My Summer Trails story began in 2008 after previously working at Camp Southwoods (Summer Trails' sister sleep-away camp). I started out with bookkeeping, and in recent years, have taken on managing all operations, as well as our Baseball Camp. What I love about Baseball Camp is watching kids truly enjoy the game, while improving their baseball skills. Watching a camper get the game winning hit or make the game saving play is always a highlight for me! Because of the camp experience, I was introduced to my wife Sandy and we now have two daughters who also get to enjoy Summer Trails. My older daughter Danica has learned to swim, play Gaga, scale the climbing wall, and hit bulls eyes in archery. My younger daughter Delaney is already looking forward to meeting her counselors and learning to swim like her big sister! I know they will both have an amazing time here, and it is so special to watch them grow each summer.
My Summer Trails story started when I was a camper all the way back in Nursery Girls. From the very first summer I was at camp, it always felt like home. Although the girls in my group and counselors changed year to year, the feeling of belonging was constant. With all the remarkable years as a camper, I couldn’t wait until I was old enough to work at camp. While working at camp I had the privilege of watching campers not only learn to swim, but grow up at camp, and often come back to work with us at camp and the pool. I love that we are able to grow our aquatics staff from our “pool” of counselors. In 2006 I became the Camp Aquatics Director following in the footsteps of a lot of great people before me. In the Fall of 2008, when I was offered a year round position at camp, it was the perfect fit for me. I now get to go to camp all year long! While in the office, I have had the opportunity to connect with so many wonderful campers, families and staff members.
My Summer Trails story began in 2012. After retiring from over 50 years playing, coaching for Byram Hills, teaching, and organizing baseball leagues, I felt a great sense of accomplishment but retirement was taking some getting used to. My daughter Daria read about Summer Trails having a specific baseball training camp. She said, "Dad, why don't you get back into baseball, the game you love? You're always complaining how bored you are." From that conversation, a call was placed and I had an appointment to meet Jamie and this is where my Summer Trails story began, Spring of 2012. Starting on a part time schedule the first year at Summer Trails seemed to be a perfect fit. I met Dave, who taught me, an old school guy, the meaning of CAMP: a place of wonderful professionals who love children and provide them with a safe environment to learn, play, and most of all, have fun. I am proud to say we continue to evolve the way Summer Trails teaches the game of baseball in order to maximize participation and development of each camper, while always having fun.
What’s the name of the game? BASEBALL
My Summer Trails story began in 2001, and I instantly fell in love with camp. Deciding to work at camp was one of the best decisions I have ever made! Right away I could feel how Summer Trails was more than a camp - it was family. I began my Summer Trails experience as a group counselor for two summers, and made friends with people that I am still close with today. After taking a few summers off because I was living in New Jersey, I relocated back to New York and the first place I wanted to go was Summer Trails. This time I was excited to join Summer Tails as a Sports Specialist for several summers. I loved every second of working with children and teaching sports such as kickball, flag football, lacrosse and basketball. During the summer of 2014 I joined the Summer Trails Leadership Team. As Athletic Director, I get to share my love of sports with children and work with staff to develop a high level of instruction. I also truly enjoy being silly and you may find me on stage in a talent show or dressed up with a bit of extra enthusiasm for a special event day. I am thrilled that my three sons have the opportunity to experience Summer Trails as well.
My Summer Trails story began in 2002. I was an elementary school teacher who was looking for a summer camp for my children. I came to camp to meet the director as a parent and left with not only my daughters enrolled, but also a staff contract as the Nature Specialist! The first summer was so much fun that I knew Summer Trails would be our summer home for many more summers to come. I loved having a huge outside classroom, and I planned activities to incorporate the amazing campgrounds. Camp was making me a better teacher. Down the line, I joined the Leadership Team as the Lower Grove Group Leader working with entering first and second graders. I love being on a team that helps to train new counselors, as well as plan, organize, and prepare events. I enjoy working with the campers' parents to help make their children's summer a success. I have learned that success is measured very differently for each family, each camper, and each summer! I also am focused on being a strong support to my counselors. My staff has become some of my closest friends, my family. I love returning each year and although I am now Lower Grove Leader I still go down to the pond every chance I can, always making sure to stop and sing a song with Jeanne!
My Summer Trails story began in 1995 as a camper in the Lower Grove. From my initial summer I felt connected with Summer Trails. I loved the variety of activities, the super special events and most of all the people. I also appreciate the little details; I look forward to sitting with my friends everyday at lunch and opening my brown sack lunch with my mother’s hand drawn daily art work (even now as an adult!). I love the energy of team week—Go Blue, Go Gold, Go Little Grove Green, and especially the camaraderie of our community at the end. I love the mess of puff eating—and the accomplishment that each individual feels as they participate. From camper to counselor to Leadership Team Member, these moments, among a long list of others, when shared with people you care about are what make Summer Trails special. In 2005 I joined the Summer Trails staff as a Lower Grove Group Counselor. From there I have had the honor of holding many positions including Lower Grove Assistant Group Leader, Athletic Director, Southwoods Trip Co-Leader and Upper Grove Group Leader. Each summer I look forward to working with an amazing group of campers and staff!
My Summer Trails story began in 1997, the summer I was a camper in nursery girls. I have transitioned from camper, to LIT, to staff member/counselor, and now, I am proud to join the Summer Trails Leadership Team. Throughout my life at Summer Trails, I have made many lifelong friends and countless memories. As a camper, one of my favorite days was the Hollyrock game show; it gave me such excitement to go on stage to answer questions and compete for my team. As a staff member, special event days are still among my favorite days to participate in because I am able to create the excitement that the various days bring to the campers. Being part of camp has allowed me the privilege to be an integral part of many children's wonderful summer camp experiences and encourage their growth throughout the summer, as my counselors had with me. It is amazing to me that being a camper and being a staff member are very different but equally rewarding camp experiences. I am excited to be a part of the leadership team so that I can continue to be a part of children's and counselors' individual growth and development in a FUN environment!
We are excited to welcome Cole to the Leadership Team as the LIT and Program Director. Prior to beginning his teaching career, Cole was a year-round Southwoods Staff member. He is currently teaching Middle School science. Cole and his son James can’t wait to start Summer Trails!
My Summer Trails story began in 1974- the very first summer of Summer Trails. I am privileged to be a part of every single Summer Trails season. I live in the beautiful willow tree shaded pond and spend my days sunbathing on logs, swimming amongst my friends the fish and the otters, and enjoying regular visits from beautiful birds (I especially love when the herring birds visit). I love listening to the sounds of summer; children laughing, camp songs echoing, the splish and splash of kids in the pools, and the bouncing of balls at the courts. My favorite Summer Trails activity is when campers participating in nature activities visit me at the pond. They spoil me with treats. Can you guess what I like to eat?