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~Shared by J. Ranner
And so we've reached the epic conclusion of our three-part series on all the great reasons you have to visit us this summer. If the first two articles weren't enough to convince you that you need a Woodloch getaway this summer, as they say in the old country, "third time's the charm."
RECORD BREAKERS FIELD DAY- One of Woodloch's oldest and proudest traditions is based on good ol' fashioned competition. I see it in all of your eyes when you're vying for a gold medal at our Scavenger Hunt and everywhere else. And to be quite frank, I'm somewhat scared to stand in anyone's way.
So with that in mind, Woodloch will be presenting you with the chance to not only trump your family and friends but also every guest that walks through our doors this summer! Look for even more exciting details on this event coming soon... there's some EPIC news that we can't wait to share with you!
WOODLOCH'S GOT TALENT- Are you an aspiring songbird or musician? Are family and friends floored by your improv stand up comedy shows at gatherings? Or can you juggle cricket bats blindfolded? Whatever your "talent" - no matter how unique it may be - now is your chance to shine. This summer, we invite you to showcase your skills in front of an audience of 500 or more spectators! Start rehearsals and shake off that stagefright. This could be the big break you've been waiting for!
WOODLOCH KID'S CLUB ROOM- Our Boomer's Kids Club and activities keep expanding, and we needed some room to branch out! Starting this summer, many of our children's activities will be hosted in our new Kid's Club Room located just below our gymnasium and indoor playground. Events like arts & crafts, story hour and other various games now have a specially designated room!
A NIGHT AT THE COUNTRY FAIR- It's a warm summer's eve. You hear the sweet sound of an acoustic guitar and fiddle off in the distance singing along with the crickets. The delicious smell of funnel cake wafts through the soft night breeze. And in the company of your best friends, you meander throughout the midway without a care in the world. You're at a good old-fashioned country fair; Americana at its finest!
This summer, Monday nights will feature Woodloch's Country Fair. Enjoy all of those carnival delicacies like candy apples, cotton candy and kettle corn. Bow to your partner and corners as we "dosey doe" to some great honkey tonk country music! And craft to your heart's delight!
HANG TEN! (kind of) - Paddleboards are becoming more popular and will now be available to our guests this summer at Woodloch! Paddleboards strengthen and stretch the muscles in your arms, torso and legs. Guests will have to be 13 and older to use them. This will be a great new way for you to explore the tranquil waters of Lake Teedyuskung. Meanwhile, enjoy our extended walking path wrapping around the lake side of our outdoor pool!
BIGGER AND BETTER THAN EVER- Our Social Department at Woodloch absolutely LOVES a challenge. That's why our traditional guest favorite events like Olympics, Scavenger Hunt, Amazing Race and more will be given complete makeovers! So even if you think you're ahead of the game- believe me when I say you're not. We will challenge your minds and bodies and bring the fun level to unprecedented highs!
And so, with less than two months until Independece Day, may the countdown for the summer of 2013 commence!
We simply cannot wait to share all of the fun, joy and laughter with you!
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~Shared by T. Compton
July can't come quickly enough for the Postrion family.
Currently serving in Kandahar, Afghanistan, Staff Sergeant Bryan Miller is due home July 1. Miller, who joined the Air Force straight out of high school, has already completed three overseas tours: Turkey, Kyrgyzstan, and now a return trip to Afghanistan.
The Blue Star Flag on Sam Postrion's lapel is a silent testament to her son's service. It's a pin that will remain in place until his safe return.
"It's an honor to know that he is serving our country and protecting people he does not know. But it's heartbreaking having him away and having him away for such long periods," Sam said.
A member of the Military Police, SSgt. Miller was deployed in January. "I am assisting Coalition Forces and NATO with giving over the primary role for Security Forces to the Afghanis," he said via email. Stateside, he's a member of law enforcement at Dover Airforce Base.
He sees a lot of positive things being accomplished in Kandahar. "The U.S. has been in Afghanistan since October 2001. The NATO program that I assist with directly impacts the growth of the Afghanistan Government. Since I’ve been here, I’ve seen the Afghani Military operate as it's own military force and limit Taliban influence around the area."
He's proud of his fellow patriots, their mission dedication, and unequaled brotherhood. "The best thing about my comrades is knowing without any hesitation they will have my back with any issue big or small," he said.
