My Southwoods Story by Taylor Dyer

 My camp story began my first year of University. Young and full of adventure I was on the hunt for an amazing summer job.  Growing up in a small town in Saskatchewan, Canada,  summer camp wasn’t something I had experienced as a kid. Instead my summers were spent camping with my amazing family.

I knew that I wanted to do something exciting and fun and that my educational goal was to work with kids. So to the internet I went and one of the first jobs that caught my eye was camp counselor. I perused some camp websites, and I’m not sure exactly what it was about Southwoods that caught my eye but for some reason I had to apply.  The thought of working in the mountains in New York sounded too good to be true, and every person portrayed on the website looked like they were having the most incredible time!

I applied, and a few days later had a phone interview. Just listening to the enthusiasm of the voice on the other end of the phone, I knew that this was the place I wanted to spend my summer.

A little over 3,000 km from home and the minute I stepped onto camp I knew that this place was special. You get to camp and you are surrounded by like-minded people with a passion for life and contagious energy. I still, 14 years later talk to some of those people who I started my Southwoods adventure with.

The day I left camp I knew that I had to come back, I was unable to return the following two summers, but then my little brother and best friend just finished his first year of university. It didn’t take much to convince Austin that Southwoods was a great place to spend the summer. I was so excited that he was going to get to experience camp! I was also really excited that we were going to come together. It might have been my favourite summer of my 4 years at Southwoods. I knew what to expect this time around plus I got to share and experience it with my brother and a good friend of ours.

I’m not sure if people got sick of camp stories or listening to us talk about the amazing people we met while at camp, but the following year we convinced (fairly easily mind you) 7 more of our friends to travel 3,000 km away from home for the summer to experience Southwoods! The Saskatchewan invasion was on and I was sooo excited that they all got to come and experience camp!

It is amazing to think back on all the memories! Being able to impact a camper’s life and see them grow, how camp brings out the best in you and your day is spent playing and laughing and making new friendships. Southwoods helped make me the person I am today and I wouldn’t trade those summers for anything!

Southwoods is truly a special place! No words that I write on this page can describe the experience of Southwoods. You have to experience it yourself!

-Written by Taylor Dyer, former Southwoods counselor

End of Summer

Well, another truly amazing summer has come and gone! As we hear about our campers embarking on another year at school, the Southwoods Team is settling into the Westchester winter office. Although the fun-filled days of summer camp are over until next June, we are busy planning for the Annual Southwoods Reunion (mark your calendars for Saturday, November 22nd!) and Winter Weekend (Friday, January 23rd – Sunday, January 25th). Details for both events will be coming in the following weeks! Who says the camp fun has to stop in the off-season?!

Parents, we ask that you please take a few minutes and complete an online survey, sharing your thoughts about this past summer. Your feedback is greatly valued, and we look forward to using it as we begin preparing to make 2015 at Southwoods the best summer yet! Just click the following link to go straight to the survey:

Last, we are collecting Camper and Alumni news for the October edition of The Southwoods Way newsletter! We welcome any news, updates, and photos you may have! No news is too big or too small… camper reunions, community service work, travels, Bar & Bat Mitzvah’s, etc! Send your news to

Wise Words: “Go out and create a great day for yourself… and each other!” 


