It’s time for Family Camp Weekend!

Dear Camp WA WA Families and Friends,

As our last overnight camper session of the summer wraps up, we are looking forward to extending our summer on Harmon Pond at Camp WA WA Segowea as long as possible!

Labor Day Weekend is our final weekend of summer programming and we will be bringing together families and friend groups of all ages for the best end to summer.

Labor Day weekend Family Camp features numerous ways for families to unwind, including:
    •    Delicious made from scratch meals three times per day.
    •    Unlimited boating and swimming on our spring fed pond.
    •    Hikes, ball games, and daily activities perfect for all ages of kids and adults.  
    •    A break from electronic entertainment, wifi, and cell reception (we do have a landline!).
Group cabins are $500 (for up to 8 guests) and include all programming and meals, individual bunks are $125 per person. Registration is found at app.campdoc.com/register/segowea. Please note bunks are limited to our 11 cabins, and registration will close on August 14. 

For questions, email our camp director, Lily, at lily@smithpark.org or call 413-229-9110 by August 10.

Happy Camping!
Lily Mercogliano Easton
Camp Director
Camp WA WA Segowea

Campers in front of lodge

10 Years of Wally Waddling

It started 10 years ago with a question.  How can we bring families together to enjoy the outdoors while raising money for camp? The answer, the WA WA Wally Waddle. This Mother’s Day tradition will once again take place at the Vassar Farms Ecological Preserve in Poughkeepsie, NY and features 3 races. Wally starting the kids race 100 yard dash with Wally for kids 6 and younger.  1 mile race for kids 13 and younger. Running the 5k 5k for anyone who can run/walk/hop 3.1 miles. The Wally Waddle comes alive with the help of WA WA Segowea alumni and current staff members, members of the Mid-Hudson Road Runners Club, and community business sponsors. The Waddle features not only 3 races, but also face painting, balloon animals, and arts & craft projects led by Camp Segowea staff. Child with balloon animals As we enter our 10th year we have raised over $30,000 to help send children to Camp Segowea. Registrations for the events, day-of raffles, and donations collected around this healthy, community event go towards sending children to Camp WA WA for two-week sessions. Your participation at the Waddle is not only important for the fun of having more friends to join us, but also to help us send more kids to Camp each summer.
10th Annual WA WA Wally Waddle 5k and Kids Runs.
    • Vassar Farms corner of Raymond and Hooker Ave.  Map
    • Sunday May 12th, 2019 (Mother’s Day)
    • Race Day registration 7:30-9:00 am
    • Kids 1 mile 9:00 am (free if you preregister $5 on race day)
    • Kids Rugby Field Rush 100 yards 9:15 am (free)
    • 5K Run/Walk 9:30 am ($20 preregistration $25 race day)
    • Awarding of the Pies around 10:30 am
    • T-shirts to the 1st 150 Registered 5k runners
    • Free games, face painting and balloon animals for the kids

Register online here

Visit www.wallywaddle.org to learn more.

Smith Park Annual Appeal: Firefly #8

Smith Park Annual AppealThanks to the leadership of the Smith Park Board ofDirectors, the volunteers who serve on our non-profit board,our Annual Campaign was launched this month and has raised$6,000 to date. Annual Campaign donors become members ofSmith Park of New York, giving them the ability to vote for ourboard of Directors at the Annual Meeting in March. Please read issue #8 of the Firefly for all the latest Camp Segowea news.

Family Camp Gives Time for Real Family Down Time

Camp WA WA Family Camp over Labor Day Weekend is an opportunity for everyone in a family to unwind and take in the very last moments of summer! 

Our Camp Director, Lily Mercogliano Easton, brings her family of four to Camp WA WA Family Camp and in this latest blog post she shares her three favorite features of this unique summer escape.

1.  Building Community With Other Families!  A vacation with other people for my kids to meet and play with is my favorite kind of vacation because it is easier for my husband and I to relax while they are off having fun!  

2.  Natural Wonders Provide Endless Entertainment!  Searching for frogs, tossing rocks in the lake, running across the field, watching for beavers, taking out a canoe, and collecting sticks provide my kids with endless ways to have fun.  It is magical to watch how that final walk down the dusty camp road into our lakeside valley pushes away digital needs and replaces them with the strongest desire to explore outside! 

