Posted on 3/1/16 11:45 AM by Natalie Zembrzuski
In a time when youth and teens are ordinarily plugged into technology and have little peer interaction beyond their home communities, the weekend of December 11th to the 13th proved to be out of the ordinary for forty-two New England teens. Each year, in early December, teens from various communities are invited to participate in Teen Wide World at YMCA Camp Woodstock, a weekend funded entirely by donation dollars from Camps Annual Campaign. The weekend is designed to promote diversity and inclusion, bringing teens together from various cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds within the region. From Friday through Sunday, the teens explore diversity, discuss social problems, and are challenged with various team-building initiatives. The goal of the weekend is to expose teens to a variety of people and backgrounds in a safe setting, and to build character and leadership skills in each participant.
Posted on 8/19/15 12:30 PM by Will Kusek
YMCA Camp Woodstock’s Youth Leadership Director, Will Jones, is attending YMCA of the USA’s Emerging Global Leaders Institute, an 18-month leadership development program designed to develop cultural competencies in YMCA staff and volunteers under 30.
Why did Will get involved?
Posted on 7/17/15 11:53 AM by Will Kusek
Parents turn onto Frog Pond Road to drop their children off for an engaging Summer Learning Initiative Camp (SLIC) at Woodstock Elementary School. Most of these children have been identified as kids who would benefit from staying in school over the summer to prevent learning loss. The children are led by Renee Suprenaunt, a well-respected and highly regarded teacher in the Woodstock community. They learn math, science, reading, music, and language arts until 11:30. Then these kids have an opportunity to join the Y community at Camp Woodstock for the afternoon where they build relationships with new faces as they swim, boat, climb, laugh, and play screaming toes.
This collaboration with our local school has provided an opportunity for children with parents who work a solution for summer childcare and the opportunity for their kids to achieve academic success at school. Most kids come from families where single parents or both parents need to work to meet day to day financial challenges. The 3 morning a week SLIC program was not an option for some of these families. Now these parents can have their kids learn at school and take advantage of the benefits of camp. We pick the children up from school on our little yellow bus 3 days a week and give the families an option for camp Monday and Friday when the SLIC program is not offered.
Posted on 5/12/15 6:04 AM by Will Kusek
Summer is finally on its way-- and perhaps the brave among you have already taken a dip in a local lake or river ahead of pools opening. Water activities, from swimming and boating to simply soaking in cool water on a hot day, are among the season's favorite pastimes for families relaxing together and campers spending time away from home.
As much fun as they can be, water sports can also be among summer's most dangerous activities. That is why you should make sure everyone in your family can swim! Whether your children will be spending their school vacation at a supervised camp, having unscheduled time with family and friends, or a combination of both,knowing how to swim can save their life. You should discuss water safety before anyone steps foot in the water-- and regularly over the course of the summer.
Posted on 4/7/15 10:59 AM by Will Kusek
Tony Gronski, Executive Director of Camp Woodstock, often describes summer camp as a training ground for life. Here is the story of former Camp Woodstock camper, Sarah Bonner, who recently began a two-year term of service as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic.
Sarah Bonner grew up in Avon, CT and graduated from Avon High School. She attended Camp Woodstock for ten years, first as a camper, then as a Leader in Training, Counselor in Training, Counselor, and finally, Counselor in Training Director. In March of 2013, she participated in the service trip to the Dominican Republic, and in the spring of 2014, Sarah graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst where she double majored in Sociology and Social Thought and Political Economy.