Family and friends also have his back here at home.
"I want him to know that I am behind him 100 percent with whatever he does in life, and I will always be there for him. Most important is that I want him to know how proud I am to be his mom," Sam said.
Asked if it's difficult to leave one's family behind, Miller said. "I get asked this question often; leaving your family for 8 months at a time is the hardest thing you’re faced with. Every second of the day, you think about your loved ones and when is the next time you will see them. Getting rocket attacked or engaged with small arms fire, you are prepared and trained for that problem. Being away from home, there is no briefing or field manual to help you overcome that sacrifice. I measure the 'is it worth it' by the sense of pride I get when I do my job and the people standing behind me."
Touching base with those back home helps ease the miles in between. "I try to Skype call every day, the time difference (8.5 hours) makes it hard, but technology is great! Facebook and Skype keep me in touch. Just the smallest conversation makes the hardest day easier."
"He always asks what's going on with us and around town, always checks to see how his Grandma is," said his mom. "We never end a conversation without me saying, 'I love you and miss you.'"
As to what he misses the most back home, Miller shared, "I miss my soon to be wife, going on a motorcycle ride with her, and my English bulldog Bailey."
SSgt. Miller is due to be wed to his soulmate, Felicia Shannon, September 6, 2013, just two months after his return.
Is he proud of this woman by his side? "I am most certainly proud of her. She is working a full-time job, she is a full-time student (going for her dental hygiene degree), and also planning a wedding. The thing I love the most about her is her smile, and she never ceases to amaze me."
English writer G.K. Chesterton once wrote: "The true Soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him."
Asked his take on that poem, Miller replied, "I most certainly agree with this poem. I have no hatred towards the enemy. I’m in Afghanistan now to protect the rights of my family and friends. It doesn’t matter if you live in Idaho or in the Helmand Providence of Southern Afghanistan. Our enemy believes in a cause and so do we. They are just willing to kill innocent people for that cause."
Asked if he believes in what he is doing, Miller replied, "This is a hard question for active duty military members to answer. Everyone has their own beliefs about what they are doing over here. Most of us keep those beliefs to ourselves, reason being is we don’t want to undermine our leaders appointed over us or our Government."
It's an answer that may well be laced with the loss of friends. "I live in a 10 x 15 room with a roommate. My day starts about 6:00 AM every morning with a little organized physical fitness. I report into work by 7:30 AM. I work Monday through Thursday (to include Saturdays) 7:30 to 6:00pm. Friday and Sunday are my half days; I have a report time of 12:00 to 6:00 PM. The unbearable moments are so sporadic that they sneak up on you. For example, every day I walk by the base headquarters building and see the flag pole. Most of my unbearable moments come when I look up to that flag and see it is half mast (fallen comrade(s)). Keeping my military bearing, I render a salute and keep pressing towards my work compound."
What does he want people back home to know? SSgt Miller replied, "Support the troops. Without Americans supporting the Armed Forces our mission is irrelevant."
Note: Sam Postrion works at the Front Desk and Reservation Department at Woodloch Pines Resort.
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“I’ll always be his ‘Toots’ and he will always be my ‘Hun.’”
It’s been 50 years since they first met, and Kathy and Phil Bracco of Monroe Township, New Jersey, can’t wait to renew their vows.
"Phil and I have NEVER called each other by our first names. I’ll always be his 'Toots,' and he will always be my 'Hun.' That’s what we have called each other since the beginning of this loving journey together," she says. “We met in the lobby of the N.Y. Tel. Co. where I worked. Phil was picking up his neighbor who was my supervisor. I happened to be leaving at the same time. What a coincidence. We were introduced, and our love story started from there. Phil was 24; I was 18."
And yes, it was love at first sight.
She’ll never forget his heartfelt proposal. “We were in his car. He told me how much he loved me and that he wanted to spend the rest of our lives together. We were married a year later,” she relates.
Tears of happiness followed his proposal. “We were so excited and went home to tell our parents,” she says.
The two were wed on June 29, 1963 at the Oriental Manor in Brooklyn. “The Church was Our Lady of Grace on Avenue W & East 3rd Street in Brooklyn,” she says.
