Saturday, June 21, 2014


Our blogging efforts have moved to our website!

Read YMCA Camp Kon-O-Kwee Spencer's blog at:

Friday, August 16, 2013

Camp PATH: 8/14-17/2013

We've been having a terrific time this week with Camp PATH (Positive Attitudes Toward Health). These 22 sixth, seventh, eighth , and ninth grade camper arrived on Wednesday morning, and, sadly, will depart tomorrow afternoon.

Negotiating the swinging Tires on High Ropes

While at Kon-O-Kwee Spencer these campers engaged in:

  • An inspirational/motivational opening
  • Speedwalk camp tour
  • Swimming
  • Archery
  • GaGa (Israeli Dodgeball)
  • Teambuilding
  • Campfires
  • Journaling
  • Meal Building Workshop
  • Kickboxing
  • Canoeing & Kayaking
  • Water Aerobics
  • Synchronized Swimming
  • Gardening Demonstration
  • High Ropes & Low Ropes
  • Fitness Scheduling
  • Drums Alive!
  • Rotating Stations presented by Children's Hospital
  • Healthy Cooking Demonstration
  • Trail of Courage
  • Splash Pad Waterpark
  • Yoga
  • Closing Programs
Drums Alive!

These awesome campers enjoyed themselves while here, picked up some knowledge, and, hopefully, have been inspired as well.

Keep an eye out for Camp PATH in August of 2014!

An educational activity

Sampling produce from the gardening demonstration

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Week Six: Thursday

Well, things started out a little gloomy today, but the skies cleared quickly and everyone enjoyed another beautiful & sunny day at camp!

"Kid, You'll Move Mountains! You're off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So... get on your way!" -Dr. Suess

Sausage, egg, & cheese biscuits (served deconstructed for maximum versatility), along with cereal, oatmeal, fruit, granola, and yogurt were served for breakfast following morning flags & announcements. Afterwards, the Teen Wilderness & High Adventure campers went to the high ropes course to enjoy challenge elements set 40' in the air, as well as the Leap of Faith pamper pole, and the Giant's Swing.

All aboard the Spencer Express!

Juna, Gena, Sena, Fawna, Expa, & Lora all went to their skill building program areas within Program Zones. Now that they've visited each Zone ( Mon. - Wed.), campers could choose activities within a given Zone that they'd like to do again, improve their skills, or both. Today, Juna & Gena went to Windsong during Hour #1, Moondance during Hour #2, and Foxtail during Hour #3. The Sena & Fawna campers went to Foxtail, then Moondance, then Windsong, while Exa & Lora started at Moondance, moved onto Foxtail, and finished at Windsong.

Nearly everyones favorite, grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup, pickles, salad bar, and fudgesicles were served for lunch, followed by afternoon activities:

Juna had Rest Hour, followed by swimming at the pool, then one of the big highlights: JunaQuest, battling Shanooktooks all over camp and saving Kon-O-Kwee from their devious plans. The Gena campers had Rest Hour, followed by swim time then enjoyed the Disney Scavenger hunt, searching for the Seven Dwarves. Sena campers played GaGa, Rock Climbed, shot Air Rifles, completed the Trail of Courage, and swam at the pool while Fawna had Rest Hour, then one-week campers did High Ropes (Zip Line & Continuous Circuit with outdoor walls included) as two-weekers hiked to the Giant Sycamore, and all swam at the pool with Sena.

Expa & Lora campers swam, had some Firefly time, and wrapped up their afternoon with a Counselor Switch/Muddy Counselor extravaganza. The Teen & High Adventure campers had Rest Hour, played Ultimate Frisbee together on the lower ball field, and swam at the pool to cool off a bit. All gathered at flags for evening announcements, then chowed down on chicken burritos with rice and beans, salad bar, and apple crisp.