My Southwoods Story by Jonny Drucker

My experiences at Southwoods, both as a camper and a counselor, are in many ways more than memories. They are more than hot summers days in the Adirondacks and they are more than cool summer nights out by the campfire. They are proof. Proof that I am always a work in progress. As a camper I learned how to be a part of something bigger than myself, while at the same time learning how to shine as an individual. I was part of a cabin, an age group, a tribal team, a camp, and through the years I began to understand what it meant to contribute to a team. There were always more goals to accomplish and there were always more people to learn with. While I was becoming more and more comfortable with being part of a community, I was also able to blossom into a unique person. At Southwoods I recognized my creativity. I recognized my ability to empathize. I recognized the need to keep blossoming. As a counselor I not only learned how to be a part of a group, but how to lead one. It was my turn to foster an environment that nurtured teamwork and interdependence. As an experienced member of the Southwoods community I was also able to empower young people to shine in their own way. Few things bring me more joy than seeing someone believe in his or herself. As always, I was learning, growing and changing. Over the years the people and the programs at Southwoods have taught me how to reach beyond my own expectations for myself- more times than I can count. Here, I learned how to locate my comfort zone and how extend it. This idea means more than simply trying new things, meeting new people, and visiting new places. It means being able to redefine yourself as your adventure continues. At the end of the day I can say that I share love and friendship with people across the globe and I carry what they’ve given me wherever I go. Their words, their jokes, their demeanor, their perspective. But even more so than all of these things, they have given me proof. Proof that I can make it. Proof that I am always making it. - Written by Jonny Drucker, Former Southwoods Camper & Counselor




Birthdays This Month!
Gabriel Keller 7/31
Ledi Qiu 7/31
Zoe Winston 8/1
Sophia Lotito 8/2

Caleigh Barber 8/6

Neal Gurland 8/7
Andrew Pleeter 8/7
Henry Meyer 8/9
Sadie Gutterman 8/10
Amelia Bradbury 8/13
Mason Levitsky 8/14
Cheyenna Bardsley 8/16
Laura Cardillo 8/16
Elias Wainberg 8/17
Ryan Khalil 8/17
Alberto Santos 8/20
Zachary Gibbs 8/22
Peter Pappas 8/23
Melody Yang 8/25
Ryan Wang 8/26
Zoe Rubin 8/26
Melanie Barest 8/26
Josh Schildkraut 8/28
Deniz Akdeniz 8/28
Arthur Oroujev 8/29
Evan Kurnev 8/29
Sophie Card 8/30
Sarah Waring 8/30
Ainsley Simmons 8/30
Lily Ives 9/3
Sophie Bradbury 9/4
Danica Parent 9/5
Blake Migden 9/7
Eli Goldstein 9/8
Jacob Burnett 9/8
Hannah Satty 9/9
Robbie Hays 9/9
Jake Gershberg 9/9
Selin Reyna 9/11
Alara Reyna 9/11
Zachary Rubin 9/12
Jesse Goldberg 9/14
Luke Friedman 9/15
Antonia De Lorenzo 9/16
Rachel Sacks 9/20
Emma Guarini 9/21
Kira Sehgal 9/21
Nay Kawwah Blatt 9/22
Avery Max 9/22
Aaron Eben 9/24
Eli Winikoff 9/24
Jason Wu 9/25
Yixiu Li 9/26
Oliver Morrison 9/27
Gus Morrison 9/27
Dusya Petrova 9/27
Alexa Citron 9/27
Courtney Sirkin 9/27
Valerie Schellenbach 9/28
Sarah Skoler 9/28
Charlotte Helmig 10/1
Nora Rotman 10/2
Chrisbaha Du 10/3
Max Goldstein 10/4
Elaine Yang 10/4
Willa Kuhn 10/6
Justin Herrera 10/8
James Ernst 10/8
Jack Zawadzki 10/10
Wiley Miller 10/12
Marlon Edlin 10/13
Ethan Golden 10/15
Joshua Miller 10/17
Samuel Rothstein 10/17
Christopher Pinto 10/17
Emily Moelis 10/19
Mary McClay 10/21
NJ Langman 10/22
Cindy Xiao 10/22
Alison Passarella 10/25
Alyson Barsky 10/25
Maxine Moses 10/26
Andrew Strott 10/26
Bill Xu 10/26
Maximillan Liste 10/27
Rowan Simmons 10/28
Daphne Ballas 10/29
Jake Fawcett 10/29
Ben Rothstein 10/30
Emma Gershberg 10/31
Anmol Acharya 10/31