Camp DeWolfe Blog
I really enjoyed my summer as a counselor at Camp DeWolfe, mainly because of the community and friendships that were formed, the fun we all had and the ways in which I saw God work in other people and myself.
One of the ways in which I saw God was through the campers, particularly in our evening devos, as they were so interested and open to exploring their faith and asking questions. It was so good to see us all grow as individuals and as a cabin, through sharing stories and praying with each other. During Christian Formation we learned that God makes all things new, including ourselves, and that it is never too late to turn to God as he is always there with open arms, searching for us, which is something that I hope the campers took home with them, as well as all the fun memories.
My highs of camp were definitely working with groups on the challenge course and seeing campers achieve their goals and even go beyond their own expectations of themselves, particularly those who were afraid of heights. Spending time on the beach was also amazing, the Long Island Sound is a great place to spend an evening relaxing with friends or having a sand sculpture competition! We’re so blessed that the natural setting at camp is so beautiful, which allows the children to see God in creation everyday.
I am so thankful to God for bringing me to camp this summer, especially for all the new friendships that I’ve made and memories we’ve shared, I couldn’t imagine a better American summer camp experience!
By Bethan Rowsby,
Camp Counselor/Climbing Instructor/Camp America Staff
As I now walk through a cabin to check that it is clean, each bunk has a memory attached to it – of a counselor, camper, project, conversation, laughter. I now know what Godly conversations, blessed fun, and realistic learning is capable of being facilitated by these cabins.
Previously, when Matt and Emma walked me through, I could sense their excitement about the new renovations, but didn’t quite grasp the anticipation of what these new floors could hold. To me, it was just empty, and pretty, space. But now that space means that a cabin group can do devotions in a circle, a counselor can discuss God with a confused camper, or a group of girls can squeeze on a top bunk to do n art project.
I am so blessed to have been able to witness these things this summer at Camp DeWolfe; to now know and remember the good work that God does through this camp that is focused on bringing ordinary people together in ordinary daily camp life to create space and community for encountering Him. Thank you Camp DeWolfe!
By Karen Bartos,
Summer Program Coordinator
The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) held their first Long Island camp at Camp DeWolfe this summer! Over 60 campers from across New York State attended the week-long MDA camp, between Sunday 11th August and Friday 16th August. Each camper was accompanied by a volunteer, with 1:1 ratio, in addition to support staff and medical staff! Activities included swimming in the pool, arts and crafts, nature time, sports and games, and evening programs including a dance, movie and games! Each day was a different holiday, from St Patrick’s Day to New Year’s Eve! What a blessing to have campers of all ages enjoy camp activities in the outdoor setting, in a safe community!
What’s a highlight of volunteering for MDA Camp?…
“The smiles – the campers never have this opportunity any other time of the year: swimming, meeting other kids, doing arts and crafts with a special counselor in nature.” -Gwen
“What’s your favorite part of being at the pool? – Having fun!” – Eli
“The diversity of activities is superb.” – Megan
Sports and games:
Swimming in the Pool:
|$10,000 Donation allows Camp DeWolfe Additional Campers from the Heal the Children Program|
Bethpage Federal Credit Union, inspired by Camp Dewolfe’s hospitality to children affected by Superstorm Sandy, donated $10,000 to Camp DeWolfe on Thursday, August 8. The donation allowed nine additional children to attend in the final weeks of this summer’s session. Camp DeWolfe announced earlier this summer that fifteen Long Island children, who have been devastated by Superstorm Sandy this past year, would be able to attend Camp DeWolfe in Wading River free of charge thanks to Episcopal Charities of Long Island and the American Campers Association-New York, New Jersey’s (ACA-NY/NJ) Project Heal the Children. Camp DeWolfe is a ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island: the Episcopal Church in Brooklyn, Queens, Nassau and Suffolk.
The American Camp Association, a nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of summer camps, is the premier certifying agency for all summer camps of which Camp DeWolfe is proud to be one of its accredited members. The Heal the Children program, initially created by ACA-NY/NJ in response to the horrific terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, provides free summer camp sessions to children in our own communities who have suffered great loss.
Camp DeWolfe is one of ninety day camps and overnight camps who responded to ACA NY/NJ’s appeal to donate spots for these children. Working with state agencies, politicians and relief organizations such as FEMA, ACA NY/NJ conducted an aggressive media campaign that got the word out to families affected by the devastating storm. As stated by Susie Lupert, Executive Director of ACA-NY/NJ, “Going to summer camp will give these children the opportunity to have something to look forward to in the immediate future, a positive camp experience, while also giving their families the time and energy to focus on rebuilding their lives.” Thanks to Episcopal Charities of Long Island’s scholarship fund, Camp DeWolfe was able to provide 100% coverage of camp fees for 15 applicants from the Long Island region. These campers come from diverse communities from Far Rockaway to Massapequa.
Although the Heal the Children program is no longer accepting applications at this time, you can learn more about the fund and the American Campers Association on www.aca-nynj.org. For further information about Camp DeWolfe, please visit their site, www.campdewolfe.org.
Hi, my name is Dan Bell and I’m serving this summer as the seminarian at Camp DeWolfe! We’ve had an amazing time over the past few weeks in Christian Formation, which takes place twice a day throughout each camp session. We gather every morning and evening in St. Luke’s Chapel to offer our praises and prayers to God, and to learn more about what it means to be God’s people.
It’s been an incredible privilege for me to direct this summer’s Christian Formation program at Camp DeWolfe. I’ve had the opportunity to work with awesome counselors and staff as together we’ve sought to make God’s love known in word and deed, all the while having loads of fun! As our time draws to a close (we have one more week left!), I feel truly grateful to belong to the Camp DeWolfe family.”
