Monday, December 31, 2012


In the top photo, you see, at right, the old garage that in 1967 functioned as the Arts & Crafts Shop, now Hayden Lodge. In the middle you see the old Forstmann cow barn, later used by the camp as "the rec hall" - and, from 1976 on, Margetts Lodge. At barely visible at left: the Forstmann-era bullpen, then used (and still today is used) as the camp laundry. Middle photo: the Ad Office (administration office), the original Forstmann calf barn; you can see the Olympic Circle behind it. Bottom photo: at right, flyfishing shack (Forstmann's paymasters house), and to its left, Smith Lodge, the camp infirmary. Next to the left to Smith, you can barely see the archery range, and to the left of that is the garage/Crafts Shop that later became Hayden Lodge.

Lenape 1967

Cabin 18, Lenape village, 1967. At right is Sven Grotrian. The counselor, wearing a classic Wawayanda staff shirt (white with orange lettering and canoe insignia), is Jim Anisi.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Ariana Juno ("Roo") Geller, our newest camper

Sue Geller has some good news to share:

Please help give a Wawayanda Welcome with lots of hoopla to baby Ariana Juno (aka "Roo") Geller who was born on Thursday December 6 at 11:34 pm , 7 lbs,19 1/2 inches.
I was in the delivery room with the birth mom and it was amazing!  Because of the legalities of interstate adoption, we have to stay in RI for the first ~10 days. Lucky for us we found a great place to "camp out", at Camp Fuller by the Sea, courtesy of Peter and Claudia Swain! I love that she left the hospital to go straight to camp !!

Friday, December 14, 2012

1989 cabin list - Tacoma, session 3

Here's a close-up of part of the cabin list for session 3, 1989. You see four cabins - 3 in Tacoma (cabins 41-45) and one Sacky cabin (they were in 46-50). Of the seven staff listed here, five are still involved with Frost Valley - are at least in touch with us. That's remarkable in itself. Note that Abby Kantrowitz (the director who typed up the list on a word processor didn't try to spell her last name!) is by herself in cabin 42; yes, there was a time when typically one cabin in each village was run solo by a counselor. I also want to point out that a number of the campers in these cabins that session were lifers and went on to become staff. Among those are Wendy Warren and Karin Turer. I'm sure late-80s/90s folks will see others.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Linda Richards

A recent photo of Linda Richards, she of the golden voice, nimble guitar-picking fingers, and infectious laugh.

Monday, October 15, 2012

at the memorial service for Halbe Brown

From left to right: Bill Brown, Jeff Brown, Jim Brown, David Brown. The framed poster is one Halbe had hung in his office for 35 years at Frost Valley. Then he gave it to son Jim, whose own YMCA career Halbe wanted to honor. As of yesterday, Jim has given the poster to Jerry Huncosky, FV's CEO, and so now it goes back into the exec's office. One big fabulous beautiful ongoing circle.

Just after the memorial service for Halbe Brown in the FV dining hall yesterday: from left to right, Mike Cobb, Mark Kramer, Peggy Hope, Barbara Hale, Barbara Brower, Mark Showers.

Friday, September 28, 2012

STEP steps up (videos)

Olivia Fraioli went through her videos from the summer of '12 and found three she wanted to share. She was involved with STEP village. These are young adults with various disabilities who have fun, learn about how camp works and help out by doing various jobs and tasks. It's the dream of most campers in Mac village that they will someday join STEP. Here's Olivia:

This summer while working in step we had the privilege of getting to participate in Mike and Stuart's LAST gumbo olympics of 2012. it was actually a funny story -- we weren't sure if we were going to be able to even do them at all! we only had 7 campers in step, which isn't enough to do them with, and were supposed to have done them with windsong, but we had a bit of a scheduling mishap and ended up scheduling the olympics for different days. the other group i had asked to participate with us ended up backing out the period before we were i was extremely nervous! i knew that a bunch of windsong girls this particular session were PHENOMENAL mainstreamers, and truly just loved hanging out with the campers in the mac program. our olympics was scheduled during hird waterfront, so i found them before it and nervously asked if they wanted to participate. i wasn't sure if they were going to say yes, because most of them didn't swim and just hung out which i thought they loved. it turned out they couldn't have been happier or more HONORED to have been asked to hang out with us! even though they had just done the gumbo olympics the day before, they were SO excited.