Does she remember that exact moment when they looked into each other’s eyes and promised forever? “I cry at any little thing; imagine on my wedding day. How can I ever forget those precious meaningful words? We are as in love today as the day we exchanged our vows. As we have matured so has our love grown deeper for one another. It has definitely evolved," she says.
When it comes to the secret of happily ever after, Kathy says, "It’s having unconditional love and understanding for one another. Always being there for each other in good and bad times."
Her advice to new couples rings true. "Be trustworthy, understanding, compromise and don’t hold a grudge. Communication is very important. Always say "I love you" before going to bed and give each other a kiss. It is truly a blessing to find your soulmate to share a lifetime together," she says.
This June, the Braccos will celebrate 50 amazing years at Woodloch with their kids and grandkids. "We have three children, two girls and one boy, and 6 grandchildren, five boys and one girl," she says.
"The best part and biggest blessing of being married is that we have each other every day to share all the joys and special times with our children and grandchildren," Kathy says.
Their vow renewal ceremony will be steeped in romanticism. Kathy envisions a horse and carriage. "I guess deep down I am a hopeless romantic wanting to ride in a horse and carriage. Remembering the song, 'Love & Marriage goes together like a horse and carriage . . . you can’t have one without the other.' How true are those words. We wanted to have a ceremony outsideand always dreamed of having it by a lake or on a beach. We realized Woodloch had it all. I love the lake settings," she says.
"We chose Woodloch so we can all be together in one house, and it was convenient for everyone’s schedule since it is not too far from where we live. We have been there two times before. We love the whole atmosphere of such a beautiful resort to renew our vows.''
Kathy says, "Having a bright sunny day celebrating it with all our family would make our day perfect."
Vow renewal is indeed special, says Pastor Sharon Bedrosian, who officiates at Woodloch. "It makes me cry. I love doing it because there's such a feeling of love there," Bedrosian says.
To learn more about vow renewal ceremonies at Woodloch Pines Resort, please call 1-800-966-3562, option 3.
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~Shared by T. Compton
The message on her hand is one she carries in her heart.
Sara Hoey's hand is covered in colorful letters, including her daughter's favorite color - purple. In fact, every member of Sara's family (and a large number of their friends) is sporting a similar message on the back of their hands: Hope 4 Jilly.
Jillian is her lively, hazel eyed, curly haired, much adored daughter. Gearing up for her second year of rookie softball, she's an active first grader who loves music class, takes tap and jazz dance, makes her mom grin with the constant playing of Taylor Swift's 'Trouble' on her iPod, and lives life each day with juvenile diabetes.
Strong in their support, family and friends have markered up their hands to celebrate "Hope for a Cure Day."
"It brings awareness to finding hope to one day cure Type 1 Diabetes," Sara said.
The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, or JDRF, is hosting a 5K Walk to Cure Diabetes on June 1st, Moosic. To support Jillian's team, please visit: http://www2.jdrf.org/site/TR?pg=team&fr_id=2172&team_id=78440
As a mom, Sara admits she worries about the disease. "You worry any time you are a parent. Being a mom of a Type-1 Diabetic child, the worry is intensified. I look at the clock and worry while she is in school that she is going to have a low (blood sugar level) and pass out or if she will have a low on the school bus, and there will be nobody able to take care of her. I worry at night that she is going to go unconscious in her sleep and that it will happen while we are sleeping. Both Brian (her husband) and myself take turns getting up each night at 2 a.m. to do a blood sugar check on her and make sure she is safe."
What helps her cope? "I have a really great support system in my family who listen to me vent each day about the latest obstacle. I have a wonderful husband who is there to help 24/7, and we have faith in God who listens to our prayers to help keep our little girl safe each day," Sara said.
Although she's young, Sara says Jillian has a good understanding of diabetes. "Jillian understands a lot more than I think most 7-year-old children would grasp. She does her own blood sugar checks six to eight times a day, and we supervise, or the school nurse does it. We do her dosing and carb counting, but she understands what is good for her and what will make her blood sugar go high. She understands what she needs when she goes low," Sara said.
"She takes a lot in stride and she is so strong!! However, she does get lows that are scary that leave her unable to think clearly or function for some time. And that is upsetting as a parent to see her having to miss out on things due to her being low.
