WA WA Segowea News

Smith Park Logo

COVID-19: Preparing for another safe and fun summer at Camp WA WA!

As Spring starts to peak out here in the Northeast, we are busy planning for summer and have some updates on enrollment and how we are responding to the coronavirus outbreak.
I’m happy to share that we have crossed 50% capacity filled for this summer. Teen Camp for sessions 1 and 2 is almost full, and I anticipate a waiting list will start any day now. Base camp for those two sessions is also filling fast. 
Session 3 still has plenty of bunks open and I encourage folks to check out that awesome week. This is all great news for our small camp!
We are also still enrolling for our two adult and family programs: Altheisure Camp & Family Camp. We are excited to be holding such varied ways to get outside this summer!
Thank you so much for helping to get the word out. We are so happy to see many campers returning and bringing new friends along for another epic season in the Berkshires.
We are also currently monitoring the spread of COVID-19 virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus, and any potential impact on the summer. If you click HERE, you will be brought to the State of Massachusetts website that includes information on what your family can do today to prepare for this virus. The CDC is another place for up to date information from anywhere in the country.
As you have probably heard, washing your hands regularly for at least 30 seconds (sing “Happy Birthday” twice!), staying home if sick, and covering any sneezes or coughs, are all strong practices to incorporate at home in order to aid in prevention.  
In regards to this summer, please know that Nella, our Health Care Supervisor, and I, along with our Board of Directors at Smith Park, keep the health and safety of our campers at the very forefront of our minds at all times when preparing for camp, and during the summer. 
As a camp licensed by the state of Massachusetts, we are already required to have an infectious disease policy in place and we work closely with the State of MA Department of Health each season to make sure our campers are healthy and protected while at camp. As summer approaches, we will take instructions from the department of health in regards to any and all approaches needed in response to the coronavirus. 
Nella and I are actively reviewing our health screening, check-in protocol, hand-washing and sanitizing systems, and other policies and procedures at camp to improve for this summer. 
We are partnering with ACA New England, who have a strong presence in the region and work alongside the American Camp Nursing Association to give guidance for best practices for health standards at camp.
We are fortunate to have our camp located in a state with so many summer camps- our support system is robust and allows us to provide phenomenal safe experiences in the summer.
I encourage families to be in touch with any specific questions or concerns at this time. A new update about this summer and coronavirus will be sent via email on May 1, if not sooner, after we meet with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health for our annual Spring Massachusetts Camping Association policies and licensing review. We are confident that our partners in public health will be doing everything possible to assist us in having a safe summer. 
We continue to be very excited about the chance to spend summer outside in nature. Just yesterday it was warm enough for our facilities committee to work at camp on our new handicap accessible bathroom in our multi purpose cabin, Hart Lodge. Things are moving along!
And please keep sharing about our programs with your friends and family, there are many great memories to be made and we want to make sure we are reaching everyone that needs some Camp WA WA magic this summer. 


Mountain View

Spotlight on Teen Camp

For us at Camp WA WA Segowea, overnight camp sessions mean long, beautiful days in the Berkshires where we get to swim, boat, play, and HIKE! 
Our hiking tradition starts at Camp WA WA Segowea during our Base Camp day hiking program that is a tradition for the first week of every session. 
And teen campers get to take on a whole new adventure by embarking on a two night, three day hike on the nearby Appalachian Trail. 
Don’t miss out, Teen Camp fills up fastest of all of our programs so register today to secure your preferred spot. 
The AT Hike is a special highlight of our Teen Camp program that offers many awesome summer opportunities for teens including…
– Day Hikes to nearby popular waterfalls and mountains.
– Overnight Camping at our lakeside campsites or other local sites here in the Berkshires. 
– A Canoe Trip to a local lake or river.   
– Team Building and leadership activities. 
– And a Teen Camp Favorite: Cupcake Wars! 
Camp Fire

Teen Campers also enjoy all the benefits of living as part of our Base Camp population when they are not out on trips taking in new views! 

Mountain View
Cabin options are available for campers of all genders and campers live with 6-8 other campers and 1-2 counselors. 
Our kitchen is trained in allergy awareness and is happy to make accommodations for vegetarian and vegan campers, as well as dietary restrictions for other special needs. 
Campership Scholarships are made possible thanks to our parent non-profit Smith Park of New York, the Annual WA WA Wally Waddle 5K Race and Walk, and the generous support of our alumni and friends. An application can be submitted HERE
Please reach out to info@smithpark.org with any questions. And connect with us on Facebook
Base Campers

Summer is coming. We Promise!

