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About Mary Catherine Urlacher
Name: Mary Catherine Urlacher
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Reviews Written by Mary Catherine Urlacher  

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The Best Camp in New York State Feb 20, 2010
reviewer: Mary Catherine Urlacher from Great Neck, NY
My kids have been attending Camp Cory for almost a decade now, and they won't shut up about it- I mean that in the most sympathetic way! Year round, they always seem to find a way to bring up the bounty of memories and friends they've made at a camp defined by its warm staff and facilities which are often reminiscent of a charming Adirondack lodge. It's a pleasure to visit when dropping the kids off and picking them up-- though they always beg to stay. I will say, Camp Cory does have one negative attribute-- the malaise which campers, at least my kids, are immersed in upon departure. Regardless of this "camp-sick" feeling, I have nothing bad to say about the place. Once again, the facilities are charming and feature a lovely dining hall-- which could be the ballroom of a Western themed hotel-- cabin, equipped with electricity and, in many cases, individual bathrooms, and a wonderful boardwalk which spans the waterfront of the property (the camp is located on the shimmering shores of Keuka Lake). The camp offers a number of activities most notably waterfront related ventures, such as sailing, kayaking, waterskiing, and advanced swimming lessons. On land, they have an impressive rock climbing facility, as well as sprawling athletic fields, tennis courts, and an archery range. However, one mustn't be wary, if their child isn't a fan of athletics; youngest son loathes that kind of activity, but that has never stopped him from enjoying himself because the camp offers a number of inside activities as well. Music, drama, visual media & journalism programs are all made readily available to the camp's budding young artists. Forums, including talent shows, competitions and secular "chapel services," are offered to allow kids to express themselves on a regular basis. It's obvious that the camp harbors creativity. One must look no farther than the diverse staff employed at Camp Cory. I've always been treated incredibly kindly by a mottled collection of staff members which range from college graduate (from quality schools like Dartmouth and the University of Michigan) to Spanish exchange students! The diverse and multicultural community of counselors helps ensure that individuals, regardless of ideology, taste or temperament are kept satisfied at all times. I can't say enough about Camp Lawrence Cory for two reasons; first, my kids are unrelenting in their quest to convince me to send that back and, secondly, I've witnessed firsthand the kind of skills and healthy entertainment they've received from an institution which is commensurate to no other camp in New York State. The week my eldest son returned from camp for the first time, he displayed noticeable changes in his level of self-confidence, comfort with his identity and he simply seemed more content. Similar stories can be told about all four of my children (who have and will continue to attend this summer). I'm certain that this experience holds true for other parents-- who have noticed their children develop as a result of their experiences at Camp Cory (in fact, due to my children's camp contrived friendships, I am positive that this is true because I've spoken to other camper's parents!). The leadership program-- tailored for teenagers, is also highly effective at encouraging personal development and confidence. My oldest son and his little sister have ostensibly demonstrated a more mature side upon graduating from the LIT and CIT programs, respectively. Though many camps offer programs like this, I doubt that many provide such lavish sleeping quarters for their next generation of counselors and benefactors. My son and daughter got to spend a combined six weeks in a "Chateau" with heated floors, a fireplace and an operating kitchen, while I was stuck at home! Beyond the luxurious accommodations, the camp leadership programs are run by several talented individuals devoted to their campers. Though my son didn't really appreciate his leadership director, it's clear that he picked up a lot of skills, not to mention a troupe of lifelong friends. I'd also like to commend the camp for its efforts to promote the quality of life for under privileged children. For years, Camp Cory has sponsored children whose socio-economic background would not allow them to attend a summer camp. I love the idea and I think it epitomizes the generous and welcoming ideology of the camp. On a final note, I want to emphasize the power which Camp Cory holds over my children; they are hypnotized by the idyllic setting- a modern outdoorsmen's Shangri La-- one peopled by staff who are clearly devoted to both their campers and the ideals of the YMCA, and one defined by diversity in all of its forms. I have not come across a more promising facility in my experience as a parent (and I've sent my kids to over a dozen different camps in New York). I hope that my review has been effective in encouraging other parents to give their children the best summers of their lives!

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