Mike McNamee and Stuart Duff got to know my campers very well from living in lakeview with us...but it truly went beyond that. they came to our devotions, hung out with us whenever they could...and really just put in true time and effort to get to know our village, which a lot of people don't necessarily do. i feel as though step sometimes gets overlooked at camp, since our guys are much older than most campers at Frost Valley. Nevertheless, mike and stuart completely disregarded those stereotypes and truly became a part of our village. over the course of the session my kids really grew fond of them, so needless to say i was EXTREMELY nervous to possibly have to cancel the olympics on them- something they were looking forward to all week. It was also the very last activity scheduled, and I had cancelled the activity right before it so they could finish packing their belongings.

We (STEP, the PHENOMENAL Windsong ladies, and Mike and Stewart) all met up in front of Margetts for what turned out to be the absolute best activity period of the entire session, and maybe the entire summer in STEP. My campers that didn't typically like to participate were screaming at the top of their lungs, and smiles were just plastered on everyone's face for an hour and a half. This period truly embodied the Frost Valley spirit, and the mission of not only camp, but also the goal of the MAC partnership. I had never been prouder or more excited about any activity I've ever taken part in as a counselor.

I took videos of each groups final performances.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

hiring a full-time media person

Frost Valley is now hiring a full-time multi-media coordinator. Here is the job description: link.

Friday, September 14, 2012

memorial for Halbe Brown

A memorial event is being planned for Sunday, October 14. It will be held at Frost Valley. I personally hope that many, many, many of us can attend as an expression of our deep love and respect for Halbe, and Jane - and the Brown family. The service is likely to begin at either 11 am or 1 pm. The location at camp (Ketcham Chapel? Geyer Hall? outdoor Wawayanda Chapel?) will depend on weather and on the number of people attending. It happens to be a weekend when there are many lodges and cabins available. Everyone is welcome to come back to Frost Valley for the whole weekend, or, of course, just for Saturday night and the Sunday event. If you are relatively nearby, you can, of course, come up just for Sunday. The cost will be $25 per person per night (including lodging and food), and this cost is simply to help defray food and housekeeping expenses. We expect a lot of people to be back at the Valley for this occasion, so please know that all lodging will be shared. It would help the folks at Frost Valley if you organized your group - if indeed you are part of a group - prior to calling to register. Please call the registrar office at 845-985-2291 extension 450 when you are ready to register. But please do not call before Monday. Even if you are coming for Sunday daytime only, please let FV know by calling the registrar so we can have enough chairs, parking, and lunch. I hope to see EVERYONE back at Frost Valley on October 14 so we can appropriately honor and memorialize our generous, visionary friend and mentor.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

good night

Last night, my last night here this summer, was a stunner. As you see, clear skies, and a moon. I walked by the lake on my way to tell a story to Susky and Lakota (together) and saw this and stopped for a long while just to ponder the scene, and what it means to me. Which is to say: a great deal.

I had gone out for pizza at dinnertime and brought back two fabulous toppings-filled slices, along with a giant cakey brownie. I'd checked in on a village evening program in progress, and saw two counselors (one was crying - about the coming end of summer - and the other was comforting her) who seemed to need the treat, and invited them to go to my car, parked nearby, and partake. A few minutes later, I went to get a flashlight from my car, and they were sitting in the back seat, the one no longer crying and the other no longer consoling, munching happily on the slices.

I walked up the hill, past the old cabins of the 40s and 30s (girls 1-20 in the old days) and around the "high road" past Tacoma and toward Sacky. A fairly large black bear, who'd been messing with some garbage bins, ambled across the road about 15 feet in front of me.

Eventually I walked back to Geyer Hall where the two villages of girls awaited my story. Susky had been swimming in the lake for evening program, and they were cold - although they'd changed into dry clothes in their cabins. So indoors on this cold night made sense, though I missed telling my final story of the summer around a fire and under the stars. Some campers fell soundly and happily asleep during the story, but most were bolt upright and enjoyed being "scared" by the (mildly) scary parts.

Then, at the end, I said goodnight to them and they in unison with soft tired voices said goodnight to me. And as I left a number of them came to me for goodnight hugs. It's all I needed for a final evening. I walked down the hill, no flashlight, now in pitch darkness. I could have done one of those late nights around, had another Outpost-burger (delicious a few nights ago!) but figured my Susky/Lakota hugs were a good finale.

