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Friday, May 27, 2011

Summer is almost here at Camp Wa Wa Segowea!

It's now less than a month to go before the 2011 Camp Wa Wa Segowea summer season starts! On this date, one month from today, it will be the first full day of camp! Parents will have dropped off their kids on Sunday, June 26th, met the Wa Wa Staff and then said their goodbyes. Kids will just begin to experience the magic Segowea offers- the ability to expand their capabilities, be adventurous, make new friends and of course have fun! On this day, the swim test takes place, watched over closely by the Waterfront Director and camp counselors (college-age young adults) who honestly care about kids. Kids get the full tour of camp and enjoy nature at its finest. They also decide what activities they would most like to take as their skill classes. Everyone takes swimming and then decide what else they would like to participate in. Perhaps it will be something they already know a bit about or maybe something they've never tried before but always wanted to?

Will it be canoeing?

Field Sports and Basketball?

Arts & Crafts?

or a camper favorite- Archery!

Maybe sailing?

Learning more about nature?

or a new class of "Building with Norm"?

or a Cooking class?

Whatever they decide to take part in, they'll be sure to have a great time while learning valuable skills. That's just one part of the child's stay at Camp Wa Wa Segowea! Campers will have lots of opportunities to be adventurous during games and other activity times, to play, sing and just be. There'll be free swim, open boating, and there's almost always a game of box ball happening! There's just enough balance between the scheduled activities and the free time to let the camper increase their self-confidence and self-esteem while appreciating nature in our beautiful outdoor setting.

Enrollment is easy and available online. ( The week long sessions start June 26th and run till August 26th. If the child is staying for a couple weeks (or even more), they can always stay over the weekend. You can talk directly to the camp director Kat Fitzpatrick at 518-656-9462 or There's still a couple Open Houses left on the schedule for those who wish to see the camp in person for the first time or those who wish to see it again before the summer! There's this Sunday, May 29th, as well as June 5th and June 19th. RSVP to Kat and come out and enjoy!
Like these guys did a couple weeks ago-

Also, some recent news online of Camp Segowea- a mention in the New Marlborough Village News (Page 18) and one runner's view of the recent Wa Wa Wally Waddle-
Thanks to both for the mentions!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Camp Wa Wa Segowea 2011 Spring Happenings!

It's hard to believe there's only 39 days and counting till the first day of camp! Before we know it, children will be seen and heard at Camp Segowea, having a great time, learning about their surroundings and making new friends. The first week begins on June 26th and Camp Director Kat Fitzpatrick is very busy planning for the best summer yet! She's making sure it's a fun, safe summer and everything is just right! Both the Boys and Girls Unit Head Directors were at camp this past Sunday and both can't wait to start. But they'll have to wait because there's still Spring! But even Spring is flying by, and is still full of camp events. Open Houses have been held (with more to come), work weekends are on the schedule (one this weekend) and we've just had the Wa Wa Wally Waddle Weekend!

The Waddle Weekend began on Saturday with the Smith Park Board meeting where we welcomed new board member, Lou Falk. It is because of Smith Park together with the Capital District YMCA that we were able to re-open the camp last year with all the improvements. The meeting was held at the same location of the Pasta Dinner that night- at Christ Episcopal Church in Poughkeepsie. This was the 2nd year of the dinner at the church and we thank them very much for the use of the hall as well as their hospitality! After the board meeting, volunteers were setting up and preparing for the dinner. We received donations from Better Bite, Olive Garden, Con-Agra Foods and members of the Wa Wa Family, and because everything was donated, we had no expenses! Before we knew it, we were ready to serve and so we did- on tables with great centerpieces made by Amy! We had 50+ people enjoy a dinner of spaghetti, meatballs, salad, garlic bread, beverages and Turtle brownies! We had a raffle of a gift basket as well to raise a little more money. The church's youth choir group, who were practicing in another part of the church joined us and even performed a few songs for us. They were fantastic! After the whole night was over, we had raised enough money to send a kid to camp!

On Sunday, the day began bright and early for Lisa and Josh Perks, the organizers of the Wa Wa Wally Waddle. It was a soggy start as the clouds opened up just in time for the setting up of the course! But the event was rain or shine, and so they pressed on. As the morning progressed however, registration for the race continued and pretty soon, the rain held up to a little drizzle now and then. A perfect day for running! All together, we had 150 people register for the race despite the weather. First there were the kids events- the 100 Yard dash and the Kids mile and then the main attraction- the race that the USA Today Online edition called "The race with the unique name"- The Wa Wa Wally Waddle! It was a 5K Race/Walk and many camp alumni ran and walked in it, including one dressed as Wally! Congratulations to all that participated and for those that supported it as well.

