Camp News

Month: July 2019

Meet Frank Pugliese Sr., Owner of Frogbridge Daycamp

Staff Spotlight: Frank Pugliese Sr., Owner & Founder of Frogbridge Day Camp 

It takes a special kind of person to create a children’s wonderland in their own hometown right here in New Jersey amidst the competitive edge of other, common, business pursuits happening in this state. ”A man in business, not a businessman”, is how you will find him describe himself and for those that know him well, they would certainly agree.  Frank Pugliese, the owner of Frogbridge says that the most rewarding aspect of his work is witnessing how his creation brings joy to children. Throughout the years, Frogbridge has had changes and additions to the camp, but one thing Frank is proud that has always remained the same is the love and nurturing the entire staff extends to the children.  

Impacting the lives of children has always been the favorite part of his job, and he keeps up with their every need by doing the most simple thing: he listens to what the children say. And it works! Campers feel so appreciated here that they often come back as counselors and teachers to work for us as adults. What makes Frank feel most wonderful though, is when the kids that he watched grow up return to Frogbridge for their weddings, such is the bond that campers have with Frogbridge.  

Frank became a grandpa again on February 22, 2018 with the birth of his youngest grandson, Christian. He is over the moon to welcome him to the Frogbridge family, and watch him grow alongside his three other grandkids, Anthony, Isabella and Vincent. Frank and his son, JR, the camp’s director, are excited to see what the future holds for the newest generation of Frogbridge campers, and look forward to making the camp a place with even more smiles. 

Frank’s Vision For The Future of Frogbridge Day Camp 

For Frank, the future of Frogbridge is more of the same, but perfecting all the moving parts that come with a camp, as well as working to better understand campers and teach them valuable social skills. 

“I think the future is very, very bright. We will constantly be adding new activities and events, and that will never stop. We will keep teaching the kids to respect each other while giving them a place where they feel safe. We want the children to be happy coming in but even happier going home.” –Frank Pugliese Sr. 

Frank is just one example of the devotion the Frogbridge Day Camp staff shows their campers. Their camp team is comprised of the most attentive and skilled professionals, with most of our staff primarily men and women who teach children for a living during the academic year.  

At Frogbridge, we are always available to answer any of your questions to make you feel that your child is in safe, respectful, and fun environment. Please feel free to contact us at anytime. Make sure you say hello to Frank when you stop by! 

Division Leader Alison’s Top Tips For CITs At Frogbridge Day Camp

Division Leader Alison’s Top Tips For CITs At Frogbridge Day Camp 

Being one of our Counselors In Training (CIT) is one of the most rewarding and exciting groups you can be in at Frogbridge Day Camp, the best summer camp in NJ. You learn from the best team leaders how to take charge of a group, handle any situation, and had to leave a lasting impression on your campers. Our CIT division leader, Alison has been with us for 6 years and has shaped the CIT program into what it is today. She’s trained some of our best team members and taught them everything they know about being a team player, attentive counselor, and a compassionate leader. We asked Alison what advice she has for future CIT’s and what makes a CIT standout among the rest! 

Frogbridge: Please Explain The CIT Program. 

Alison: The CIT program is made to teach upcoming 9th and 10th-grade students how to be successful future counselors. They are assigned to two groups throughout the summer to be exposed to multiple age groups and truly find which level they like best. During their time in their groups, they will learn from their teachers and counselors what the lofty expectations are for working at Frogbridge Day Camp. They will learn how to balance being a friend while still being an authoritative figure for the campers. Halfway through their time there they will be evaluated by both the group’s counselors and the CIT leaders. This evaluation is to have them learn areas they need to work on or also to see what they are doing well. They will also receive a final evaluation and a recommendation for hire by the CIT leaders. Every week the CITs get to enjoy an off-campus trip and upcoming 10th-grade CITs get to go on one overnight as a thank you for a job well done! 

Frogbridge: What Do You Think Makes A Great CIT?  

