April Wilderness Training for Summer Staff
With warm weather on our heels and the start of summer programs beginning to creep closer, the Chingachgook Adventure Program is preparing for the start of wilderness trips with gear maintenance, facility management, logistic updates, and all of the work that goes into making trips safe and enriching. After 105 years in the business, we know that the best way to do that is by training our staff to manage off-site experiences and respond to incidents effectively.
Our first wilderness staff training welcomed our Adventure department’s first program of the year. During an unseasonable April snow storm, a group of our 2018 summer camp counselor made their way to Chingachgook for this hands on training. With such wintery weather, the crew stayed close to home, but had a productive four days of immersive training in the field. We will host two more wilderness trainings for overnight camp staff in May and June, alongside our three-week Adventure trip staff training starts up on June 8th and the last Wilderness training on June 12th. The spring is always an exciting time as we see more and more staff head to camp to prepare for the best summer ever! Click here to read more about the updates and improvements we are making to our wilderness and adventure staff training.
2018 has brought a number of revisions to our staff trainings. Training groups, previously a mixture of returners and new staff, will be split for the first time into groups by length of employment at Chingachgook. This division will narrow the types of skills and lessons each staff member learns, as incoming staff will work to develop their philosophical understanding of outdoor adventure and build their confidence in outdoor skills. Returners will have an opportunity to fine-tune skills they learned previously, as well as practice facilitating hands-on experiences of these skills with campers. Our most senior staff will train as summer mentors for incoming staff and will work on improving judgement while in the field. Our overall focuses for trainings this year are hard-skills, self-reliance, healthy judgment, and risk management.
The past ten years has seen significant advancements in the quality of training for outdoor adventure professionals. Chingachgook consistently updates field and response protocols to maintain an industry standard in risk management. We hope to see another jump in the effectiveness of our staff trainings after Chingachgook hosts the inaugural Northeast Adventure and Trip Symposium in November of 2018, where the year round Adventure team will work with leading industry professional in improving participant and staff experiences in the field by building a more engaging and well-managed environment.
Reflections on Chingachgook, Family and Giving Back
BETTER TOGETHER – WE HIT A NEW RECORD FOR OUR ANNUAL CAMPAIGN!
Because of our committed camp family and donors, we’re helping an unprecedented number of people in need. This is a tremendous accomplishment and will be absolutely life changing for those we serve at Chingachgook this year. Below, our Summer Camp Director, Jiné Andreozzi, reflects on why she chooses to support our Annual Campaign.
My story in supporting Chingachgook’s Annual Campaign revolves around family, connecting with the family you were born with and expanding the family you choose. Camp to Belong (CTB) has benefited from support through our Annual Campaign for the past 8 years. This program has grown to helping 25 campers living in foster care connect with their biological siblings at Camp, siblings whom they don’t always get to see throughout the year as they are living in separate foster homes. As someone who found a renewed relationship and closeness with my own sister by sharing a Chingachgook experience, this program has always been close to my heart. Camp brings families together through this program but also gives these campers a network of friends that become family. Having CTB join us each year, during first session, gives these kids a chance to define themselves outside their status as a child in foster care and a chance to have a normative childhood experience at summer camp.
All of these benefits I saw played out while working and playing alongside one CTB family this past summer. A family of 5 siblings, all in separate foster homes, who were finally able to have their youngest sibling experience Camp, as he had just turned 7. The oldest siblings were fiercely protective of their youngest sibling and eager to show him the ropes. They made sure he had his life jacket on for swimming before they even thought about getting to swim themselves. They also had a familiarity with our staff, knew their brother’s counselors and encouraged him to get to know those counselors, even though he struggled trusting new adults at school.
Once the youngest sibling was settled in, however, is when the true magic happened. These siblings loved having family time in the morning and then would shout “see ya laters” to their siblings as they eagerly ran to catch up with cabin friends. They would share waves, smiles, and a quick hug when they passed on the super highway while walking to afternoon skill classes. They’d say hi in the dining hall and then happily go back to filling in their counselors and cabin mates on their activities of the day. At night, the oldest siblings would go with a counselor and a CTB volunteer to hug their siblings, say goodnight and tell them they loved them…a simple routine often taken for granted when you see your siblings every day. This was the moment I realized how much of a positive difference we’re making in this family’s life. I can’t express how lucky I am to work at a place that provides these kids that normalcy, even if just for a week. This magic happens because of our annual campaign and I personally give so that we can offer this experience to even more siblings in future summers. I give because I believe in spreading the love and connections every person finds when they become a part of the Chingachgook family.
New Skill Classes for summer 2018!
Garage Band : This class gives campers a chance to showcase their talents, while exploring new musical abilities in a group setting. Classes will work on learning a new song to perform featuring an ensemble of instruments. For beginner and experienced musicians. Bring your own instrument (or voice), or use one of ours!
