Saturday, July 30, 2016

Amy Furman Melican

Amy Furman Melican has three children in camp this session: Abby, Joe, Liz. Abby and Joe were both at Challenge Night last night (a crazy Forest/Susky/PAC/Windsong combo event). 

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Kelcourse and DeMelle

At Challenge Night last night: for the "two unrelated people from each team who look most alike" challenge, these two turned up. Coincidence: both are children of former FV staff. On the left, Jon Kelcourse is the son of Felicity & Paul Kelcourse; on the right, Effie DeMelle is the daughter of Todd DeMelle.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Tokyo camp, 1991

I've been exchanging emails with the mom of one of our current campers. She mentioned that she had worked her twenty-five years ago. I asked about that. It turns out that she worked as an ESL teacher during several sessions of the Tokyo camp in 1991. And she sent me this photo of some of the Tokyo camp that summer—posing in front of Smith Lodge (now Blum House).

between meal shifts: dancing to Elvis

the sorting hat

Session 3's all-camp program is a Harry Potter Day. It will happen Sunday and this is Wednesday, but already the campers are being sorted by the sorting hat into four "houses." This is done in the dining hall as each camper sits under the sorting hat. Behind the scenes, Kieran operates a smartphone with audio snippets from the film - one clip for each house. Kieran watches a camper list with assigned houses and then hits the right sound file which plays over the loudspeaker. Watch both brief videos and you'll see how this works.

a round of "swat" during Geronimo

A new addition to the ever-expanding more-and-more complicated game of Geronimo is "swat." Here is what happened when I called "Lakota staff — SWAT!"

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Sunday, July 24, 2016

survey says...

We ask parents of campers, soon after the campers have arrived home, to fill out a survey. The final question is: "Please give us one sentence to describe your Frost Valley experience." Here are results from session 2 this summer:

So happy he had a good time.

The staff is kind and caring

Awesome-thank you!

Frost Valley is fun-filled and exciting. It's really a unique opportunity for the girls.

Frost Valley rocked my daughter's world!

It sounds like my daughter had fun overall with a few things that made things less comfortable and fun.

It's heaven on earth.

Exhilarating and fun.

my kids had a transformative experience at Frost Valley. They deepened relationships with nature and each other, although different ages and different locations at camp, through their shared stories and time at Frost Valley.

First time away from home for that long for a shy kid (who didn't know anyone) and he totally wants to come back

a very positive all around summer camp experience with a diverse group of campers


It was excellent

Frost Valley is a very supportive and safe environment.

Frost Valley was fun and unique!

Our son said that he feels the camp experience was rewarding because it gave him the opportunity to try new things, and make new friends.

Thank you for putting the kids first.

Frost valley is literally a breath of fresh air; a place where young people can thrive , reflect and regain their center- a magical  summer reprieve.

My child Loved adventure village because it is challenging and fun.

Frost Valley is Absolutely Amazing,  To the point that I wish I was a kid again just so I can go to Frost Valley.  Love it😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆💜💜💜💜💜💜

Spanning generations, Frost Valley continues to be the most special place on Earth.

My daughter is completely comfortable at Frost Valley.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

lunch at Farm Camp

I went over to the Farm Camp in the East Valley (the valley through which the East Branch of the Neversink River flows, where of course we have our Farm Camp and the equestrian camp for girls called "EVR" or "East Valley Ranch"). The Farm people and I played a wonderful game of Geronimo in the sun (brilliant day here in the Catskills today—maybe 70 degrees and sunny and a slight breeze) and then I joined them for lunch. Wow, the food at Farm Camp is amazing. Several inventive and dedicated chefs cooking for maybe about 65 people and having available all kinds of veggies from the garden and meat from (well...) the barn. Today it was pizza. Fairly standard camp-food fare, yes? Well, they added lots of herbs (scallions, Italian parsley, oregano) from the garden and some fresh chicken for the optional BBQ Chicken pizza. And of course there's a salad bar too, of which I happily partook. See various photos below. The second photo shows tomorrow's dessert: vanilla sheet cake sans icing and suffused with freshly picked raspberries! Oh the raspberries right about now! Yum.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016


Lizzie, daughter of Chris Vescio, is a camper in Lakota this session. Ashley, daughter of Chris's brother John Vescio, is a CIT. Here they are at one of the waste stations in the dining hall.

trustee and coordinator

Cathy McFarland spent a few days here recently. Cathy, who will be inducted into the Frost Valley Hall of Fame in August, led the Victoria Foundation for many years and was at Victoria when the current mode of partnerships between Frost Valley and Newark community groups was created. She has long had an interest in our summertime staff position that coordinates all the partnerships. This year that director is Sevani Robinson. Yesterday morning at breakfast Sevi and Cathy had a chance to talk.

Spanish kids

We've had a number of campers here from Spain. Here are three of them.

the perfect day in the valley

Arts & Crafts concentration

some faces of Frost Valley on the day after Olympics

I walked around looking at the fab FV faces this morning. You'd think that on the day after Olympics there would be less energy, but no. These are the face of energized and happy people.

Kate Westerbeck Lewis

Kate Westerbeck Lewis's son Sam and daughter Olivia are here this session.

daughters of former counselors

Marike Toothaker and Melissa Rubin were counselors together back in the day. Now their daughters, Susanna and Anya, are here in Susky (their second summer in camp together).

Olympics: hear England cheer

Olympics: canoe tug-of-war (video)

Monday, July 18, 2016

spirit award, 1993

Ellie Gordon's team won the coveted Spirit award at the 1993 Olympics. And of course Ellie still has the plaque! She sent me a photo of it last night after seeing photos of the 2016 Olympics in action. The event stirs memories, for sure.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Saturday, July 16, 2016

faux face

I asked Benny if he wanted to make this game a little more complicated and this was his response.

dusty Geronimo

We play Geronimo under the "luggage tent behind Admin" now, especially in rain and when it's really sunny. The grass is gone. It's very dusty. Adds to the craziness of the game, which has taken some complicated turns in recent years. Here's a Lenape boy yesterday after about an hour of playing.


Steve Spiwak's son Sam is in PAC this session.

MAC alumnus

Just now, in the East Village, ran into former Mac Boys (and STEP?) guy George. Now 29 y.o. He wanted a selfie with me. I'm honored.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Lakota theme night

You know—frankly—I don't know what the theme for Lakota was. Zoe (pictured here) did tell me but I've forgotten now. It was only last night, after all. So many things happen here that (maybe it's just my too many summers...) it all becomes one flow of good craziness. Anyway, I just love Zoe's get-up, and love even more her typical willingness to look silly and get way way into it.

French Rev

Tacoma, late last night, after returning from a lively evening program of "French Rev." Amazing how these kids know to bring so much black clothing for this particular event. I really like this photo I took of them passing by the Wellness Center. The blended into the dark night behind them—well, of course, that's the point of dressing for French Rev. But still....