From home I will doubtless post a few more entries, using some photos and videos I've taken throughout the summer. But I will be doing that not from here. Here where I want to be. Funny how this place goes so easily, too easily, from presence to absence. But I have to say it's about the most present absence I can imagine.

Goodnight, Susky and Lakota.

Goodnight, Al.

Tell us another story.

Not tonight. But certainly next summer. Will you be back?

We will.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Hirdstock evening concert: "There's a place in the world for Frost Valley"

superhero Al

Alex Toy has drawn me as a cartoon superhero.

Forest camper has a big idea and gets an audience

In one of the most remarkable mealtime discussions I've ever had at Frost Valley, Matthew, a Forest camper (is he 10 years old? I think so), had a "big idea" and wanted to have some time with the CEO. He spoke with his counselor. He spoke with his Village Chief. Then the VC and Matthew spoke with his camp director, Megan Lawrence. Then an audience was procured with Jerry Huncosky. I happened to be there. There was a veteran alumnus/volunteer, a camp director, a VC, a trustee, the director of camping, and the CEO. And Matthew held forth for some time, explaining in detail his grand vision. Well, his grand vision was that children from the midwest would come directly to camp on trains. The camp experience would begin as they got onto the trains and the trains would move eastward and arrive at camp. Matthew had all the details worked out, and was planning to speak with Amtrak to begin the coordination. It happens that Jerry's dad worked on a midwestern railroad for more than thirty years, so the two railroad enthusiasts had a lot to say to each other. Eventually, Jerry invited Matthew to come see him in his office so he would show him the model trains he has displayed there.

Monday, August 20, 2012

talkin' with McNamee (interview - audio)

Today I caught up with Mike McNamee again and we recorded our chat. You'll want to listen to the 12-minute audio.

During our discussion, McNamee and I realized that our daughters - Hannah the counselor of cabin 44 and Fionn, a camper in the same cabin - would be performing at Hirdstock that afternoon. Below are two photos and a video of that splendid performance! You should have seen us then - a couple of heart-filled and proud dads.

2-minute video of Hirdstock as it began this afternoon

Hirdstock 2012

dancing freely

After the Lakota/Outpost Challenge Night, last night, everyone "won" an ice cream sundae (with "all the toppings"). Fantastic. Yes. But what to do while you're waiting around for your group to be called up to the sundae line? Dance, that's what.

Adventure Village learns canoeing before their 3-day trip

Lincoln McClain, our fabulous new Adventure Director, instructs the campers of Adventure Village in the basic art of canoe strokes before the kids and their counselors head out for a 3-day canoe trip.

inducting Fenn Putman into the FV hall of fame

Today we induct Fenn Putman into our Hall of Fame - the longest serving member of the Frost Valley Board of Trustees in the history of this board; in 2012 he marks his fortieth year as a member. This summer we also honor his service as President of the Board, as he steps down from that position after twelve eventful years. Few in the long history of the camp have set a more consistent tone of caring and compassion and clear values-based intention, providing a model of focus and purpose that has permeated the culture of the organization from the Board member to the novice front-line staff.

Fenn was brought onto the Board in 1972 by Jim Kellogg, who recruited him for his business acumen and because he offered representation from Morris County, NJ., a key region for our campers and families but then underrepresented among the trustee membership. By his account – although no one else’s – he languished on various committees and felt his participation to be “less than stellar.” But there is no

dispute about what happened next. After in the early 1990s having recruiting him to the position of Treasurer, Jim Kellogg planned to step down as Chaiman in 1999 and persuaded Fenn to become President as Paul Guenther became succeeding Chair, with Jim continuing as Vice President for a few more years. Fenn’s ascendancy to the leadership position crucially coincided with the announced impending retirement of long-serving Executive Director D. Halbe Brown after 35 years of visionary program expansion and land acquisition. Fenn chaired two search committees over the next few years. In the 10-month interim between these hiring efforts, he led a trustee-staff oversight committee, visited the camp every week, and essentially served as interim director of Frost Valley. The second search produced a result – the hiring of Jerry Huncosky as CEO – that Fenn counts as his most significant achievement as President. The Putman/Huncosky team led Frost Valley from deficit to surplus, improved staff housing, rationalized land ownership, converted underutilized programs into thriving new centers, introduced rigorous assessments, and significantly refined the mission. If finding, hiring and retaining such an effective CEO is the achievement he ranks first, second is his co-chairmanship with Hunter Corbin of the capital campaign that produced funds to build Geyer and Lakeview Lodges and the Guenther Wellness Center.

