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TEC and SCOPE: Giving Children the Gift of Camp

What does it mean when we say “Better for Having Been”? There are so many ways spending summers at Trail’s End makes us the best version of ourselves. Anyone who walks into the gates is forever changed for the better.

At camp, children gain emotional, social and physical skills while learning from positive role models. Now, imagine a world where every child can go to camp, regardless of background.  This is exactly what SCOPE is trying to make happen.

SCOPE – Summer Camp Opportunities Promote Education

SCOPE (Summer Camp Opportunities Promote Education) is a nonprofit organization that provides “camperships” for children from low income families and underserved communities.  These camperships let children who need it most experience the magic of summer camp. This past summer, 750 campers between the ages of 7-16 were able to attend camp through SCOPE.

Trail’s End Camp and SCOPE

Trail's End Camp members of the SCOPE Junior Leadership Council

Trail’s End Camp members of the SCOPE Junior Leadership Council

Trail’s End Camp has partnered with SCOPE for years. Marc was previously the president of the SCOPE board, and Sara is currently a member of the SCOPE Associate Board.  We’re proud to say we even have Trail’s End campers on the SCOPE Junior Leadership Council!

We caught up with Taylor Seid, Leadership Trainee ‘18 and member of the SCOPE Junior Leadership Council, to see what inspired her to help kids experience the magic of summer camp.

“Camp and the experiences and friends I have made there have shaped me into the person I am today and allowed me to learn and grow so much. I feel like many people in my community take for granted the experiences we get by going to camp, so I wanted to help out with SCOPE in order to give those opportunities and unforgettable experiences to kids who are less fortunate. Kids who might have not even thought about attending camp are now able to go and learn due to SCOPE.”

Trail’s End Camp partners with SCOPE as part of our TEC Cares program. TEC Cares works to give back to the broader community, while instilling the values and importance of giving back in our campers.  We’re better for having been at Trail’s End Camp, and we want to help more kids be better for having been offered opportunities through SCOPE camperships.

How you can help!

Want to help children experience the magic of camp? SCOPE is launching their Smore4SCOPE campaign this Giving Tuesday! On Tuesday, November 27 you have the chance to help give even more children the summer camp experience.

Playing with Attitude Over Aptitude at TEC!

Think back to your favorite summer camp memories. Now, how many of those memories take place on the fields and courts of TEC? Playing an intense game of European Handball during Olympics, competing in an out-of-camp tournament, or even laughing with your friends during a wacky relay; there’s just no denying it, sharing these moments with camp friends is a huge part of the Trail’s End Camp experience!Trail’s End is an all-around camp with a strong sports program. For us, sports take on a number of different forms, from team sports, including basketball, soccer, hockey and baseball, to individual sports, like gymnastics, golf, tennis, outdoor adventure, water skiing and more. We want our campers active, and through our combined structured and elective-based program everyone gets the chance to take part in a wide variety of athletic activities.

To celebrate this, and in honor of May being National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, we’ve decided to have a chat with some of our returning athletic directors: Mo, Baseball Director; Dani, Gymnastics Director; Becci, Movement Director; and Carson, former Hockey Director!

Attitude Over Aptitude

We can’t talk about sports at TEC without bringing up our motto: “attitude over aptitude.” We asked our returning directors what this means to them. Simply put, Dani describes attitude over aptitude as “enjoying a sport even if you’re not a sporty person.” You might not consider yourself the most athletic person outside of camp, but at TEC you’re encouraged to “try something new and be proud of yourself for taking the next step at your own pace.” Trail’s End offers an incredibly supportive environment as you try something you never had the courage to do before.

Even avid athletes can find something in this motto! Carson sees it as “putting your best out there, no matter the circumstances.” Becci adds, “this vision is transferable into everyday life, not just in sports. Striving to achieve a present, positive and willing attitude to reach success for both yourself and others around you!”

Mo believes “having the right attitude will help you and those around you to be better, work harder, and have a goal in mind.” Our sports program allows even the most skilled player to be challenged and encourages them, during both electives and our specialty camps, to bring their game to the next level.