Basketball: Learn basketball basics through drills, and scrimmages. Practice teamwork and new skills through daily games on our two basketball courts.
The Newsroom: Join the team responsible for reporting the news at Camp Chingachgook! Contribute to the weekly newspaper featuring articles on noteworthy events around camp, comics, poems, essays, and drawings, and much more. This class is a great way to explore individual creativity, while working as part of a bigger team!
Varsity Sports Club: For Seniors. Develop new skills, practice teamwork and have fun every day with a different sports activity: Chingaball, whiffle ball, kickball, soccer, basketball and more.
Easter Brunch at Chingachgook
Camp Food Service and Maintenance Conference
Camp Food Service and
March 27-29, 2018
The Food Service & Maintenance Conferences have long been staples of the Adirondack Training Institute’s offerings and we are excited to announce an update for this year’s conference! We are combining these great professional development opportunities into one conference. We will continue to focus on providing industry-specific and hands-on sessions as well as opportunities to collaborate and network with your colleagues. The new format will make traveling to the conference more cost effective for you and your Camp, thus allowing for multiple food service and maintenance staff members to benefit from this unique and worthwhile experience. Instructors and speakers come from national associations and are recognized experts in food service, maintenance and camping. Click here for information on pricing and registration.
Pre-Conference: Monday, March 26th
- ACA Standards Course. 9am-2:30PM. Free course to prepare directors for their ACA accreditation.
- Serv Safe Class and Exam. Extra fee – see conference registration form.
- Camp Food Service Management. Extra fee – see conference registration form.
Please mail, fax, or email one Registration Form per attendee. Register before February 16th to get our Early Bird Discount!
- If flying into Albany Airport, we can provide a shuttle for an additional fee of $25 each way. Please arrange to arrive by 3PM the day before the conference and depart after 2PM the closing day of the conference.
- Overnight lodging is available at Chingachgook in rustic, heated, shared bunk cabins with bathrooms in a separate building. The cost for lodging is $25 per night.
- The Best Western Hotel in Lake George offers a discounted rate of $85/night for conference attendees, please call the hotel directly at 518-668-5701 and mention “Camp Chingachgook YMCA.” A shuttle will be provided to and from Camp each day.
- There is also a block of rooms reserved at a discounted rate of $109/night at the Courtyard by Marriott Lake George, click here to reserve a room or call 518-761-1150 and Mention “Camp Chingachgook.” A shuttle will be provided to and from Camp each day.
Mail: YMCA Camp Chingachgook. 1872 Pilot Knob Rd. Kattskill Bay, NY 12844.
For more questions please call 518-656-9462.
The North American Camp Food Service Conference is an Educational Endorsed program of the American Camp Association and also endorsed by the YMCA and the Girl Scouts.
For more information please visit www.adirondacktraininginstitute.org
Adult Snowshoe Excursion
Explore the Adirondacks Via Snowshoe!
Keep cabin fever at bay and explore the beauty of the Adirondacks in the winter season. No previous experience required! Whether you’re a beginner or have years of experience, our staff will create a custom adventure exploring the network of trails surrounding Chingachgook. This event runs from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm and is $43 for YMCA members and $48 for nonmembers. Snowshoes, instruction and lunch are included in the cost.
For more information call 518-656-9462
Returning Campers (including summer) register here
New Campers register here
Earth Service Awards
YMCA Earth Service Awards
On Tuesday May 1, 2018 Camp Chingachgook will host the 13th Annual YMCA Earth Service Awards, recognizing area high school students who have demonstrated a commitment to improving the environment. Camp Chingachgook will also recognize the Earth Service Educator of the Year at this event.
High School students from Warren, Washington, and Saratoga Counties are eligible to apply for the $1,000.00 scholarship award. One overall winner will be selected. All nominees will be recognized at the awards banquet.
The YMCA Earth Service Awards banquet is open to the public. RSVP email@example.com
If you have questions, please contact Tricia Biles, Director of Outdoor Education and Group Services – (518) 656-9462 ext. 6644.
2017 recipient Freya Birkas-Dent with Executive Director, John Lefner and Educators of the Year John Burns and Amy Maxwell
Fall Festival Open House
Enjoy Fall in the Adirondacks at Camp Chingachgook’s Fall Festival
Chingachgook is opening its doors for families to enjoy a day of FREE fun in the beautiful Adirondacks! Outdoor fun for the whole family will include archery, hikes, s’mores, tours & seasonal crafts.
Saturday, October 28th 2017
10:00 am until 4:00 pm
All ages welcome!
On the shores of Lake George, Camp Chingachgook
FREE! Activities and lunch are complimentary!
RSVP is required, please call our office at 518-656-9462
to reserve your spot today!