Campership scholarships have been a part of the Camp WA WA Segowea tradition since the camp first started in 1913.. Back then, an ad posted in the Poughkeepsie Journal reached out to “Boys in need of assistance to get to camp” (because it was an all boys camp way back then…). Those youth in need could write to the camp director and secure their spot in a cabin for the summer.
Today, I am so proud that camp is continuing to ensure that kids make it to camp each summer regardless of their family’s ability to pay the full fee.
In the past year, Smith Park of New York, the parent non-profit organization that operates Camp WA WA Segowea, increased the campership fund to $40,000. With camp just a month away it is time to raise the last funds needed to get all the kids to camp!
Last year before we launched this final campership scholarship push, I wrote a blog post about why so many of us give to make Camp WA WA camperships possible.
And this year, I wanted to focus on what we receive when we remain committed to camperships.
Including campers from diverse economic backgrounds at Camp WA WA means we get to run a bustling program in the summer that creates a true form of community, one built on support, understanding, perspective-taking, and empathy. It introduces everyone to the ways we all live, play, and learn together on our 450 acres of Berkshire woods.
When I was a camper at Camp WA WA, receiving a campership scholarship meant I got to learn how to swim, and become a strong enough swimmer to swim across the lake and back. It also meant I got to grow friendships that are now going on 27 years old. And, perhaps most importantly, I was given a stake in a program and set of traditions that strengthened my character in more ways than I will ever be able to count.
For this summer, giving to camperships means we ensure that youth who have experienced homelessness, major family changes and losses, big ups and downs in school, and pulled through numerous other challenges during this past year, can count on Camp WA WA to be a timeless and consistent part of their summer experience. Giving is our tradition. It’s the WA WA way.
Starting on Monday, June 10 we will launch our annual Director’s Campership Drive to raise the last funds needed for this summer’s camperships. You can make a donation to the Director’s Campership Drive via our Facebook Fundraiser found HERE or by donating through our website below.
You can also send a check to Smith Park of New York, Inc. at P.O Box 4994, Poughkeepsie, NY, 12602.
I will give generously to the Director’s Campership Fund Drive because knowing that I’m doing my part to keep nature, adventure, friendship, community, and endless summer days a strong part of all WA WA camper’s summers means the world to me. I hope you will join me and make a generous donation too!
Lily Mercogliano Easton
Camp Director, Camp WA WA Segowea