The Best Part of Coaching at TEC

It’s obvious campers have tons of fun while playing at camp, but who knew our athletic staff were having just as much fun coaching them?! We asked Becci, Carson, Dani and Mo about the best part of coaching their sports at TEC.

“My favorite part of being Movement Director at TEC is observing the campers letting go and being themselves. Viewing the campers relax into meditation in yoga, to being creative and working as a team in dance, to calling imaginative cheers in the pavilion or “Zumba-ing” their hearts away in aerobics. They manage to put aside all outside issues and focus on having a good time!” – Becci

“My favorite part of coaching hockey was the people and relationships you could build through the sport.” – Carson

“For me, it’s getting to see all the campers, from Lower Rangers to Girls Varsity, coming to gymnastics, having fun and trying something new each period!” – Dani

“It’s getting to know each group and each kid individually. Every group and every kid is different, with different abilities. Baseball is supposed to be fun, and I try to bring that to camp. When I coach in other places it is more serious with a winning goal in mind. At camp, I want the kids to improve and have fun at the same time. Seeing kids that couldn’t hit the ball actually hitting in a game and seeing their faces is priceless. That’s what I love about camp.” – Mo

A Summer Full of Sports Moments

Remember those memories from previous summers we discussed? Well, our returning directors have their own favorite sports memories they’d love to share!

“My favorite moment as Movement Director is when the Buddies performed at a dance competition last summer. They were given a very fun but difficult dance, with limited time to rehearse. The girls used every spare minute they had to practice their movement together, and when they performed they blew me away. They came to the stage with energy, smiles and complete unity. Although they didn’t win, for me they won the whole competition!” – Becci

“My favorite memory from coaching was in a Lower Cavaliers game when we traveled to another camp. They shined and played great together, cheered one another on and pushed each other to do their best. Every boy scored in that game. One boy actually refused to get off the court, begging ‘I just want to be able to get him (the last boy to score) a goal.’ They cheered for every one of our goals, and even for the other team’s goals. Days like that made me proud to be at TEC.” – Carson

“My favorite moment was taking campers that have never performed in front of anyone before to a meet and seeing how excited they were when they placed in the Top 5 as a team!” – Dani

“I remember once after practice a camper came up to me and said ‘I never used to like baseball, but now I do. Thank you, Coach Mo.’ That really made my summer! Another moment was when a camper struck out and we lost the game. The camper was crying and the rest of the team came and gave him a hug, telling him that it was ok and lifting his spirits. That was awesome to be a part of.” – Mo

 

In this coming summer, there are many more memories to be made as we run around camp, trying new things, keeping it moving, and having fun with our camp friends. Who knows how many new favorite sports moments we’ll be making this summer?

Left My Heart in Beach Lake

It’s only been 6 weeks since the buses pulled away, but it feels like forever since the sun set on Summer 2017. It was an amazing 7 weeks of friendship, spirit and fun, making it even harder to say goodbye to our summer home. But if you close your eyes and listen closely, you can still hear the sounds of summer that instantly transport you back to Trail’s End. You can hear the crackle of the campfire at the Axelrod site, the opening notes of “Waving Through A Window” and the splash of lake water as you jump off the Aqua Park. If you concentrate hard enough, you can even smell the cookout cookies, feel the wind in your hair as you speed down the zipline, and see the smiling faces of your bunkmates and counselors. 

As your school year kicks off, and the sounds of reveille are replaced by the buzz of your alarm clock, we hope the memories of this incredible two months don’t fade. And when you miss Trail’s End, put on this playlist, turn up the volume and dance like no one’s watching you in the dining room.

As we patiently wait for Summer 2018, we hope you keep the TEC spirit alive throughout the year: Write a snail mail letter to your bunkmate. Schedule a family line up after dinner. Wear a tutu to school. Plan a lip sync battle for your friends. Insist on s’mores for dessert (even if you make them in the microwave).

Only 36 Saturdays until Opening Camp Fire!

