Camp News Blog

Camp DeWolfe Blog

Explorer Camp 2017 –

Posted on Jul 6, 2017

My oh my! How wonderful this week will be! This past Sunday was the start of our 2017 Summer Explorer Camp and I think all of the staff and campers can agree it started off on a high note! The staff have been tirelessly training, preparing, and praying for our incoming campers and we are just so glad that they are here now. The smiles and laughter of the campers keep us going. So far, we have heard of the many new things the campers have been trying (e.g. bike riding, swimming, sailing, archery, arts and crafts, etc.) and there is not one camper who is not happy (though some are still a tad bit homesick at times).

To see our Explorers try new things goes hand-in-hand with our theme for this summer: “All Things New” (Isaiah 43:19). In our Christian Formation times, we have been learning about how God is going to do new things in all of our lives during camp. More than just the activities, God is going to do new things in our hearts and we are all open to what and how He is going to do that. Today, our Explorers will see how God is ever present throughout Creation and how we as His creation and children are a part of that. God finished Creation in Genesis 1, but He continues to create and do new things in nature as well! Why not the same in all of our lives? God is going to do new things in our lives this week so moms, dads, aunts, uncles, grandmas, grandpas, friends, and whoever else simply reading this, pray that we are open and ready for Him!

Peter Vang
Christian Formation Director
Camp DeWolfe

Thoughts on Staff Training

Posted on Jun 29, 2017

“Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.” (Psalm 62:5)

I don’t know how other past counselors have felt (and I am sure they agree), but staff training has been terribly tiring. While the 2017 summer staff has been trained on camp safety and policies, learned new games to play and lead, taken extremely heavy water equipment down the long beach trail, taken part in Christian Formation, and a plethora of other tasks, all last week, the staff were split into two groups and either trained in the Adventure Course or lifeguarding; this week includes more intense training as well. Everyone just seems to be pooped and sore (or as our UK staff says, “A little achey.”).

It is not that our camp coordinators simply do not like us and wish to give us more than we can handle, but that there is a great responsibility on the staff once camp begins. This responsibility is to keep the campers safe every second of the day, build life skills in the campers, and simply allow them to have fun. More than anything else, this responsibility also includes each staff member ministering to every incoming camper so they might know and love the Lord more. This sounds pretty tough. This sounds like a lot of responsibility. It seems to be more than we as counselors can handle. I think to myself, “Can we be trusted with all this responsibility?” Yes, we can. A wise mentor once told me, “If I did not trust you, I would not train you. I already trust you so I will train you. And once you are trained, I can trust you even more.”

The camp staff has much responsibility on their shoulders, but knowing that our directors and coordinators want to train us (and have to regardless) gives us all the more encouragement to work harder in our training and with our incoming campers. The trust and constant encouragement of our directors and coordinators through every step of training has refreshed us (though a nice day off will be helpful too!). Most of all, the Lord has been strengthening and pulling us through; we could never be thankful enough. Basically, the Camp DeWolfe staff is ready and absolutely excited for our incoming campers. Even though we are a little “achey,” we are not groaning because we are tired. We are groaning for camp to hurry and start! As one of our UK staff said, “It’s gonna be the bee’s knees!”

Peter Vang
Christian Formation Director
Camp DeWolfe Summer 2017

P.S. – Having many staff of different backgrounds (our UK and Polish staff specifically) is a blessing because it gives a wide range of diversity as well as fun. I am sure our campers will be in awe of their accents!

 

2017 Summer Staff Bio – Lawrence Williamson

Posted on Jun 22, 2017

  1. Name
    Lawrence Williamson
  2. From?
    Los Angeles or Santa Rosa, California
  3. School Attending?
    Santa Rosa Junior College
  4. Position on Staff?
    Health Center Director/ Camp Nurse
  5. Most Excited About for this Summer?
    Absence of drama
  6. Favorite Camp Core Value and Why?
    Natural Setting – Take photos and leave footprints. Let the flora and fauna be.
  7. Favorite Camp Activity and Why?
    Socializing and Keeping Others out of harm’s way
  8. Best way to spend a Sunday afternoon?
    Reflect

My Reflections on Camp DeWolfe – Nate Alleyne

Posted on Jun 15, 2017

The following is the reflection of Nate Alleyne shared at our June 3rd 70th Anniversary Celebration. Nate has been a camper for a number of years and is very active in his home parish of St. Gabriel’s Episcopal Church in Brooklyn.

