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Monday, April 23, 2012

It's time for the the Wa Wa Wally Waddle!

Now in its third year, the Wa Wa Wally Waddle has been an enjoyable event where participants get some exercise, volunteers keep things moving and winners get pies!  Camp Wa Wa Segowea Alumni, Josh & Lisa Perks organize the event and for them, the process begins well ahead of the race itself.  They've been working for months getting race sponsors, marketing the race, organizing volunteers and with the help of the Mid-Hudson Roadrunners Club, run things on the day of the event.  And there's so much more that they do!    As busy as they are, Josh and Lisa were nice enough to take some time and answer some questions about the race and as they are both runners, some questions on running too.

The Wa Wa Wally Waddle, When is it happening?   Can you tell me about it?

Josh Perks- The Wally Waddle will be held on May 13th at Vassar Farms in Poughkeepsie, NY and is run primarily on a gently rolling dirt road. In keeping with Waddle tradition, instead of medals, ribbons or trophies, overall and age group 5k winners will be awarded fresh-baked pies. There will also be a free pie raffle after the award ceremony with your bib number serving as your raffle number. In addition to the 5k race, there will also be 2 free kids’ races: kids 13 and younger can race the 1 mile and  kids 9 and younger can do the 100 yard dash. The kids' races will be held 30 minutes before the start of the 5k.

You can visit for details.

Where is it taking place?

Vassar Farm in Poughkeepsie NY.

When do you register? How do you register?

Josh- You can preregister by mail or online until Friday May 11th for $15.  After May 11th you must register on race day for $20
Online Registration
Mail-in Registration Form
What if it rains?

Josh- We get wet and have even more fun.  There is no rain date.

How many runners are there? Is there a limit on runners?

Josh- Last year there were 150 registered 5k runners and 30 kids who ran in the kids' races.  This year we expect those numbers to grow to 200 and 50 respectively.  There is no limit on participants, but t-shirts are limited to the first 100 registered 5k runners.

Can kids run in it?

Josh- Kids can run in any of the 3 races (5k, 1 mile and 100 yard dash)  The 1 mile is for kids 13 and younger and the 100 yard dash is for kids 9 and younger. Both kids' races are free. People of any age can run in the 5k if they can complete the distance--walking or running.

When do the kids run?

Josh- The kids races start 30 minutes before the 5K. 9:30 am 1 mile 9:45 100 yard dash 10:00 5k.

Who is this benefiting? 

Josh- All of the money raised by the Waddle goes toward providing scholarships for local children to attend YMCA Camp Wa Wa Segowea in the Berkshires. Segowea is located just an hour away from Poughkeepsie and should be credited with having a long-term positive impact on the lives of hundreds of Dutchess County residents since it opened in 1928. Camp Segowea was originally run by the Dutchess County YMCA and is now under the supervision of the Capital District YMCA.  The Segowea experience gently encourages kids to try new things that take them out of their comfort zone. Many first-time Segowea campers never swam in a lake, sang taps, ate wild blueberries, hiked several miles, danced the Time Warp, or transformed from stranger to friend in just a few days. Segowea creates a safe space for its campers to experience remarkable growth, learning about both self and others. Last summer 6 area children were able to attend camp Segowea on Wally Waddle scholarships. In its first 2 years The Wally Waddle raised over $5000 and we hope to raise that much again this year.

This year our sponsors are:

Babycakes Café
CAYA Restaurant & Café
Finnish Solutions
Molloy Pharmacy
Morris Associates Engineering Consultants PLLC
Roadkill Racing
Soul Dog Restaurant
Tubby’s Bathtub Resurfacing
Zimmer Brothers Jewelers

Thanks Josh!

And now, some questions on the actual running-
What makes you run? What's your motivation?

Josh:  I’m very competitive, and I seem to be pretty good at running.  There are all sorts of mental and physical health benefits to distance running but they are all secondary to me.  I’m all about the race.

Lisa: I like to run because I get to be outside and see more things than I would be able to do walking. I keep an eye out for birds and look at what's blooming. I recently saw a Great Blue Heron standing on a street light and also got a close look at a snapping turtle along my running path.

In a race, rather run on flat course or hills?

Josh:  It doesn’t really matter to me.  Everyone has to run on the same course.  If I’m going for a specific time I’d of course prefer a flat course but it is nice to mix it up.

Lisa:  I prefer a rolling course (like the Waddle) to have some variety.

Run in the back, middle or front of the pack?

Josh:  Most races I start on the front line.