Introducing Our Leadership Team – Summer 2015

Leadership TeamWelcome to the Summer of 2015! We would like to introduce you to our leadership team. Calvin Snyder, Stephanie Fineman, Zach Wahl-Alexander and Katie Donahue represent the Boys Campus, Girls Campus and Varsity. Juli Puglisi is our Parent Liaison and Special Needs Coordinator. Adam Haines serves as our Athletic Director, Sara Harl is our Evening Programer and Sara Fetterhoff is our Assistant Director leading all prospective families through camp during the summer. Stacy Carus, our other Assistant Director, will continue to work out of the New York office in Wantagh. Please feel free to contact them with any needs you have this summer.

Calvin SnyderScreen Shot 2015-06-06 at 12.58.36 PM
Nickname: Cal
Favorite Sports Team: Cleveland Browns
Favorite Color: Blue
Favorite Movie: “Field of Dreams”
Favorite Quote: “There may be people that have more talent than you, but there’s no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do.” – Derek Jeter
Favorite Camp Tradition: Olympics
Years in Camp: 12
Position In Camp: Boys Head Counselor
Favorite Camp Memory: The first line-up skit on Boys Campus!

Screen Shot 2015-06-06 at 12.58.10 PMMy name is Calvin Snyder and I have been coming to Trail’s End for the past twelve summers. I started as a baseball counselor then moved up to Group Leader and finally now the Boys Head Counselor. I am originally from Ohio but now have been living and working in Germantown, Maryland at Sheridan School as an Athletic Director and Physical Education teacher for the past 9 years. I can’t wait to spend another summer with my camp family and get to know all the new staff members and campers.

Stephanie FinemanIMG_9536
Nickname: Steph or “Mom”
Favorite Sports Team:  Florida Panthers
Favorite Color: TEC Green
Favorite Movie:  “Overboard!” and “The Shining”
Favorite Quote:  “You’re gonna need a bigger boat!” (Jaws)
Favorite Camp Tradition:  When Stan announces the Olympic teams at the cook out slope and asks if “they are ready” prior to going through the Olympic Village and Campfire
Years in Camp:  This is our 6th summer
Position in Camp:  Girls Head Counselor
Favorite Camp Memory:  Group Nights at the Arts and Crafts shop

IMG_7704Hi everyone!  It is a pleasure and an honor to introduce myself to all of you.  To begin, I’m the Mom who never grew up!  I have been camping since I was 11 years old, and will continue to do it until I cannot anymore.  (Hopefully never!)  Our family is from Florida, and while I get to play with all of your children along with my two boys, my fabulous husband, Alan, remains in the tropical heat to make us a living so we can continue the fun.  The Fineman’s are looking forward to another wonderful summer, as always.  I can’t wait to see how much all of “my girls” have grown up since last summer, as well as meeting all the “new friends” starting this season.  I am so happy to switch from my winter job as a teacher in the classroom, to the outdoor fresh air of beautiful Beach Lake, Pennsylvania.

Zach Wahl-AlexanderScreen Shot 2015-06-06 at 12.53.20 PM
Nickname: The Dr.
Favorite Sports Team: Alabama Crimson Tide
Favorite Color: Blue
Favorite Movie: “Gladiator”
Favorite Quote:  “I am the master of the universe.”
Favorite Camp Tradition: Olympic captains being called down the hill
Years in Camp: 4
Position In Camp: Varsity Head Counselor
Favorite Camp MemoryScreen Shot 2015-06-06 at 12.53.01 PM: Brian Carus being awarded Olympic captain

My name is Zachary Wahl-Alexander, and this is my 4th summer at Trail’s End.  For my first two summers, I was the Group Leader for the Pioneers, and last summer I shared an office with Calvin and served as Boys Head Counselor.  This summer, I am the Varsity Boys Head Counselor, and cannot wait to be down in the village.  I recently graduated from the University of Alabama with my PhD in Human Performance and began to officially be called Dr. in May.  I start work as an assistant professor at Northern Illinois University in August, and am very excited to start the next chapter in my life.