3.  Cooking is Optional!  Camp WA WA’s Camp Cook prepares delicious hot meals all day Saturday and Sunday, and breakfast on Monday.  All meals are served family style in the dining hall.  A cereal and yogurt bar at breakfast, and lunchtime and dinner salad, soup, and PBJ bar in addition to the main courses means everyone can find what they want.  Campers help set and clear the tables, and can join in with meal prep only if desired!

Camp WA WA Family Camp 2018 is Friday, August 31 through Monday, September 3.  Day passes are available for Sunday, September 1.  Rent a family cabin for the whole weekend or come visit for the day!  

Registration for Family Camp is completed online at campdoc.com.  Group Cabins are limited to first come basis. For questions, please email our Camp Director by August 12.

Why We Give…

Kids on Steps

The idea of giving back is central to the “WA WA Way,” our unwritten code of how we treat each other, and our beloved camp, when we are at Camp WA WA Segowea (and hopefully, when we are out in the wider world too!).

We all participate in chores every day, and we all extend the gift of friendship to our fellow campers.  We also keep in mind that camp is home to wildlife for the entire year and we are only guests during the summer, a notion that requires we give our furry friends and local fauna both space and respect at all times!

And we extend the camp experience to as many campers as possible each year, regardless of financial ability to cover all of the costs of a camp session.

Smith Park of New York, Inc., the non-profit organization that runs Camp WA WA Segowea, gives generous “Campership” scholarships ranging from over $1,000 to $100 to meet the needs of our families.  In 2017 Smith Park gave out over $25,000 in Camperships to 36 campers! This year our program capacity has expanded, and over 40 campers have applied for campership support to attend camp.

We continue the tradition of “Campership” scholarships because we know that every camper that comes to Camp WA WA will give back in one way or another.  And with this in mind we celebrate each and every camper that makes the effort to attend for the very first time or return for another year!

Starting this Monday, June 18, we are launching our second annual “Director’s Drive”- a special fund intended to get our final campers to camp this summer!  You can donate to the Camp WA WA Director’s Fund via our fundraiser on Facebook HERE or directly through our paypal account found HERE.

I will give generously to the Camp WA WA Director’s Drive because I was once a kid who needed campership in order to attend and I want all campers to have the same chance to experience Camp WA WA!  I hope you will give generously too!

With Love,

Lily Mercogliano Easton

Camp Director, WWS ‘93

Why We Waddle

Swimming in a pristine lake, reading under the shade of generations-old oak trees, racing through the woods during a game of capture the flag, sleeping in a bunk-bed and drifting off to the croaks of bullfrogs or the far-off hoots of a great horned owl, living and playing with people of all backgrounds: that is Camp WA WA Segowea. Kids find their independence, make lifetime friendships, and learn how to live conscientiously in a community. Everyone’s experiences and journeys are unique, but Smith Park of New York (SPONY), believes Camp WA WA Segowea offers true, life-changing growth that should be accessible to all kids, from all backgrounds.

SPONY alumni and friends are the backbone of these experiences. They help to fund Camper Scholarships through events, social campaign fundraising, and through volunteer service. This is how Camp WA WA Segowea can give the summer outdoor camp experience to those that need a little extra help.

 

The Annual WA WA Wally Waddle 5K and Kids Run is organized by WA WA Alumni in cooperation with the Mid-Hudson Road Runners Club and held on Mother’s Day every year at Vassar Farms Ecological Preserve in Poughkeepsie, NY. This popular family event directly funds Camper Scholarship for Camp WA WA Segowea. Registrations for the events, day-of raffles, and donations collected around this healthy, community event go towards sending children to Camp WA WA for two-week sessions. Your participation at the Waddle is not only important for the fun of having more friends to join us, but also to help us send more kids to Camp each summer.

Please join us for the 9th Annual WA WA Wally Waddle 5K and Kids Runs.

    • Vassar Farms corner of Raymond and Hooker Ave.  Map
    • Sunday May 13th, 2018 (Mother’s Day)
    • Race Day registration 7:30-9:00 am
    • Kids 1 Mile 9:00 am (free if you preregister, $5 on race day)
    • Kids Rugby Field Rush 100 yards 9:15 am (free)
    • 5K Run/Walk 9:30 am ($20 preregistration $25 race day)
    • Awarding of the Pies around 10:30 am
    • T-shirts to the 1st 150 Registered 5k runners
    • Free games, face painting and balloon animals for the kids

Register online here

Firefly Issue #7

We are so excited to be able to continue the WA WA Segowea Camp experience for the 90th year here at Smith Park! Last year, we began the journey of not only managing the facilities but also doing the hiring, running the program, and having total responsibility in all camp matters! It was such a smashing success of “doing it ourselves”, this summer we are continuing the journey and seeing how much more we can create together! Read more about this and other things going on this spring check out issue #7 of the Firefly below.

