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  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.


One happy camper’s mom

Summer 2018 “Make it Ourselves Camp”

Summer 2018 “Make it Ourselves Camp” will bring out the best in our staff, campers, and facilities! 

Summer 2018 at Camp WA WA Segowea will feature the theme “Make it Ourselves Camp!”  This theme will add additional excitement to our “Classic WA WA” experience and give campers even more of what they love most about “WA WA!”

“Classic WA WA” group activities such as capture the flag, the overnight, game night (known traditionally as “Casino Night”), carnival, and the olympics, along with individual skill choices such as swimming, boating, archery, and arts and crafts will again be offered as the basis for our 2018 programs.

“Make it Ourselves Camp” will add opportunities for campers to deepen their “WA WA” experience and build a tree house, maintain and harvest a camp garden, learn outdoor survival skills, and participate in enhanced classes to make textiles, build and cook in a solar oven and much more!  When we reflected this fall on the success of summer 2017, what stood out as central to the WA WA experience is our ability to do things in the wilderness together.  As “WA WAs” we saw a clear tradition of making and trying new things, and of building community while away from what we consider necessities during the rest of the year.

For Summer 2018:  “Make It Ourselves Camp,” we are going to see how much further we can take our adventures at Camp WA WA Segowea!  We want to consider how much more we can create together, what new challenges we can tackle, and even in what ways we can better care for our community!

The following programs and sessions will be offered for Summer 2018: “Do it Ourselves Camp” at Camp WA WA Segowea:

Session 1:  July 15- July 28, 2018

Session 2:  July 29- August 11, 2018

*1 week “Mini Sessions” are available for Base Camp during both sessions

Family Camp Labor Day Weekend:  August 31- September 3, 2018

Base Camp, 8-14 year olds:

  • Campers thrive in a community environment that encourages self-expression, friendship building, risk taking, and outdoor play. Campers participate in twice daily all-camp activities, daily swim lessons, and choose afternoon skill building classes. Together with five to eight other campers and two experienced counselors, base campers create a cabin home that is an integral part of the larger Camp community. A sleep out under the stars is a highlight of the first week of each session and a camp dance closes the experience at the end of the second week.

Teen Camp, 12-14 year olds:

  • Teen Camp, Session 1:  “Base Challenge:”  Enjoy day outings into all the beauty that surrounds Camp WA WA!  Special programming will include day hikes & a canoe outing, weekly overnights, and skill building experiences customized for our teen campers.
  • Session 2:  “AT Challenge” Embark on a two-night, three day hike on the Appalachian Trail!  Additional special programming will include day hikes and a canoe outing, and select skill building experiences customized for teen campers.

Leadership Camp (LITs & CITs), 9 & 10 Grade Graduates:

  • Leaders in Training (LITs) are 9th and 10th grade graduates who are beginning their journey towards becoming counselors.  LITs can attend for 1 or 2 sessions and live in an independent cabin while assisting Base Camp counselors with the camp program.
  • Counselors in Training (CITs) are 10th grade graduates who join a month long program (Sessions 1 & 2) that prepares them to become Junior Counselors.  CITs also have the option of becoming Certified Lifeguards and will be trained in First Aide and CPR.  Both LITs and CITs engage in a leadership program that teaches the basics of camper development, skill instruction, and leadership potential.

To learn more about Camp WA WA Segowea,  and for more information about our “Campership” scholarship program that provides tuition assistance to campers in need, please visit! Registration will open just as soon as we finalize our 2018 updates.  Register before January 15 to receive $100 off camper sessions!

It’s December, and we CANNOT WAIT for July to arrive!

We hope you join us and bring your friends!

SUMMER 2018:  

A Successful Giving Tuesday!

[Posted by Lisa Perks]

Thank you to the many people who made our first Giving Tuesday fundraiser a success! With your help, we were able to surpass our goal and raise $1685 for camper scholarships. Wow!

That fundraising total can help several kids spend two weeks at camp.  Many of our families need just a bit of financial help to make camp possible. They’re saving through the year. They’re doing payment plans. Our scholarship fund is often used to just close the remaining gap. That little bit of help is what I needed my first summer when I fell in love with WA WA and asked my parents if I could stay an extra two weeks! It’s a common story you’ll hear from many alumni.

If you missed Giving Tuesday, have no fear! We have several fundraisers and events coming up this winter and spring that could really use your support:

  • Gift Wrapping at Barnes and Noble in Poughkeepsie (12/2 from 3-9pm; 12/16 from 9am-9pm)
  • The Smith Park Board Annual Campaign
  • The CrowdRise Online Fundraiser
  • The Segowea NCAA Online Basketball Pool in Mid-March
  • The Wally Waddle 5K Walk/Run and Free Kids Runs on Mother’s Day at Vassar Farm



Fall WA WA Family Day is just around the corner!  

With Summer quickly fading behind us, Camp WA WA Segowea is looking forward to celebrating the beauty of Fall on Harmon Pond!  

Alumni and new friends will be making the gorgeous drive to Fall WA WA Family Day on Saturday, October, 7th for a day with activities for everyone in the family!  

Fall WA WA Family Day activities are scheduled from 11 AM until 3 PM and will include pressing apples into cider, fire wood collection and fire building, a fall art craft, and canoeing if the weather is sunny!  

The historic camp facility is located on one of the most beautiful ponds in the Berkshires, down a dirt road hidden just outside of the small township of Southfield, MA.  

The Camp’s lodge, lake-side porch, and outer grounds will be open for ballgames and leaf gazing, and a simple hearty lunch will be served at noon 

Fall WA WA Family Day is a free event and is open to the public.  Guests are encouraged to bring apples for pressing!  

Please RSVP via the Facebook event or by emailing our Camp Director, Lily, at  For more information about Camp WA WA Segowea, please visit or like us on Facebook at Camp WA WA Segowea!