Katie DonahueScreen Shot 2015-06-06 at 12.53.58 PM
Nickname: Sunshine
Favorite Sports Team: The Alabama Crimson Tide
Favorite Color: Anything pastel
Favorite Movie: “The Princess Bride”
Favorite Quote: “In a world where you can be anything… be yourself”
Favorite Camp Tradition: Olympics
Years in Camp: 6
Position In Camp: Varsity Girls Head Counselor
Favorite Camp Memory: The last day of camp during my last year as a Group Leader (2013) when I spent the whole day with my girls sharing our favorite memories about the summer. I was (and still am) so proud of the cohesive, supportive, and loving group of girls. I watched them grow and felt so lucky to have been a part of their journey.

My name is Katie Donahue and this is my 6th summer at TEC. I started as a counselor for the Lower Collegiates back in 2010 and this summer I will complete my second year as Head Counselor down in Varsity. I can’t believe that the girls I had when I was a counselor will be COUNSELORS THEMSELVES this summer!
Screen Shot 2015-06-06 at 12.57.39 PMI received my undergraduate degree in Middle Childhood Education from The Ohio State University and this past December, I graduated with my Masters in Elementary Education from the University of Alabama, Roll Tide! After graduation, I got hired as a 6th grade math and science teacher in Alabama and loved it! However, I am leaving the warm weather and southern hospitality for Illinois after camp this year because Zach got a job as a professor at Northern Illinois University. I am currently looking for an Elementary teaching position and can’t wait for camp this summer.

Juli PuglisiFullSizeRender 2
Favorite sports Team: Giants
Favorite Color : Light blue ( Sabrina said it is purple but I think it’s light blue)
Favorite Movie : “The Fugitive”
Favorite Quote: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”- Wayne Gretzky.
Favorite Camp Tradition: Opening Olympic Ceremony
Years in Camp : 11 as a camper and will be 5 as a staff member
Position in camp: Parent Liaison/ Office Manager
Favorite camp memory: Olympics 2013- Flash Mob!

FullSizeRenderI live in Dix Hills, New York with my husband Greg and three children, Ellie (13), Sam (11) and Sabrina (11). I was a Special Education teacher in Manhattan until I had my children. After a few years off I moved to Long Island and went back to work as an Early Intervention teacher.  In 2011, I had the opportunity to start working at Trail’s End. This meant the world to me as Trail’s End has been my childhood summer home, starting as a Buddie in 1981 and continuing all the way through as a counselor. I love being up at camp and watching my children and the other campers have the experience that formed so many of my own childhood memories. My husband, Greg also gets to share in this experience as the camp doctor. I can’t wait for the memories of 2015.

Adam HainesScreen Shot 2015-06-25 at 6.36.36 AM
Nickname :  Tater Salad  (Ron White reference, I have no nickname)
Favorite Sports Teams:  San Antonio Spurs, Florida State football
Favorite Color:  Green
Favorite Movie:  “Saving Private Ryan,” “Braveheart,” “Band of Brothers” miniseries, “Elf” around Christmas time
Favorite Quotes: “The way you do anything is the way you do everything;”   “Give a man a fish, feed him for the day, teach a man to fish, feed him for life.”  “You can’t learn in school what the world is going to do next year.”
Favorite Camp tradition:  Olympics break, captain selection and opening ceremony
Years in Camp:  7
Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 6.36.26 AMPosition in Camp:  Athletic Director and Basketball Director
Favorite Camp Memory:  Going to New York to make the movie for finding the missing torch for Olympics.

My name is Adam Haines.  I have been a teacher and basketball coach at the varsity level for 14 years and this is my 7th summer at Trail’s End.  I have been married to my wife Laurel for 11 years and I have two boys,  Wyatt who is 8 and Levi who is 7.  We live in the Charlotte, NC area but my wife is from Pennsylvania and I grew up in Virginia.