"I get overwhelmed a lot when Jillian is sick. A simple stomach bug can land her in the ER on IV. Colds and flus promote high and low blood sugars. I often get very stressed when she is sick. Also, when she is growing, her blood sugars go out of whack," Sara said.
Are there many visits and long trips to the hospital? "When she was diagnosed she was admitted there for a week. We went back for educational courses on how to take care of her as well as when we transitioned her to the insulin pump. We go to Chilldren's Hospital of Philadelphia every three months for her regular check-ups," she said.
How do you turn those trips into something fun instead of something to be dreaded? "We started a fun tradition of going to Build-A-Bear when we go to CHOP to put a fun spin on the trips. Now she looks forward to those trips a little bit more," Sara explained.
How has the rest of the family adapted to Jillian's diagnosis? "Her little brother (Brett) had a tough time initially dealing with all of the attention Jillian was getting. He started to act out a bit, but we made it a point to spend time with him one-on-one as well, and he seems to have adjusted very well. He looks out for his sister now. He tells her when something is going to 'give her high blood sugar,'" Sara said.
Does everyone go out of their way to make her feel comfortable? "Everyone in the family has gone out of their way to make sure she knows she is loved. We are always telling her how strong she is each day and how incredibly proud we are of her."
Is it a learning curve? "Taking care of Jillian is a huge learning curve. Everything from knowing signs of highs/lows, carb counting, insulin dosing and using her pump is invloved. There aren't many times that she is not with myself, Brian or the school nurse due to those factors," Sara explained.
What is Sara's hope for everyone with diabetes? "My hope is that there will one day be a cure. That the 6-8 checks a day, 3-4 painful site changes, and scary lows and highs will one day be no longer. If not a cure, my hope is that more and more technological advancements (like Jillian's insulin pump) will keep coming out."
What would she tell someone whose child has just been diagnosed? "I would tell them to take a deep breath. Right now everything is going through their minds at once. Try to take everything one day at a time. Some days will be harder than others, and you will constantly be comparing your life from before diagnosis to now. Things will get easier in the sense that you will get used to your new routine and lifestyle, but it will all take time," she said.
Sara and her husband work at Woodloch Pines Resort, where Sara is employed in the Reservation's Department, and her husband is Facilities Manager.
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~Shared by J. Ranner
And so, I have finally caught my breath from the last update I shared with you on all of the great things that lie in store for our guests this summer.
And to quote one of my favorite movies, just when I thought I was out... they pull me back in. But another writing assignment- a "sequel," so to speak- means even more adventure and good times ahead for the summer of 2013. This is our second installment reporting changes in activities for the months ahead.
Our "Empire Strikes Back" it seems. Some pretty big revelations are about to be exposed on par with Darth confronting Luke, so if you'd like a spoiler free vacation I would stop reading now.
For everyone else, here are a few more new additions to your Woodloch summer vacation!
Toy Story- since my first summer here in 1995, each summer season has brought a delicious outdoor barbeque-style cookout offered each Monday afternoon. And every subsequent summer since then, it has been followed up by a family carnival. The themes have taken us to the wild west, to the tropical islands, and even to the far reaches of outer space. Every guest is given 10 game tickets to try their luck on games of skill and chance. Winning the carnival games gives you prize tickets to be redeemed on your Woodloch dream prizes, like keychains, coffee mugs, t-shirts and yes... even whoopee cushions.
This year, we're going to be "toying" around with nostalgia! All of our carnival games will be based on your favorite childhood toys spanning from the 1950's straight thru today. Patrons can expect the beautiful simplicity of jacks and slinkies and then move through the 80's Pandora's Box known as the Rubick's Cube to the mind melting mayhem of "BOP IT" (which to this day, I can't get past 3 steps on.)
Safe to say playtime is on!
We CAN Drive 55- It's hard to believe 55 years have passed since a young Harry and Mary
Kiesendahl followed their dreams and started Woodloch Pines. Since then, the small one room boarding house has expanded to over 135 acres as well as a golfing community and adjacent spa. It is an undeniable truth, however, that we would not be here without the support of all our guests and friends that we have been lucky enough to meet through the years.
So blessed are we that we have decided to continue our 55th Anniversary Celebration way past our annual "Anniversary Weekend" and keep the party rolling all summer long.