Nothing is more inspiring for Fenn Putman that being on hand for summer camp check-in days, where he watches, emotions welling in him, as a newly re-arriving MAC camper jumps into the arms of his counselor from the summer before, while the child’s parents stand by in utter tearful happiness at their child’s happiness. He attends every annual staff awards dinner and has found it “one of the most moving experiences of my life” – as truly great people are recognized for their selfless hard work while everyone else, far from feeling envious, is ecstatically supportive. When asked for a statement to sum up his feelings about Frost Valley, he characteristically again points to the staff. “What’s impressed me,” he says, “is how a dedicated staff, living in modest housing, earning modest income, does so much good for so many people and has changed so many lives.” He adds that one need only contrast that with the conventional work experience – where someone “has a desk and a phone and wants a zillion dollars” – and one could only vastly prefer Frost Valley people. His constant support of them over forty years is unmatched by anyone who has been a member of this Board. For his capacity to be inspired, and to inspire, and for his zeal about truly good work, we induct Fenn Putman into the Frost Valley Hall of Fame.

inducting Jerome Wolff into the FV hall of fame

In honoring Jerome Wolff, we recognize a YMCA leader who joined our camp’s Board of Trustees when that body was created for the first time in 1956. Jerry had been a member of the Plainfield Y Board while he was maintaining a medical practice as an eminent ophthalmologist there. Tapped to join the lay leadership of Camp Wawayanda in a time of organizational volatility and transition, he played a key role in the Board’s discovery of the Forstmann property in Branch, NY, in the late 1950s, and the camp’s momentous move there in 1958; and he helped the trustees and directors establish the new identity of Wawayanda, an already important summer camp, as an emerging major force in co-educational camping, environmental education, family conferencing, environmentalism, and health and fitness soon to be known as the Frost Valley YMCA.

During his many summertime visits, Jerry was a regular visitor to – and impromptu white-glove inspector of – our Health Center, and was for years the strongest and often lone voice advocating a new and improved health facility. He stood strongly behind the Wellness “revolution” brought about by Halbe Brown and others in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He pushed for the building of a fitness trail around Lake Cole and elsewhere, and covered the costs of its construction with his own donations. In 1991, when the Frost Valley board sought a trustee who could act as legal advisor, he recruited Bob Haines, who currently serves, in his 22nd year of membership, as the Senior Vice President – another key aspect of the Wolff legacy. After Jerry passed away, we learned that, through a planned bequest, some 80% of his assets were to be given to Frost Valley, an endowment fund that will support us annually forever.

Neversink Lodge was renamed Wolff Lodge in his honor. In the summertime, children with special health requirements are housed there – a fitting tribute to a volunteer leader of Frost Valley who always felt that all children, regardless of health and ability, should have a chance to be at camp. Today we include in our Hall of Fame a generous person of persistent values and a practical sense of what was needed of him. As Bob Haines has simply put it, “Jerry Wolff put his money where his mouth was.”

Sunday, August 19, 2012

other visitors too!

Maddie Geftec (this is her first summer away from FV) and Lily Bushman-Copp also visited yesterday, on that gorgeous day. Here they are with Alex Foley and Nick Lomauro.

annual summer trustee meeting - Hall of Fame

Yesterday the temperatures were in the mid-70s and the skies were utterly blue. And there was a breeze. Perfect day for our annual summertime trustee meeting. Wrong name for it, since it's really a gathering of friends and supporters (not just the trustees). I'll guess that by lunchtime there were 90 people under the tent behind the Ad Office having lunch and listening to extraordinary presentations by campers and counselors. Among them were neighbors (such as Karl Connell) and former important staffers (such as Jeff Daly, Bill Baker, Roe Balchunas) and family members (such as those of Fenn Putman's family). I'll write again soon to summarize the introduction I made about the late Jerome Wolff, who was inducted, along with Fenn, into the Frost Valley Hall of Fame. Below are some photos.

Above from left: Lourdes Montoro, Stuart Duff, Roe Balchunas.

Above from left: Chris Vescio, Gioia Brock, Karl Connell (whose son Ladd visited recently), and Patti Candelari.

Above from left: Dave Gansler, Lauren Solatar, Robin Wachenfeld. Dave was a camper, then counselor, then VC of Lacota (Native American village) in the 70s and early 80s. Lauren is Dave's wife. Robin was an Adventure Trip leader in the early 70s and is now an active member of the Board of Trustees. More on Gansler here.

