Economic Development from a Summer Camp?
The Oswegatchie Educational Center is a state wide destination.
Why would hundreds of students from Syracuse University travel to Croghan, NY to spend their weekends? It’s for the Oswegatchie Educational Center! Long known as the “FFA Camp”, Oswegatchie is set on the shores of Long Pond and has been hosting retreat groups from all over New York. Syracuse University has found Oswegatchie to be the perfect combination of lodging, meals, and educational programs, without the modern day distractions of wifi and cell phones. Syracuse University is an example of the new wave of business that has been filling the property for several weekends each year. Additionally, Clarkson University, Hamilton College, and Cornell University all make annual pilgrimages to Croghan NY to retreat at Oswegatchie.
On 1200 acres, 4 large ponds, and 2 miles inside the Adirondack “Blue Line”, the Oswegatchie Educational Center’s location is both beautiful and refreshing. This summer camp and educational retreat center is in the northeast corner of Lewis County inside the Croghan Township. Its 4 full time staff members live on site and work throughout the year. Oswegatchie is owned and operated by the New York FFA Foundation.
Long term development at Oswegatchie has been steady and pragmatic over the years. Starting with the long anticipated addition of a state of the art shower facility in 2008 and continuing this past year with the addition of a new maintenance building, Oswegatchie has found ways to reinvest in itself without acquiring major debt.
In the past 10 years, major donors have stepped forward to make things happen. Charitable IRA rollovers and Estate planning has allowed large gifts to find their way to Long Pond. More important, Oswegatchie has opened its doors to sponsorships and naming rights for new structures. For 2013, the ground is being broken on a new lodge / infirmary. Naming rights on the structure have started at $50,000.
Oswegatchie is now at a tipping point, and needs the right mix of continued customer support, financial contributions, and collaboration with the industrious people of Lewis County. Our current customer base is very loyal and provides invaluable word of mouth promotion. This has been the cornerstone of our growth. However a little known fact is that 95% of our customers travel from outside of the county to participate in our programs. This presents a great opportunity for economic development for many Lewis County businesses. Many of our customers stop at one of many restaurants, purchase fuel, supplies, and even ice cream cones. Croghan has benefitted greatly from hungry people wanting ice cream, chocolates, and bologna! Lewis County maple syrup is also a valued commodity. Not only is it the best syrup, it is also priced right.
We invite Lewis County residents and businesses to consider planning a retreat at Oswegatchie. Whether for a weekend family reunion, or a staff retreat for your employees, we can plan an event that is unique and unforgettable.
Summer Leadership Camp for youth ages 11 and up continues to be our most popular program. In 2012, the summer program (www.oswegatchiecamp.com ) hit another record attendance with 768 campers during 5 weeks of camp. The Oswegatchie program is packed full of high level programs, including water sports, horseback riding, Zip Lines, climbing towers, and so much more. Summer camp tuition is all inclusive and very affordable. Lewis County youth are encouraged to talk to their FFA Advisor about how they can become a part of the Oswegatchie experience. If your school does not have an FFA Chapter you can visit us individually.
Oswegatchie’s annual AdironDUCK Race (www.adironduckrace.com) has become a fixture in the Lewis County calendar of events not to be missed. With the addition of a new flock in 2012, the opportunity to participate in this event is greater than ever. In 2012 1,700 people attended and enjoyed great food, free entertainment, and beautiful spring weather. We would appreciate your presence on Sunday April 28, 2013 for the 19th Annual Oswegatchie AdironDuck Race.
To learn more about Oswegatchie, go to www.oswegatchie.org. We can be reached by phone at 315-346-1222. We look forward to furthering the discussion about how Oswegatchie can be a big part of the future Lewis County.
This article will run in the Lowville Journal and Republican "Progress Edition" in February 2013.