 

 

Sarah Harl
Nickname: The Other Sara(h)Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 6.39.03 AM
Favorite Sports Team: Iowa Hawkeyes
Favorite Color: Turquoise
Favorite Movie:
 “Beauty and the Beast”
Favorite Quote: “Sometimes I believe in as many as six impossible things before breakfast” – Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
Favorite Camp Tradition: I couldn’t pick – either Rope Burn or College Day Base Race
Years in Camp: 9
Position In Camp: Evening and Special Events Director
Favorite Camp Memory: The prep for and the Dr. Seuss breakout.

Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 6.38.03 AMBy way of background, I’m originally from Iowa and graduated from Simpson College with a degree in Sports and Entertainment Management. In January, I moved to New Jersey and have been loving my new East Coast life. In my free time, I love to attend sporting events, travel (including making as many trips back to Iowa as I can!), and plan 1,001 Olympic Breaks. I can’t wait to spend summer number 9 in 18405!

 

Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 6.39.58 AMSara Fetterhoff
Favorite Sports Team: Boston Celtics and Michigan State Men’s Basketball
Favorite Color: Teal
Favorite Movie: “The Goonies”
Favorite Quote:  “Maybe I have lost a few more games than planned, but, it won’t be the wins I’ll remember forever. It will be the blood, sweat, tears and friends that I’ve gained playing the game I love.” – Larry Bird
Favorite Camp Tradition: SING
Years in Camp: 8
Position In Camp: Assistant Director
Favorite Camp Memory: Winning Sing with the UBuds and URangers in 2011!

Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 6.44.12 AMMy name is Sara Fetterhoff, I have been spending the past 8 summers at Trail’s End. Starting off as the basketball counselor with the Middies, I worked my way up and now spend 12 months a year thinking and planning for camp. What could be better!? This summer my first year campers are officially staff members, which is crazy to me. During the summers, I run our tour program and help educate all prospective families about how great Trail’s End is. I am so excited for the summer of 2015 and reunite with all of my favorite people.

Stacy Carus39671_417446548516_1254212_n
Favorite Sports Team: New York Islanders
Favorite Color: Green/Blue
Favorite Movie: “Inception”
Favorite Quote:  “Summer afternoon, summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”  –  Henry James
Favorite Camp Tradition: Apache Relay during Olympics
Years in Camp: 12
Position In Camp: Assistant Director
Favorite Camp Memory: Frog hunting during free play!

39333_418965738516_372809_nI came to TEC in 2003 as the Girls Head Counselor. That summer, four Carus’ went to camp. Ben was in his second summer as a Kadet, Brian was starting camp as an Upper Ranger and Erin was beginning camp as one of the Lower Lower Buddies.
My summers up on girls’ campus were the best summers of my life! I especially loved canoeing and sailing and connecting with so many wonderful girls and counselors. After my first summer, I joined the staff in the winter office and became Assistant Director for the winter months. As the last Carus camper finished Varsity in 2010, I switched roles and became Assistant Director in the New York office year-round. Of course, I still come up to camp a few times each summer – I haven’t missed a Visiting Day in 13 years!

 

 

TEC – Florida Style

Florida Reunion Photo

Florida Style – The Trail’s End Camp crew left New York and headed south last weekend to spend some time with our Florida Camp Families!  The sun was out and there were lots of hugs and laughter.  What a fantastic time we had at CineBowl in Delray Beach, Florida.

We spent the afternoon catching up with returning campers, meeting new campers and their families, while bowling. Some familiar staff members stopped by to say hello – Girls Head Counselor, Stephanie Fineman, Robyn Moskowitz, our summer bookkeeper, Shari Mullen, our new tennis director, Beth Herman, TEC’s previous waterfront director (who now works at Chestnut Lake) and Sarah Harl, one of our programming team members. Even Richie and Arlene Pearl made an appearance. We celebrated Fletcher Fineman and Sam Mullen’s birthdays with the traditional Trail’s End Camp birthday song and cupcakes.

It was fun to have everyone together enjoying each other’s company. As always, our reunions, and the photos you send us of your reunions, make us excited for the upcoming summer. Check out the photos below from the Florida reunion and other reunions that happened over the February break. Only 118 more days till opening campfire, but who’s counting!