South Mountain YMCA Camps to host Berks T1D 2014 Connection Family Camp

Berks T1D Connection is offering a family camp weekend providing an opportunity to meet and bond with families that know and understand the challenges and successes of living with Type 1 Diabetes.

WHEN: September 13-14, 2014
WHERE: South Mountain YMCA Camps 201 Cushion Peak Road Wernersville, PA 19565
GPS address: 201 Cushion Peak Road Reinholds, PA 17569
FEES: Adults – $50 per person
Kids (ages 5-12) – $40 per child; under 5 – $25 per child
WHO CAN ATTEND: The whole family, including grandparents, caregivers and other family members are welcome

Programs begin Saturday morning after breakfast and end right after lunch on Sunday. Topics include research updates, new technology, the emotional
impact of diabetes on families, and more. There will be ample opportunities to share your tips and strategies as well as ask about the challenges your family is facing.

There is an exciting children’s program for the weekend. Your children will be supervised by South Mountain YMCA staff and accompanied by volunteer staff that has experience with Type 1 Diabetes. All staff have undergone a Pennsylvania State background check.

Mr. Scheiner has devoted countless hours of his life toward improving diabetes management. Having lived with Type 1 Diabetes for over 25 years, Scheiner has always made it his goal to stay up to date with the latest diabetes technology and gain hands-on experience with diabetes management methods by testing every product himself. Committed to the diabetes community, Scheiner holds a BA in Psychology, an MS in Exercise Physiology, and received his certification as a Diabetes Educator from The Joslin Diabetes Center.

In 1995, Scheiner founded Integrated Diabetes Services, an organization that offers consulting on blood sugar management and insulin training to children and adults with Type 1 Diabetes. In the past two decades, Scheiner has written several books about diabetes, including You Can Control Diabetes, Think Like a Pancreas, The Ultimate Guide to Accurate Carb Counting, Get Control of Your Blood Sugar, and Until There’s a Cure. Scheiner also serves as the Dean of Type 1 University (also known as “t1U), an online university that offers courses in diabetes care.

Scheiner has received awards from numerous organizations and companies, such as the American Diabetes Association and Novo Nordisk, for his commitment to educate people with diabetes around the world. A lover of sports, he serves on the Board of Directors for the Diabetes Exercise and Sports Association and has acted as a faculty member for Children with Diabetes. Scheiner actively contributes to the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation and Setebaid Diabetes Camps. In his off time, Scheiner enjoys relaxing with his wife and five children and rooting for Philadelphia sports teams.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: * email: * call: 610-636-1432

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South Mountain YMCA Camps partners with Aaron’s Acres to provide two weeks of summer camp for kids with special needs.

The summer of 2014 blossomed on the mountain with an exciting new partnership welcoming 32 campers from Aaron’s Acres.

Wernersville, July 8, 2014 – This summer South Mountain YMCA Camps partnered with Aaron’s Acres for two weeks of camp (June 16-June 20) and (June 23-June 27). We were thrilled to share the mountain with this amazing group of campers along with their dedicated counselors and leadership staff. The Aaron’s Acres program is for children with special needs and is designed to offer a camp experience for children who need the additional support and guidance of a professional guide and mentor. Campers participated in swimming, therapeutic riding, crafts, and a variety of games with the consistent support of a counselor. This program is amazing and working alongside these incredible children with the dedicated staff was rewarding on many levels. Aaron’s Acres facilitated their program alongside Bynden Wood Day Camp for the entire two weeks. “This was our pilot year and we have already begun to plan for next summer.” ~ Sue Williams, Associate Executive Director


The mission of Aaron’s Acres is to provide individuals with special needs ages 5–21 year-round therapeutically based age-appropriate recreational programs directed by specially trained and certified staff in a supportive environment that enhances socialization and communication skills. Emotional, educational, and recreational support is offered for the entire family. This new partnership is very exciting, as it will open doors for new relationships among people of all ages with varying abilities and challenges. “It’s been our goal to make sure that every child can enjoy a summer camp experience on the mountain. Aaron’s Acres has helped make that goal a reality. It’s a great program for a great group of kids,” said Nathan Brant, CEO. The two week session concluded with a family night carnival affording parents and siblings the opportunity to share the camp experience with their camper(s). A big thank you to all the volunteers from the Conrad Weiser and West Reading Wyomissing Rotary Clubs that helped to make the family carnival a huge success filled with laughter and smiles.


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A Call to Serve! Be a Host Family for an International Camper.

Sue Williams, Associate Executive Director, is working to identify families willing to serve as hosts for our Spanish exchange campers. This home-stay experience for our international guests is a wonderful opportunity to share your home and our culture with a young leader from another country.