After dinner, all villages had cabin activity, Firefly, time and will gather in the Upper Ball Field at 8:00 p.m. to begin the Juna/Gena-led procession through camp to the pond for Closing Candlelight Ceremony: A time of reflection and inspiration... Each Village selects a camper who exemplifies the core values of Honesty, Caring, Respect, and Responsibility and that camper prepares a speech to share in front of the whole camp. Some music and singing while holding candles reflecting off the pond as dusk turns to dark sets the tone for the evening as campers head back to their villages for closing Village ceremonies, and finally, Light's Out.

Tomorrow campers will enjoy more skill-building options at Program Zones and either the pool or the Splash Pad before packing belongings, cleaning cabins, and saying their last goodbyes to old friends and new friends.

Thanks for reading the camp blog! Check back each week from now until next summer to keep track of what's happening at YMCA Camp Kon-O-Kwee Spencer!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Week Six: Wednesday

There was a whole lot of action going on at camp today! Grey skies crept in, but the rain stayed away, and Teen Wilderness & High Adventure Villages returned to the 16123.

Fun at the Trone Zone!

"Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

After announcements and flag-raising this morning everyone at camp enjoyed waffles with strawberries and whipped cream, breakfast bar, cereal, and fruit before heading out to morning Program Zones! Juna and Gena went to Foxtail to try Disc Golf, Deck Hockey, Climbing Wall, Jewelry Making, Fishing, Performing Arts, and Creek Stomp. The Moondance Program Zone, consisting of Archery, Shelter Building, Basketball, Aquatic Lessons, Yoga, and GaGa, was visited by the Sena & Fawna Villages this morning while Expa & Lora went to Windsong where they visited Air Rifles, Fire Building, Soccer, Nature Crafts, Canoes & Kayaks, Dance, and Angleball.


At lunch, hoagies were served with turkey, ham, lettuce, tomato, cheese, and hummus as options, along with chips and salad bar and chocolate pudding for lunch. Most Villages then enjoyed Rest Hour before afternoon programs began: Juna swam at the pool and climbed Eagle's Nest while Gena (who had a picnic lunch) hiked to the Covered Bridge and also swam at the pool. The campers in Sena went to High Ropes, climbed the rock wall, and played GaGa in addition to swimming and Rest Hour.

Helping a friend over the Team Wall on Low Ropes

The Explorers in Expa & Lora also had Rest Hour, then had Firefly cabin activities throughout the afternoon, and also spent a good time swimming at the pool. Sometime in the mid-afternoon the busses from the Laurel Highlands and the Allegheny National Forest all came rolling back into Kon-O-Kwee as the Teen Wilderness campers and the High Adventure campers returned. They settled back into their lodges, caught up on mail, and took long hot showers before dinner.

Cabin-mates look so small from the top of High Ropes!

Evening Announcements and flag-lowering marked the beginning of dinner, and all of camp enjoyed a energetic time in the dining hall, sharing cheese ravioli with marinara, garlic breadsticks, salad bar, and yellow cake with chocolate icing.

Throwin' up those Juna J's!

Following dinner, Field Games began with GaGa, Volleyball, Kickball, train rides, and face painting efore the guys enjoyed "Dude Time" prepping the dining hall for the party while the girls got ready and all enjoyed the Disney Ball with Music, dancing, and snacks, before heading back to Villages for the evening routine.

That's a Muddy Counselor!

Thanks for reading today's blog entry! Check back tomorrow for the final Week Six post!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Week Six: Tuesday

We're getting spoiled by these gorgeous days! Today was another day of bright sunshine and cooler temperatures, the perfect setting for another great day at camp.

Taking Aim!

"The happiness that comes from doing good is a happiness that will never end." -Chinese Proverb

Heading out on the Creek...

Uncle Steve blew his trumpet again this morning as the camp was gathered, and the flags went up. Morning announcements were made and all campers and star went into Kramer Hall for eggs, cheese, and canadian bacon with bagels, fruit, cereal, and oatmeal.

