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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Happy New Year from Camp Wa Wa Segowea!

And what a year it was!  We began 2012 with great hopes for the coming year, and most of them were met.  We looked to increase the number of kids who were able to experience our beloved camp, expand the programming a bit as well as continue the traditions of years past.  We were able to accomplish quite a bit, but were unsuccessful in increasing our enrollment.   We jumped a bit in enrollment from the summer of 2010 to 2011 and came close to matching 2011's numbers for this past summer. The good news is that the return rate of campers increased moderately (and consistently over the past 2 years) and that means the campers are having a good time and coming back!

For the year 2013, we will begin differently than we did last year.  As we are no longer affiliated with the Capital District YMCA, we are continuing the process we have set in place back in September.  We're very close to making a decision which direction we will move towards.   We very much appreciate your patience and hopefully, within the next couple of blog posts, we'll be able to break the news.   We've heard from a few of you, wondering what's happening next summer at camp.  We are able to tell you that we will have Camp for the summer of 2013, our 100th Anniversary!   

Because it is the end of the year, we tend to take a look back and put it all in perspective.  We see the good things that happened and the not so good things.  We saw that campers came to camp and simply had a wonderful time.  They played games and they swam in Harmon Pond.  They fished and they ran.  They made new friends and shared their lives for a short period of time.  They sang and they got bug bites.  They learned new things about themselves and they enhanced their knowledge of the outdoors.   And oh yeah, they had fun.  

Some kids were able to do all of this because of donations made by people like you who know the Summer Camp experience is vital for children.  We want to say thanks to all the members of the Wa Wa Family for making these donations.  If you'd like to contribute before the end of the year, consider making a donation to camp.  Send your donations to Smith Park of New York  PO Box 4994  Poughkeepsie, NY 12602.

We're on the lookout for pictures from camp!  We'll be doing a blog post of "Then and Now" featuring pictures contributed by you.  Please refer to the email for the details.  Here's a couple of examples-

                                                    Max from 2010, 2011 and 2012

Mike from 1982 and 2012

Keeping with the theme of taking a look back, here's just a few pictures from this past summer. They are part of our series we call "Camp is…".

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Happy Holidays from Camp Wa Wa Segowea!

We're carrying on a few traditions this time of year with our camp foremost in our hearts and minds.   First up is our great new 2013 Camp Calendars!  They're a great stocking stuffer of course and inexpensive as well.  They contain all new pictures from this past summer and fall (one of which is below).    This year, we've also added a 2nd calendar, commemorating our 100th Anniversary next year with a "Camp Classic" theme.  This one contains older pictures, including the one below too.  The cost is $12 for each one and $3 for shipping and you can get yours at the Friends of Segowea website, HERE.  Proceeds will go towards scholarships for kids to go to camp.  So pick up one, both of them or one for every member of the family!  Thanks to the Van Alstynes for again,  coordinating the whole project and getting them done!  

Our second tradition is a fundraising event held at Barnes & Noble in Poughkeepsie.  Each year, for the past 3 years, Kristen Hendrickson has coordinated and run the "Gift Wrapping for Wa Wa" at Barnes & Noble.  Kristin doesn't even work there anymore, but she is able to carry on the tradition, wrap some presents, and raise money to send kids to camp!    It's happening on two Saturdays, one past, on December 1st and one to come in a couple days- December 8th.  If you have books on your list to purchase, why not get them at Barnes and Noble and get them gift wrapped!  We want to thank all that stopped by to say hi on December 1st including a few alumni from camp from the 1950's, the 1960's and just this past summer of 2012!   The alumni shared some stories, saw some pictures and made nice donations to camp and we thank them for that.

If you can't stop by to get your gifts wrapped, you can always send in a tax deductible donation to benefit camp.  Send them to Smith Park of New York P.O. Box 4994, Poughkeepsie, NY 12602.

So what is happening with camp?  The latest news is that we've (Smith Park of New York) received the requests for proposals (RFPs) from interested parties looking to operate the camp.  We remain encouraged by the process and are busy going through the RFPs.  Once one is selected, we'll be sure to let you know.  It is our privilege and duty to ensure that Camp Wa Wa Segowea continues to be a place where children can be who they are meant to be.

Here's some pictures from the first Saturday of gift wrapping and a couple sample calendar shots.