Lisa: I'll try to be in the middle for the Waddle. I would like to win a mug this year, but I suspect those Mercogliano sisters are going to be tough to beat.

Run alone or with a partner?

Josh:  I do most of my training alone but once a week when doing longer runs (14-16 miles) I’ll run with some buddies.

Lisa:  I run by myself or with Hazel. She got to have her breakfast in the running stroller this morning. I'd say that's a treat.

What are you thinking about when you're running?

Josh:  When I’m out for a training run I think about all kinds of stuff.  Usually it is just day dreaming about winning the world series as the closer for the New York Yankees or something similar.  During races I am usually thinking about very specific race related issues like passing someone or not being passed.

Lisa:  My mind usually drifts If I'm in decent shape. If I'm not in good shape, I'll have to constantly coach myself to keep my legs moving.

What's the best part of running?

Josh:  Not being bombarded by media.  It is the only time during waking hours that I’m not exposed to TV, radio, the internet etc.  I could never imagine running with headphones!

Lisa:  Being outside (as long as it's above 20 degrees), and feeling like you accomplished something when you finish.

What's the worst part of running?

Josh:  Having to take time off from running because of injury or sickness makes me crazy.  I get very grumpy when I can’t run but luckily for my wife I rarely get hurt or sick.

Lisa:  He's grumpy enough with the running!  Getting back into shape and dealing with injuries is the worst for me.

Do you have a pre-race routine?

Josh:  I like to wake up at least 3 hours before the race and have a light breakfast.  That will usually be a cup of coffee and a bagel with cream cheese.  I get to the race an hour before the start and jog 2-3 miles to get warmed up.  Then I change into my racing shoes and singlet and do some short sprints to make sure my muscles are all warmed up.  I get to the starting line about 5 minutes before the gun and go through some last minute visualizations of how I expect the race to go.

Lisa:  I have cereal at least an hour before the race and I jog for about 10 minutes to warm up.

Thanks to Josh and Lisa for taking the time to do this!

Because of their hard work in marketing, that led to a great article in the Poughkeepsie Journal regarding the event!   Check it out here-

For more info,  please visit the Friends of Segowea site-

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Spring happenings and Campers Kapers at YMCA Camp Wa Wa Segowea!

Campers Kapers!

Just about every resident camp have them (and day camps too!).   Counselors do them.  Other staff members chip in, and of course campers do them.  But what are they and why do we do them?

Here at YMCA Camp Wa Wa Segowea, they've been done for years and years.  Back in the 1930's and 40's, it It was more than just keeping your bunk space in your cabin clean. It was chores, usually begun after breakfast for a short period of time, sometimes taking less than 15 minutes or so.   In the 50's and 60's, all the way up to today, it's the same- clean, organize or otherwise correct, the different places in camp.

Kids today, take part in Campers Kapers sometimes reluctantly, as you may expect.  It's a daily clean-up of camp when campers begin their duties just after breakfast. The chores change every day in a rotation and they consist of duties all around camp.  What types of chores are we talking about?  It's more than cleaning Mt. Beacon (the bathrooms) although that's everyone's favorite!   It's gathering firewood for the evening campfires.  It's pushing a broom on the front and side porch of the lodge.   It's organizing the inside of the lodge to make it usable for the day.  It's sweeping off the docks on the waterfront and emptying the water from rowboats after a rainfall.  It's taking a shovel and a metal rake and maintaining the different trails around camp.  It's picking up small pieces of litter on cabin row or around the parade field.  Or it could be a special project for the week where each cabin gets to participate in.  This coming summer, Camp Director Kat Fitzpatrick is busy planning such a project. It will consist of an "Extended Kapers" on Thursdays of the sessions.   During this time campers will have extra time provided for a more in-depth community-service type kaper such as gardening, camp beautification, trail maintenance and other projects.

Although some try to sleep through Campers Kapers!

So we know what they are.  Why do we do them?
The main objectives are keeping the camp clean, seeing teamwork in action and building that sense of community.   In the words of a camp alum, Kapers are for everyone.  Everyone has to do the same thing.  It ultimately levels the playing field for everybody.

                         Property Director Norm Button always has his own list of Kapers!

Helping to maintain the camp gives a camper a sense of ownership in camp, a place where kids aren't judged, but rather respected for who they are.  By contributing to Campers Kapers, kids are given a real responsibility over their experience.  They become an active member of a larger community and often take on similar responsibilities after the summer has ended.

On more than one occasion, parents have remarked that their child is less likely to complain of being assigned similar tasks after returning from camp.  Also, many parents have enjoyed seeing pictures of their child with a broom or rake in their hands.