Adventure Camp 2013 is mid-way through it’s 12 day session now! Over 40 youth arrived on Sunday 28th July for their summer camp experience! As part of this summer camp season 2013, many of the Camp’s Board of Managers have enjoyed spending time with the youth and staff at Camp DeWolfe. Here are some words from Adam Zaher, from Christ Church Bay Ridge in Brooklyn, who was also on the 2012 staff:
Encountering Christ is at the forefront of Camp DeWolfe’s mission. From taking a boat out on the Long island sound in the morning to the fireside reflections in the evening, kids and adults alike can find Christ at camp all day. It was my privilege to spend two days in Wading River and see firsthand the mission of Camp DeWolfe hard at work.
From the moment I arrived the smile on the children’s faces brightened my day as they remembered me from last year. The fun times continued through the day as we played sports, shot bows and arrows at the archery range and did service projects around the camp. The day wrapped up with the whole camp gathered around a fire sharing all the wonderful experiences had throughout the week.
The next morning was full of adventure as we kayaked, canoed and swam our way around the Long Island sound. Saying goodbye was the hardest part as I truly enjoyed every moment I spent at camp. The inner child that had been repressed by the everyday of city living was glistening with the joy of being surrounded by fun, fellowship and the love of Christ.
Discovery Camp is now in full swing! With over 40 campers (including the LITs – Leaders in Training) arriving here on Sunday 14th July, and here through Friday 26th July, half of whom are returning from last year, each day is bursting with activities that include ideas and learning.
As the program coordinator, I have the opportunity to sit at a different table each meal, and I hear from the campers about how their morning or afternoon had gone. They are having fun doing all the water and land activities. A few highlights have been getting back on the archery range, remembering how to capsize and right a sailing boat, and getting into the pool for free swim after a hot day! We are appreciative for the time to sit and rest in the heat of the day after lunch in cabin time. Everyone also loves the air conditioning in the St Luke’s Chapel!
Christian Formation happens twice a day, and the participation has been wonderful! Yesterday, and as I write, the campers are creating their own skits to show changed lives and the creation story. This group has been particularly creative and the acting is quite good! Dan, our seminarian who leads and coordinates Christian Formation, has been encouraging us to think through what God might have for us to learn this week about creation and about each other.
The campers thank you for all the letters and prayers! They love to receive mail, and are also glad to be having fun with their new friends.
You may send letters to:
[Camper Name – Cabin Number]
PO Box 487
-Words from Karen Bartos
(Summer Program Coordinator)
Smores with Megan and Kaitlyn:
Campfire with Father Brian Blayer:
Sail Boat Regatta:
G1 Party People Boat:
Skits in Christian Formation:
LIT Service Afternoon:
LIT Service Project:
Arts and Crafts:
Climbing the Wall:
Kayaking on the Sound:
Swimming in the Sound:
Katie the Lifeguard:
Explorer Camp 2013 kicked off on Sunday 7th July, with campers arriving from Brooklyn, Suffolk, Nassau and Queens, as well as New Jersey, Virginia and upstate New York! This summer’s theme is CREATION! and campers have been outdoors in the great summer weather all week so far!
The Lord is good and really great,
so worshiping God just can’t wait!
God has blessed us with a camp that’s really cool!
We get to canoe, climb, and even go swimming in a pool!
We all know Camp DeWolfe is an awesome place!
It’s all about fun and friends,
and God’s amazing grace!
So say “thank you” to God with all you got!
It’d be really silly if you do not!
Funky hat day…
Arrival Day Swim Evals…
First day tour time…
Arts and Crafts..
Water Olympics Night in the Pool…
Christian Formation time… Animals in Creation…
Learning to play Ga-Ga with Corey…
Free Swim time…
Pool time to cool down…
First meal – Thanksgiving Dinner….
Songs in the Chapel…
By the camp fire…
Volleyball with Kate…
Learning from Corey, the Sports Instructor…
(Photos by Luke Fodor)
Praise God for a safe and fun camp session!!
The 2013 summer staff training comes to a close tomorrow, after a 10 day intensive leadership development program preparing the 20-some team of young adults ages 18-35 to live out their faith in real ways this summer with campers at Camp DeWolfe. The training program was designed to provide the summer team with tools and resources to be equipped to be positive role models and leaders for Christ and for His campers over the next several weeks.
The staff have come together with energy and enthusiasm in a new temporary camp community, to share their gifts and strengths, in a safe and effective camp program. Following team building activities and challenges, and hard skills including life-guarding and ropes course facilitation, the summer team participated in camper welfare sessions, age development presentations, safe church trainings, emergency procedures activities and role plays, lesson planning for activity areas, christian formation planning, and lots of games and songs and activities along the way, ready for Sunday’s Explorer campers to arrive!
It is amazing to see how God brings together people to serve His ministry this summer and to reach out to campers and staff in His ways and His plans this summer! Join us as we continue to pray for Christ’s will be done through the outdoor community here at Camp DeWolfe!
“Good leaders must first become good servants.” – Robert Greenleaf
This week at Camp DeWolfe, the summer staff have been diving into their new summer temporary community, being intentional with each other, as they become a summer team to serve the campers that are going to be here. The staff have been participating in team building activities, get-to-know you games, and experienced several sessions of Adventure Challenge on the High Ropes and Low Ropes course.
As the staff continue to build trust and learn how to support each other, please continue to lift them up in prayer, as both individuals and as a team, knowing that ‘We are many parts of one body, in Christ, and we all belong to each other.’ (Romans 12:5).