Saturday, September 27, 2008

Joy White Nurse's Room formally dedicated

At the recent formal dedication and opening of the new Wellness Center, we also formally named the busy central nurse's room after the late Joy White. This is a promise we made--friends of Joy--years ago and what a pleasure it was finally to honor her in such a fabulous new facility. She would have loved it. We know already from the summer's experience how vital and lively that room is.

John Giannotti did a portrait of Joy in oil - based on a photo her daughters sent him - and this portrait hangs in the main hallway just outside the nurse's room. At the dedication, as visitors toured the building, they saw the portrait, newly hung, along with a one-page description. Here is the text of that page:

The Joy White Nurses Station

Dedicated in loving memory to Joy White, who served as Camp Nurse for nearly two decades.

Joy and her husband Chuck moved to Frost Valley in 1973, and lived in the grey house across from the maintenance buildings and the fly-fishing pond later named for Chuck. They and their four children – Liz, Rebecca, David and Sylvia – became one of a small group of resident families that were key to the rapid development of Frost Valley in the 1970s and 80s.

Joy’s unique contribution was to the emergence of the Wellness philosophy. She led the way in implementing activities that put an abstract concept into practice: sweetly yet insistently, she taught campers and staff the importance of eating well, relaxation, staying away from cigarettes and drugs, and overall healthful self-awareness. Known in every corner of camp for her boundless “TLC,” Joy White shared her love and concern with all those around her. With wit and great medical wisdom she cared for thousands of campers, school children, and staff for many years.

Hundreds of alumni – staff, families, schoolteachers, conference group leaders, and campers whom she cared for so well - have contributed to Frost Valley’s capital campaign in memory of Joy and of the true joy she brought to this place.

About the Artist: John Giannotti served as a staff member at Frost Valley in a variety of positions from the late '60s to the mid-80s. During that time he was Chair of the Department of Art at the Camden campus of Rutgers University. His paintings and sculptures have been exhibited throughout the US and in many countries around the world. His monumental bronze sculptures of Walt Whitman and Madame Curie stand in sculpture parks at Soka University in Japan. John is most grateful for the sense of community and integrity that Frost Valley instilled in his three children, Oran, Keara and Danielle, while they were "camp brats," campers, and later as staff members. Their love of Frost Valley became an integral part of how they have conducted their lives. John now lives in Haddonfield, NJ, with his wife Toni Vielehr and their son Delano.

I'll have more to say about the Wellness Center dedication in the coming days. I took some photos and made some audio recordings, so stay tuned.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Max, photographer

Max Flatow writes: "I'm a Frost Valley Alum, 93' - 05' (not 06'...I double checked), having been a camper in every male village but Iscusfa and Woodwise, and working as a counselor in Totem, Lenape and Pac. I've been thinking about FV a lot lately, and how I miss that distinct, pungent smell of cinnamon buns as I walk up the hill from flag raising to the dining hall, on the morning of the last day of each session - which is part of what brings me to this e-mail. I'm currently living in my hometown of Brooklyn, NY, where I am a professional photographer, shooting everything from weddings, corporate/celebrity events and portraits, to travel, editorial and real estate. As a token of my appreciation for all things 'Frost Valley' (or people, rather), I want to offer my services to any Frost Valley alumni (including family and friends) at a special 50% discounted rate. Most of my business is based out of NYC, but am always available for travel."

Here's a link to Max's web site:

The photo above and at right is of Max's Tacoma/Lenape staff, summer of 2002. Max is underneath the arrow, camera in hand.

Below is a sample of the fine photographic work Max does. His subject here happens to be a Frost Valley guy--Ethan Dropkin.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Begonia, we remember you

"Do you remember me?" she wrote.

Just last night I got a wonderful email note from Begonia Albertos from Spain. She and her daughter Lucia (who'd been hearing Frost Valley stories all her life but hadn't made contact even indirectly with us) found us on the web - found my blog, found Frost Valley's web site, etc., and the stories and then the old photo albums started to come out. Begonia was one of our internationals for one summer - 1981. In the coming weeks I'll put up some of her other photos but here's one to start. These are some (not all) of the international counselors that summer, '81. I can't sort out exactly who is who but here first is Begonia's text (names not in order):

Tom Franzkowiak (Germany), Martin Graf (Switzerland), Claude Giraud (France), Ulla Hojstrup, Neils Hybolt (Denmark), Johan Vershoor (Holland), Maggie Tang (Hong Kong), Ron Aggs (Australia), Lucy Arnett, Eric Cahill (England) and Elizabeth Bione (Senegal).

Tom F is standing at left. Eric Cahill next to him. Maggie kneeling at left. Johan is standing at right, his arm around Begonia. Niels kneeling at right, his hands on Elizabeth's shoulders. I believe that's Lucy between Eric and Begonia. And Claude from France bottom middle. Ulla to the left of Claude. Missing from this pic: Ron Aggs and Martin Graf. Both those guys were there in '81 and stayed for several years after. Tom Frankowiak had already been at camp several summers by '81. The others were all just one-summer folks, so far as I remember. And I seem to remember a lot!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

hanging out

From left to right: Frank Rutan, Ed Wong, Al Filreis, and Liz White. Check out my steel-colored aviator frames and my hush puppies. I wore those puppies for days on end. We're hanging out in front of Hayden Lodge here. I believe Frank and Liz were co-FCC Directors that summer (that would be the equivalent of today's CIT program - with its 8-day hiking trip. FCC = Future Camp Counselor. The year was 1976.

Ed Wong was a teacher in Ohio, friend of Ken and Sue Barton. Hilarious guy. He started off as a counselor in Forest and then I think led some bike trips.

vintage Wawayanda staff shirt

We found a vintage Wawayanda staff shirt in the archives - and John Butler was eager to try it on. Love that orange-and-white canoe-on-lake motif. Don't you?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

traffic light in Claryville (say what?)

A traffic light on the camp road? Yes, you are seeing correctly. But don't worry. It's gone by now. Just a temporary thing...while the bridge near the Claryville turn-off, the bridge that re-crosses the west branch of the Neversink River was being replaced.

Several years ago we heard the bad news from the county or the state (I think the state): the old bridge could not legally/safely handle the weight of the buses that go over there all year, carrying school groups and summer campers. Until it was replaced those buses would have to come to Frost Valley the other way - Kingston to Big Indian on route 28, and up the steep east side of the road over Slide Mountain. Fifteen miles on a back road rather than a much easier 7 miles coming from Claryville. Finally the new bridge at Claryville was built. But in the final weeks before the opening of the bridge, there was a makeshirt one-lane unpaved workaround road put in and thus a stop-light at each end of the little detour. So there you have it: traffic lights in Claryville! Take note, ye historians.