Details of daily life in America and daily life in Spain share many similarities as well as differences and their home stay week gives them a chance to experience “life in America” in a more realistic and personal way than just being a tourist. They are your guest, but they are also something akin to an extra member of your family for the week. You should not feel compelled to organize anything extravagant but we want them to have a nice, enjoyable week and possibly do some fun and memorable things as well.
The main points to consider:
•The home stay is the last part of the program this year for our Spanish campers.
•Our Spanish campers spend four weeks at Camp Conrad Weiser which includes day trips to New York City, local shopping malls and a baseball game.
•They will want to do some shopping and you may want to take them to a mall or other stores as they will have money to spend on souvenirs and clothes etc.
•Ask your camper of their interests. They may well have some things in mind that they really want to see or do while they are here.

Some last details:
Your guest understands the need for courtesy, good behavior, cooperation. The drinking age is much younger in Europe, but here in the States they have a rule of NO alcohol. They also understand the rule that smoking is forbidden throughout the trip as well. One of the requirements that the Hannover YMCA and the YMCA of Spain sets for campers is a functional level of competence in English. Of course, reading a language is often easier than speaking, so be patient with communication. The group leader will be available for you to contact throughout the home stay if you have any questions or concerns.
If you are interested in hosting a young person from Spain an application is required. Please contact Sue Williams directly at 610-670-2267 or via email at

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Women’s Adventure Weekend 2014!!!

A few spots are still available for next weekend’s Women’s Adventure. Are you looking for something fun and exciting? Wishing for some downtime and chance to recharge? Check in on Friday evening May 30th, get settled with friends in our beautiful log cabins, and join us for hors’ d oeuvres and cocktails in Bynden Wood Lodge. We’ll wrap up the first night with a campfire and some entertainment and launch into an entire weekend of new adventures. You choose the activities that you want to try your hand at, and our staff will help you along the way. We take care of everything so that you can enjoy a weekend playing, learning new skills and spending time with both old and new friends.

Friday May 30 – Sunday June 1
Arrival is between 4 & 6 pm on Friday & departure is on Sunday at 1:00 pm
$150/per person for full weekend or $75 for Saturday only

Activities may include: Challenge Course, Climbing Tower, Zip Line, Aerial Adventure, Riflery, Trap Shooting, Mountain Biking, Mountain Boarding, Hiking, Arts & Crafts, Guitar, Drumming, Swimming, Canoeing, Kayaking, Sailing and more. Please note that Horseback riding does include an additional fee.  For additional information or to register please call the camp office at 610-670-2267.

Family Fun Day 

Experience the magic of our mountain! Bring your family and we’ll provide the fun. Climb the tower, shoot an arrow, roast a marshmallow, ride in the wagon and more! This event is FREE and open to the public. Come see what camp is all about. Camp is open rain or shine.  Join us on Sunday June 1st from 2:00 – 4:00 pm

You are cordially invited to
An Evening on the Mountain

Please join us on Saturday June 7th for the Annual Celebration and Dinner presented by the International Committees of the YMCA of Reading & Berks County and the South Mountain YMCA Camps. The event will be held at the facilities of the South Mountain YMCA Camps at The Bynden Wood Lodge. A Silent and Live Auction will be featured. You are sure to find a special craft, day trip, plants or garden art to grace your home. Come and enjoy an evening of food, fellowship and fun.  

Each year the International Committee supports valuable work here at home and abroad providing scholarship and program support for youth exchanges, support for staff exchanges, partnerships with the YMCA’s of Hannover, Germany and Ivanovo, Russia and support for the YMCA of Russia conference center and camp.

Saturday June 7th. Tickets are $45 per person. Doors open at 5:00 pm.
5:00 pm      Cocktails and Music

6:00 pm      Served Dinner
7:00 pm      Live Auction
For additional information please contact Michele Reinert at 610-670-2267. 

Masters Swim Team 

Calling Adult Swimmers, Tri-Athletes, and Fitness Fans!!! It’s time to get back in the pool. Take your fitness to the next level and enjoy the company of other “pool people”. Fees include a coached and guarded swim practice program on Mondays-Wednesdays-Fridays for 13 weeks in the summer.

Practices will be held outdoors from 6:30 am until 7:30 am. Swimmers should arrive at Bynden Wood Lodge at 6:15 am. There are locker rooms on site and showers are available after practice. This is a “rain or shine” program. We will only cancel for thunderstorms.

Practices are coached and will include approximately 3,000 yards depending on the skill of each individual swimmer. Fees are $175 for the 13 week season. This program requires a minimum of 10 swimmers or it will be cancelled. For additional information call or email Nathan Brant, or 610-670-2267.