Campers Kapers are just one of many things your child will participate and accomplish in their time spent at YMCA Camp Wa Wa Segowea.  For a fun and safe camp experience for your child, consider YMCA Camp Wa Wa Segowea and register today!

There's a few happenings coming up later this month of April and into May for you to participate in that will benefit camp.

First off,  the first Work Weekend is happening in less than 2 weeks- on April 28th and 29th.  Projects are being planned and all levels of skill are needed to help.  If you're wondering what a work weekend is, I would recommend you attend one and then you'll know!  I will also refer you to a blog post from last year- But it's better to attend one!

2nd, Open Houses are beginning quickly!  Beginning on May 6th at 1 pm (three weeks away), come and see the camp for yourself. It's the first Open House of the season, so bring your child, your friends, your child's friends, the more the merrier!  See the camp and ask all the questions you can think of.    We do ask that you RSVP, so we can plan accordingly.  Contact Camp Director Kat Fitzpatrick at 518-656-9462 Ext 6632 and let her know you want to come.

And on May 13th, we're very excited to say the "Wa Wa Wally Waddle" is happening again!  It's such a great event and all are welcome to participate.  It's taking place on May 13th with a 5K Run/Walk, a 1 Mile Kids run and a Kids Rugby Field Rush all taking place at Vassar Farms in Poughkeepsie.  For more info, visit the website or you can download a race flier here-

We look forward to seeing everyone at these Camp events!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

It's time to choose a summer camp. How about YMCA Camp Wa Wa Segowea!

News on "Choosing a summer camp for your child" seems to be in peak season lately.   USA Today ran a few articles the last couple of months.  Camp Fairs are happening quite a bit, and even the Old Farmers Almanac are into it-

So how do you decide?  Parents are looking for a safe place to send their child that has a well trained staff.   Kids are looking for where their friends go and for that "something special" that piques their interest.  They also just want "camp time" to get here soon!

Sending a child to Wa Wa Segowea has a positive affect on both the child and the parent.  After a long school year, with tests, homework due and practically every minute scheduled, children that attend camp have a venue where they can decompress and be a kid again.  They can be themselves and be who they were meant to be.     Learning however, still occurs at camp.  The experience a child has at Wa Wa Segowea contributes greatly to the development of independence in them as well as taking on new responsibilities.  Segowea offers hands-on learning opportunities where kids try new things, make decisions, learn skills they didn't know they had, and at the same time, have some fun!

When a parent decides to send their child to Wa Wa, they too learn and grow.   They learn new things about their children.   Parents already know the value of a summer camp and what it means for their child to partake in one.  But when the child returns from camp, the parent observes the changes in their child and knows their camp experiences are now a part of the story of their lives.  They see and know that their child has lived in a different community,  in a natural setting with new friends and is better for it.  They see these changes and know what their kids learned at camp will help them when they head back to school in the fall.

We encourage you to see and hear for yourself what YMCA Camp Wa Wa Segowea is all about.  In just one month, on May 6, we'll be holding our first Open House.   During that time, you have the chance to see the camp, talk to Camp Director Kat Fitzpatrick as well as some volunteers. 

Speaking of the volunteers, just the week before, on April 28th, we'll be holding a work weekend, where volunteers come up to camp and assist in work projects put together by the Property Director, Norm Button.  After a winter off-season, the volunteers will be sprucing the camp up, grabbing a broom or rake, cleaning out the cobwebs, and getting it ready for the next weekend.

Just a little over a week ago, Smith Park of New York held their annual meeting with past and future members attending, and getting the latest on what's happening with Camp for the 2012 Season as well as what's happening with Smith Park.  It was held at the East Greenbush YMCA where attendees had the chance to use the YMCA for the day at no cost.  Outgoing Smith Park of NY Chairman, John Dunn, was honored with a nice plaque for his 25+ years of service to the camp and to Smith Park of New York.  The different committees supporting camp all made presentations and a few people went home with raffle prizes.  All in all, it was a great event!   

Below are some pictures of the Smith Park Annual Meeting and the Camp Fair in Red Hook.  Thanks to Lana, Chris and Pat for the pictures!

Chairman John Dunn receiving plaque.

Committee Chairs giving their presentations.

Kat giving the Camp Report.

George giving the YMCA Report.

Some meeting attendees.

The raffle prize table.

                                                       And the winner is...

Inside the Y Lobby, the Camp display.

And lastly, the Red Hook Camp Fair.