Welcome to our special "55 Party." All ages can expect a night full of great dance music and contests in which you can win one-of-a-kind Woodloch prizes. Bust a move in our dance off, show us how low you can go in our limbo, and get ready to dash with our live Scavenger Hunt simply known as "ONYA."
Get ready to share some smiles with us all season!
Strings Attatched- To me, there are 4 ingredients to a perfect summer's day. The first is plenty of sunshine, followed by good friends and an ice cold beverage. But to me, everything falls apart if I'm too far removed from one of my greatest loves: MUSIC. Throw an acoustic guitar into the mix and I've achieved my own personal Nirvana.
For the first time ever, Woodloch will be featuring an acoustic guitar performer somewhere on property 4 times per week this summer. Venues will vary and include the Beachfront, our brand new firepit and recently renovated outdoor pool deck. For those looking to take a break from events like our Olympics and Amazing Race, this provides ideal conditions for prime relaxation.
And if I wasn't working, I'd be right there joining you.
Stay Tuned- We've reached the conclusion of our second view into the Summer of 2013 at Woodloch. And lo and behold, I STILL have more details to share with you! So check back soon for the exciting conclusion to this trilogy!
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~Shared by J. Ranner
"That jukebox in the corner blasting out my favorite song / the nights are getting warmer, it won't be long / it won't be long till summer comes..."
Even though my dad was but a school boy when Thin Lizzy hit the scene in 1976, I think their lyrics have transcended the generations. While the Pocono Mountains of Pennyslvania offer some of the finest skiing, ice skating, sledding and wintry fun on the East Coast, nobody can deny the buzz that the advent of summer creates during the last of the winter months. We want to trade our cold nights and high heating bills for barbeques, ice pops and short shorts. For me, there still is no greater feeling than having the sun brightly long after dinner has been served. Long days in the sun make for plenty of fun nights out with reunited friends.
And just as the sun finds its way back North, so begins another summer at Woodloch Pines resort... it's 55th, to be precise. We pride ourselves on tradition- and not to contradict myself but one of our proudest traditions is finding new and unique ways for you to enjoy time with your friends and family.
Even though we've already given you over a million reasons to visit us, why not a few more?
This summer is shaping up to be one for the ages. If you are already planning on visiting us, then you are in for a real treat. If you are still in the planning stages of your family vacation... maybe you need to hear about the new delightful fun we are going to dish out this summer!
You're Not in Kansas Anymore - A new summer means new Theme Games down at the lake on Wednesday afternoons. In the past, we've sent you through Hollywood movie sets, had you don a cape and showcase your superpowers, and even saluted our real American Heroes with our Firemen & Policemen games. This year, be prepared to follow the Yellow Brick Road to Lake Teedyuskung! We know that our guests have the brains, the heart, and the courage to find their way to the Emerald City! Forget your ruby red shoes, though- be prepared to lace up your sneakers for great relay events that provide fun for all ages! There's no place like (your other) home!
Unleash your inner "Hawkeye" - After a few decades absence, we are very pleased to announce that archery will be returning to campus! Starting this summer, you will be able to kick it old school to demonstrate your shooting abilities!
Baking Up a Storm - Last year, we debuted our now famous "Cupcake Battles" to universal acclaim. Do not be fooled by their innocent nature; this slowly but steadily became our most competitive and challenging event! But of course, we continually raise the bar in the interest of maximum fun. That's why we've upped the ante this year and will be hosting a "Cake Showdown." Be prepared for plenty of plot twists and start dreaming up a confectionary gold medal!
"COME ON DOWN!" - Perhaps you've had a chance to participate in some of our gameshow events. Perhaps you've squared off against another family in Woodloch Feud. Or maybe you've put your musical prowess to test with Name That Tune. This summer, we are very excited to announce that we're ready to put your consumer knowledge to the ultimate test with "Precisely Right." Through a rigorous test of pricing knowledge (and maybe a little bit of luck), maybe your family will hit the ultimate jackpot and win a FREE STAY at Woodloch!
Koombaya - So that's a stretch, we most certainly won't be singing those kinds of songs! BUT we are very excited to use our new fire pit all summer long! Located on the North Lodge long, it will be lit nightly and offers a great place to relax and tell stories with all your friends, both old and new. On select nights, we'll even have live entertainment out by the pit. They will actually be playing good music!