Click Here for issue #7 of the Firefly

9th Annual WA WA Wally Waddle 5k

It may not feel like it right now, but spring is on the way, and with it the 9th Annual WA WA Wally Waddle 5k and kids run. This Mother’s Day tradition will once again take place at Vassar Farms and features 3 races: a 100 yard dash with Wally for kids 6 and younger, a 1 mile race for kids 13 and younger and a 5k for anyone who can run/walk/hop 3.1 miles. Preregistration ends at midnight Friday May 11th.

9th Annual WA WA Wally Waddle 5k and Kids Runs.
    • Vassar Farms corner of Raymond and Hooker Ave.  Map
    • Sunday May 13th, 2018 (Mother’s Day)
    • Race Day registration 7:30-9:00 am
    • Kids 1 mile 9:00 am (free if you preregister $5 on race day)
    • Kids Rugby Field Rush 100 yards 9:15 am (free)
    • 5K Run/Walk 9:30 am ($20 preregistration $25 race day)
    • Awarding of the Pies around 10:30 am
    • T-shirts to the 1st 150 Registered 5k runners
    • Free games, face painting and balloon animals for the kids

Register online here

WA WA Magic Warms Up Winter!


January brings many things: hopes and goals for the New Year, a return to school from holiday breaks, and for many of us, the beginning of our countdown to summer camp!

This January, we were fortunate to get a special note from a parent whose child attended Camp WA WA for the first time last summer. We are happy to share the letter in it’s entirety below. This letter beautifully highlights the experience thousands of campers have had at WA WA over the past 90 years, and is such an awesome reminder of how powerful our program can be for an individual camper. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Dear Camp WA WA…

I’m writing this letter as if you were a dear friend… because – it feels like you are. We don’t “know each other” personally – you know my daughter. Do you remember her because SHE REMEMBERS YOU! In fact, she talks about YOU all the time! You see, last year – my daughter had the blessing and gift of receiving a scholarship to visit you. Did you know you changed her life?

Let me tell you Wa Wa – you are MY friend for life now too.

You might not know this but the little girl who left and the little girl who came back were two very different people. You are a very good friend to have – you give little girls so many things. I sent you a little girl with anxiety and fears and some broken pieces… I had no idea you would send me back a child who was brave and self-confident – who learned skills to fix her OWN broken pieces.

This little girl has not had an easy life. She was so scared to travel to WA WA where she knew no one and had no friends. She had never been away from me for more the 2 nights! She balked 2 weeks before camp started but we talked a lot about being brave and we packed… OK we over-packed.

On drop-off day she was scared – I was terrified. Who were these people I was trusting with my little girl with her broken wings and fears? Would you know that she can get nervous sometimes when she doesn’t have a friend by her side? Would you know she practiced swimming for 2 weeks because she was terrified of the water test? Would you know that she wanted her bunk to be pretty and that she was didn’t like certain foods? She cried when I left and I almost took her back home but I gave her a pep talk and then I cried all the way to my car and sat in a parking lot wanting to go back and get her. And then for 2 weeks I chewed my nails off… and I too learned how to be brave.

I trusted you WA WA and you didn’t let me down. I got the first letters and they were hesitant but they were happy. I got more and they became joyful. She made friends – she became part of a family of people I never knew but they were HERS. YOU ARE HERS. You are not mine – you never WILL be mine except that through her – you are eternally mine. Because the day I picked up that little girl she cried again and so did I. But then – she cried on the way home – because she hated leaving her WA WA family. That’s what she calls you – her WA WA family. You became family last year. You changed a life. You helped a scared little girl become a brave little girl.

It has taken me months to write you this letter – to thank you… but you see last week the letter for WA WA came and I saw her face explode in joy again and the stories started again and the calendar went on the wall and the pictures on Facebook that have shown me memories that I am not a part of reminded me that I hadn’t written you to tell you – WA WA – you are amazing. There will never be a way to properly thank you for all the beautiful joy, love and care you give – you are not a camp – you are a family – and you change lives one at a time. Thank you for becoming part of our family.

Sincerely,

One happy camper’s mom