Camping Around Town

Summer is here, and with it summer camps. In addition to the quintessential summer day camps offered by Rye Recreation and the Rye YMCA, there are a great number of camps in session in or around Rye that are different from the rest.

B5Camp
Published July 19, 2012 5:00 AM
3 min read

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B5CampSummer is here, and with it summer camps. In addition to the quintessential summer day camps offered by Rye Recreation and the Rye YMCA, there are a great number of camps in session in or around Rye that are different from the rest.

By Michael Gilbert

B5CampSummer is here, and with it summer camps. In addition to the quintessential summer day camps offered by Rye Recreation and the Rye YMCA, there are a great number of camps in session in or around Rye that are different from the rest.

One of the more unique camps is the Rye Historical Society Colonial Camp. The two-week program, which has been around for close to 20 years, allows children to dress as Colonial settlers of the 17th and 18th centuries and to engage in many activities from the period. Gardening, cooking, and crafts are some of the activities campers participate in.

Jennifer Plick, the Education Curator, said the camp serves a greater purpose. “It gives children an understanding of what life was like back then, especially in Rye.” Plick added, “The children can see how that time influenced life today.”

Another camp that grew from a particular theme is the Rye Nature Center’s, which not surprisingly, focuses on nature and the connection between the children and their environment. Lauren Donnelly, one of the camp organizers, said, “We put a strong emphasis on connecting with nature, and making sure the staff utilizes all of our available resources.”

The camp is run at the Nature Center, but interesting trips are scheduled, including a hike at Cranberry Lake Preserve, and a marine life study cruise in Norwalk.

Rye Recreation Camp is the largest ‘game’ in town. This summer, they have 800 campers and 175 paid staff members and volunteers. Four separate camps are run according to age group: Kiddy Camp headed by Beth McCabe; Lower Camp headed by Dennis Hurlie; Upper Camp headed by Chris Taylor; and Camp 78 headed by Lauren Adessa.

This year, some of the trips include: a Rockland Boulders game, a visit to “Bounce”, a trampoline sports center, and a trip on off road camper trailers to Green Meadow Farms in Floral Park.

Rye Rec Superintendent Sally Rogol believes the key to running such a large and successful camp is coordination. She said proudly, “We have the best staff, a great facility, and a different variety of activities.”

At the ever-popular YMCA Discovery Camp, Head Counselor Scott Umbel and staff have put together a group of counselors double the amount required by Westchester County. And with a camp motto of “We Care Like Crazy”, the YMCA is one of the leaders in Rye summer camps.

“We have a seven-person management team, which helps us with preparation,” said Umbel.

The preparation for these camps is key, and it requires months and a few full-time employees to organize all the camp activities.

“You never have enough time for preparation,” remarked Rogol. Added Umbel, “It takes A LOT of time.”

The camps are not just an opportunity for Rye’s youth to have fun. They also provide teenagers the opportunity to work as counselors for the summer.

Paige Martin, a 2012 Rye High School grad headed to Cornell this fall, said she’s really enjoying being a counselor at the YMCA Camp, “There are lots of different activities so you’re never bored. And you develop close bonds with your co-workers and the campers.”

Carine Leslie, a soon-to-be senior at Rye High who is a counselor at the Nature Center said, “I enjoy watching the kids take such an interest in the environment.”

Clubs such as Manursing, Coveleigh, and Shenorock also offer wonderful camp experiences. And Rye children attend a number of the nearby sports camps, including

Future Stars sports camps at Purchase College, Harbor Island Tennis Camp, and Soundview Sports Camp.

One of the best camp experiences in town doesn’t start until next month. Every August, Architecture Camp at the Jay Heritage Center gives ages 7-11 the opportunity to design a dream city.

 

 

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