June 18, 2013


Posted by Joshua Holmes, Sailing Coordinator for Peconic Dunes 4-H Camp, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County

Over the past week, we were given a great opportunity to improve our sailing skills by attending an US Sailing Instructor Course. It was an intensive four-day learning experience, which pushed us into the challenge zone and we feel we have become stronger because of it.

On our arrival we were warmly welcomed by YMCA Camp Chingachgook, which is situated on the beautiful Lake George, in upstate New York.

The four-day course consisted of lesson planning, learning how to get the best out of our sailors at Peconic Dunes 4-H Camp, and most importantly how to keep everybody safe.

We would like to say a massive thank you to Chris, Pam and YMCA Camp Chingachgook for an awesome experience.

Our four international sailing instructors had a great time getting to know each other, being pushed to the limit, coming out covered in bruises but evolving into an amazing sailing team. Bring on Summer 2013 at Peconic Dunes!

June 8, 2013


Posted by Pamelyn Beukes, Waterfront Program Director for Peconic Dunes 4-H Camp, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County

So this week has been a very busy week! Peconic Dunes officially has 14 newly certified lifeguards as well as 3 newly certified lifeguard instructors and water safety instructors. Lifeguards play a very important role to waterfront safety throughout the summer and will be situated primarily on the Sound for sailing and snorkeling, and on the Great Pond for kayaking and canoeing. This year we will also have certified lifeguards in the STEM, and Trekking departments.

To prepare for the awesome summer ahead, our lifeguards have been working very hard. This is how their week looked…

Despite less than optimal weather conditions on Monday, and a few nervous faces, the lifeguards braved the cold waters and completed a successful swimming test to check for fitness. Tuesday was filled with rescue scenarios and videos to prepare us for anything. After two days of intense training, the lifeguards participated in a practical test, in which they had to save victims that were active, passive, and had spinal injuries.  The lifeguards made Peconic Dunes proud, and I would definitely feel safe knowing they will be on the beach this summer looking after the campers. The week ended with the new instructors presenting a first aid, CPR and AED class, that was followed by a written test taken by the lifeguards.

We are all looking forward to great, and safe summer on and off the water, and cannot wait to see you all at camp!

June 4, 2013


Ryan Charles Frazer, CIT/Leadership Program Director at Peconic Dunes 4-H Camp, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County

Rookie Camp: Year 5 has just come to a close. Friday started as any first day of camp, with parents rolling up in their various modes of transportation, apprehensive to leave their children in the hands of a stranger. On the other hand, wild-eyed children were excited for the infinite potential of camp and enthusiastically greeted the friendly staff of Peconic Dunes. Parents helped their children unload and provide comfort and encouragement to their children, whilst the counselors tried to do the same for the parents who were equally as unsure and concerned for the long weekend ahead. Eventually parents parted ways with their beloved children and set off back to their respective homes, where they would surely eagerly be awaiting the final day of the experience so they could be reunited with their children.

After the parents left the children quickly acclimated to the camp lifestyle and began building new friendships. Friday night, the campers played various group games including Capture the Flag and Park Ranger. Unknown to the kids, these games were a plot by their counselors to help exhaust them and prepare them for a good night sleep, which would be the first night away from home for some. Campers were unfazed and went on to challenge our efforts and in fact push their counselors to the brink of collapse. The campers had plans of their own. The end of the night closed with a ceremonial campfire that introduced campers to various camp songs such as “Rare Bog Rattling Bog", "No Bananas In the Sky", and "Donut Shop.” Campers couldn’t understand the significance of this night as this particular campfire they sat around was a record setter for camp reaching 15 feet in height at its apex!

The next morning we began with the normal regiment of flag raising and breakfast. Following this the campers had the opportunity to live out their dreams and partake in great activities such as archery, kayaking and canoeing. Disillusioned by limited sleep and the infinite energy of this particular group of campers, counselors again tried their luck at getting the campers to rest during siesta, but to no avail. The day would continue on and campers would eat up any opportunity they could to fulfill their goals of trying new things. The night would end with another campfire of which many of the new faces that had now firmly settled themselves in the camp culture would participate in skits and flaunt their respective talents to their new friends and family. After many songs and skits, campers returned to their cabins for their final night at camp. Finally, the counselors had achieved their nightly goal of exhausting the children and in most cases, the children went to sleep with little resistance and slept soundly until the following morning.

Sunday morning came and the campers knew that time was dwindling away. They would begin the day with breakfast and the final activities soon ensued. The counselors began the closing process and helped the children pack up their things knowing full well, no matter how explicit they would be with their instruction, and no matter how many times they reminded the campers not to forget anything, a straggling sandal would probably remain. After lunch the children played some final games and felt the combination of love and disappointment as their parents would again slowly trickle into the camp and pick them up. Tears and smiles littered the faces of the campers as they left camp, but a new spot in their hearts had forever been dedicated to Peconic Dunes.

