Camp Jeanne d'Arc
Blue Sparks...from the Camp Fire at Jeanne d'Arc    
Celebrating Over 90 Years of Camp Spirit!
Save These Dates
11/30/14: New Albany, Ohio
1/10/15:   New Canaan, CT 
1/11/15:   Newtown, CT
1/24/15:   Philly, PA
1/31/15:   Boston, MA
2/12/15:   Merida, Mexico
2/15/15:   Mexico City  
2/28/15:   Puerto Rico 
TBA:       NYC Annual




In This Issue
Quick Links
Letter from the Director

Dear JDA Friends -
Season Greetings! 
I hope you will enjoy reading about camp, what we did last summer, our plans for next summer, and your JDA friends from over the decades. When I look back over these last ten years as the camp director, I think the expression, "The more things change, the more things stay the same," rings more true with every passing season.

Each summer I find myself on the Chalet lawn welcoming new campers and greeting alums much as my mother and my grandmother did before me. I have met husbands of campers from the 1950's (now in their 70's) and mothers of first time campers who themselves were campers in the '80's. My own recollections of when I was a camper seem to be wrapped in a skein of memories scented with pine needles and campfire smoke and sprinkled with stars. In my mind, those moments in time at camp are part and parcel of my whole childhood.  A "friend of the family" often meant a camp friend. I knew camp families from other places too: New York, Philadelphia, Boston, San Juan, Montreal, New Jersey! I felt like I had friends all over  the world!


As Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's approach and we all get ready to visit with family and friends, I've been thinking about our larger camp family and the inter-connectedness of us all. It is the old and the new, the making and keeping of friends, the memories of hikes up mountains, working hard to make a Club and those special Banquets. For me it was the Leahys, the Popes,  the Marchevs, the Moriartys, the Ughettas, the Clevelands, the Ashtons, the Tuckers, the Pelleranos, the Suarezes, the Uribes and the Mantecons - all those camp friends and families that peopled my life then and continue to now.  I remain grounded and bonded with my two daughters, Sandy and Olivia, and with my mother, Fran, by having shared these camp experiences. You'll see in some of our mini-reunion pictures that our campers and alumni continue to get together all the time. As one camp mom just wrote me, "these girls are friends for LIFE!" 


Last summer we had several alumni moms with campers (girls and boys!)  who came to camp for the  first time. Each of them told me, in their own way, how extra special  it was to be able to share their camp and camp experiences with their child.  


I am very grateful for these connections and believe that Camp Jeanne d'Arc (and again, Camp Lafayette) continues to offer the same star filled moments to the campers, counselors and friends of JDA today. We are on Facebook as a camp "person" (Camp Jda) and as a business page (Camp Jeanne d'Arc,) and we see and hear from many JDA alums through these and other social media outlets. I enjoy seeing camp friends' posts, particularly those with their children's special milestones. Not everyone uses social media though so, please don't forget to send your news to us at camp (email .) We'll include your news in our next issue of "Blue Sparks."  It is our way of staying connected.




Summer 2014: The Adventure is Right Here!

      In looking through the OD Book, which acts as our camp log, the OD wrote, on June 30th, that the weather today is, "Cloudy with a chance of meatballs. Kidding! It turned out sunny and warm. The Flickers and Owls won the banners and it was our first night of Twilight Activities. We had a fire drill." The next day was Feather Picking and it was sunny.      


     This daily log captures the ordinary and the extraordinary of daily camp life. There are a lot of entries about food (all good!) and the weather and trips and visitors. Hikes, canoe and sail trips, daily inspections, team games and special events are all recorded in the OD Book.  

Ice Skating Reunion 2014, Chelsea Piers, NYC, November 15, 2014
JDA Reunions 2014/2015
Do you have a good camp story to tell? Please join us at one of the many reunions we have planned this year. We love seeing Alumni of all ages at our reunions. Bring your shield; it will give you something to talk about and bring back great memories. This is our way of sharing our camp stories with new campers and their families.

For the first time we will be gathering for two reunions in Mexico! One in Merida, the capital of the Yucatan, and one in Mexico City!

Every year we are so grateful to the camp families who host our reunions. Would you like to host a reunion? Give us a call! We are looking for locations in Westchester County, New York and  Northern New Jersey.