Belleville Henderson FFA Receives NYS Agricultural Society’s 2013 FFA Chapter of the Year Award
The New York State Agricultural Society awarded its 2013 “FFA Chapter of the Year” Award to the Belleville Henderson FFA Chapter at its 181st Annual Agricultural Forum on January 10th in Syracuse. The New York State Grange sponsors this award and presented the “golden tractor” rotating trophy. (article submitted by: Marcie Hauri, student)
For a chapter who sends over 30 FFA members to a chapter officer training, has done interviews on a local television station to further educate the public about agriculture, and has three different research crops for their students, there is no question why Belleville Henderson FFA is the chapter of the year.
Ms. Tedra McDougal is the agricultural teacher and advisor at Belleville Henderson. There she teaches Aquaculture, Horticulture, Environmental Science, Agricultural Science, Animal Science, and Agricultural Engineering. This October at the 2012 National FFA Convention, State President Amanda Rhodes proudly went up on stage to accept a plaque for Belleville Henderson-- chapter of the year for New York State.
Belleville Henderson FFA helps to develop their members on a personal level through leadership conferences such as COLT (Chapter Officer Leadership Training), and the 212/360 leadership conference in January. Members also have the opportunity to participate in job shadowing with Poulin Grain where students work with others in the agricultural industry and learn about becoming dairy nutritionists.
On the chapter level Belleville Henderson grows and sells their own sweet corn as a way to educate the students on what environmental conditions are necessary to grow quality corn and to teach them how to manage their finances with a hands-on experience. In addition to growing corn and learning about business management of the chapter, they also hold a Community Agricultural Fair attended by over 300 community members to learn more about agriculture and to see what students have done with their exhibits.
Belleville Henderson FFA is very involved in their community: they collect canned food items to donate to the Rhode Center-- a local food pantry, and Ms. McDougal and the chapter work with 4th grade students to make dog biscuits to donate to the homeless dogs. Another thing that the chapter does annually in their community is to read to the elementary classes on Ag Literacy day to teach younger students where their food comes from.
Congratulations to Belleville Henderson FFA and to Ms. Tedra McDougal for all of your work and dedication to educate the public and further FFA and agriculture.
Strengthening agriculture since 1832, the Ag Society played an instrumental role in establishing vital organizations in New York State including Cornell University’s College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, the Department of Agriculture and Markets, the New York State Fair, LEAD New York, and most recently, the New York State Agricultural Society Foundation. The Society's mission is to improve New York agriculture through education, leadership development and recognition programs. For more information or to join the NYS Agricultural Society visit www.nysagsociety.org or contact Executive Secretary, Penny Heritage, at email@example.com , (518) 384-1715.
Photo ID: (L-R)
Back Row- Jake Allen, Erik Shelmidine, Nicole Race, Leann Green.
Front Row—NYS Ag Commissioner Darrel Aubertine, Paige Levandowski- NYS FFA Vice President, Samantha Furman, Jazmine Ferguson, Tedra McDougal- Advisor, Stephen Coye- NYS Grange (award sponsor).
Executive Secretary & Publicity Coordinator
New York State Agricultural Society
493 Charlton Road
Ballston Spa, NY 12020
Like New York State Agricultural Society on Facebook
Follow @nysagsociety on Twitter
This post is copied verbatim from email. Thank You Shari Lighthall, NY Ag Ed Outreach!
At the 2012 NAAE Convention in Atlanta we honored NY teachers and leaders for their outstanding work in agricultural education. Congratulations to each award winner.
Tina James - Outstanding Agricultural Education Teacher and Mentor
Mandi Millen- Outstanding Secondary Agricultural Education Program
Mary Lou Genaway - Ford Grant Challenge
Johanna Fox Bossard- Teacher Turn the Key
Travis Park- Outstanding Cooperation
Kaylie Ackerley - Upper Division Scholarship
Jessica Devries - Ag Ambassador
The New York FFA Foundation
The NYSFFALTF, Inc., chartered in 1946 by the New York State Board of Regents, is a not-for-profit 501 (c)(3) charitable organization that provides businesses, associations, other foundations, and individuals the opportunity to contribute to the growth and success of our New York youth. Our mission is to build and maintain a financial base that will allow the New York FFA to generate well-educated and career focused productive citizens. Email our Director at firstname.lastname@example.org .