Friday, December 25, 2009

early days of XC skiing

When cross-country skiing was new at Frost Valley, around 1973. Those skis are clip-ons (you wore your own shoes and clipped them onto the ski by means of a contraption that fell apart often for the novice). The scene of course is the Big Tree Field (ski trail through the Big Tree Field?!) and at right you can see a tobaggan that had just come a long ways down the tobaggan run that started up near cabins 21-25 and emptied out across the field. If conditions were icy and slick enough, you could get all the way to the county road. The building to the center-right is the Lake House (where in those days the Food Service Director, Everett Lake, lived) and to the left is the old horsebarn. Yes in the summers we actually ran our horseback riding program out of that barn. An old, old, old barn, barely standing. It was affectionately known as the Lazy Nag Corral.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Rick Cobb during staff training, late 70s.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Mike Marder raises funds for campership

An article appearing on

South River man raises money for scholarship to YMCA summer camp

SOUTH RIVER — For Michael Marder, the summers spent at Frost Valley YMCA camp were priceless. Now, he is hoping that at least one middle school student in the borough will get that same opportunity.

Marder, a resident of the borough and a member of the camp's Alumni Association, is raising scholarship money to send at least one student to the camp for two weeks during the summer of 2010.

"I think it's a remarkable summer camp," said Marder, who spent several summers as a camper and counselor at the facility. "It's an outdoor environmental education center on over 6,000 acres in the Catskills. Children can go and live the life of a farmer or attend Adventure or equestrian camp. It's quite an organization. I think it's a great place for a child to spend a few weeks during the summer."

Frost Valley YMCA, established in 1901, is a nonprofit organization located in Claryville, N.Y. The camp, open to children ages 7 to 16, serves about 2,000 campers each summer and provides camp scholarships for children from low-income families throughout New Jersey and New York.

"One of the special features of the camp is that through a partnership with Montefiore Children's Center in New York and the Ruth Gottscho Kidney Foundation, it also provides a camping experience to children with chronic kidney disease, who otherwise may not have had this opportunity," Marder said.

As a member of the camp's Alumni Association, Marder has spent several years raising scholarship money to send children in Newark and other inner cities to the camp.

Last year, after attending an annual meeting, in which former scholarship recipients spoke about their experiences, Marder decided to focus his attention on sending a borough student to the camp.

Marder said the cost to send one child to the camp for two weeks is about $1,500.

"Depending how much we raise will determine how many children will get the opportunity to go," he said.

Marder said he has received support from borough officials and was invited by the mayor to address the Borough Council.

He also has been working with South River school officials.

The camper, he said, will be selected by members of the South River Middle School staff.

"We're looking for a good student, who would not otherwise have this opportunity," Marder said.

Tax deductable donations may be sent to to Frost Valley YMCA, 26 Park St., Suite 2023, Montclair NJ 07042. Checks, made payable to Frost Valley YMCA, should include the name and address of the donor and be marked "South River Campership."

Donations also may be made on line at

Additional information about the Frost Valley YMCA may be obtained by calling Frost Valley YMCA at 973-744-3488 or at

Friday, December 4, 2009

gymnastics circa 1980

Here is Fran Grayson**, doing some gymnastics on the Olympic Circle. I'm going to guess that the photo was taken in 1980. Yes, we had this trampoline-like jump-off thingie. We taught the kids to run up on it and fling themselves in the air. What to land on? Well, mostly the grass of the Olympic Circle and sometimes some old foam mattresses. Don't know how many sprained ankles were the result of this activity, but I do know that the Health Center (in Smith Lodge) was just 60 feet away.

** I'm about 95% certain it's Fran. (Later note: Now I'm 100% certain. Fran herself just confirmed it!)