Did you know you can host a reunion without having us attend? We'll send you everything you need to make your camp reunion fun and interesting. New videos! Campfire CD's! Other JDA "swag!"
What's New at JDA for 2015
We are excited to announce that we are adding a climbing wall for our campers this summer. This 8 foot bouldering climbing wall will challenge our campers to learn new skills, build confidence in themselves and reach new goals. We are also adding a pontoon boat, to take campers on boat rides and picnics on Chateaugay Lake. The new stand up paddleboards were such a hit last summer, we are adding 5 more!

Camp Lafayette for Boys:
Summer 2014 Rocked!
Last summer was the reintroduction of Camp Lafayette for Boys at Camp Jeanne d'Arc.  These 8 campers and 3 counselors enjoyed 2 weeks of adventure at Lafayette Beach.  The boys told us that they loved tubing, archery, campfires, swimming and the food! The majority of the campers and staff have also told us that they would like to stay longer next summer.
Summer 2015 at Camp Lafayette!
Summer 2015 will be our second year welcoming boys to camp! There will be 24 boys, ages 8 through 14, for 3 weeks.  The boys have a home base at JDA, but spend most of their time at Lafayette. Lafayette Beach is the last undeveloped naturally sandy beach on beautiful 14 mile Chateaugay Lake. Camp Lafayette is comprised of approximately 75 acres of wooded, waterfront property.  Centered by a stone fire circle and large granite boulders, the camp site has large canvas tents and open spaces for activities and games.  Breakfast and dinner are served camp-out style at Lafayette and lunches vary depending on the schedule. 
The boys return to JDA every few days for hot showers and meals in the Hearth. They have access to all of the JDA facilities on a separate schedule than the girls.


The program allows the boys to choose their activities at the beginning of each week. Mornings and afternoons include 2 extended activity periods. Activities include swimming, fishing, canoeing, sailing, waterskiing, wakeboarding, and stand up paddle-boarding.  Land sports include soccer, flag-football, kickball, BB's, riflery and archery, hiking, outdoor camping skills, woodworking and other camp crafts. Laser tag and other special events round out their time at Camp Lafayette. 


Camp Lafayette Dates & Rates: 2015
July 24 - August 14 
$4,000 (Space is limited)

Register for the 2015 Season by March 15, 2015



 JDA "Mini" Reunions 
2014 Campers reunite in Boston, MA
From L to R: Baily Reehl, Kristen Luci, Gabi Athanasia, Natalie Bachman, Maeve Clinton, Annie Ulian, Grace Monaghan and Caitlin Tucker 
JDA Alums gather in Dublin, Ireland in October, 2014 for the wedding of Sarena Boucher- Hayes to Chris Sewell.
From L to R: Jeneane F., Linda Byrne, Marian Leitner, Emily Creer, Emily's friend, Fabi Jimenez, Jane Coyne
You never know when you'll run into a JDA friend! 2014 campers Mia Rodriguez and Mary Joyce reunite at Georgetown University this fall  while visiting their siblings.
Another Mini-Reunion!  This past weekend 2014 campers got together to cheer Katie Whalen's (see Alumni News) hockey team in Greenwich, CT. From L to R: Hayley Jubitz, Sophie Murphy, Katie Whalen, Caroline McLaughlin, Katie Gordon and Liz Murphy. Not shown: Kristen Luci.
Alumni News & Notes
From the 50's
Sharon Charde ('55-'60) visited our campers this summer....Here she is showing her JDA spirit by wearing her Banquet 2014 t-shirt in Durbar Square Bhaktapur, Nepal this past September. She visited camp last summer and taught all the campers the "Hearth Song" which is printed on the molding around the Hearth. 

From the 70's
Lisa Zadravec ('74, '75, '77, Staff '06, '07) Has won 3 awards for her art, been published twice in magazines and also in a book. And the year is not over yet! More competitions and publishing opportunities are on the horizon. She is currently working on four commissions and a new competition piece. Her website is .

From the 80's
Alethia Martinez-Azura ('89, '90) now lives in Dearborn, Michigan. Her sister, Guadalupe lives in Queretaro, Mexico and has a 4 year old child.