Shortly after breakfast, the Expa and Lora campers boarded busses for the off-camp excursions: The two week campers went to McConnell's Mill State Park where they hiked amongst giant boulders, enjoyed a picnic lunch, and hiked the Kildoo Trail alongside a Class II/III portion of the Slippery Rock Creek. The one-week campers went to Moraine State Park where they hiked the Glacier Ridge Trail, paddled canoes across Lake Arthur, also had a picnic lunch and enjoyed time on the beach as well. 

Explorers on Lake Arthur

Back at Kon-O-Kwee, the Juna and Gena campers went to the Moondance Program Zone where they visited Archery, Shelter-Building, Basketball, Aquatic Lessons, Yoga, and GaGa. The Sena and Fawna campers, meanwhile, went to the Windsong Program Zone to shoot Air Rifles, build fires, play soccer, create Nature Crafts, paddle canoes & kayaks, learn new dances, and play Angleball.

Descending the outdoor rock wall

Chicken patties with mac & cheese, watermelon, salad bar, and popsicles were served for lunch. Everyone at camp enjoyed a Rest Hour after lunch, then Juna enjoyed Firefly time when they hiked to the Giant Sycamore Tree, visited the  Trone Zone Splash Pad, Air Rifles, Climbing Wall, and Soccer. Gena, meanwhile, went to High Ropes to the Zip Line and the outdoor rock walls while the two-weekers hiked to the Giant Sycamore and played GaGa. Both Juna & Gena also enjoyed time at the pool this afternoon.

Action in the GaGa Pit!

Fawna campers, went hiking this afternoon: Two-week campers went to Brush Creek park to picnic and the one-weekers climbed Eagle's Nest. The Sena campers completed the low ropes team challenge course, and all campers got to enjoy the pool as well during the afternoon.

After Expa & Lora returned from their trips, the flags came down and everyone enjoyed ham & potatoes with salad bar and brownies, Gena campers enjoyed a hayride while Juna had a Sock Dodgeball tournament then Juna & Gena played Capture the flag together. Sena and Fawna both had campers-choice Firefly time before teaming up for the Muddy Counselor contest down at the Mud Pit... the Sena two-weekers are sleeping out under the stars tonight. 

The Explorers in Expa and Lora had a fun filled night: the two-weekers went on overnights to cook over the fire and sleep out while the one week campers had Firefly time and an evening pool party. All campers will eventually enjoy their snack after activities come to a close, they'll clean up, participate in cabin devotions, and turn the Light's Out so there's room to do it all over again tomorrow!

Teen Wilderness & Vagabond campers enjoyed their last full day at the Wilderness Village today, having fun with another day of camper's choice activity planning, dancing, and a reflective ceremony as their time besdie the lake comes to a close. The Kinzua canoe trip also enjoys their last night on the river tonight... tomorrow, they'll return to camp around the same time as Teen Wilderness & High Adventure.

Throwin' up those Juna J's at High Ropes

Thanks for reading the blog! Check back tomorrow evening for the Wednesday report!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Week Six: Monday

Another gorgeous day in the Y-Kwee! A whole bunch of sunshine with no rain and cooler temperatures made for an excellent day at camp...

"Look at life's challenges not as setbacks but as opportunities to discover who you are."

Pancakes and sausage along with breakfast bar, fruit, yogurt, cereal, and oatmeal was served just after morning flag raising and announcements. Afterwards, Villages headed out to Program Zones! Juna & Gena went to the Windsong Program Zone today, Sena & Fawna went to Foxtail, and Expa & Lora went to Moondance:


  • Air Rifles
  • Fire Building
  • Soccer
  • Nature Crafts
  • Canoes & Kayaks
  • Dance
  • Angleball


  • Disc Golf
  • Street Hockey
  • Climbing Wall
  • Jewelry Making
  • Fishing
  • Performing Arts
  • Creek Stomp


