From the Director

Volunteers Make Kingswood Run

by Cheryl Winship

As many of you know, but some may be learning, Kingswood is a nearly all volunteer run organization. One key group is the managers.

Managers

Managers are like campground hosts but with more responsibility.  If you have camped at Kingswood, they are the folks who register you when you arrive and drive Harry, the tractor that pulls the hayrides. Managers stay in the farmhouse and volunteer one or two weeks of their summer.  They are responsible for collecting garbage, mowing the grounds, making repairs, answering the phone, and helping to make your stay as enjoyable as possible. If you are new to Kingswood, please know that the managers during your week are a wealth of information from local places to shop or visit, to knowing the history of the site, to solving camper disputes and helping with camper emergencies (like a local place to call when you lock your keys in your car). They are also the people (along with the PD and lifeguard) who enforce the rules that help make Kingswood a unique campground.  If you are loud past 10:00 pm, or certainly by 10:30, you will get a visit from your friendly managers reminding you of the 10:00 pm quiet hours.

So, this summer say hi to the managers, ask them questions, and know that you are not alone when you camp at Kingswood; your managers are there to help.  Look to see who will be managing during your week of camping.

Dates Managers Hometown 
June 24 – July 3  Jojo & Sandi Gonzalez Beacon 
July 3 – July 10 Swanson & Winship families New Hyde Park/Goshen 
July 10 – July 17 Phyllis & Dave Moore Red Hook 
July 17 – July 24 Hein Family Poughkeepsie 
July 24 – July 31 Weinlein Family Naples, FL 
July 31 – Aug. 7 Tim Shenk/Alicia Swords and Emma Ithaca 
Aug. 7 – Aug. 14 Swanson & Winship families New Hyde Park/Goshen 
Aug. 14 – Aug.21 Holly & Jim Moore Woodstock 
Aug. 21 – Aug. 28 JoJo & Sandi Gonzalez Beacon 
Aug. 28 – Sept. 5 Don Kirby & Holly/Jim Moore Riverdale/Woodstock 
Terri Hein, manager, with campers in the barn

What do volunteers do? 

Some spend Memorial Day weekend setting up equipment or the weekend after Labor Day taking down equipment. This requires no skills, just a love for being outdoors or in the kitchen and enjoying working with others. Not all volunteers are extraverts; some take on independent projects like quarterly water samples, trail work, eradicating invasive species, social media posts, program planning, graphic design, photography, and annual appeal, to name a few.  Other volunteers fill skilled roles like carpentry, excavating, and website design. Many volunteers have created a niche for themselves. Some volunteers take on leadership roles as managers or directors. If you want to get to know many of the volunteers, sign up to help out Memorial Day Weekend. If you have a skill to offer or an idea for a niche that could use filling, please let Lynn know.  

Why be a volunteer? 

The year round administrator is a ¼ time paid position; the summer Program Director and Lifeguard are paid. Other than that, we are all volunteers. The site director, myself, is a volunteer role, as is the treasurer. All supplies are ordered by volunteers; all construction is done by volunteers; the maintenance of all the fields, trails, boat and swim areas, and campsites, yes that’s done by volunteers. too.  If you are getting the idea that the volunteer group, all 200 of them, are proud of what they accomplish, you are right. Their efforts are what continue to make Kingswood affordable. In a world where the wealthy have great access to nature while others have less, Kingswood provides opportunity for all. If you book an equipped site. you do not have to own gear which is expensive and bulky to store. Where else can you stay outdoors, with shelter over your head and your own outdoor kitchen, plus have access to a clean bathhouse, access to indoor spaces for rainy days (the barn), activities, rowboats, kayaks, canoes, and a wonderful community of people – all for one inclusive price?  

Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities

EventDatesDescription
Set Up WeekendMay 27-30tents go up; all signs are hung;
Trailblazing WeekendJune 10-12for adults and teens to work on trail maintenance
Take Down WeekendSeptember 9-11tents go down; everything is packed up
The week preceding camp opening and the week before Take Down Weekend are known as senior weeks.
Contact Lynn Grainger for more information.

Interested in Managing?

To be a manager you have to volunteer for a few years and take part in the set-up and take down events to learn how the equipment works and where it is stored. Then you spend a week shadowing a managing team. Finally, the next summer you take on the role of manager with an experienced manager on site as your mentor. The third summer you are on your own, but there is a wealth of knowledge in fellow volunteers who are just a phone call away. Last step is for you to develop a managing team. This could be two people, a family or some friends. A managing team must have at least two people,  but most teams invite a friend or family member to join them to make the weekends easier. Many hands make light work. 

Learn More

If you are interested in managing or volunteeringplease contact the Kingswood Administrator, Lynn Grainger at kwadministrator@nyac.com or at ‪(607) 301-0640‬.