Kim Ashton Whalen recently updated us with news of her familiy: Betty Ashton Reed lives in Nellysford, Va and celebrated her 80th birthday in September with husband Hugh and children Hugh, Tim, Brian, Missy, Matthew and Katie and many grandchildren including Meghan Norair ('06-'11) who just completed her first season of playing field hockey at Duke University. Betty's brother, Gus Ashton, has a grand daugther attending camp for her sixth summer, Katie Whalen. Her mother, Kim Ashton Whaten, is happy to visit JDA each summer and often helps Fran out at Domremy for the Parents' Day parties. Kim's sister, Hope Ashton Langston ('76-'80) lives in Northfield, MN and is District Assessment Coordinator for the Northfield Schools. Hope's daughters, Katherine and Ali Langston, attended camp in 2002 and 2003. Katherine is a Senior completing a nursing degree at Duluth College with a focus on pediatric oncology and Ali is spending her 11th grade year on an exchange program in Germany. Their aunt and longtime JDA counselor, Kathy Ashton Ly, was able to visit with Fran and Jehanne in Florida last year and lives in Santa Barbara, CA, where she works for the TSA.   

From the 90's
Dawn Reres Wilson ('90 - '98, 2009) and husband Joe, welcomed their fourth child earlier this year. Alexandra joins brothers Logan and Robert and sister Cassandra in their happy (if sometimes crazy) home. They last visited camp in 2011 for our Alumnae Reunion.

Grace Simmons Zunic ('92-'98) - was recently married and works for Chobani. We last saw her at our wonderful Alumni Reunion in the spring of 2012. Keep in touch, Grace!

Katie Feola ('88-94, '98-'99)- also recently married,  is a lawyer selling real estate and lives in Brooklyn.  

Kristin Cesiro
('95-'98, '07) married Andrew Goldman this fall in Brooklyn, NY. She was a beautiful bride. Kristen and Andrew visited camp in 2013 when sister, Lauren Cesiro (''95''98, '07,'12,'13) was working as the Assistant Director and Head Counselor. Kristen and Lauren are the daughters of Joanne Rubino Cesiro ('62-'72)

Natalie Hopson ('93-'94, '14) is a dancer and actress in NYC. We were especially thrilled to have her back as a counselor last summer. Her sister, Becca Hopson ('89-'94) is also an actress, living in California.

Ana Maria Dzolan Young
('91, counselor '96-'98, staff '05 to present) Ann Marie lives in Stillwater, New York, near beautiful Saratoga Lake, with her husband, Lance, and three children. She is on the board of directors of Saratoga Bridges, a NFP which focuses on xxx. Camp Jeanne d'Arc was one of many sponsors of the Pumpkin Run hosted by Saratoga Bridges in October 2014. All three of Ana Maria's children were at camp with her last summer: Brennan was a Lafayette Dragon; Sofia was an Eagle and Parrot and Liam, age 3,  had fun with cousin/summer nanny, Tamara Derokov. Tamara's daughter, Nela Derokov,  was also a camper last summer in the Oriole cabin. Tamara and Nela came all the way from Croatia to spend the first half of the summer with us! 

From the 2000's

Samantha Simon ('02 - '04) and Andrew Sloan are pleased to announce their marriage on September 6, 2014. The reception was held at Woodway Country Club in Darien, CT. The couple is now residing in Pasadena, CA.
Lucy Pollock, ('11, '12), recently tweeted us this picture of her wearing her JDA t-shirt in South Africa. She completed the world's highest bungee jump off that bridge. That's a LOT of camp spirit!

We just finished our Annual JDA Spirit Week asking alums to post pictures of themselves wearing JDA clothing in unique places. But, you can post to our Facebook page anytime. We'd love to see you!
Susan Gordon, mother to alums Blair Gordon ('03-'07)and Paige Gordon ('06-'10) and current camper, Katie Gordon, attending this summer for her 5th  summer, recently sent this beautiful picture of Paige and told us she is doing well and is happy as a Junior at Georgia Tech. Blair is a Senior at Clemson. She wants to work within the adoption system with children. Her mom says, "it is a hard area...but she has a big heart!"

Alumni Moms of 2014 
Bonnie Schibli Kuprecht, daughter Emily
Ginny Blissert Bachman, daughter Natalie
Lizanne McGuinn Christen, daughter Katherine
Elizabeth Gaary, MD, daughters Clarissa and Charlotte
Paulina Gamboa Lacarra. daughter Regina
Kathleen Coughlin Wilks, daughter Callie
Marisol Ferriaouli Hernandez, daughters Andrea and Gabriela
Madeleine Arnheim McLaughlin, daughters Caroline and           Madeleine
Antonia "Toni" Moos DiPaola, daughter Lulu
Geraldine Colon Mendez, daughter Gery Anne
Georgiana Colon Unanue, daughter Georgianita
Joanne Lorenzi  Gandarillas, daughter Joanne
Frannie Gillin Cooley, daughter Eleanor
Kristen Brooker, daughter Amanda
Erika Brooker Moran, daughter Molly and son Joey
Heather Donlan  Beaver, daughter Katie
Ana Maria Dzolan Young, daughter Sofia and son Brennan
Miki Porta Alvarez, son Victor

We also had many cousins, nieces and granddaughters
at JDA this past summer. (Did you know that camp offers alumni, sibling, military and other special circumstance discounts? Call the camp office for more information about tuition reductions for alumni families.)