Alison: The top characteristic of a CIT that has them stand out from all the rest is the ability to be flexible in any situation. This includes being moved between two different levels of campers and going where they are needed, sometimes daily. When they are finally placed, we love to hear how interactive they are with the campers. It’s important to find a good balance between being the fun playmate who is always involved with the campers, while also keeping in mind they are learning to be a counselor and should listen to what the teachers and counselors of the group need from them. We want our CITs to have fun, but most importantly, to learn how to take on more responsibility.  

The best CITs build strong relationships with campers and counselors! 

Frogbride: Why Do You Enjoy Working With The CIT’s  

Alison: I have always loved my work as a teacher. This group [CITs] is a favorite of mine because I am growing the next group of counselors. They are of the age that you can really teach them how to be young adults and good leaders. The conversations are more mature and we are really assisting in molding them to be great young men and women! 

Frogbridge: What Are Some Of The Things That Make CIT’s Stand Out?  

Alison: When we sit down to choose our CIT of the week and CIT of the year we look for a combination of qualities: 

1. Performance as a counselor: Do they interact with ALL of the campers or just a few?  

2. Activity participation: Do they engage in all activities or just the ones they enjoy?  

3. Relationship building: CITs are expected to build relationships with their counselors AND campers. 

4. Interaction with other CITSs & groupmates: Are they being respectful to all others? Can they handle constructive criticism? 

All of this is important to gage their future performance and capabilities as fulltime counselors.  

Frogbridge: What Is Your Favorite Moment From Working With The CIT’s?  

Alison: There are a few! One of my favorite moments is seeing their faces when we announce CIT of the week! Another is to see them the following year as actual assistant counselors.  It makes me extremely proud to see them succeed! 

Related Content: From Camper to CIT to Councelor: Vaughn Staiger 

Frogbridge Camper Vaughn Staiger Returns To Camp As A Team Member

Here at Frogbridge Day Camp, one of the things that we’re most grateful for is being able to watch so many children grow up. Seeing children go from their very first day in Tadpole Village to their bridge crossing during their CIT summer and then off to their first staff meeting is such an incredibly rewarding process!

In 2006 Vaughn Staiger started her first day of camp when she was only three years old. Thirteen years later, she is returning for the first time as a Frogbridge team member! Vaughn is one of the many examples of the lasting connections our campers have with Frogbridge, and like all of our campers, we are so proud to have her!

We caught up with Vaughn, so parents and campers alike can learn from her life-long experience with Frogbridge and how it has shaped her into the incredible young adult and now the official team member she is today.

How Do You Think Your CIT Year Prepared You For Your First Summer As A Team Member?

I did a lot my CIT year! My counselors trusted me with a lot so I was able to really learn.

Fun Fact: The Frogbridge Day Cam Staff is comprised of teachers, professionals, and only the most trusted of individuals to care for the children.

How Has Frogbridge Shaped You As A Person And Your Friendships?

I definitely wouldn’t have the friends I have today without Frogbridge. Some of my best friends today I made at camp when I was three years old and I’m sixteen now. That’s thirteen years of friendships because of Frogbridge! I feel like I’ve learned to be so much more accepting because even though you stay with your tight-knit group from Tadpole, new campers were always coming into the group. So, you were constantly meeting new people and making new friends. Being at camp and growing up at this camp taught me how to grow my friendships and more importantly maintain them as well as accept new friendships into my life.

Overall, it’s changed me. I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have Frogbridge. I mean, the first memory I have ever is from Frogbridge. I was three years old and walking into camp and meeting my teachers and counselors.

What Are You Most Excited About This Summer At Frogbridge?

The kids! I love little kids and I’m so excited! I know it’s going to be different than last year when I was a CIT but just walking in, in the mornings and seeing the kids and having them run over to me, there’s no greater feeling.

As cheesy as it sounds, I’m just so excited to be a part of this team. This is going to be my thirteenth summer and for twelve years I’ve just been looking forward to this— and it’s finally here! It’s been my dream since I was a little kid and it just feels like my three year old Tadpole wish is being fulfilled.

From all the staff at Frogbridge, we are so excited and proud to have Vaughn on our team this summer, and we look forward to many more!

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