Summer is coming, we promise! 
Week by week, our Camp WA WA Segowea team is putting together a summer in the Berkshires that is packed with fun, adventure, creativity, friendship, and hours and hours outside. 
It all starts with our Base Camp program. Designed for campers ages 8 to 14, Base Camp is our entry in to overnight camping and provides plenty of ways for campers to grow as they age.
This is where our “Small Camp, Big Family” motto begins and we are always delighted to welcome new campers into one of our eleven historic cabins each summer. 
Don’t miss out, register today to secure your preferred spot. 
Base Campers
Highlights of Base Camp include:
Small Cabin “Home Base” Groups: Cabins typically have six campers in similar age and gender groups, and one to two counselors. Cabins eat meals together, rest and sleep in the same cabin, and are together for some daily programs.
– Afternoon Skill Class Choices: Archery, arts and crafts, pottery, boating, sailing, board games on the side porch, and nature hiking are some of the choices for campers in the afternoon. During the first week they pick new activities every day, and in the second week they will choose two classes and complete week-long projects. 
– Swimming Every Day: Open swim is always an option in the morning and everyone takes swimming lessons in the afternoon. As campers grow to become stronger swimmers they will have the opportunity to swim the length of our lake.
– Overnight Camp Out: For one night all campers and counselors will head out and explore our larger 450 acre property and sleep in tents. This is a special opportunity for teamwork, bonding, and plenty of s’more making. 
For campers 10 and under, there are limited spots available in our one week “Mini Session” program. Register HERE! 
And a few things to note for all of our programs for youth ages 8 to 16…
Overnight camping at Camp WA WA Segowea is unplugged! Our facility does not have wifi or cell reception and campers are asked to leave electronics at home.We do have a landline phone and we pick up mail in town every day so parents can be rest assured that we are reachable. 
Cabin options are available for campers seeking to bunk in a “girls,” or “boys,” cabin, and transgender or non-binary campers can also choose a “mixed gender” cabin option in adition to the two other cabin options. 
Our kitchen is trained in allergy awareness and is happy to make accommodations for vegetarian and vegan campers, as well as dietary restrictions for other special needs. 
Campership Scholarships are made possible thanks to our parent non-profit Smith Park of New York, the Annual WA WA Wally Waddle 5K Race and Walk, and the generous support of our alumni and friends. An application can be submitted HERE
Register before February 15 and receive $100 off all youth overnight camping programs. 
Learn more at www.smithpark.org. Please reach out to info@smithpark.org with any questions. And connect with us on Facebook
Day Camp Swimmers

It’s time for Family Camp Weekend!

Dear Camp WA WA Families and Friends,

As our last overnight camper session of the summer wraps up, we are looking forward to extending our summer on Harmon Pond at Camp WA WA Segowea as long as possible!

Labor Day Weekend is our final weekend of summer programming and we will be bringing together families and friend groups of all ages for the best end to summer.

Labor Day weekend Family Camp features numerous ways for families to unwind, including:
    •    Delicious made from scratch meals three times per day.
    •    Unlimited boating and swimming on our spring fed pond.
    •    Hikes, ball games, and daily activities perfect for all ages of kids and adults.  
    •    A break from electronic entertainment, wifi, and cell reception (we do have a landline!).
Group cabins are $500 (for up to 8 guests) and include all programming and meals, individual bunks are $125 per person. Registration is found at app.campdoc.com/register/segowea. Please note bunks are limited to our 11 cabins, and registration will close on August 14. 

For questions, email our camp director, Lily, at lily@smithpark.org or call 413-229-9110 by August 10.

Happy Camping!
Lily Mercogliano Easton
Camp Director
Camp WA WA Segowea

Campers in front of lodge
Candle light circle

2019 Why We Give…

Campership scholarships have been a part of the Camp WA WA Segowea tradition since the camp first started in 1913.. Back then, an ad posted in the Poughkeepsie Journal reached out to “Boys in need of assistance to get to camp” (because it was an all boys camp way back then…). Those youth in need could write to the camp director and secure their spot in a cabin for the summer.

Today, I am so proud that camp is continuing to ensure that kids make it to camp each summer regardless of their family’s ability to pay the full fee.

In the past year, Smith Park of New York, the parent non-profit organization that operates Camp WA WA Segowea, increased the campership fund to $40,000. With camp just a month away it is time to raise the last funds needed to get all the kids to camp!

Last year before we launched this final campership scholarship push, I wrote a blog post about why so many of us give to make Camp WA WA camperships possible.

And this year, I wanted to focus on what we receive when we remain committed to camperships.

Camper Pyramid

Including campers from diverse economic backgrounds at Camp WA WA means we get to run a bustling program in the summer that creates a true form of community, one built on support, understanding, perspective-taking, and empathy. It introduces everyone to the ways we all live, play, and learn together on our 450 acres of Berkshire woods.  

When I was a camper at Camp WA WA, receiving a campership scholarship meant I got to learn how to swim, and become a strong enough swimmer to swim across the lake and back. It also meant I got to grow friendships that are now going on 27 years old. And, perhaps most importantly, I was given a stake in a program and set of traditions that strengthened my character in more ways than I will ever be able to count.

Girls in front of cabin

For this summer, giving to camperships means we ensure that youth who have experienced homelessness, major family changes and losses, big ups and downs in school, and pulled through numerous other challenges during this past year, can count on Camp WA WA to be a timeless and consistent part of their summer experience. Giving is our tradition. It’s the WA WA way.  

Starting on Monday, June 10 we will launch our annual Director’s Campership Drive to raise the last funds needed for this summer’s camperships. You can make a donation to the Director’s Campership Drive via our Facebook Fundraiser found HERE or by donating through our website below.

You can also send a check to Smith Park of New York, Inc. at P.O Box 4994, Poughkeepsie, NY, 12602.

I will give generously to the Director’s Campership Fund Drive because knowing that I’m doing my part to keep nature, adventure, friendship, community, and endless summer days a strong part of all WA WA camper’s summers means the world to me. I hope you will join me and make a generous donation too!

With Love,
Lily Mercogliano Easton
Camp Director, Camp WA WA Segowea
WWS ‘93