Hello and Welcome to The Firefly!
This is the Camp Newsletter that now comes out on a quarterly basis. This month we wrap up the very strange year of 2020 with all things camp!
Submit a quick 2021 survey response today!
Hello Camp WA WA Friends and Families,
I hope this finds you well!
With holidays ahead, and the pandemic causing so many changes and concerns, I know there is a lot on our families’ minds.
Here at Camp, we are planning for a safe and rejuvenating summer on Harmon Pond! Registration will open January 1, 2021, our typical registration start, and in this email I am including some key information for our families.
First, our dates are below. These six weeks have been set aside for a combination of youth overnight camping and family/adult camping programs. As you read on, you will have an opportunity to also contribute to a survey to help guide us as we learn more and prepare a safe return to camp.
Summer 2021 Dates:
- Overnight Camp Session 1: July 4 – 17
- Overnight Camp Session 2: July 18 – 31
- Family/Adult Camping 1: August 1 – 7
- Family/Adult Camping 2: August 8 – 14
We have continued to learn a lot about what we can do to make camp safe and are excited to think ahead to when we can be outside again at camp.
We know from camps that were able to successfully open overnight camping last summer in other states, that key adaptations are available to us to operate during this pandemic.
- Outdoors as much as possible: We already typically spend all day outside- so that part is easy! And all of our buildings are extremely well ventilated by natural air.
- Single Entry Sessions: Sessions for overnight camping will be two weeks, with no visitors day, so that campers can enter at the same time and remain “bubbled” for the entire camp session. Likewise, staff will be able to “bubble” at camp for the entire summer.
- Camper Cabin Cohorts: Limited to 6 campers and a counselor, these cabin groups can enjoy every aspect of camp and take advantage of the many options our facility presents!
- Testing Protocol: Catch infections prior to coming to camp, and isolate cases of COVID-19 to prevent spread.
There are, of course, other things we don’t know yet. By nature, recommendations change as experts learn more. We are still researching best practice when it comes to more specific protocols (Like, how will campers be tested for COVID-19? Or, will we eat in our dining hall?).
However, our commitment to providing safe programs that uphold our mission to continue overnight camping at our beautiful camp will remain the guiding focus for us, as it has over the past 8 months.
Making registration as accessible as possible for next summer is also important to us.
2021 registration will include the following:
- $50 deposit, fully refundable if Camp WA WA makes any program changes.
- All tuition payments are refundable if Camp WA WA makes any program changes.
- December 15 early registration for any families with 2020 credits (I will contact you directly with a form to complete this registration).
- Continuation of our Camp WA WA Campership scholarship program.
Lastly, we are collecting feedback from parents about possible alternative programming should we need to pivot again to different programs due to safety concerns. We hope you will participate- it is just four short questions found HERE.
We will send home camp calendars in a few weeks, along with a few more emails to assist with registration. And you will continue to hear more specifics about our 2021 program as spring approaches. Please don’t ever hesitate to be in touch if you’d like to discuss any aspect of the summer for your family.
All the best,
Lily Mercogliano Easton
Camp WA WA Segowea
P.S. Your campers will likely enjoy this Wally Video!
Small Camp, Big Family
Summer 2020 is going to be a bit different, but to keep staff, campers, parents and new friends connected during our first summer of not being able to offer in-person programming, we are getting together on-line on Wednesdays and over the weekend.
What is WWS NOT CAMP CAMP?
Camp Wa Wa is a rustic, traditional camping program located in the Berkshires. Our programs are completely unplugged and outdoors on our 450 acre property in Southfield, MA. With a private lake, a row of 92 year old cabins, a giant lodge and so many amazing spots in the woods, Smith Park brings endless joy to our long summer days.
WWS Not Camp Camp is the remote camp program of Camp Wa Wa Segowea for campers ages 8-16. This program can be accessed from anywhere there’s WiFi and the Wa Wa spirit.
So, this online programming is NOT CAMP
But Camp WA WA is also a community of people. Each summer we end our sessions by remembering that more than anything, Camp WA WA is a light that shines on in our camp people. We bring that light home with us and it keeps burning for the year. This year we need to keep it burning for two years.
Therefore, this IS still CAMP……. its NOT CAMP CAMP
WWS Not Camp, Camp is four types of remote resources that our campers, staff, parents, and new friends that they invite to try out Camp WA WA, can use to access the joys of camp while staying in their own communities this summer.
Just like our summer programs at Camp WA WA Segowea, WWS Not Camp, Camp will be a relaxed environment where young people can be seen, heard and valued. Our activities will inspire laughter and joy. We will offer opportunities to choose your own challenges and grow.
Programs will be flexible, and intended to complement other summer activities not fill the day with online activities.
What activities will be available at NOT CAMP CAMP
For Summer 2020, WWS Not Camp, Camp will offer four programs for our families. Registration is required. These programs will be free. Donations to support the work will be accepted and greatly appreciated.
WA WA Wednesdays (July)- ZOOM:
nteractive activity choices led by counselors. Activities will be 30-45 minutes long. Examples include tutorials, games, magic the gathering.
WA WA Weekends (July)
Friday Night Movies (various platforms – families choose)
Saturday Evening Activities-ZOOM
5 Saturday night family activities led by trained staff. Activities will include game shows, trivia and other large group activities that are 1-1.5 hours long and easily accessible for a variety of ages. Held on zoom or zoom webinar (perhaps with Kahoots for games, we’re exploring other plugins for movies).
BONUS Activities: Opening Camp Fire at the beginning (Maybe Sunday, June 28?), Banquet at the end, Friday, July 31.
WA WA Rainy Days – Youtube
Series of videos + written resources on the website that parents and older campers can use to guide activities for rainy days or to support local community activities (like a socially distanced field day, sing down at home, camp cooking classes…).
Get outside and hike 11 miles in July. Send us proof and we’ll send you a prize.
June 8th, 2020
Dear Camp WA WA Segowea Family,
This past week, I explained to my son why it was important to attend an event in support of Black lives, despite it being over an hour drive away. As a camp mom, a Camp WA WA alum, and an American, I have been moved to action because ending racism can’t wait. Racism puts Black lives in peril and effecting change will take all of us. I am reaching out today, to show solidarity with everyone in our community taking a stand for Black lives right now and to let you know how the Smith Park board of directors is engaging.
It is imperative that we not only stand up against racism, but also look within ourselves and at our organization. As an organization devoted to caring for youth and with a commitment to serving diverse and underserved communities, we must do more.
The Smith Park board should reflect the diversity of our broad camp community. We have never had a person of color on the Smith Park Board, and that is something we are committed to changing. Over the next couple of months, you will hear from us about how we intend to diversify the board and our progress towards this goal.
This week, we also solicited input from our staff. We are listening to their camp experiences and their desires about how Smith Park can respond. As a result, here are some steps we are taking:
- Informing our community of anti-racist and social justice organizations to support in this moment
- Increasing our partnerships in Black and minority communities so that more campers of color can access Camp WA WA Segowea.
- Enhancing education about social justice issues and actions into both staff training and camper experience.
We recognize this is a challenging moment to navigate and find connection when we can not physically be together at camp this summer. We welcome communication and are available at email@example.com for any questions or suggestions, or reach out to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope you and your loved ones are safe and well.
President, Smith Park on behalf of the Board of Directors
“Smith Park of New York is devoted to the preservation and operation of Camp WA WA Segowea, the protection of its natural surroundings and historical integrity, and the continuation of traditional resident camping that improves the spiritual, mental, social and physical attributes of young people in a caring community.”