Sponsored: The YMCA of Montclair Has Camps That Run All Summer

BY  |  Thursday, Jun 01, 2017 2:30pm


The YMCA of Montclair has multiple camps running through August. Sports, swimming, art, dance, canoeing, basketball, archery, academic enrichment programs, field trips…it’s all at the Y. Act quickly, they’re filling up fast!

  • Early Adventures: Ages 3–Kindergarten
  • New Discoveries: Ages 4–9
  • Camp at the Lake: Ages 5–13
  • Summer Sparks: Grades 1-6
  • Explorers: Ages 8–12
  • Voyagers: Ages 12–14
  • Quest: Ages 14–15

For info about these and our other camps and to register click here or call 973-744-3400.




Sponsored: Three Outside The Box Summer Camps

Friday, Mar 24, 2017 3:00pm

ymca of montclair summer camps

Summer is around the corner. It’s time to plan ways to keep your kids occupied. The YMCA of Montclair offers several great outside the box camps for ages 6-15. For more options, visit our website.

Summer Sparks STEM Camp —If you have a child entering 1st-6th grade, this is a camp where your child can tinker, make, build, code, invent and so much more. Taught by teachers and other subject matter experts, programs range from Intro to Coding, Make It Fly, Gooey and Gross and Green to Math Mayhem. In addition to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs, kids can take programs in Theatre, Movie Making, Dungeons and Dragons, Wood Works and lots more. You can view the schedule of offerings here. Choose morning or afternoon sessions or sign your camper up for a full day.

ymca of montclair summer camps

Voyagers A camp for teens ages 12-14 with a sense of adventure! At Voyagers, teens go on thrilling excursions, make an impact in the local community and choose their weekly camp activities such as drama, art, sports, cooking and more! Day trip opportunities are Wednesday-Friday and include Fireball Mountain (outdoor laser tag), Hurricane Harbor, Turtle Back Zoo Treetop Adventure Course, Dorney Park and more. 


ymca of montclair summer camps

Quest —Trains teens ages 14-15 how to be effective leaders and prepare for the working world during this four-week program. Quest teaches teens the skills necessary to earn their first paycheck and helps them get real job experience. It’s the perfect balance of activities for those wanting to join the workforce and have fun. During the first two weeks, teens participate in activities and workshops where they learn how to write a resume, interview for a job, dress for an interview and more. During the second two weeks, teens expand their leadership skills by interning at a YMCA of Montclair camp or facility to start them in the right direction. There’s also a field trip on the second Friday of the program.


ymca of montclair summer camps

Financial assistance for YMCA of Montclair camps is available to those with demonstrated need who live in Bloomfield, Cedar Grove, Clifton, Glen Ridge, Montclair and Verona.


Sponsored: Teenagers as first-time campers. How do they do?

BY  |  Wednesday, Mar 22, 2017 5:18pm

Campus Kids Weekday Sleep-Away Camp

From the directors of Campus Kids Weekday Sleep-Away Camp on the rural campus of Blair Academy

It’s not too late!


How do 13, 14 and 15-year-olds do when they go to sleep-away camp for the first time? Some teens worry about fitting in at a camp where lots of kids have been attending for years. Will I be accepted? Will I make friends? Will I be homesick?

Experience teaches us that most of these first-time campers do very well. We recommend asking these key questions before choosing a camp:

  • Ask the director how many teens are in camp and how many are new to camp. What is the “social atmosphere” of the camp? How have new teen campers done in the past?
  • How does the camp help kids feel welcome and accepted? What are counselors doing throughout the day to encourage friendship and kindness? How are any problems identified and handled? What happens if your teen is homesick?
  • What is the activity program for teens? Is there variety and challenge? Are teens allowed to make choices?
  • Speak to a couple of families who were once in your shoes. What was their teen camper’s experience like? What went well, what didn’t? If their teen had concerns, how were they handled by the staff?

Remember, YOUR TEEN IS NOT TOO OLD TO BEGIN CAMP! Camp is the ideal place for your teen to gain independence, to make new friends, and to experience the pride of meeting new challenges, all of which are very important for the well-being of your son or daughter. Take advantage of what camp has to offer. It’s a special opportunity.

Bring your family for a private tour of the Weekday Sleep-Away Camp in Blairstown, NJ. 1-hour west of Manhattan.
We are making appointments for these dates:

  • March 25, 26
  • April 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23

Choose two weeks or more.
Enroll online now. Only a deposit is due at this time.
Space in each age group is limited and available on a first come, first served basis.

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“Do You Have a Gun in Your Home?”

BY  |  Thursday, Mar 17, 2016 11:30am  |  COMMENTS (1)

gunThis weekend my kids helped me cut down some overgrown vines in our yard. I gave my 5-year old a small pair of pruning shears, and my 9-year-old a larger pair. I watched them carefully, making sure they kept the sharp edges always pointed at the ground and away from each other when using them. Maybe I worry too much, but when I see those sharp, pointed tools the hysterical mom part of my brain starts going into overdrive, and I wonder if I should be letting them hold the shears at all.

It got me thinking of the parents out there who leave loaded guns within close proximity of their children – a far more dangerous tool, as it were – such as the pro-gun activist recently shot by her 4-year-old not long after bragging on Facebook that the boy gets “jacked up” to go target shooting (the shot to his mother was not a lethal one, thank goodness). Continue Reading

MLK Day Vacation Camps 2016

BY  |  Monday, Jan 11, 2016 2:36pm

MLK Day iStock_000003261050XSmall-350x232
Schools are closed on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Monday, January 18. Here’s a listing of day camps for parents who have to work that day and need childcare options.

