Thursday, June 30, 2016

new friends

Well, this kind of connection--sometimes they last a lifetime--is being made every day here.

Johnny Bostick's daughter Melody

Yes, Johnny Bostick, legendary staffer from the late 70s - he was VC of Forest and VC of Lenape and brought to camp his winning magical broad smile and his always-calm demeanor - has told his daughter Melody all her life about his summers at Frost Valley. This spring Johnny got in touch with me and expressed the hope that the camp would hire Melody. I passed this news along and the hiring happening. So now a Bostick is back: Melody is a counselor in Tacoma. Here are two photos I took during an amazing game of Geronimo with Tacoma yesterday.

mother-son combo judges at Challenge Night

There's always another Frost Valley first. Maybe this one will seem to readers of this blog to be a minor one, but not to many of us here. The first: a mother and her son both serve as judges at Challenge Night. They are: Sandra Shapiro Bohn and Braxton Bohn. Sandy is volunteering once again for the first 5 weeks of the summer, and Braxton is here as a CIT Coordinator.

Monday, June 27, 2016

CITs getting ready to go

This crew of CITs will be leaving for their six-day hike around the Catskills tomorrow morning, rain or shine.

Dari Litchman's Zoe is here

Dari's Zoe is in Pokey-Totem cabin 21 (the youngest girls). She's at left in the photo, along with her new "best friend"!

Primack is back

Dr. Bill Primack, who was the very first pediatric nephrologist to work at FV's dialysis unit when we opened in 1975, is back again! Now he's working on a study to try to understand the positive general health effects of 2 weeks at camp for healthy kids and kids with chronic illness.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

campers & counelors are now parents of campers

Opening day of session 1. It's possible that 15% of the campers who arrived today are the sons, daughters, nieces or nephews, grandkids, etc. of former campers and staffers. The photos here just being to give you a sense of the generational connections.

Helen Cornman (center) is the mom of a new CIT, and Helen of course worked here many summers and was eventually the Director of Wawayanda. Here she gets together with the current Wawayanda Directors.
Left to right: Tim Green, Jason Sickle, and Josh Tucker. Jason's son Preston is a camper this session, as is Tim's son Brayden. Josh Tucker & Ellie Gordon have two kids in camp this month.
Eileen Barnes Hahn with Lindsay Hutchinson (two Wawayanda directors across time).

Friday, June 24, 2016

up the west side of High Falls Brook

I have to admit: in all my years of hiking around I have not spent much time on the trail that runs along the west side of High Falls Brook. For one thing, in my early years at FV that was not our property; it belonged to the Connell family and the two cottages at the bottom of the hill there along the road were not accessible to FV people. Nor was the trail that starts steeply up the hill between the two cottages. If you hike up that trail about 1/2 mile, you'll see, to the left of the trail, a camp site that summer camp people have called "Moonshadow" for the past 10 or 15 years. It's a nice spot. Walk up further along the trail above Moonshadow and now you're on a real trail, which winds a hundred feet or so toward the east so that after a while you're can hear High Falls Brook to your right.

Anyway, I took a very early hike (before 6 AM) a few mornings ago and went up the trail about 2 miles. At point I noticed the remnant of what must have been a shack or even a small house. Among the remnants - mostly rusted metal, which I assume was the roof - I saw a sink or tub. I'll ask around about what this structure was, but the presence of the sink or tub certainly suggests that it was a usable hut, maybe even a small residence at some point?

Anyone know about this?

Foxgloves along the trail near Moonshadow

Van Barens

I spent an afternoon in Woodstock the other day. On my way into Bread Alone for some of their good coffee, I heard a familiar voice: "Van" Van Baren, former FV staffer and long-time neighbor along the Frost Valley-Oliverea-Big Indian Road, was setting up a table in the outdoor market there to sell bottle of his fabulous maple syrup. Later Kate Van Baren joined him and I got a chance to catch up with them. Wonderful people. They look good in the selfies. I don't. But oh well.

Morris returns

Morris Gold gives his annual talk on safety for the entire staff.

staff overnights

A highlight of staff training—village groups hike out for "trial" overnights. This year the weather cooperated brilliantly. Skies cleared and the temperatures dropped. Perfect night for sleeping out. I and others visited almost all the sites. When we got to Forest and Susky camped out at Moonshadow (along the trail just along the west side of High Falls Brook), they were about to teach the new staff some cheers. The video below gives you a sense of how already LOUD they are. At Banks Hill, Maya, a new counselor in Lakota (and creative writing instructor during specialty periods), showed us her special marshmellow with chocolate "baked" inside.

quiet camp

A few days before the campers arrive—it's staff training week and while everyone was at a session in the dining hall I took a look around and snapped a few serene shots. Click on any image for a larger view.

The new Bud Cox Trip Center as seen from the path coming down from the dining hall.

Fern field on the steep slope along the Line Shack Trail about 1/2 mile east of High Falls.

video gives you a glimpse at cabin 40 during its renovation

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

newly renovated cabins in the 30s

I visited Dale Price the other day up in cabin 40 (in the old days: "Girls cabin 10"). Dale is putting finishing touches on the last of the cabins we are renovating for the summer of 2016. So now all of the cabins in "the 30s" — 31 through 40 (for Hemlock and Outpost currently) — will have been renovated, and they really look just great. Here are some photos I took of several cabins in the group.

Monday, June 20, 2016

early reunion

At one of the earliest Frost Valley alumni reunions--perhaps the late '80s?--four old friends sat on the bumper of Al's car to (as Marie Hess would say) "shoot the shit." They are, from left to right, Bud Cox, Carolyn Shelburne, Al Filreis, and Marie Hess.