Kara Tucker, Justice LaPelle, Shelby Tuller, and Katelyn Tennyson enjoy some ice cream from The Stand at Minerva Lake.
A noisy and fun wrap-up for six weeks of great adventures and excellent swimming, Aug. 12 was the last day for the 2011 Town of Minerva Youth Program. The day featured skits, jokes, awards and recognitions.
Just like most days during the summer, the weather was fine. The crowd of parents, guardians, friends and campers was certainly frisky, but it was snapshot of what the summer was like at beautiful Minerva Lake, with its excellent beach, wonderful concession stand and terrific atmosphere. All of this resulted in a fun and safe summer for all the youth program campers.
As in past years, the Minerva Youth Program staff and support folks did a wonderful job throughout the summer. The weather was mostly cooperative — only a few days of rainy weather led to trips for the program campers to Minerva Central School.
The following is a wrap-up of the awards and recognitions that were given at the Minerva Lake pavilion. After the Minerva Lake sailing program awards (presented by Gus Stewart) awards for Crazy Hat Day, Citizenship and Most Improved Swimmer awards were given out.
Judges for the amazing Crazy Hat Day contest Aug. 11 were: Kathleen DeGuilme, Joyce Galusha and Sue Montgomery Corey. Thank you all for the work you put into the difficult task of choosing the prettiest, most original, and craziest hatted campers!
Always difficult to assign, the Minerva Youth Program Citizenship award is given to a camper in each morning group who each counselor has decided is a good citizen throughout the summer program.
Award winners are campers who really are role models for others in terms of friendliness, helpfulness and doing the right thing; in other words, they have good character. Award decisions are often difficult for sure. Here are the Citizenship award winners for this summer:
Little Girls - Kayla VanderWeile
Little Boys – Justin Smith
Middle Girls – Chelsea Wright
Middle Boys – Kaleb Davie
Big Girls – Cassie Pratt
The award for Most Improved Swimmer goes to a swimmer from each of the six (actually seven) swim levels who consistently works hard to make improvements in their swimming skills during the summer.
Most Improved Swimmer
Level 1 – James Fish
Level 2 – Logan Taylor
Level 3A – Hayley Tuller
Level 3B – Chelsea Wright
Level 4 – Kara Dishon
Level 5 – Alex Johnson
Level 6 – Bartek Malikowski
An additional award, for Most Excellent Swimmer (in level 3B), went to Ryan Seagle.
Special awards of great importance were also presented on this final day of the MYP. They included:
Best at Buddy Calls in Level One: Justice LaPelle
Nearly Perfect Attendance – Little Girls: Brooke Olden
Nearly Perfect Attendance – Middle Girls: Jasmine Jenks, Paige Warrington
Nearly Perfect Attendance – Middle Boys: Conner Davie, Kaleb Davie
Best Hair Dresser – Middle Girls: Paige Warrington
Lisa Fabin (Water Safety Instructor) presented American Red Cross Swimming Level cards to all those campers who were able to successfully move up the swimming level ranks. All swimmers, whether advancing or not, received a recognition.
There are many folks to thank in regard to the Minerva Youth Program for allowing it to be as successful as it was this past summer. Some folks will likely be missed in this attempt to give thanks; if so, know that your contributions are greatly appreciated. First of all, thanks to the great MYP staff, who worked so hard so successfully to provide a safe and fun summer for the campers. Program staff this year included: Cameron Dubay, Katrina Dubay, Lisa Fabin, Massena Green, Briana Hammond, Selina LeMay-Klippel, Irek Malikowski, Chris O'Connor, Stephanie Ovitt, Lance Paradis, Emily Smith, Nicole Wardwell, and Mike Corey.
Thanks go to the Town of Minerva lifeguards who throughout the summer did a great job; these fine lifeguards include Lynn Green, Liz Ordway, and Heather Vanderwalker. Thanks to Katie Smith and her staff (in particular Jake Hitchcock, Adam McCall and Amanda Walmsley) at The Stand for all their patience, humor, and generosity. Thanks to the Minerva Central School bus drivers (Ken Smith and Bev West) and coordinator Joe Gonyo for all their help during the summer.
Thanks, too, to the Town of Minerva Parks and Recreation and Highway Department staff for being there when they were needed. A special thanks to Jennifer Monroe for her help with the kids' trip to the Planet Minerva community garden and the excellent zucchini bread that resulted from it.
Thanks go to The Minerva Youth Commission for all its support of the program, as well as to the Minerva Town Board, which provided much-appreciated support and help.
And thanks to all those parents and guardians who prepared your campers for the beach, lunch, and the weather day after day, including special trips.
And, a big THANK YOU goes to the campers, who ranged from age 4 to 14 — you made the summer a fun one for everyone!