As I sit here right now, I am still buried in all sorts of new and exciting things headed your way for this summer- let all of this fantastic news resonate for a while and be ready for a second article heading your way SOON!
Water Skiing at Woodloch from Woodloch Pines on Vimeo.
Double Dare at Woodloch from Woodloch Pines on Vimeo.
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~Shared by Jake Basil
It's that glorious time of year again. It only lasts for a little over a month so indulge now.
It's corned beef time. We're serving it here at Woodloch every Tuesday night and Sunday afternoon on our Smorgasbord. We also serve our traditional cabbage, potatoes, and our baby carrots. Yum!
The thing about corned beef and cabbage is that you're either in or out. Love it or hate it; embrace it or ignore it. For me, I can't get enough. I make it for my family, my in-laws, my son's friends and anyone who expresses to me that they will miss out on this lovely feast because they have no one to make it for them.
What's not to love about this dinner? The completion of a flat cut or point corned beef, tiny red potatoes or white potatoes, Guinness or O'Douls. Oh the decisions! Every year I think, "why didn't I take notes from last year?" This year I'll just make several dinners over the month. Note to self: write down the pros and cons of each course.
Then you have the smells of all of this goodness warming every room in your house. I cook my corned beef in the largest pot I have in the house, occasionally turning it over. I even like the corned beef facials I get when I take the lid off the pot, and the steam comes rushing at me. The days before the meal my family and I anticipate dinner: hot corned beef, cabbage (some like it with a little vinegar), salted boiled potatoes, and carrots with a lot of butter. I like my carrots coined.
Let's talk leftovers: sandwiches, corned beef hash, Shepherd's pie - the possibilities are endless. I used to make my own Irish soda bread, but Woodloch's is so good I buy it here and spend the extra time on dinner. Woodloch also features an Irish Cooking Class throughout the month of March - something that simply should not be missed!
If that wasn't enough of something special, the night before Saint Patrick's Day we get a visit from tricky leprechauns. I personally haven't been able to spot them yet they leave their mark. There is magically delicious cereal on the counter (which only appear this time of year) and a hunt for a pot of gold. Those wee mischievous leprechauns may appear at other times of the day: in lunch boxes, at dinner, during shower time or even at bedtime. it's a fun time for all.
If after reading this and you feel you are missing out I have a tip for you: our very own John Sloane has been throwing his traditional Saint Patrick's Day party for years. After the green line seamlessly appears on the road from the water wheel (it used to be in front of Sloane's house before he moved) and runs to the nightclub, the parade begins to assemble. There are different kinds of floats and plenty of characters riding on them.
Yesterday for St. Paddy's Day, the road was lined up with friends and family, staff and guests all eagerly waiting to join in the fun. When the parade ended at the Inn, the fun didn't stop there. Sloane and his family throw a "Traditional Saint Patrick's Day Party". There were stories, Irish music, mischief, and a lot of malarkey.
If you're in the mood to do a jig or two and bask in the luck of the Irish, John Sloane is the man to show you. You can find out more about our March Irish festivities by calling 1-800-WOODLOCH, and be sure to join us next St. Paddy's Day!
Erin Go Bragh to you and your family!
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~Shared by J. Ranner
"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."
Now that I think of it, I've learned more from Dr. Seuss than I did throughout four years of college. There's an awful lot of truth in his words. We live in a world with almost 7 billion other people, so at times it's somewhat easy to feel small and insignificant.
Even though there's nothing further from the truth.
Change has to start sometime, somewhere, with someone. So why not be the one to make it happen?
We're proud to announce that Woodloch's very own guest, staff member and friend is doing what she can to make some positive change in our world. Jocelyn Gebhardt of Fallston, Maryland, will be running in the Saint Luke's Half Marathon on April 28th, 2013. She is doing it all to raise awareness for melanoma.