Upcoming Events

  • 5/30/14     Women’s Adventure Weekend begins
  • 6/1/14       Family Fun Day
  • 6/1/14       Women’s Adventure Weekend ends
  • 6/2/14       Masters Swim Team begins
  • 6/7/14       International Dinner and Auction
  • 6/15/14     Camp Conrad Weiser sessions begin
  • 6/16/14     Bynden Wood Day Camp sessions begin
  • 7/12/14     Alumni Day Homecoming Celebration
  • 8/29/14     Masters Swim Team ends
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Michael Caron, Vali Heist, and Blaine Steensland elected to the South Mountain YMCA Camps Board of Directors

The South Mountain YMCA’s Board of Directors is pleased to announce that three new members have been elected. The staff and volunteers of the South Mountain YMCA Camps congratulate and welcome Michael Caron, Vali Heist and Blaine Steensland to camp.

Michael Caron was a partner in the industrial gas business known as GTS-Welco which was recently sold to Praxair Distribution. He maintains a residence in Sinking Spring with his wife Dominique. Mike has two sons (Alex and Adam), a daughter (Ryann), and a beautiful 7 year-old grandson named Lucas.  As a child he attended Bynden Wood Day Camp and was a long-time camper at Camp Conrad Weiser. This will be Mike’s second stint on the board of directors having served for many years previously.

Michael Caron

Vali Heist is a Certified Professional Organizer® and owner of The Clutter Crew in Mohnton for 8 years. She is the author of “Organize This! Practical Tips, Green Ideas, and Ruminations about your CRAP”. Vali writes a monthly column for the Reading Eagle called Organize This! She has a Master’s in Education and an extensive background of 24 years in Higher Education at Alvernia University.

Vali Heist

Blaine Steensland is the Senior Director of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at Penn State Berks. In his current position, he provides leadership to Admissions, Financial Aid, Retention, Residence Life, Health Services, NCAA Division III Intercollegiate and Recreational Athletics, Campus Life, Orientation, Counseling Services, Multicultural Student Services, Support Services to Special Student Populations, Student Organizations, and Out-of-Class Educational and Social Programming. He holds an Ed.D. and an M.A. in Higher Education Administration from West Virginia University. He earned a B.A. in History and Political Science from Davis & Elkins College. He is married to Wendy Steensland and they have two married sons and one granddaughter.

Blaine Steensland

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Mountain View News

We Want to see Your Kids Every Week this Summer at Camp Conrad Weiser!!!  
Did you know that Camp Conrad Weiser’s new tiered pricing makes it easier to enjoy summer camp? Sign up for one, two, three weeks or maybe even the whole summer. Select the price and the program that allows your child to experience camp for as many weeks as they want to come and explore the magic of the mountain…

Camp For You. Camp For All. You choose the price and the program. Explorers: $485, Traditional Camp Conrad Weiser:
$585, $700, $815. Pay what you can!

For example, if you are planning on sending Johnny to camp for one week at $815, did you consider sending him for two weeks at $700 ($1400) or for three weeks at $585 ($1755). The choice is yours, so be sure to get the most for your camper(s) this summer. Choose the price and the number of weeks that are right for you, your camper and your family. We can’t wait to see you on the mountain this summer.

For additional information please call the camp office at 610-670-2267. Registration forms are available to download at

Bynden Wood Day Camp
Opening a World of Wonder for Your Child!!!
Bynden Wood Day Camp is for 6 – 14 year olds. Our campers enjoy programs likeArchery, Swimming, Crafts, Nature, Campfires, Zorbing, Rock Climbing, Zip Lining, GaGa and more! Horseback Riding and Swim Lessons are available.

For additional information or to register call the camp office at
610-670-2267 or visit us online at

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South Mountain YMCA Camps welcomes three new staff members to the Camp family

Cory Evans has been named Adventure Program Director. Cory hails from upstate New York and comes to the mountain with 11 years of professional camping experience ranging in the fields of Aquatics, Archery, High Adventure, Team Building, Outdoor Science, Trip Leading, Day Camp, and Camp Programming. Cory oversees the Adventure program and is always planning new and exciting activities to serve the members of our community. Cory lives on the mountain with his wife Sarah and dog Olive. You may find Cory sailing, paddling, hiking, or climbing all around the east coast.

