Season Four at Channel 3 Kids Camp - 2009

By Bill Overton

READ reports from previous years at
Channel 3 Kids Camp:
2008, 2006

It rained and it was cold, but for Master Gardeners at Channel 3 Kids Camp, 2009 was still a great success. Along the way, MG volunteers exposed 368 disadvantaged children to some of the wonders of nature.

Our year started with a gracious CMGA Grant which was used to purchase seeds, tools and potting materials. Thank you, Thank you! An additional Forever Young Foundation Grant allowed us to purchase and install raised beds for the garden. Many thanks to MG Class of 2009 Brooklyn Intern Linda Young and her family for the gift. What a difference it made working with children.

Dick Stroiney was responsible for getting the beds installed. Dick has been working at the camp for the past four years, getting the gardens started in the Spring. Ann Harrington Dibella, Steve Aldi and Dorine Setzler were responsible for our 2009 MG Intern recruiting, and their efforts paid off with a large number of helpers to get our greenhouse up and running in March. Steve also worked with the Camp Staff to institute the Masonic Child Identification Program.

In June, the Kids Camp honored three of our volunteers as 2008 Volunteers of the Year. Paula Robinson, Ann Harrington Dibella and Bob Duffy were each honored with a Camp Award in appreciation for their countless hours spent working on behalf of disadvantaged children. As mentioned earlier, Ann recruited, Paula developed and executed the Lesson Plan, and Bob lectured on his potatoes.

In July, Brooklyn MG Class Coordinator Kim Kelly created some excitement when she lead the kids on an Insect Treasure Hunt. The hunt accomplished two things. First the kids got an opportunity to learn the difference between beneficial and non-beneficial insects. Secondly, we got rid of the bad guys and the kids had fun doing it!

Dorine Setzler had her own plan for enjoyment: harvesting salsa produce. The kids were assigned the responsibility of finding, harvesting and cleaning certain items of produce. In turn, they assisted in creating their own salsa, which they enjoyed eating.

Jay Beausoleil and Bill Overton accepted on behalf of CMGA The Mohegan Sun community MVP Award at a Los Angeles Sparks, Connecticut Sun Basketball Game in August. The award simply states "Thank you for making a difference" and was granted for Master Gardener efforts to help disadvantaged children.

A special thanks goes to Roberta Ball for the time and effort she spent on planting hundreds of roses and hydrangeas. This project would not have been completed without her.

It's important to thank those who made our fourth season a success, and I'll list them in no particular order:

Grace Marshall, Roberta Ball, Amanda Bunce, Caitlin Carbone, Susan Colanti, Bernadete Hennessey, Pam Lee, Bob Sutton, Linda Young, Steve Aldi, Jay Beausoleil, Mary Cross, Bob Duffy, Laura Malin, Fran Maynard, Carole Miller, Dick Stroiney, Toni Royal, Dorine Setzler, Tracy Gorecki and Bill Overton.

2010 will be a special year for the Camp. It will celebrate the 100th year of its existence. MGs hope to participate in something that will be extra special!