Her motivation comes from the heart. She will be running in memory of her mother, Teri. Teri was not only a Woodloch guest but a very special Woodloch guest; she was the recipient of Woodloch's "Chuck Russell Award," which is handed out during the summer to people who demonstrate the true meaning of the Woodloch Games. Teri had a very welcoming disposition and knew how to make everyone smile. "She loved everyone," says Jocelyn. "No matter who you were or what you did, she just loved you, and she let you know that. I remember her as always trying to help someone." Woodloch provided the Gebhardt family with 15 years of "leaving reality" for a week. To Teri, Woodloch was a special place where she could just be herself and be "crazy" without anyone thinking it was odd!
Teri was diagnosed with stage three melanoma in 2004 when Jocelyn was just 16 years old. Though doctors gave her just 6 months to live, Teri, alongside her loving family, fought as valiantly as possible. "She didn't let the disease get the best of her," says Jocelyn. "She still came to my college lacrosse tournaments and went to our beach house on the weekends. I learned so much from her during that time about what it was to be strong."
Sadly, Teri lost a very tough battle with melanoma in 2007. Though she was deeply saddened by her loss, Jocelyn keeps her spirit alive with a great attitude and willingness to help others. "She was always so positive and upbeat, living everyday like it was her last. Today, I try to live my life just the way she did, never taking anything or anyone for granted."
She set out to find ways that she could help and make a difference against the disease. Jocelyn, a proud Woodloch competitor herself, found Miles for Melanoma, which raises funds for the Melanoma Research Foundation. This organization gives people the opportunity to run for sponsorships that will all go to fighting melanoma, so even if you aren't the next Steve Prefontaine, you can still help. All of the framework in place, she started her training routine.
For the past few months, she has been following a rigorous training routine that has her running three to five miles three days a week and seven to nine miles at least two days a week. This is certainly no easy task, but it will prepare her for the half marathon (13 miles) that she will be undertaking in a few short weeks. She trains most days at the Sports Complex at Woodloch Springs, and if she gets a nice break in the weather, she jogs around the famously serene Woodloch Nature Trail. An absolutely great way to stay fit, if you ask me!
Need a little ambition to go out there and make things happen? Heed Jocelyn's advice: "We are all put here to make a difference. Whether it is to impact something or someone, we are all here for a purpose. Make your purpose be known. Get out and do the things that you are passionate about, appreciate the little things, and love everything and everyone unconditionally. Live every day like it's your last because you never know when it will be. Appreciate the life you were given!"
On a personal note, I'm proud of my friend and wish her the best of luck. I love seeing positive change and am reminded of my favorite Latin phrase Sic Parvis Magna, meaning "greatness from small beginnings." Your journey of a thousand miles starts with just a single step; never underestimate your ability to inspire others!
Find your "marathon," and go run it.
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~Shared by Kathy Van Horn
Love is in the air at Woodloch, and there are many different ways to love someone. Who would think you could find true love at a family resort? Well it happens all the time at our beautiful resort, Woodloch Pines.
Take Chuck Gray whose parents have been bringing their family here since Chuck was a little boy. He met his wife Catherine while here on vacation. Catherine's parents are also long time guests. After five years of marriage and two beautiful children, both families still come the same time each year. The funny part of this story is that during their week Catherine sits with her family at the main lodge for meals, and Chuck sits with his parents at the Inn. I guess you're wondering who gets the kids?
Another love story is Lizzie Horn. No, she didn't meet her husband Matt here. Since she was a little girl she dreamed of getting married here. Matt, her boyfriend at the time, decided that this would be the perfect place to propose to her (ask me about the ring some time). After a few frantic days, Matt got the ring. Lizzie said yes, and they started planning their wedding. They did have the perfect Woodloch wedding filled with family, friends, fun and laughter. They now have a beautiful son.
We've had staff-to-staff weddings, we've had guest-to-guest weddings , and we've had staff-to-guest weddings. We have love for our co-workers. We are a tight knit group. When something good happens to our staff members and guests, we rejoice and celebrate their good fortune. When something bad happens, we mourn and look for ways to console them. From our being so close, relationships develop, even romantic ones. The other day a couple of staff members at the desk were counting how many marriages that we knew of that were tied to Woodloch.
Can you guess? Let me know on my blog, or stop by the desk and ask.
We also have other types of love here. Employees who love our guests. Guests who love our staff. Even first time guests can fall in love with our staff.