Cory Evans

Cory Evans

Amanda Griffith has been named Youth and Family Director. Amanda grew up working in a family owned business. Her first experience with the Y was at a summer camp teaching ballet.  Amanda previously held positions here at SMYMCA with the Leadership and Outdoor Center staff. She will serve as the Bynden Wood Day Camp Director during the summer. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Peace Studies from Goucher College. While attending Goucher Amanda volunteered in the Baltimore City schools as both a mentor and tutor and was promoted to Student Director for the program. Her passion is working with children to foster excitement and curiosity about the world. She has a black cat named Bmo and an albino corn snake named Indy who keep her company on the mountain.

Amanda Griffith

Amanda Griffith

Mark Glossick has been named Director of Dining Services. Mark comes to the mountain with over 25 years’ experience in the food service industry. He started his career in small family style restaurants and fast food chains. Mark went on to work for the Marriott Hotel chain where he completed the management training program and was awarded Purchaser of the Year honors in 1989. He has held positions in nursing homes and private restaurants; however his most fulfilling position was as the Executive Chef for his church in Decatur, Alabama. Mark has always enjoyed camping, Sea Scouts and the 4H Club. He is excited about this new chapter in his life and looks forward to enriching the food quality for the campers, counselors and staff. Mark lives in Hamburg with his wife of 30 years, Jodie and their two daughters Jennifer and Kaitlyn.

Mark Glossick

Mark Glossick


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Join us on the Mountain for a Morning of Spring Family Fun!!!

South Mountain YMCA Camps to host 4th Annual Egg-Stravaganza Egg Hunt and Pancake Breakfast


Saturday April 19th, 2014 

Egg-Stravaganza Egg Hunt Saturday April 19th 10:00am

Egg Hunts by age group, spring crafts, face painting and a visit from the Easter Bunny!!! This community event is free and open to all. Kids of all ages can wear their silliest “Easter Bonnet” for a chance to win a prize. This event, in collaboration with the Greater Reading and Berks County Kiwanis Club, and the support of the Key Clubs at Conrad Weiser, Wilson, Reading and Exeter High Schools, will be held rain or shine. To RSVP please call the camp office at 610-670-2267. 

Pancake Breakfast Saturday April 19th 8:00 am – 1:00 pm

All proceeds from this event benefit the 9th Operation Purple Camp at YMCA Camp Conrad Weiser in June of 2014. This special week of summer camp is for the children of deployed military men and women, as well as those who have recently returned. The cost for the breakfast is $6 for adults and $4 for kids 12 and under. Breakfast includes pancakes, sausage, and beverages. The breakfast will be held at the Bynden Wood Lodge as part of the Egg-Stravaganza festivities. For more information call camp at 610-670-2267.


This program recognizes that “Kids Serve Too”. In partnership with the National Military Family Association, the Operation Purple Camp is a week for having fun, making friends, and reminding military children that they are our nation’s youngest heroes. Operation Purple Camp:

  • Helps provide 100 campers from active duty military families with 1 week of fun at summer camp in 2014.
  • Provides an opportunity for the “kids who serve” to experience horseback riding, archery, zip lines, and much more.
  • Connects the children of military families with their peers.
  • Provides a Military Life/Family Counselor (MFLAC) as support.
  • Helps provide a connection with military personnel from all branches of the armed forces.
  • Allows a week of respite for the military spouse who is at home during a long deployment.
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The South Mountain YMCA Camps are excited to announce the launch of SOUTH MOUNTAIN ADVENTURES:  Climbing, Zip Lining, Trap Shooting, Zorbing and more for families, youth groups and businesses.  Check it out today (!  We hope to see you on the mountain.  Gives us a call at 610-670-2267 if you have any questions.

Adventure Pic

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Camper Exchange Program to Russia in 2014!

ICEP Trip to Russa Information1

For more than 50 years, the South Mountain YMCA Camps have participated in the International Camper Exchange Program (ICEP).  We have welcomed summer campers from all over the world to share in our Fire of Friendship – and we have sent our young people on ICEP trips to Germany, Russia, Spain, and other destinations in Europe, as well as Canada and Mexico.

In 2014, we are returning to Russia to participate in a special International Camp in the Ivanovo region.  This program is for 15-17 year-olds.  Our YMCA partners in Russia have planned an incredible month which includes:

  • International Camp at Camp Chayka from July 15-29 with teens from Russia, Germany, USA, Spain, England, Gerorgia and Armenia (Camp is conducted in English).
  • A host family stay with a local YMCA family from July 29-August 4.
  • A week of travel to Yaroslavl, St. Petersburg and Moscow from August 4-10.

We have spaces available for this program.  We do not require ICEP Campers to be YMCA members, but we do require an application and interview.  Call Sue Williams for information and registration at 610-670-2267, or email her at

ICEP Trip to Russa Information2

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