Because of this event, we're able to send 5 kids to camp and including the dinner total, we're able to send 6 kids to camp, just about a full cabin! Sponsors of the race were: Finnish Solutions, Nick Stoner Inn, Soul Dog Restaurant, Tubby's Bathroom Resurfacing, Mid-Hudson Oral Surgeons and Morris Associates Engineering Consultants, PLLC. Thanks to them! See some pictures of the race day below.

Sunday was also the day for a Camp Open House and even in the rain, parents and children attended and were welcomed by Kat, Norm & Dianne. (Kat actually ran in the Waddle and then went right to Camp!) If you'd like to attend an upcoming Open House, please RSVP to Kat. There's still 3 coming up- on May 29th, June 5th and June 19th. (

There's also a couple work weekends too, with one this weekend and another on June 18th-19th. There's always the calendar at the bottom of the page to check the dates! See you there!

Kids 100 Yard dash is off!

Who will win?

Gideon shows us his ribbon.

And now the Kids Mile!

Running and Waving!

Runners On Your Mark!

And they're off!

It stopped raining!

Did Sarah know that Kat was behind her?

Even Max wants to race!

Nancy finishing up and getting the high ten.

Kristen & Minna finish smiling!

The crowd applauds the winners.

The winners get their certificates.

Lisa wins a mug!

Dave wins too!

Winners receiving their prize, a special Waddle magnet!

Winner and Champion (Again!) Mike collects his prize.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

T Y M C A O P N Y S A- Where will home be for you at Camp Segowea?

It's just a few days away till the Wa Wa Wally Waddle 5k Race/Walk and Pasta Dinner take place! There's still time to register for the race, taking place on Sunday the 15th. Registration in person begins at 7:30am on Sunday, but you can still register online at The race this year has an improved race course and another kids event has been added to the festivities. And of course there's more pies! The pasta dinner takes place the night before at Christ Episcopal Church in Poughkeepsie at 20 Carroll Street, and is being served at 6 pm. We're even adding a raffle this year! Proceeds from both events are going toward camper scholarships for Camp Segowea. For more info, see the Friends of Segowea website. Hope to see you there!

1929 was a memorable year. It was the year of the stock market crash of course, but also the year construction began on the Empire State Building. Herbert Hoover was president, Singing in the Rain was playing on the radio and the Philadelphia Athletics won the World Series. Even better, it was the first year of operation of Camp Wa Wa Segowea in the Berkshires! The main lodge was built as were the cabins, and those cabins are what we're talking about today!

Eleven cabins were built using chestnut wood and those same cabins are around and being used today at camp! They were built before the chestnut blight destroyed all the trees not only on the property, but all along the east coast as well as across the country. The chestnut blight which took place in the early 20th century was caused by fungus entering into the US on Asian nursery stock coming into the New York Zoological Gardens and affected trees everywhere.

The cabins were completed before all the trees were gone and we're happy for that! Chestnut was used a lot back then for log cabins and has a natural resistance to insects and fungi. 11 cabins built here at Camp Segowea are each unique. Ticon, the last cabin on the left end is the smallest cabin and the one closest to the lake. All the way at the other end is Arapaho and is one of the larger cabins and is closest to Mt. Beacon. Back when Camp Segowea was an all boys camp, most of the cabins were used and filled with young boys enjoying the magic of Camp. Quite often the two cabins on the ends were used for storage, but put into use when the camp was full. Sometimes one cabin in the middle (usually Oneida cabin) was the directors cabin and Arapaho served as the health cabin. Later on, when Teen Camp started, the Director of Teen Camp, Dean Temple used the same tactic and stayed in the middle cabin of what was called "Cabin Row", with the boys on the left side and the girls on the right. While the camp director has their own cabin now with a great view of the lake (Keller Cabin), the same principle is used today, with the boys staying in cabins on the left side and the girls on the right closer to Mt. Beacon!

While the cabins themselves are the same, they did undergo a major sprucing up last year for the camp reopening. The support pillars were adjusted, all cabins were painted inside and out and a new screen system was installed in all the windows. Even the shutters got a makeover using a newer system to keep them up! To top all that, brand new staircases and railings were built for each cabin last year as well.

One last fact on the cabins; most Segowea alumni know that the cabins are named in order and have a special meaning. In order, from left to right it's T Y M C A O P N Y S A. or Ticon, Yukon, Mohicans, Cayuga, Apache, Oneida, Pawnee, Navajo, Yurok, Seneca and Arapaho or The Y M C A of Poughkeepsie New York State of America! The camp was of course involved with the Dutchess County YMCA back then, located in Poughkeepsie, NY.

Yes these cabins are pretty special to the long history and tradition of Camp Segowea. Each cabin today can hold up to 8 campers (on bunk beds) with a couple staff members and perhaps a CIT too! They are kept clean (or at least they're supposed to be!) every day by the people living in them and can quite often be a great place for a quiet conversation. Which one will be your favorite?

Register today for camp!