I can relate to John 13:34 which reads “A new command I give you: Love one another.  As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” This is a simple enough commandment and needs no translation. I often liken it to my school motto – “to Whom Much is Given, Much is Required” since Jesus is telling his disciples and all of us by extension that since we are so graciously loved by God, we should in turn share this love with others.  I lived this commandment from day one when I arrived at Camp DeWolfe and saw the atmosphere that was created by the camp staff and counselors and was easily transferred to all the kids.  There was a comfort level whether kids did not hesitate to ask anything of or share their feelings with the staff and each other. Even though many of us were meeting each other for the first time, we left with a feeling that we have found lifelong friends in each other. I believe that everyone who is fortunate enough to spend time at this wonderful camp will truly be all the better for it.

Being at this camp has challenged me to leave all my prejudices and preconceived notions behind and just accept people as they are – Children of God. The daily services that we attended served to remind me that above all God is the center of our lives and that even though we are away at camp, that fact remains the same.  These services were different to the ones in my home parish and I rather enjoyed them for the learning experiences, discussions and group chats that took place. The icebreaker activities allowed us to of course “break the ice” and get to know each other and to see the love of God in each other. We were able to turn to God numerous times in prayer, whether it be in the chapel, before bed, waking up in the morning, or even before the delicious meals we ate (Shout out to Chef Alex!!).

Joining together with other children from various age groups at Summer, Fall, and Winter camp has been able to show me the importance of God in anyone’s life and how He can easily affect you and put you in the right direction. Some of the lessons and things I learned at camp I still use to this day. A friend might hurt me every once and awhile, but I’ll find the good in them and be able to forgive them and move on without holding a grudge.  Which brings me to my next bible verse reflection. Isaiah 43:18-19, a scripture reading we actually did analyze and make sense of at camp reads “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” This one reading sparked an entire weekend of reflection at camp which had altered a number of my friends’ perspectives on their relationship with God in their lives. They were able to reminisce about their old selves and behaviors and analyze them while creating positive new thoughts that they shared with us about how, through God, they have the ability to create new visions of themselves and their future based on this teaching instilled at camp.

We did things we probably will almost never get the chance to do again. We swam on the Long Island Sound, learned how to kayak and maneuver a canoe, how to sail, fish, play loads of new games and more. In performing these kinds of activities, we all improved our responsibility and teamwork skills, which also helped us to bond more and have a greater connection among ourselves and the camp leaders. My sister Krissy and I find ourselves singing all the songs and rhymes we learn there weeks after we get home sometimes to the annoyance of mom and dad. When I return to Camp DeWolfe, I hope to become an L.I.T. which stands for Leader in Training. These kids stay almost all summer and help out with numerous events and activities while staying together in Christ. Overall, I would say that Camp DeWolfe is one of the activities I look forward to each year for I know that I will be seeing old friends but also making new ones.

Finally, I want to take this opportunity on behalf of all campers, past, present and future to THANK Bishop PROVENZANO, THE BOARD OF MANAGEMENT and MATT and his overwhelming staff for caring for us.

Thank you for listening and thank you Camp DeWolfe!

“Camp DeWolfe Changed my Life” – Chris Cassonetto

Posted on Jun 8, 2017

Chris Cassonetto has been a Camp DeWolfe camper for years. The following is the testimony he shared at our 70th Anniversary Celebration on June 3rd.

Camp DeWolfe changed my life in so many ways its indescribable. They truly are my second family. The counselors really act like older brothers and sisters to the campers. Camp DeWolfe allowed me to connect with God in a way I never knew I could. I often find myself teaching my family some of the prayers and songs. When I go to Camp DeWolfe in the summer I never want to leave. Camp DeWolfe has really changed my life for the better.

I would like to thank St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Farmingdale and St. Jude’s Episcopal Church in Wantagh. They have helped me go to camp and have followed me through my faith journey. I would especially like to thank Father Christopher [Hofer] and Mother Maxine [Barnett]. If it was not for them I probably would not be going to Camp DeWolfe and not as involved in my church. So I thank them very much.

This all started when my mom decided I needed to go to summer camp. We chose Camp DeWolf. She thought this camp would be the right fit for me and she was right. I want to become more involved in camp and in my church. Ever year it is my decision to go back. This will be my fourth summer going to Camp DeWolfe. My goal is to one day become a camp counselor at Camp DeWolfe. Camp DeWolfe has allowed me to make new friends and keep those friends even after camp.

Camp DeWolfe has put me on the right path to follow my goals. This has been my outlook, to see what I can give back to the camp community and my own community. I never thought a camp like Camp DeWolfe would have such a big impact on my life. Everything I learned at camp I try to apply to my everyday life. Every year camp gets better and better and after every summer I become closer with God and see myself becoming a better person.