In Memoriam -
Our hearts and prayers go out to the family of:  

Sr. Mary Clark RSCJ ('32 - '38), sister of Regina Clark McGanery and aunt of Regina McGranery ('55-'58). Throughout her life, Sister Clark remained a loyal Jeanne d'Arcer, returning for reunions and always asking about her beloved Camp. She was a professor of Philosophy and author of several books on St. Augustine. Many Jeanne d'Arcers, including Fran McIntyre, are her former students.

Dorothy Ames ('66-'71) Sister of Joan ('60's) and Maggie ('67-'68, '70), mother of Kristen ('02-'03) and Quinn ('06-'12) Cummings. Mother of four, Dorothy was a beloved yoga teacher and animal lover.

Please email us your news to share in the next issue of Blue Sparks for those who do not have Facebook.

Playing Golf With the Pros
2014 Campers with PGA Professional at the Malone Golf Club

Jeanne d'Arcers are thrilled and proud that our own Malone Golf pro and General Manager, Derek Sprague has been elected President of the Professional Golfer's Association.

From the very first time we arrived for lessons at MGC about twenty years ago, Derek was there to welcome us. His classes were always challenging and fun! As his Club and PGA duties increased, other pro's stepped in, but Derek always made a point to say "hello" and ask how things were going at camp.

Congratulations and best wishes, Derek!

 Read More About Derek Sprague as New PGA President

Jeanne d'Arc Torch Bearers Wanted
Many of our Alums often ask, "Is there anything I can do to help JDA?" The answer is "Yes!"  We are looking for Jeanne d'Arcers to spread the word about how wonderful Camp Jeanne d'Arc is. We all know girls thrive at JDA.  They make friends, develop leadership and activity skills and gain an awareness of community and their own character.  We call this Camp Spirit!

We invite our volunteer Torch Bearers to assist in projects that will benefit camp.  Here are some areas where could use your help:
  • Call 3 people you know who have children or grandchildren of camp age and tell them about JDA  and Camp Lafayette. Direct them to our web site. Send us an email with their contact information so we can follow up with a personal call and use you as a reference.
  • Attend one or our reunions and share your camp stories! Bring a friend!
  • Attend a camp fair in your area and represent JDA. Send us the information so we can get registered. Even if it is a small fair, it is great to have JDA represented by a happy alum. We'll send you the stuff you need. You get a t-shirt too!
  • Call or email your best friends from camp and plan a "JDA Mini-Reunion." Share it with friends, children and grandchildren. Send us a picture!
  • Contact your alma mater and find out who we can send camp information to.
  • Like us on Facebook - both Camp Jeanne d'Arc and Camp Jda
  • Follow us on Twitter at CJDA1922
  • Follow us on Instagram at cjda1922
  • Help beautify JDA! Attend our Alumni Volunteer Weekend June 13, 2015 - June 15, 2015. Bring your work gloves. We promise it will be fun and you'll eat well!
  • Come to our 94th Alumni Reunion after camp is over this summer - Friday, August 13th - Sunday, August 15th. Bring the family! (We know it is one year sooner than promised but we've had so many requests to open camp up every year - what do you think? Will you come? Will you bring a camp friend? A "new" camp friend? The more the merrier! Save the date! Space limited! Details coming in January 2015. You may reserve your own cabin!)

We appreciate any amount of time you can offer. Email us at or call 41-647-7733 to get started today!    



If you know of another Alum who would enjoy our newsletter and may not be on our list, please forward this to them and send us their email address.  


Don't forget to send in your news for our next edition.  


Errata: From now on we will be referring to our prior campers and counselors in the plural as Alumni rather than Alumnae. This is in recognition of our Lafayette brothers and the many male staff members and long ago Vikings who have contributed to our camp community over the years.