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The Scarsdale Recreation Camp held a carnival night for the campers and their families at the Scarsdale Middle School on the evening of June 20th. Once held during the daytime, the camp stopped holding the carnival for a period of five to six years, then brought it back as a night time event last summer. According to Vicky Laoutaris, the nighttime setting was optimal because it allowed the carnival to become a family affair- the parents and siblings of the campers could go and have fun as well.

This year, seven to eight hundred people turned out, and once they arrived there were a number of activities to participate in. There was an array of booths for kids -- featuring face and spray paint to basketball and knock down the bottle games. The kids could choose to do Velcro Olympics, jump around in the bounce house, slide down the slide, or ascend the rock-climbing wall. While the Scarsdale rec campers participated in the activities, their parents had an opportunity to meet and interact with the staff.

Counselor in Training Tshara Barnes thought the carnival was a success. “It was pretty organized-the kids are having fun going around with their parents and introducing them to their counselors.”

Visitors can win one of three Fujifilm cameras at Van Cortlandt Manor’s River Day on Sunday, Aug. 1, by taking pictures and posting them on The festival-style River Day, which takes place from 12-6 and is sponsored by Fujifilm, is devoted to the history and ecology of the area’s watershed. It features kayak rides, performances, and hands-on activities for all ages that teach children and adults about the area’s fragile watershed.

Visitors are encouraged to bring their cameras, capture the event, and post their best work on Flickr for a chance to win one of three Fuji cameras. Top prize is a Fujifilm FinePix HS-10. Two runners-up will win a Fujifilm FinePix Z700EXR.

River Day includes two theatrical performances. From 3-4pm, the Hudson River Ramblers will be performing “Once Upon the Hudson,” a tour of more than 400 years of river heritage in authentic songs and primary source based stories. Comprised of Jonathan Kruk, the raconteur renowned for telling “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” and folksinger Rich Bala, the Hudson River Ramblers put on a rollicking show featuring a cast of characters that includes a mythical giant, a doomed explorer, an obsessed inventor, a humble general, a pirate, an imp, a “spitting devil,” and a mule named Sal.

From 2-3pm, the Arm-of-the-Sea theater group will be performing “City that Drinks the Mountain Sky.” The group uses poetry, lusciously painted puppet figures, and beautiful mask characters in this production.

Local tree service experts SavATree will be offering a wood-sawing activity throughout the day.

Hudson River Recreation will be performing kayak demonstrations during this celebration of the environment, allowing experienced kayakers to test drive new models while beginning kayakers can get their feet wet learning the sport.
“Both the Hudson River and the Croton River have been a source of commerce, travel, food, and recreation for centuries. Through games, workshops, and demonstrations, we’ll delve into the past and present uses, thoughts, and concerns about these rivers,” said Althea Corey, site director of Van Cortlandt Manor.
Costumed interpreters will demonstrate how 18th-century Hudson Valley residents performed such marine-related tasks as fishing and net making, and will demonstrate 18th-century tasks such as open-hearth cooking, coopering, brick making, and blacksmithing. Visitors will be encouraged to lend a hand.

Children's activities include tinsmithing, origami figures, pottery, bookmark making, and watercolor painting. Project WET organizes a children’s game called the Incredible Journey.

The Croton River, which empties into the Hudson River about a half-mile past the Manor House on the Van Cortlandt estate, was used in the 18th century as a dynamic water source, powering gristmills and sawmills. The Van Cortlandt family kept its boats moored just beyond their icehouse, enabling the transportation of people and goods down the Hudson River. Today, the Hudson River still carries great cargo ships to and from New York City and other stops along the way, but both rivers are also abundantly used for fishing and boating throughout the spring, summer, and fall.

Admission to River Day at Van Cortlandt Manor is $12 for adults; $10 for seniors; $6 for children 5-17; and free for children under 5 and HHV members. Tickets are available online at . Van Cortlandt Manor, a Historic Hudson Valley site, is at 525 South Riverside Avenue (off Route 9) in Croton-on-Hudson. For information: 914-631-8200.

The Scarsdale Little League season came to an end when the top teams, the Angels and the Mariners played on June 21, 2010. The Mariners starting pitcher Jeff Lutzker pitched brilliantly, as did middle reliever Caleb Krohn and closer Jake Levitt, holding the high powered Angels offense to only two runs. The entire Mariners offense contributed with a solid hitting display that ended up producing 11 runs to capture the championship. The teams are comprised of sixth, seventh and eigth grade boys from the Scarsdale Middle School.

A large and supportive crowd was on hand to watch the game and to see the two teams shaking hands on the field at the end of the game. The mutual respect shown by these Middle School competitors served as a reminder that win or loose, they are all part of the community. Everybody felt like a winner in the final game.

