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Dec. 3, 2004

Former School Principal Suggests 'Give Camp Hollis for the Holidays'
By MARY SLIMMER
Former Principal, Riley Elementary School
Member, Friends of Camp Hollis Board of Directors

Are you trying to think of an unusual holiday gift for your children or grandchildren?

Here's a gift that will provide them an opportunity for building lasting friendships, teach new skills, and embrace them with a new confidence. Not only will it be fun for them, but they will acquire information that will help them succeed in school without them knowing it!

So, what is it? It is the gift of a registration fee to attend Camp Hollis during the summer break. For a fee, which is based on the family's income, your child or grandchild will camp overnight with other children the same age. For ages 9 to 12 the program is one week long. The cost per child varies from $25 to $150 based on family income. Camp Hollis also offers a mini-camp for 8-year-olds. A phone call to the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau will give you the actual cost.

Are you nervous about the care and guidance your child will receive? I would be, too. Camp Hollis trains all of the counselors who will be working with your child. A registered nurse is also on site. Jim Farfaglia, the camp's director, oversees all programs and operations of the facility.

Do you think your child will get homesick? Well, gather a group of friends and encourage them all to register for a great camping experience with canoeing, swimming, and all the other fantastic camping opportunities. They may not bunk together but they would share many of the same activities.

Are you wondering about the facilities? Well, please come to visit on Sunday, May 22, 2005. We are planning an open house so you can visit the cabins, participate in camp activities, ask questions, and experience the beautiful lakefront environment.

How do I know so much about Camp Hollis? I am a recently retired elementary school principal. I love working with children and for children. So when I was asked to be on the board of directors for Friends of Camp Hollis, I couldn't resist. Well, at first I wanted to resist because I never had the opportunity to camp and knew very little about camping…so I thought.

However, as I remain on the board, I realize that camping is just a different type of classroom. But this classroom offers so many more opportunities to teach hands-on skills and social lessons, too. One of the first things I suggested to Jim was to assign one of our members the task of aligning the educational standards to all the opportunities for learning at Camp Hollis. We did, and we discovered that many of the standards in each of the various subjects are addressed in various ways. What a great weeklong field trip for students!

So if this sounds appealing for your children (as a holiday gift, or just because), call the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau at 349-3451 and ask for Jim Farfaglia. He will answer your questions and help you decide if this is for you! We can provide a gift certificate for your gift giving, too.

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