Staycation Program (for ages 3 to 6)
Who: Kids ages 3 to 6
What: Staycation Program (formerly Little Live Y’ers program)
When: Full day: 7:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m.; half day: 7:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Where: Geyer Family Branch, 159 Glenridge Avenue, Montclair
Activities: Swimming, art, gym, science, cooking, music, story time
Prices: $60 per day/child for members; $70 per day/child for non-members for full-day program; $45 per day/child for members; $55 per day/child for non-members for half-day program
Registration Deadline/More info: Thursday, January 14. Registration form and more information. Questions: call 973-415-6139. Continue Reading

Star Wars, Supergirl and Other Heroic Adoption Stories

BY  |  Monday, Nov 09, 2015 10:30am

StarWarsOne of the challenges for adoptive parents is how to tell their child’s adoption story in a way that makes the kid feel good about it. For this year’s National Adoption Month, I’d like to look at some powerful stories that are very much in the air this year: the super-heroics of super-adoptees Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Supergirl and Superman!

When it comes to superpowered adoptees, the first name on the list for nearly a century has been Clark Kent, aka Superman. It’s not only a classic hero story, but it’s an adoption story that plenty of kids can relate to: Superman’s birth parents made a loving and necessary decision to give him up, and his subsequent life had both a devoted set of adoptive parents (Jonathan and Martha Kent) and the distant but powerful figures of his birth family (Jor-El and Lara). Each family had a strong impact on the different aspects of Clark/Superman’s identity.

Kids who were adopted can find plenty of parallels between their stories and Superman’s (including international adoptees—Superman’s adoption was interplanetary!), but the comics, cartoons and movies won’t hit them over the head with it. The very fact that Superman’s adoption story gives him superpowers, along with a dedication to truth and justice, can be a great comfort to younger adoptees.

And with the debut of the new Supergirl series on CBS this year, there’s also a prominent super-adoption story with a female protagonist. Like her cousin, Supergirl was adopted by a family on Earth and must balance the two parts of her history. And in finding that balance, Supergirl becomes her truest, most heroic self. Continue Reading

Operation Backpack Helps Fight Poverty

BY  |  Wednesday, Jul 29, 2015 9:30am

operationbackpack2School is just over a month away, and with it notes from new teachers listing out a panoply of supplies needed on the first day. But for some families, especially those who are homeless, the cost of pencils and zip binders and Magic Markers can be a real hardship.

That’s where Operation Backpack comes in. A nationwide initiative by Volunteers of America, Operation Backback provides school supplies and backpacks to kids in need, helping those who are homeless go back to school without feeling left out.

Here in Baristaville, Kimya Nilsen is spearheading the effort to collect filled backpacks from anyone who wants to participate. Nilsen, who said she learned about the organization through an article in Real Simple, will pick up the bags from each donor –  or buy and fill the bags if someone prefers to donate money instead – and bring it to the drop off location, run by VOA Greater New York.
Continue Reading

Montclair Mom’s Memoir Explores Old School Parenting

BY  |  Thursday, Apr 23, 2015 12:00pm  |  COMMENTS (1)

Ylonda Gault CavinessYlonda Gault Caviness had no intention of writing a memoir. But four years ago, the Montclair mom of three took part in a Montclair Pitchapalooza event on something of a whim and, to her surprise, won.

The pitch was about her mother and her mother’s old school child-raising values, and the Pitchapalooza organizer, Arielle Eckstut, suggested Caviness turn the idea into a memoir. Caviness, a journalist who has written for iVillage, Essence, Redbook and Parenting, thought, no way.

“I write about other people,” she said. “I’m an objective observer.”

But Caviness thought more about it, mulling over the idea for about a year, trying to figure out how to take a part of her life that was private and turn it into a public document without dishonoring the people who raised her.

The result was Child, Please, a glimpse into her life as a mom and parenting editor “living in a fancy suburb” and an exploration of her stormy relationship with her “straight-no-chaser mama.” The book has already received heaps of praise – including a mention on the New York Times Motherlode blog – for its honesty and wit, and for the lessons about life and childrearing that helped shape Caviness into the person – and mother – she became.

Continue Reading

Montclair PAL/Recreation 6th Grade Boys Suburban League Champs

BY  |  Friday, Mar 13, 2015 9:30am

Montclair PAL 6th Grade Boys

On Saturday February 28, the Montclair PAL 6th Grade Boys became the 2015 Suburban League Champions by defeating Livingston for the second year in a row.

The MPAL team held their composure as the game was close in the first half. However, Montclair starting pulling away early in the second half, but being the fierce competitor they are Livingston made several runs and kept the game both competitive and exciting. Both teams played an excellent game, which has become the norm for this highly competitive match up. Two weeks prior to the Championship, Livingston handed Montclair its first defeat in two years. The 6th Grade Boys are coached by Coaches “Bingo” Silvera and Kyle Anglin. Congrats to our 6th Grade Boys parents, and fans on their continued success, and our other five coaches, players, and parents for making this another successful basketball season.

(Photo courtesy of Jessica Michaud)



Glen Ridge Family Awarded for Supporting Research in Type 1 Diabetes

BY  |  Thursday, Mar 12, 2015 11:30am  |  COMMENTS (3)

Type 1 Diabetes

Ben, Jamie, Alisa, Andy, Toby and Claire at the JDRF awards ceremony.

The Central Jersey Chapter of JDRF on Saturday honored the Norris family of Glen Ridge for working to raise money to find a cure for Type 1 diabetes — and inspiring other families as well.

The Norris family, parents Alisa and Toby, and children Ben, Jamie, Andy and Claire, raised $34,000 at the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes in October. In six consecutive walks the family has raised a total of more than $125,000.
Continue Reading

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And we can get this project completed in time for Montclair's sesquicentennial when we can stick a fork into historic preservation as a public policy.

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