2013 Camp Calendar (April)

2013 Camp Classic Calendar (September)

We wish you all a Happy Holiday season!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Camp Wa Wa Segowea's music

As we get ready to celebrate our 100th year at Camp Segowea in 2013, one of the  fondest memories that campers and staff have through the years is the music at camp.  Whether it's the Opening campfire, music during the day, at chapel, the dance, Banquet night or the Friendship Circle before going to bed, music is a big part of Wa Wa.  

This week, we thought we'd share some of the songs we've sung, played and listened to over the years.  If you have a favorite song from camp, that's not here, share it with us and leave it in the comments section.  These versions may differ from the way it was sung at camp or how you remember it.   If you have a better version, let us know as well! 

Where do the Children Play?


Bring me a Rose.

I love the Mountains.

Cat's in the Cradle.


Where have all the flowers gone?


The Bear Song.

It's Amazing.




If I had a Hammer.




One Tin Soldier.


The Shark Song.

The Buffalo Song.


Stairway to Heaven (ok, not really a camp song, but it was played a lot!)

and finally, Taps.


In less than two weeks on December 1st, get your shopping and gift wrapping done at Barnes & Noble all day!  Camp Wa Wa Segowea's alumni Minna & Kristen (and others) will be there gift wrapping and collecting donations towards camp.  If you can't attend on that day, they're also gift wrapping on Dec 8th.  Stop by, do some shopping and say hello!  It's the Barnes & Noble in Poughkeepsie, NY on Route 9.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

We made it through Hurricane Sandy here at Camp Wa Wa Segowea!

What is normally a quiet time of year for us, is not so quiet this year.  We've been busy, and wanted to give you an update on what's been occurring here at camp and camp related items in general.

Hurricane Sandy
There are plenty of tree limbs down and some window damage, but overall we were really lucky.  There was heavy rain, high speed winds and a power outage for a couple days.   But help is on the way!  Cadets from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, who were already here helping Norm put in insulation in Page Lodge, have volunteered to return to Wa Wa to help clean up the debris around camp.  Thank you very much cadets!    Window damage also occurred in Keller cabin, so we're looking for a volunteer/volunteers with glass window experience to assist in fixing them .  Any volunteers out there?  Please contact us at  
There was no significant disruption that occurred, but that may not be the same for others in the Segowea community.  Our thoughts are with all of you as you deal with the effects of Hurricane Sandy.

Camp Wa Wa Segowea
The latest news is that we've received a good deal of interest in seeing that camp continues next summer.  We've sent out Letters of Interest, received replies, and now the next stage of the process is we've sent out RFP's (Request For Proposal) to those interested parties.  We've very encouraged on the responses we've seen, and rest assured, we're committed to having camp open for the summer of 2013, our 100th Anniversary!  We've already had camp tours for the interested parties and we will continue to do even more.   We've set the deadline of November 30th for receiving these RFP's and we will know more after then.

Gordon Ackerman
We are very sad to pass on the news of Camp Segowea fixture, Gordon Ackerman.  "Gordy" passed away recently in Poughkeepsie, NY.  He will forever be known as one of Camp's biggest supporters.  He spent many weekends at camp as one half of "Frick and Frack", with the other half being Bob Gaddis.  The two of them consistently gave of themselves to insure that Segowea would continue to serve and develop kids.  It is with this dedication to camp, that a scholarship fund is in the works already to honor the two of them.  Smith Park has begun to receive donation pledges to what we're temporarily calling "The Frick and Frack Scholarship Fund".  Gordy's family also had donations to Smith Park requested in lieu of flowers at his service, and we thank them deeply for that. Tax deductible donations and/or pledges can be sent to Smith Park of New York, Inc.  PO Box 4994 Poughkeepsie, NY 12602.

              Camp "Fixtures" (L-R) Bob Gaddis, Al Raymond, Gordy Ackerman and Dick Thomas

Here's some recent camp photos-

The new loft!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Camp Wa Wa Segowea- More Fall Happenings!

It's October 15th and just one week remains in the Camp Wa Wa Segowea: A Century of Community T-Shirt design contest!   Have you submitted your design yet?  Yes, that's great!  No? The deadline is October 23rd, so get designing!  The T-shirt image will also be used for the "Save the date" postcards to be sent out.  What will the design be?  The lodge?  the waterfront?  the chapel?  Maybe something totally unique?  Or perhaps a combination of a few things?  Keep in mind the theme is our 100th Anniversary of Camp Wa Wa Segowea- A Century of Community and thus the design should be related to it.  Send designs to  Get your design in!