Mariners Team List:

Andrew Fite
Jeffrey Lutzker
Quinton Landsberg
Erik Bostrom
Jake Levitt
Spencer Planit
Griffin Dunne
Caleb Krohn
Arthur Noulas
Alex Rakoff
Armaan Shah
Matthew Silfin
Preston Brehm
Alex Visnius



Evan Noulas
Ira Silfin

All photos are provided by Jon Thaler. View more photos and purchase snapshots at:

Apologies in advance to everyone who is rushing to slather sunscreen on three children and pack up camp backpacks on their way to their job. In fact, don't read this. Please. When I was growing up my mother was a master at honing in on the child that was comfortably relaxing, minding their own business, and disrupting them.
Mom: Did you finish your homework?
Me: Yes.
Mom: Put away your laundry?
Me: Yes.
Mom: Did you start your book report? It's due next week.
Me: Yes.

This would go on until she would find something, anything, that I had not done.
Mom: Did you plant a vegetable garden?
Me: No.
Mom: Well maybe you shouldn't be laying around when there's stuff to be done.

And so began my difficulty with just doing nothing. To me relaxation equals laziness and irresponsibility.

I have a friend who can sit outside during the day and read for hours. Or nap. Of course she does a ton of stuff for her family, always has a fully stocked fridge and finished laundry. But she also gives herself permission to take those unaccounted for chunks of time to just "be." Even now, while my son is away at camp, and my "Have To’s" list is pretty sparse I have such an uneasy feeling doing nothing. After all, there's always a vegetable garden to plant.

Today is a good example. I booked a massage for this afternoon and have dinner plans with a girlfriend tonight. I don't have to wake up at a certain time or take care of a ton of stuff, but when I woke up, my inclination was to leap out of bed, shower, eat and get out the door. To go where?

Well, I'd find something to do. A trip to the post office or a return at Target. Or at least sit down and write all my Cool Mom Picks posts that I have waiting for me. Work on the weekly e-blast for my pool club. Call my surgeon about my upcoming ankle surgery. But I'm trying to, at least for one day, give myself permission to stay in bed. Watch America's Next Top Model (even though I never do). To relax over coffee and yes, maybe even read a my book. (Horns, by the way, which is fantastic).

And you know what? It's only 10:45 and I'm so uneasy. An endless loop of "You should should should be..." is playing in my head. So, I turn to my trusty, neglected, blog to try to exorcise these feelings by putting them into words.

It reminds me of a great All in the Family episode where the doctor tells Archie that he needs to relax. Not lose his temper. Everyone around him tries to help by trying desperately to not set him off. And in the end he can't handle it. Remaining calm and relaxing is not who he is. He needs his tirades to blow off steam.

Maybe relaxing is just too stressful for me. Or maybe learning to relax should be at the top of my "To Do" list today. What do you do to relax?

Read more at Gray Matter Matters:

Scarsdale Youth Soccer Club has announced the selection of Westchester Soccer Academy to manage the club’s soccer training, Memorial Day Weekend Tournament, Field Operations and Tryout Process starting Fall 2010.  Scarsdale Youth Soccer Club (SYSC) selected Westchester Soccer Academy (WSA) after an extensive review of the club’s needs and qualifications of the candidates. WSA is headed up by two people well versed in Scarsdale soccer, Sean Kenny and Mark Silvester.

Sean Kenny will be the Director of Training and Coaching for SYSC. Sean Kenny comes to Scarsdale from the elite FC Westchester Club, where he was Director of Coaching. His coaching and training relationship with FC Westchester has spanned 20 years. Mr. Kenny played highly competitive collegiate soccer and professional soccer. He was the Men’s Head Soccer Coach and Asst. Athletic Director at Concordia College and Asst. Men’s Soccer Coach at St. John’s University, a perennial NCAA Division 1 Soccer powerhouse.

“Scarsdale Soccer is the second largest program and has an outstanding reputation in the Westchester Youth Soccer League. The partnership between WSA and SYSC is a great fit for both parties and will maximize the high standards in place by the SYSC and continue to provide players with a positive experience through a fun environment” said Sean Kenny, CEO of Westchester Soccer Academy.

Mark Silvester, Co-founder and Director of Operations for WSA, will continue to manage many aspects of the SYSC program. Mr. Silvester has taken on the Director of Coaching for a number of area clubs over the years. Mr. Silvester, who recently led one of Scarsdale’s teams to a Division 1 championship, commented, “I have been in involved with Scarsdale Youth Soccer Club for over 10 years in various capacities and, in partnership with Sean Kenny, look forward to enhancing the SYSC program. I am really excited about soccer in Scarsdale for the foreseeable future”.

“We selected Westchester Soccer Academy after an extensive review process, including defining training philosophy, compatibility with program, track record and ability to perform and meet the needs of the club now and for the future. Both Sean and Mark are familiar with Scarsdale soccer and understand the needs of the Scarsdale community” said Steve Tatz, President of Scarsdale Youth Soccer Club.

WSA’s first official endeavors will be hosting a pre-season camp in late August for the Club’s players and a High School Pre-season Camp. For more information please go to

For additional information on Westchester Soccer Academy, visit

About Scarsdale Youth Soccer Club: The Scarsdale Youth Soccer Club is a non-profit organization administered by Scarsdale parents. The Club selects, organizes and regulates boys' and girls' soccer teams to play in travel soccer leagues and tournaments, and selects the coaches of such teams. The Club also works closely with the Scarsdale Recreation Department. For more information on Scarsdale Youth Soccer Club, visit or contact Steve Tatz at 

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