I would like to thank the Camp DeWolfe family for always being there for me when times are tough, throughout camp, and for every thing they have done for me an my family.

2017 Summer Staff Bio – Peter Vang

Posted on Jun 1, 2017

  1. Name
    Peter Vang
  2. From?
    Icard, North Carolina
  3. School attending?
    Alliance Theological Seminary (Nyack College)
  4. Position on staff?
    Christian Formation Director
  5. Most excited about for this summer?
    To see God move in the lives of campers – also, bonfires!
  6. Favorite Camp Core Value and why?
    Purposeful Community because I simply love people
  7. Favorite Camp activity and why?
    Bonfires – that’s when the best conversations come up
  8. Favorite parable?
    Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard (Matt. 20:1-16)
  9. Best way to spend a Sunday afternoon?
    A big ol’ meal with friends and a nice, long nap to finish it up!

2017 Summer Staff Bio – Adam Xiong

Posted on May 18, 2017

  1. Name
    Adam Xiong
  2. From?
    California, Orange County
  3. School attending?
    Nyack College
  4. Position on staff?
    Camp counselor
  5. Most excited about For this summer?
    Seeing the Kids and teaching them about sports safety.
  6. Favorite Camp core Value and Why?
    I believe in more of a natural setting and being in the outdoors. The reason why is because i love nature and i love being on the outside of things. Also, i loving seeing what God has made it never seems to amazes me how beautiful he made the earth for us. I also like photography and because of this, it also makes it easy to bring up the conversation of God and the power of God.
  7. Favorite Camp activity and Why?
    Sports because I am a coach and grew up on sports.
  8. Favorite parable?
    Parable of the talents
  9. Best way to spend a Sunday afternoon?
    Fellowshipping

2017 Summer Staff Bio – Shathusi Yoganathan

Posted on May 11, 2017

  1. Name
    Shathusi Yoganathan
  2. From?
    Hertfordshire, England
  3. School attending?
    University of Hertfordshire
  4. Position on staff?
    Camp Counselor
  5. Most excited about for this summer?
    To be able to see what an America summer Camp is like
  6. Favorite Camp core Value and Why?
    ‘Experience God in … outdoor natural setting’ – Children hardly get the opportunity to go outside and experience nature. To be able to do this during Camp and experience God at the same time sounds exciting!
  7. Favorite Camp activity and Why?
    Swimming – always a great way to have fun and do exercise at the same time!
  8. Favorite parable?
    Proverbs 31:8-9 – ‘Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy’
  9. Best way to spend a Sunday afternoon?
    Have a relaxing day with family and friends.

2017 Summer Staff Bio – Katherine Pena

Posted on May 4, 2017

  1. Name
    Katherine Pena
  2. From?
    Bronx, NY
  3. School attending?
    Nyack College
  4. Position on staff?
    Unit Leader
  5. Most excited about For this summer?
    I’m most excited to return and plan Evening and Weekend programs, and to sing silly songs before meal times.
  6. Favorite Camp core Value and Why?
    Purposeful Community. Community has always been such a significant factor in my life in how I have grown as an individual, and it is so important for people to have a community that is intentional and that is encouraging. As the Body of Christ, we are called to be in community with one another, and we are able to get a glimpse of what that is like when we come into fellowship with The Father when we are intentional in creating a purposeful community with the opportunities to grow individually and collectively.
  7. Favorite Camp activity and Why?
    Weekend Program is my favorite because it is always action packed and it is memorable and life-changing for a lot of the staff and the campers. It gives campers the opportunity to work outside of their cabin and to make new and lasting relationships, and they take on challenges with courage and excitement like never before.
  8. Favorite parable?
    The Prodigal Son.
  9. Best way to spend a Sunday afternoon?
    After teaching Sunday School, it is always great to grab some icecream and to sit by the pier.

2017 Summer Staff Bio – Rachel Creiger

Posted on Apr 27, 2017

  1. Name
    Rachel Cregier
  2. From?
    Lancaster, CA
  3. School attending?
    Pace University
  4. Position on staff?
    Camp counselor
  5. Most excited about For this summer?
    Teaching kids how to be Legolas (Archery).
  6. Favorite Camp core Value and Why?
    Natural Setting: I have always enjoyed the splendor and beauty that nature provides. I wish to encourage the campers to see it in big places like the sky and in small places like a ladybug on a leaf.
  7. Favorite Camp activity and Why?
    Archery because we all get to learn how to be Legolas.
  8. Favorite parable?
    The Good Samaritan
  9. Best way to spend a Sunday afternoon?
    Taking a walk by the coast and eating pizza.