Above: Fenn Putman accepts his induction into the FV Hall of Fame, after an introduction by new Board President Jim Vaughan.

Carly Einstein's blog

At Carly Einstein's blog you'll find a recent post about rest hour.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

McNamee and Duff are at it

Mike McNamee and Stuart Duff are hard at work this session, offering a fabulous, excited, non-stoppish "mini-Olympics"/Gumbo Games for one activity period. It's been a huge success. Here they are, guiding Outpost through the activities.

yoga in Filreis Field

get all painted up

Outpost VCs just 38 years apart

Connie Herrick (later Connie Weiss) and John Weiss surprised us this morning by visiting. Connie knew the Hess family from 1966 and learned about Frost Valley from them when they moved here in the winter of 1968-69. Soon Connie was working here on weekends, and then became a summer staffer. She led adventure trips, including the one that suffered what was probably the worst accident in FV/Wawayanda history - the fateful July 4, 1973 incident in the Adirondacks in which a storm hit suddenly while the group was camped near a lake and a tree fell on a tent in which campers were sleeping. One was seriously injured (although survived). But that's another story. Connie was back this morning, along with husband John Weiss. John and Connie were dating when they came to work here one summer (1974). John was the VC of Outpost. Connie that summer was a half-summer Girls' Camp Director. John also taught tennis. It was a delight touring them around camp. We came upon Outpost and I introduced John as the Village Chief of Outpost from 38 summers ago! Then as we walked across the bridge we found the 2012 VC, Alex Draper. So here you go - photo of 2 Outpost VCs, nearly four decades apart. As Alex himself said: "This place just keeps going on from generation to generation."

Fleischauer comes home, finally

A little while ago I mentioned the passing of our remarkable friend, Kirk Fleischauer. Before you read this update, please read that blog post. As promised, Kirk's brother Mark visited with his family - his wife, Kristen (herself a camp person at a Northwest U.S. camp), his daughter Kerry, and his son Mason. When Mark and Kristen looked for a camp for their eldest, Kerry, they found that Mike Ketcham was running a camp near Tacoma, Washington, and sent Kerry to Camp Seymour there. (This morning Kerry and I talked about the huge BUILD STRONG sign that Mike added to the dining hall at Seymour. There's a lot of Frost Valley/Wawayanda there.)

They arrived yesterday afternoon, played hellacious Geronimo with Lenape & Tacoma, spread Kirk's ashes at Big Tree Field and Reflection Pond, listened to a "scary" story I told to Sacky, spent time with Jerry Huncosky and both our Wawayanda directors, and this morning ate breakfast in the dining hall and headed off. But not before I was able to get time to interview Mark. Here is the audio recording of that talk: MP3.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

looking back at Tison

A view of the Tison estate looking from the east. This is the very end of the East Valley Neversink road, at the head of the Denning trail.

we are working hard to send to camp kids whose families cannot afford it (Project 332)

Totemite profundity

Overheard in the dining hall at breakfast:

Wawayanda Camp Director: Hi, [name]! I see you are having a nice breakfast. Are you going to have cereal with that?

Totemite: I don't like cereal!

Director (tone of friendly teasing): You don't like cereal? Why, it's almost unAmerican not to like cereal.

Totemite: I'm not from America. I'm from Brooklyn.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

do the counselors love each other?

It's love but it's also the freedom to crazily express it.

Ladd Connell

Ladd Connell - and Carolyn - visited recently for a few hours. They and the Connell family of course own some property and a house on the road from here to Claryville. Ladd was a CIT with me in the summer of 1971. We walked around, chatting about old times and our families, and Ladd, with characteristic energy and curiosity, had to get involved with an activity. So here he is, handling snakes (which he does for a living metaphorically), and teaching the kids through his gentle questions. Hey, Ladd! Come back often, please.

