Tuesday, March 29, 2016

SI= pH + Tf + Cf + Af - TDSf ???

What does..... SI= pH + Tf + Cf + Af - TDSf mean? And what does it have to do with camp?

Well, that's what I'm learning right now. I'm taking the Certified Pool Operators course to learn all kinds of neat (and sometimes disgusting) things about making the pool clean and safe for our campers.I'm taking the test after finishing the course tomorrow.

And with all this knowledge - I can make sure the pool at camp is clear and balanced.

A well balanced pool makes a happy pool...and a happy pool makes happy campers!

Wish me luck!.

PS ...

The Saturation index (SI) is derived from adding the value of the pool's acidity (pH) plus the Temperature (T) plus the Calcium Factor (Cf)  plus the Alkalinity Factor (Af) minus the value assigned for Total Dissolved Solids Factor (TDSf). The Saturation index helps to assess if the water in the pool has a tendency to be corrosive or or deposit calcium carbonate (scale). This lets you know what chemicals to add to balance the pool.  Just an FYI

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

About Me

So I guess it's time to tell you more about myself, since March and April are pretty quiet up here in the north country, and there isn't much to do until the mud and the bugs pass.

Back in 1985, after my sophomore year at SUNY Geneseo, my friends and I were hanging out in Spencer, NY. My friend's  father, Kermit Bossard, was a cooperative extension agent for Chemung County. He had heard that Hidden Valley 4-H Camp needed staff, (I think he wanted to get rid of us, since we hung out at his house so much!) so he had me check it out. I was hired on the spot for that summer as a camp counselor, and I haven't missed a summer since!
Hidden Valley Staff 1985

After that first summer I worked at Hidden Valley , one more year as a counselor, the next as the Arts and Crafts Director, and the last as the Head Resident- a position where I ran the afternoon and evening programs.

In 1989, a new director was hired at Hidden Valley, and he hired an entire new senior staff. So I applied and was hired at 4-H Camp Sacandaga as the Arts and Crafts director- I also shared the Assistant Director role with Dave Sherman, the Nature Director. I think it was around this time that I realized that I wanted to be a part of camp year round- and make a career out of it.

Senior Staff with Tom
In 1990, Tom Planty was hired as the Director of Hidden Valley, and I returned there to work for 4 years as the Assistant Director. I learned so many lessons about getting the best out of your staff from Tom, and many of the things I still do today were developed while working at Hidden Valley. Many of my life long friends are the ones I met at at that camp, and we still talk about the crazy things we did, the fun we had and how much camp had a lasting impression on our lives.

During the "off seasons" after college (between summers of camp) I worked mainly as an environmental educator  at a few different outdoor education centers, like Greenkill Outdoor Education Center and Horizons for Youth. While I worked as the Assistant Director of HFY, I heard about a director position at 4-H Camp Sacandaga. In the Spring of 1994 I applied and was hired to be the Director.

For seven years I was the director. During that time I met so many wonderful young people, and Camp Sacandaga became my home. Each year I looked forward to coming back to this special place.

Sacandaga is a magical place- all of us who worked here or came here can tell you- there is something about the spirt of this place- the heart, that brings you back year after year.

I still continued to try different things during the off season, and did everything from running a Nordic ski center at the Friends Lake Inn to being a Residence Hall Coordinator at SUNY Morrisville.

But the gypsy lifestyle was getting harder to maintain, and it was harder for me to leave camp and return each year. 4-H Camp Sacandaga did not have a year round program, and I wanted to have an impact on youth year round.

LGC staff of 2001
A position became available at Lindley G. Cook 4-H Camp in Northern NJ. So in December of 2000, I moved to New Jersey and became the Director of LG Cook.

I learned so many valuable lessons and know the merits of having young people go through a leadership program and become staff. I hope to be able to create that kind of program here. I also discovered that the key to a great program is the young people you hire to be on staff. Without a core of young, enthusiastic and dedicated people, the program can't grow. Over the next 15 years we developed a strong program that I am very proud of. Many of the people on staff at LG Cook were campers that I have watched grow up.

While at LGC 4-H Camp Sacandaga was closed after the summer of 2005. It was sold in 2010. Many of us who were a part of the 4-H camp were heartbroken. But I forged a friendship with the new owners, who were able to give the camp the love and attention it needed. They put alot of heart and soul into the place, and the camp shows it!.

Last Summer they approached me with the idea of buying the camp. After negotiating, searching for funds, working and reworking the figures, I was finally ready to take the next step - to be an owner of a camp. It has been an amazing adventure so far, and I am looking forward to see what happens next!

I moved up here on February 8th - which brings  us to the present.

Well, that is enough about me. I need to get outside and start cleaning up camp.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016


Well the day is finally here. After days of work, tinkering and at times frustration, the website and registration is finally ready!


I can now offically announce...



Check out the website, and if you have any questions, please call me at 518.548.4742.

I look forward to hearing from you, and seeing you this summer!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Ice Hike

Rich Turnbull showed up this weekend to help out with a few projects around camp.

We decided to use the GPS and see if we could find the borders of camp. We found a line of trees that had yellow dots painted on them, and when we followed them, we discovered that they were the borders of camp. 

Here is the track from the GPS. We didn't get to walk the boarder on the other side of the road, because the markers were not up,  but I have seen the painted dots at the back of the area we use to call the blue berry patch. I will update that when I get over there this spring. I also did not include the small patch that is the house next door .

We found a really cool old foundation, and it was a really great hike. Icy- but fun.


I can't wait until we get the trail set up across the road.