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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Springtime is busy at Camp Wa Wa Segowea!

The countdown to opening camp for the summer of 2012 continues!    It's been a years worth of preparing, planning and a whole lot of work, all to make sure those three months of June, July and August are truly the best experience for a child.  There is a lot at stake making sure the time spent at camp is fun.  But there's also safety, guidance, being supportive, having a quality program, healthy food, as well as a team of individuals devoted to children, all reasons to make sure kids have the chance to develop (according to the American Camping Association) independence and interdependence.   Even more,  kids have the opportunity to discover things about themselves on a daily basis which helps them in their lives at camp and through the school year.

So we are always busy!  Camp Director Kat Fitzpatrick is busy with a lot of things.  Between looking for and hiring just the right staff, visiting and participating in the different camp conferences and camp fairs, talking to parents, and past and future campers, and discussing the many aspects of camp with the different volunteer groups that support camp, the days go by very quickly for Kat!  She's very much looking forward to getting out to Camp and start the summer!

Also keeping Kat busy is of course, registering kids for camp!  Session # 1 begins in late June and the season ends in late August with Session # 9. Register now for your first choice!   Did you know it's the best value of any overnight camp in the Northeast?  Tell your neighbors. Share with your friends. Let everyone know about Camp Wa Wa Segowea!   Register online at or download the registration form and fax or mail it in.

Property Director Norm Button is also busy.  (Although it's hard to believe when Norm isn't busy!) The work continues on the beautiful land, keeping it a safe, family oriented environment.  A priority list of what needs working on before the summer begins is set, and thanks to the nice weather this late Winter/Early Spring, even the swim docks are being put in early!  

Smith Park of New York is also busy, as the recently moved Annual Meeting is happening this Saturday!  There's been a good amount of thought and planning on how to really generate more interest in seeing the camp continue to thrive for generations to come and we'll be sharing that on Saturday, March 24th at the East Greenbush YMCA from 2 pm - 4 pm.   We're holding it at that location so attendees can also make use of the YMCA for the whole day at NO COST!   Past and current Smith Park members, Past and current Camp parents, Past and current campers (see a trend here?) are all invited and encouraged to attend.  The purpose of the Annual Meeting/Get Together is see the whole picture of where we've been, where we are today and where we're headed.  We'll get the financial picture, a facilities report and you'll have an occasion to participate.   All this and raffle items and refreshments too!     We hope you can join us.

Smith Park of New York (SPONY) is the non-profit Advisory Branch Board for Camp Wa Wa Segowea and works alongside the Capital District YMCA in making sure Camp Wa Wa Segowea prospers and remains an opportunity for children to enjoy a pristine natural environment.  The founders of Smith Park,  William W, Smith, Arthur G. Smith and William W. Smith the 2nd are of course known for the Smith Brothers Cough Drops Company.  The company located in Poughkeepsie, NY has had a long tradition, just like Camp Wa Wa Segowea.  I just recently found an audio "history" of the Smith Brothers and how they came to be and thought it was fun to share.  It's from a program called "Talking History", based at the University at Albany, State University of New York and worth a listen.  

Finally, Some pictures of various past, present and future members of Smith Park of NY.  If you'd like to become a member and have a say in what happens with Camp, please contact us! 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

YMCA Camp Wa Wa Segowea March happenings!

What do a corporate meeting, swimming in a pool and a chance to see camp friends all have in common?  You can do them all in one day of course!

It's time for the Camp Reunion/Smith Park Get Together/Annual Meeting!  Well that's way too long a title and it didn't fit on a flyer, so we're just calling it a "Get Together".  

You can click on the flyer above for all the information on it and the same info is below, but first, a little history.  It was 1928 when Poughkeepsie YMCA President W.W.Smith (of the Smith Brothers Cough Drop fame) created what he called "Smith Park", which is the spot of land where camp is located today. 

It was back then, and remains today, one of the most ideal locations in America for a YMCA camp.  The Smith Park of New York Inc. was formed back in 1931 and through the years has served as the advisory board for the camp and continues today to ensure that kids enjoy the magical experience of Wa Wa Segowea.  

Smith Park's Mission Statement declares "The mission of Smith Park of New York is to ensure the continued existence of Camp Wa Wa Segowea. We will do this by maintaining financial and administrative support; as well as upholding the vision and goals of Camp Wa Wa Segowea."  SPONY, as it's abbreviated, generally meets once a month to discuss all the important camp matters at hand, making decisions on all aspects of camp with the benefit of children always at top of mind. 

They also hold an annual meeting and invite members of the organization to attend to hear all about the previous year's activities.  This was previously held in the fall, but as attendance was on the decline, they decided to switch it up this year and turn to the Early Spring/Late Winter time period.

And that's where the some pool swimming, a reunion and the meeting,  all come together!  

Smith Park of NY would like to welcome you to the Smith Park Get Together!  It's being held March 24th in East Greenbush, NY on Community Way at the East Greenbush YMCA.  Attendees will have full use of the Y for the day, meaning not only swimming  in the heated pool, you'll also have access to the basketball courts, the steam room, the sauna and the whirlpool.

In the afternoon, from 2 to 5 pm, we'll have the "Get Together" portion of the day.  All are invited to join us!  You don't have to be a Smith Park member to attend, but we'd encourage you to become a member, so you can have an official say in what happens with camp.  Members vote on important aspects of camp and membership dues ($30) go into the Smith Park Endowment Fund which supports Camp Wa Wa Segowea.

What will happen in the afternoon is we'll get the financial picture of camp, a facilities report and you'll have the opportunity to participate in a number of ways.  Want to hear what's new in the program for this summer?  Do you have a question about any of the buildings at camp?  Maybe you'd like to help with marketing the camp?  All of these can be discussed.  

Camp Alum and Smith Park Board member, Amy McPheeters will serve as emcee for the Get Together and I'm sure she'll have a couple surprises up her sleeve!  We'll have some raffle prizes, refreshments and more!  Put the date on your calendar now and be sure to attend.  See some camp friends, talk about camp and enjoy the Y all on the same day!  Hope to see you there!

Also happening this month is a fundraising event for camp that you can do in the enjoyment of your own home!  Whether you're a basketball fan or not, you can enjoy the Segowea 65 NCAA Bracket Challenge.  The Men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament is fast approaching, so get ready to make your picks.  Now in its 4th year, the Segowea 65 NCAA Bracket Challenge has raised over $2000 for Camp Segowea and has grown every year.  We expect this year to be the biggest year yet.  That means more competition, more trash talk, and of course more prize money.

To sign up for this year's tournament simply visit and make a donation to the Camp Segowea Camper Scholarship Fund.  For each $15 donation you may enter 1 bracket up to a maximum of 3 brackets for $45. (You can of course donate more if you want.) You will then be taken to an instruction page explaining how to make your picks.  We are using the same bracket manager as last year from CBS Sports. Selection Sunday is March 11th so you will be able to make your picks at the end of that day. If you have any problems using the CBS Sports Site contact Joshua Perks at


1st place- 10% of the pot
2nd place- 7% of the pot
3rd place- 5% of the pot

76% of the pot will go directly to Camp Wa Wa Segowea Capital Campaign. (2% will go toward paypal processing.)
Camp Alumni Lisa & Josh Perks have been running this event for all the years of its existence and we thank them for their continued connection and support of YMCA Camp Wa Wa Segowea!