Christa and Grace, mom and daughter united by this experience

Christa Sullivan came to camp in the early 1980s - for maybe four summers. She never forgot it. Her daughter Grace starting coming here when she was 7 or 8. This summer she spent six weeks with us as a Windsong camper, her last as a camper. She hopes to become a CIT. Those of us who've seen Grace grow and become a kind, mature person are delighted at the prospect of her role as a leader here. We invited Christa (they now live in northern Virginia) to drive up a day early and spent a night and morning back at her old camp, while Grace said her long long goodbyes before check-out and departure last Friday. It was a touching reunion - of mother and daughter, yes, but also of camper and her old camp. Through Grace she gets to see that's basically the same wonderful place. So here they are, just before they left the valley.

our Frost Valley Ernsts

Scott Ernst, one of the fabulous Frost Valley Ernsts, here with his family, including his daughter Kathryn (Katie) who spent her second summer here last session. Katie was in Susky cabin 47 this time - and loved it! And the Ernsts' Frost Valley tradition continues.

thoughts on values

Two conversations lead me to this blog post. One occurred last night with Gail Morris (who is the program director at the Farm this summer, after many summers of many jobs here) and the other this morning with Jeremy Gansler (of Adventure Village).

What the two wanted to say amounted to almost precisely the same thing.

Gail had spent some time recently at home with some friends. She listened to them complain about their jobs, the people for whom they work, etc. And she realized that she currently works for an organization in which everyone knows fully well what the goals and vision are, where the ultimate reason for the organization is transparent and always openly discussed. That she'd never otherwise worked in an organization where this was true, and could always use it to measure other projects and companies and workplaces. And that this was a rare privilege. When she told me this, eyes actually misty from the power of the realization, I urged her to share this sentiment with the VCs and directors and program people gathered at the VC meeting. She did. They understood, and I hope counted themselves lucky to have (and so early in their careers) a work experience with such an organization.

As for Gansler. I sat down with Jeremy to share my history and feelings about working with his father Dave in the late 70s and early 80s. I mentioned that I was glad that Dave had reconnected with FV just when his son was coming of age and might have a shot at a few summers here. And Jeremy went on to describe his reaction to the job and the place. I just had this conversation a few minutes ago. This is not a direct quote but it's a pretty close paraphrase: "I was frankly surprised. I knew Frost Valley talked a lot about values, but usually such talk is just talk. But the extent to which these values are openly discussed at every level, and to see how these young people don't scoff at them but take them really seriously - is amazing. It's like a paradise. Everyone is seriously committed to reaching these abstract goals - like caring and respect - but they make them happen in their day-to-day work. It's real. And because we're so separated, we can do all this without much interference or diluting from the outside. This place is really what my father said it was - an experience that changed his life and which he wanted to share with me."

Monday, August 13, 2012

Chris Harper returns

Chris Harper showed up on Sunday and spent much of the day. Unfortunately she left before I could dragoon her into singing with me at the opening campfire. Oh well. Come back, Chris, wherever you've gone. Here she is with Rae Nathanson, Eliza Berman (who was also visiting for the day), and Ali Costa.

Jere's Maya

Jere Schwait Sirkis has a totally adorable daughter named Maya. Maya first appeared as a tiny toddler during one of our alumni reunions. She played Geronimo and fell in love with the place. Last summer she finally came of age and attended camp for a week (I think). Now this year she's back, in Pokey again, and again for one week. But we talked with her parents and decided that if Maya wants to stay the full two-week session, she just needs to say so. We figured that would happen on Wednesday or Thursday. But during the FIRST meal of the session, Maya came up to me at said, "Okay. I want to stay the two weeks. Can we call my mom?" I asked her to wait a day and sure enough she came to me at breakfast this morning and re-announced her intention. Anyway, here's a photo of her, with Jere and McNamee and Duff in the dining hall yesterday at check-in.

McNamee and Duff are here

Mike McNamee (Brit who was a VC of Forest and then of Lenape in the early to mid 1980s) and Stuart Duff (same era - VC of Forest after McNamee) are both here visiting as volunteers this session. Avid readers of this blog will remember that Duff did the same two-week stint for us a few years ago. His daughter Ceri is in Windsong and his son Jamie has been a CIT this half of the summer. Mike's daughters, Ffion (Lakota) and Megan (Tacoma), are here in camp for the first time.

It's wonderful that they are both here. They've already been very busy making arrangements with VCs to run a mini-Olympics ("Gumbo Games") for a village each in a single activity period. They've got 6 or 7 villages already signed up. Now that's volunteering!

Glenn Horton (who still lives around here) was kind enough to stop by this morning and lend these fellows his car while he's away. Duff will take McNamee to the train station along the Hudson River so McNamee can spend a few days away from FV to attend some kind of professional meeting in Montreal. But already I can tell that Mike doesn't want to leave. He's completely into it. It's like those nearly 30 years never passed.

Here we are this morning. Gray a little but not diminished.