May 14, 2013


Posted by Ryan Frazer, CIT/Leadership Program Director at Peconic Dunes 4-H Camp, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County

This offseason we were really excited to have identified an obvious connection between our Leadership Program (8 – 15 year olds) and our CIT program (16 year olds). The goals of both programs have been to develop skills in young people that would help them to be leaders in their respective communities. So why not run them under the same department and program director?!?

Ryan Frazer, CIT/Leadership Program Director and 7-year Peconic Dunes veteran was excited by the opportunity to begin working with the younger campers. “We are engaged in making these two programs reflect on one another in a way that allows the leadership program to be a complement to the learning opportunities afforded to our counselors-in-training in our intensive 4 week training program when campers graduate from camp at the age of 15,” Ryan said in one breath. Ryan also added that 16 former CITs will be joining our team this year, with the oldest graduates finishing the program in 2009.

Camp Director Chris Colahan and 2009 CITs, Moriah Santiago (2013 Garden Science Instructor), Connor Johnston (2013 Basketball Instructor), Andrew Capone (2013 Chief! and Waterfront Instructor), and Kevin Crawfish

The CIT Program remains relatively the same with a small infusion of new activities, like camping skills, Leadership apprenticeship, and skits to kick off Vespers. The Leadership Program will see some new games and a greater CIT presence. The CITs who apprentice at Leadership will be there to support the instructors and to practice some of the active listening and group facilitation skills they learn during Peer Mediation Training.

Ryan with 2012 CITs...several of whom are 2013 Junior Counselors

Some of the other faces we will see leading these programs this year are Chelsea Duffy, the newly established CIT Programming Coordinator, and our leadership instructors, Adam Higgins and Kayleigh Hackett. All of these individuals possess unique skills and experience that will make this department one to marvel at.

As a team we are all excited for the opportunity to work with the future leaders of our global community. This is going to be an activity filled summer that will bring new opportunity and adventure to create memories for a lifetime. See you this summer!

May 6, 2013


Posted by Mike Hogan, Sports Director at Peconic Dunes 4-H Camp, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County

Hunger Games has created a stir around the world to get kids involved in archery.  There is no better way to experience archery than at Peconic Dunes 4-H Camp. Our instructors, Alexa  and Caitlin,  will teach and challenge the campers to become the best shooters that they can be.  There will be so many fun games that relate to target shooting.  There will be no doubt that your child will be coming home excited to continue archery. Don’t worry parents we won’t allow the campers to shoot apples off other camper’s head. Just counselors!

Peconic Dunes 2012 - Week 3 - Sports Commercial from Peconic Dunes on Vimeo.

The NBA playoffs have begun and the New York Knicks are showing the world just what they are made of.  But in their path stands men named LEBRON, DWAYNE,  and DURANT.  At Peconic Dunes, you will be able to dribble like CPIII, pass like Ricky Rubio, shoot like Carmello Anthony, and watch the counselor Conor Johnston dunk like LEBRON.  Come to camp with your favorite jersey on and start your dream of playing in Madison Square Garden someday!

Do you Bend it like Beckham? Do you score like Messi?  Let’s see if you can score on Counselor, Michael Song.  Which cabin will win the World Cup? The Sandfleas? The Mozzies? The campers will also be allowed to take the New York Red Bull Challenge. This tests their ability in a variety of drills in dribbling, passing, and shooting. Who will beat Camp Director Chris Colahan’s record? The soccer curriculum will also consist of fun activities that are suited for all skill levels.

Put on the sunscreen, kick off those sandals, and work on those skills. It’s beach volleyball time!  Can You Dig It? Will you dive for a ball and end up like a breaded chicken cutlet? Here at Peconic Dunes, we will teach the campers the skills of passing, setting, spiking, serving and team formations. Your child will come home ready to dominate those backyard BBQ volleyball games.  The best part is to see the campers get so excited over a long rally win.  The curriculum will allow the campers to experience fun games to improve their skills.

BACK, BACK, BACK, GONE! Those are the famous words of Chris Berman during the homerun derby contest.  Counselors, Paul and James will improve the campers batting, fielding, base running, and game situations. The question is; Will you be able to hit their curve ball for a double, triple or homerun? Who will win the 2013 Homerun Derby? Can you beat Paul’s record of 6 consecutive homeruns hit? Don’t worry campers we will have a short porch so all can HIT ONE OUT.  Question of the week who will win more games by the all star break METS or YANKEES?

Who will be the next IRONMAN/IRONWOMAN? We have an exciting adventure trail through the woods where the campers must go over, under, and around obstacles. Then they put on those bathing suits and swim like Michael Phelps.  Finally, they hop on our brand new mountain bikes for a journey through beautiful Southold, NY.  A true TRI – ATHLETE!