Take the Olsen family. First time guest Mrs. Olsen came to the desk to check in with Tess, our front desk manager. She explained to Tess that her five-year-old son had just gotten sick in the car. Tess helped her with that situation and a few other things. Then Kate, Tess's daughter who works in social, adored Ms. Olsen's two children. Kate was with them at many activities, at one point she mentioned that her mother worked at the front desk. This made the bond between the Olsen's, Tess, and Kate even stronger. By the time the Olsen's checked out, there were a round of hugs between everyone. There was also an exchange of emails, and the Olsen's promised to be back soon.
Relationships are important whether they are romantic or platonic. They are what makes you smile when you get up in the morning. It's the anticipation and enthusiasm of knowing you're going on vacation, and you're going to see people you know and love.
As some of you know, my family goes on vacation to Maine every year. We have developed relationships over the years. Every year we anticipate seening the Murphy's. Mr. Murphy is a Boston firefighter (not someone you would mess with). He is also a big fan of the Red Sox, we are not - go Yankees - so we have a friendly rivalry going. We don't tell them what dates we are comming, so it's always a suprise. The first night we are there, we decorate their car or fence with Yankee memorabilia. Then we anticipate seeing them the next day. During the week we inevitably find something that has Boston Red Sox on our cottage door or car. This is what makes vacations fun. The big hugs and the anticipation and knowing you have friends on your vacation.
I would love to hear any of your love stories!
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~Shared by T. Compton
It's fun to watch God connect the dots.
When we first contacted Woodloch guest Susan Fox, it was in regards to a reservation. But it was during that fateful phone call, that we learned of Susan's love for shelter pets and the need of orphaned animals following Frankenstorm Sandy.
Susan's words painted a sorrowful picture of pets having been surrendered following the destructive super storm. It was then that we learned of Maxy, a beautiful pitbull in need of a forever home, along with an additional 70 or so cats and dogs in the same situation. We also learned of the great-hearted people at The Emergency Pet Shelter at Mitchell Field in Uniondale, New York, who had selflessly cared for those orphaned animals but were now being forced to close.
That was a week ago. Since then, we've had positive news from Susan. Here's what she had to say:
"Good News!! Maxy was adopted by For Our Friends Rescue this past Friday!! She will be boarded by them until a home is found for her. Anyone interested in adopting Maxy can find her on PetFinder under For Our Friends Rescue, or they can call 718-595-2161. Maxy passed her evaluation with flying colors. Bryan said she is a very sweet dog. She rode in my car without a crate for probably the first time in her life and was so happy looking out of the car window!! It made my heart happy!!
As for the emergency shelter, they are in the process of closing. There are a few dogs that have not been claimed by their owners as of yet and some that have been surrendered. They have a few kennel spots at Last Hope Animal Rescue in Wantagh, NY, and some will be able to go there. One small Yorkie was surrenderd to the shelter by it's owner, but a family from Ohio is coming for the dog. They have many acres, a closed-in animal run with a doggie door entrance, and the owners take their dogs with them when they travel. There is a beautiful pit bull mix, named Snoop a.k.a Porkchop who still needs a home, as well as Misha, a shepard mix.
Anyone interested can call: 516-272-0017. People that are interested can also visit the Hurricane Sandy Lost and Found Pets on Facebook.
Maxy had a happy ending as did the Yorkie and those going to Last Hope Animal Rescue, but there are many who will go and are in municipal shelters all over the country. My words of advice are to spay and neuter your pets, microchip them, realize that getting a pet is a lifetime responsibility. The cute puppy or kitten will grow up and get big. They will have accidents, and they will at times get sick. You will have vet bills, food expenses etc. This is all part of loving an animal. Animals are not disposable when you get tired of them or can no longer afford them. So that being said, people MUST take ownership when bringing a pet home. The rewards of an animal are unlike those you will ever know!! They don't care if you are skinny or fat, are bald or have too much hair, are rich or poor!! They just want to love you and be with you. It is the best homecoming you will ever receive at the end of a work day!! So people repay their loyalty with your loyalty to them!!
To all of you who took the time to read our story, to Tammy without whom the story would not have been told and to Woodloch Pines for allowing this to move forward, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart, Maxy's and all of the staff and animals at the Emergency Pet Shelter!!"
Two of the wonderful volunteers at the Emergency Pet Shelter