  • Archery
  • Shelter Building
  • Basketball
  • Aquatic Lessons
  • Yoga
  • GaGa

Everyone came to the dining hall for a Disney sing-a-long before lunch (cheeseburgers, tater tots, salad bar, pudding) was served. After lunch, all villages had Rest Hour, the Juna campers went to High Ropes while the Gena campers had Firefly time where the played blacklight GaGa, hiked to Eagle's Nest, and went fishing in addition to swimming at the pool. Sena one week campers hiked to Eagle's Nest while the two-weekers hiked to Brush Creek Park, then returned to enjoy the pool. Their counterparts in Fawna also went to the pool in addition to GaGa, Trail of Courage, and Fire-Building. The Explorers in Expa & Lora had pool time followed by Rest Hour and also played variations of Dodgeball: Donkey Dodgeball & Medic Dodgeball (don't worry, its safe :)

Flags came down and evening announcements were made before going inside Kramer Hall for chicken & waffles with corn on the cob, salad bar, and chocolate chip cookies. During the evening hours, Juna & Gena enjoyed a Muddy Counselor pageant while Sena & Fawna took advantage of Firefly time, played Capture the Flag, and a pool party. Expa & Lora spent their evening at High Ropes, zooming down the Zip Line, ascending the Explorer's Ladder, and traversing the obstacles 40' off the ground. All Villages wrapped up their evening with snack, cleanup, devotions, and Light's Out.

The Vagabond backpackers joined up with Teen Wilderness at Deer Valley today as all campers there got free choice time to do the activities they liked best over the last six days. The Kinzua paddlers are still enjoying life on the river, getting closer and closer to their destination before triumphantly returning to camp.

Thanks for reading the blog! Check back tomorrow for more camp action!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Week Six: Sunday

Well, this is it: The first post covering the final week of the Kon-O-Kwee summer program 2013... It's going to be a great one!

"Nobody else's footsteps lead exactly where you're going." 

Fast Action in the GaGa Pit

We had another gorgeous day here at camp... The two week campers slept in today, had breakfast in bed delivered to them (pop-tarts, orange juice, apples, oranges, danish), and enjoyed Firefly cabin activity time throughout the morning. The Juna and Gena campers had Program Zone Olympics: One Juna camper gets paired up with one Gena camper and they are assigned a staff "coach". Together, they compete against other pairs in all program zones for speed, accuracy, etc. 

That would be a dunk...

All of camp gathered at Locke Chapel at 12:15 p.m. for a Chapel Service... today's theme was about prioritizing the important things in life like family and friends. Afterwards, chicken nuggets, fries, salad bar, and popsicles were served for lunch, then everyone cooled off at the pool this afternoon before Rest Hour.

Executing the Brittany mash-up dance routine

On Mount Davis, the Teen Wilderness campers enjoyed Beach Day on the Deer Valley waterfront, the ice cream stand, and a hike to a beaver dam. The High Adventure campers on the Vagabond reached their destination of Ohiopyle, PA and rafted down the Class III/IV Lower Youghiogheny River. The campers on the Kinzua Canoe Trip continue to make their down the Middle Allegheny Water Trail, camping on islands and sleeping under the stars on clear nights as they make their way south.

Receiving her Gena Butterfly tag from the Gena Tree

Week Six campers arrived this afternoon, all of camp gathered at flag-lowering and enjoyed a lasagna dinner with salad bar, garlic butter breadsticks, and peach cobbler. This evening, after some camp tours and get-to-know-you-games all of camp will gather at Council Tree for Opening Campfire! Silly songs, funny skits, and energetic staff introductions keep everyone entertained beside the big campfire. Afterwards, camper will have a snack with their village before cleaning up and having cabin devotions prior to Light's Out.

Thanks for reading the blog! Check back tomorrow evening for a full report on Monday's action. If you haven't liked us on Facebook, please do so for regular updates, photos, and more: