From the Blog

YMCA Camp Bernie is Back Online in the Wake of Superstorm Sandy

Like so many of our friends and neighbors across the Tri-State area, Super Storm Sandy left its mark on the YMCA Camp Bernie property.

YMCA CAMP BERNIE

Phone: (908) 832-5315
Fax: (908) 832-9078
Email: Click Here
Thanks to the hard work of our devoted program staff, Camp Bernie re-opened for business a mere 16 days post-Sandy as we welcomed the students and chaperones of MS 447 in Brooklyn for a three day, two night excursion. We consider ourselves lucky that the damage wasn’t worse and continue to send well wishes to those less fortunate. Here now are descriptions of the areas impacted by Sandy and what we have done in response: 
 
Low Ropes Course 1 & 2:
Sustained significant damage, four elements were totally destroyed, and others were damaged. Since Sandy, we have had the destroyed elements rebuilt, the courses cleaned and re-mulched. The newly built elements reflect the elements that were destroyed, but obviously have been constructed using different trees at varying distances. As a result, our low ropes courses will offer a brand new challenge to you on your next visit to camp.
 
Archery Range:
Our primary archery range on the hill up the Point Mountain trail was heavily damaged by a downed tree. The tree fell directly onto the roof above the shooting range, causing the storage shed to shift a few feet. Miraculously, the shed was otherwise unaffected and all of the archery equipment was left unscathed. This will be an easy rebuild; and as a result of our second range built just last spring we have been able to run Archery classes post-storm without a problem.
 
BSDAT:
The BSDAT trails were covered by large limbs and threatened by numerous “widow makers”. Perhaps the most emotional loss on camp was the total devastation of the Pine forest at the end of BSDAT 1; this beloved and pristine location is totally unrecognizable post-Sandy. However, with creativity on the part of our Adventure Specialist Max Guscott and with help from the hard working students of Haledon Middle School, the BSDAT trail was completely re-routed on our Volunteer Work Day November 17th and now blazes a new trail through a pine forest that survived the storm.
 
Weather Station:
Our weather station that stands in front of the main house managed to hold up, for the most part, during the storm. It is leaning and will likely need to be re-built this winter, but it didn’t completely collapse; somehow, this seems fitting. 
 
Wilderness Survival:
One of our favorite stories from Sandy was that, during the post storm walk around to assess the damage, one of our staff members stumbled upon a Wilderness Survival shelter that was left by students from an earlier visit this fall. The shelter survived the storm and while we’ll never know who built it, those students deserve a great deal of recognition for constructing a shelter worthy of withstanding hurricane force winds.
 
Once again, we know how lucky we are, especially considering that none of the camp buildings were damaged seriously. We hope that Camp Bernie can continue to provide a safe haven or an escape for those that were less fortunate.



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