski (German international counselor — some folks called him "Bobo") with Caty Smith, in August 1979. The wheelchair in the back at right belonged to Richie Perez, Forest camper whose kidney failure made him unable to walk very far. (By the end of Richie's stay at camp the following summer, he was able to walk more or less unassisted—thanks to some surgery that had been done to help him and also, according to this doctors, the stamina and strength and will he'd gained from two summers at camp.) Below the photo of Bobo and Caty is a shot of him today (still working with kids, still hiking), and also a photo taken by Bobo of Richie participating in the July 4th carnival.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Olympic Circle on check-in day

In the 1960s through the mid-1970s, on check-in days we would set up flags of many nations all around the Olympic Circle. This was such a day, in 1968 or so. We are looking from the Ad Office (south) side of the Olympic Circle, toward Smith Lodge (the "Infirmary" then).

Friday, March 3, 2017

celebration of kidney campers at reunion on March 25, 2017

Reunion celebration of kidney campers & others associated with the Gottscho Dialysis Center at Frost Valley. March 25, 2017, in Manhattan. Starts at 1 PM. See the flyer for info. To RSVP, write to

Thursday, March 2, 2017

old dining hall, 1960s

Autumn weekend in the old dining hall, late 1960s. Notice the blue "W" fleece sweatshirt. And the stainless steel fireplace hood. And the motley unmatched chairs.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Girls' Camp creates their own Catskill Explorers group

Margaret Kremer McLaughlin—a member of the legendary Kremer family, all Frost Valley campers or staff at one time or another—recently sent me this photograph, along with this fabulous explanation:

"Here's one from girls camp-- I don't know if you recall the genesis of the first "out trippers" from girls camp. It so happened that  the boys had out-tripping opportunities, but the girls did not. Being good products of the time, some of us protested and ended up founding the Catskill explorers group. We had tents constructed behind the old girls' CIT cabin (I forget its name)  and this is a picture of our first out tripping group. We did regular backpacking trips as well as Delaware canoe trips. Unfortunately, while I recognize the faces of the campers in the photo I have terrible name recall, including that of my co-counselor. I know later on Starr was a co-counselor. The dogs are Kremer dogs - Cleo and MacGregor. One would lead the girls, the other would bring up the rear making sure no-one got lost.  As a counselor I found that the campers who might have acted up a bit while in camp were always great out on the trail.  I was particularity fond of those who put on their makeup the day we were due for pickup - even though they hadn't seen a bath in days.  Bud should recall some of this as well."

I do know two of the campers: in the first row, at right, are the Schein twins: Wendy and Sue.

If anyone reading this knows of others in the photo, please let me know.

Click on the image for a larger view.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Reflection Pond during visiting day, late 1960s

Kenny Nathanson and his family during Visiting Day (holdover weekend) at Reflection Pond in the late 1960s. You can see the now-gone Pigeon Lodge in the background.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Paris? Nope.



The original Trailblazers sweatshirt. (They were the first Adventure Camp group. Home base was what is now called Sequoia—some tents and the old barn [where there is now a bathhouse]. They were mostly out of camp—e.g. canoeing in Canada.) Click HERE for more.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

the Marions

Jim and Cheryl Marion and their daughters. Jim served Frost Valley as our Environmental Education Director (succeeding Bill Devlin) and also as our Conference Director. Cheryl, in the early years of the Marions' association with Frost Valley, worked in the kitchen—and eventually succeeded Marie Kremer as office manager.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

tetherball courts above CIT Point in the late 1960s

This photo was taken in the field above CIT Point (sometimes called "Hirdstock Field," but this was shot before Hirdstock was invented in 1969). It was August 1967. You'll notice that we had set up tetherball courts (three or four of them) in that location. Just above, later, would be built the "Girls' Camp Hardcourts." They are still there.

Outpost 1967

Tom Ashbaugh, summer 1967 counselor in cabin 14, Outpost. My counselor for 4 of the 6 weeks I spent in Outpost that summer. (Those who have heard "The Doubletop Plane Crash Mystery" will know him from that.)

Monday, January 2, 2017

Lenape schedule, 3rd session, 1995

Thanks to Jean-Louis Daniel for this copy of this 1995 Lenape schedule.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Margetts Lodge under construction

Winter/early spring 1974-75: the old "Rec Hall" is under construction. The top half was lopped off by Chuck White and his construction crew. The stone frame of the first floor of the old barn was retained. This would become Margetts Lodge after one summer season being called "NCC" (the New Conference Center).

Joy White

One weekend winter morning in 1974. Joy White was our nurse during the summer and on some non-summer weekends, but mostly that year she helped out in the kitchen. Here she is tending to a vast vat of boiled hot dogs. Fun. She seemed to love the work. :)

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Castle watercolor

Watercolor of Forstmann's Castle at Frost Valley reproduced on a card. I seem to have a dozen of these, I just noticed, and have mailed one, with a nostalgic & grateful note, to a dear old Frost Valley friend who has having difficult days.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

pix from a lovely November weekend

Mark Gottendenker, up for an alumni work weekend.

Anna Armstrong

Cabin 32 as seen from Lakeview Lodge.

Just outside Hird Lodge.
Biscuit Lodge, seen from behind and from across Biscuit Creek.

Lake Cole, looking west, from above CIT Point.

The Shire, home in the summer of the AiTs (adventure counselors in training)

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Halbe with the kids

At a reunion weekend, at the Friday night campfire, Halbe Brown tells a story to the children of his former staff. He just loved the kids.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

2001 Wawayanda centennial celebration - 15 years later

Fifteen years ago we celebrated the Wawayanda centennial during a weekend-long reunion gathering that also served, as it happened, as a farewell to Halbe & Jane Brown. It was the largest Frost Valley reunion ever (nearly 500 people at one point during the weekend) and I made sure to grab some good swag so I would remember it. One such item, my favorite coffee mug, served me my java this morning a decade and a half later.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

High Falls hike, early 90s

On a hike to High Falls in the early 90s, from left to right, Al Filreis, Ben Filreis, Casey Ketcham, Jody Davies Ketcham.

Michael Ratner (d. May 2016), friend of Frost Valley

Michael Ratner believed in what we do at Frost Valley. He and his wife Karen, both political activists and leaders of change-making nonprofit organizations, came to love FV and were donors. Michael passed away last May and here is a tribute to him from a friend & colleague in international human rights work.

Sunday, August 28, 2016