It is October 15th and we wanted to give you an update on what's happening here at Camp Wa Wa Segowea.  The Smith Park Board has sent out a Letter of Interest (seen in last months post -- to many, many places.   We've received not only some replies of interest, but also several offers to assist us "in any way possible" from our close by neighbor summer camps.  We're very encouraged through this process by these offers as well as the dedication of the volunteers and alumni comments made to us.   We are sifting through these replies, coordinating camp tours and readying our RFP (Request for Proposal) for the next step.   If you do have any questions regarding this, please ask!  Send them to 

This weekend, October 20th and 21st, is the last work weekend of the camp year and you are invited to attend!  A lot of the "closing procedures" have been done, but there's still things to do.  One big project consists of replacing Raymond Cabin's roof.  Raymond Cabin is a staff cabin and is one of the nicer buildings on the camp grounds.  (It's also the one I stayed in this summer and I can personally tell you, the roof leaks!)  This big project means we need a lot of help to accomplish this needed task!  Other projects include painting as well as moving the last few items to storage for the winter.    The tough tasks of pulling in the swim docks and putting the shutters up in the lodge and the dining hall are already done, so we don't have to worry about them.  So come up for a couple hours, for the day or the whole weekend.   We promise you won't have to work the entire time!  If you plan on coming, please let us know. Reply to  It's a great chance to see the camp, perhaps show it off to your friends (invite them up!) and get some work done.  The leaves have just about all changed or fallen, but it's still gorgeous!

Here's some pictures taken the last couple of weekends. 

And a look at "Page Lodge" just about completed!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Camp Wa Wa Segowea: The Next Step

Greetings from Wa Wa!

The following letter is being sent out to potential interested parties.

Letters of Interest Requested

September 29, 2012

Are you an organization looking to expand or enhance programming in a beautiful outdoor setting? Here’s an opportunity to support your agency’s mission and enrich children’s lives by partnering with Camp Wa Wa Segowea.

Camp Wa Wa Segowea is located in the beautiful Berkshires of Western Massachusetts on approximately 500 wooded acres surrounding a 26-acre spring-fed lake. Camp Segowea has operated for more than 90 years as a summer camp for children. It is conveniently located about one hour from Albany, NY, Hartford, CT, and Pittsfield, MA. Our recent Capital Campaign has resulted in significant improvements to the facility. The grounds include a main lodge, dining hall with full service kitchen, nature lodge, athletic fields, 11 cabins made of American Chestnut, two, two-bedroom director’s cabins, a bathroom and shower facility, winterized health lodge, outpost camping areas, outdoor “Chapel,” campfire area with benches, five Adirondack lean-tos, hiking trails, and a waterfront including two swim areas, sailboats, rowboats, and canoes. The camp can accommodate approximately 90 children.

We are currently accepting Letters of Interest for potential partners interested in:
(A) Leasing the land for seasonal camp or retreat offerings
(B) Working together with the governing board to run a summer camp.

Letters of Interest should be emailed by November 1st to

Letters of Interest should include:
 Contact Name
 Agency /Affiliation / Organization
 Address
 Phone Number
 Email
 Website

Briefly describe your organization and intended use of the property. Include target population and estimated number of people who will be on site. Describe why this location would be advantageous to your organization for this particular program.

For more information about the camp, go to or Camp Wa Wa Segowea on Facebook. Any questions about the Letter of Interest should be emailed to

Thank You!
Smith Park of New York Board

Here's a map of Camp and a Building Inventory.

      (Click to enlarge map)

BUILDING INVENTORY USE                                       CAPACITY

Smith Lodge/Dining Hall              Recreation Building, Kitchen & Dining              100 people

Cabin Row (11 Chestnut cabins)      Camper/Counselor Bunks                         8 Campers/ 2 staff each

Beacon                                          Restroom & Bathhouse                          100 people

Nature Lodge                           Arts & Crafts/Activity Area                         10-12 people

Raymond Cabin                                  Staff Housing                                         2-4 people

Keller Cabin                                       Staff Housing                                           2-4 people
Hart Lodge                              Staff Housing/Camp Office                               4-5 people

Page Lodge                                    Staff Housing                                          2-4 people

Thomas Estate                           Overflow Housing                                        4-10 people

Senior Village                           Adventure Program                            2-4 people per Lean-To
(5- Adirondack Lean-tos)

And some pictures of what we have available!

                                                        The Main Lodge

The Dining Hall

The Kitchen

The Nature Lodge.

Athletic Fields

Cabin Row

Inside the cabins

Keller Cabin

Beacon (Restroom and Bathhouse)


Council Ring

Senior Village

The Waterfront