4th Annual Paddle Plunge

On the overcast, 44-degree morning of April 5th, 16 teams braved the 4th Annual Paddle Plunge into frozen Kingston Lake. Two days prior to the event, Camp Lincoln staff chipped ice 7 feet off the shore to clear enough water for teams to run across the cold sand and plunge into the frigid water.

Together 23 teams raised $4,660 dollars for the Southern District YMCA Annual Scholarship Fund. The top fundraising teams include Stratham SACC lead by Billie Jo, Camp Lincoln CIT’s captained by Mike Short, Team Wagnitz inspired by Kristina Wagnitz, and Plaistow SACC lead by Hope MacDonald.

The Southern District YMCA appreciates all of the volunteers who helped make this event memorable. Special thanks go to the Kingston Lake Association for costume judging, Tracey Miller from Food and Health Forum and Tracey Miller Wellness for serving delicious healthy smoothies, and Sanborn High School student leaders who were ready to help and get wet! Check out these recipes for the healthy snacks served at the Paddle Plunge!

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Healthy Kids Day Snack Recipes

Southern District YMCA celebrated Healthy Kids Day on April 5 at YMCA Camp Lincoln, in conjunction with the 4th Annual Paddle Plunge. Activity stations featuring non-elimination CATCH games, the climbing wall, archery, carpetball and the waterfront slides entertained families before the Paddle Plunge into Kingston Lake. The most popular activity proved itself with outstanding reviews and crowds of people of all ages: healthy snack tasting. Appealing taste buds of 4 year olds and 84 year olds, here are the recipes of the well-liked snacks of Healthy Kids Day.

Super Smoothies
In a blender put: 1 banana cut into chunks, 1/4 pineapple peeled, cored and cubed, 1/2 cup of juice, and 1/2 cup of water. On a summer day add 4 ice cubes. Blend and enjoy! *For a little green power, add some fresh kale and blend until smooth.

Fruit Infused Water
Put a few fresh or frozen berries in water, chill and serve. Refreshing!

Veggies and Dip
1 part sour cream, 1 part plain yogurt, 1 pack of dry onion or veggie soup mix. Mix it together and let stand. Serve with cut, raw veggies.

Fruit Salad
Cut bite size pieces of fruit, toss with orange juice for freshness, top with shredded coconut and raisins. Yum!


Spring Into Shape!

Spring – a great time to dust off your hiking shoes, running sneakers, yoga mat, or bicycle, and get some outdoor exercise! Some people are born with an innate love for exercising and others appreciate different hobbies, but the truth of the matter is, we should all enjoy staying fit and spring is a great season to get started! Exercise does wonders for your cardiovascular health and we all know how important a healthy heart is.

Starting an exercise program may be a lifestyle change but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. It’s a journey, and a journey that will contribute to becoming an overall healthier person. With warmer weather just around the corner, this is a great time to think about how you can take small steps to build your own exercise program.

How to get started:

Consult a physician
Before you get started, we encourage talking with your doctor. He or she will help you understand the limits and opportunities for your body, and most likely encourage you to go for it and start exercising!

Set a goal 
Set yourself up for success- set a realistic, attainable goal. A goal can include a physical indicator of success along with a time frame. For example, I want to consistently jog for 30 minutes and I want to achieve this goal in 10 weeks.

Schedule your workouts
Put all of your workouts on your calendar. This way you will have certain periods of time that are set aside for your exercise. Planning to exercise with a buddy is another great way to make sure you stick to your schedule.

Take your time
Congratulations on setting your goal and working towards it! Work towards your goal at a pace that is right for you. An important part of physical fitness success is consistency. This means completing your workouts on the scheduled day to the best of your ability.

In order for your muscles to grow, they need resting time to recover. Schedule periods of rest into your workout schedule. By properly resting throughout your program, you will notice your body getting stronger as you build your stamina and endurance along the way.

Remember, this is your journey, your fitness goal and you can do it! The Y is here to support you in your journey to Health!


Maple Season and Squash Pancakes

It has been said that the best thing about living in New Hampshire is… maple season. That’s right, friends- the days are getting slightly warmer, and the nights are still cool; the conditions necessary for the sugary sap to flow from the Sugar Maple trees. We hope you are taking full advantage of this sweet season by visiting local Maple Sugar shacks, and trying new (and old) recipes that compliment the delicious taste of real maple syrup.

Here is a new (or old) recipe for you to try: Squash Pancakes. This could possibly be the most versatile pancake recipe ever- you can alter it to accommodate for almost any food sensitivity. Do some investigating on Google to find the recipe that is perfect for your family! We will share our favorite from a blog called eat, live, run.

Whole Wheat Butternut Squash Pancakes
serves 2-3

1/2 cup + 2 T whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1 T melted butter
1/3 cup canned or roasted and mashed butternut squash (or pumpkin!)

In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. In another bowl, combine the egg, melted butter, milk and squash. Mix well. Add wet to dry and fold together, being careful not to overmix the batter.

Let the batter rest five minutes.

Cook on a medium hot skillet and flip when the pancake has bubbles all over. Serve with warm maple syrup, banana, walnuts and…bacon. Or not.

What are your favorite ways to enjoy maple syrup?

The Life Of A Happy Camper: Dick Brewster

Before he died on Friday, December 6, 2013 Irving “Dick” Brewster, 90, of Exeter, NH was one of the oldest known Alumni from Camp Lincoln.

Dick was born in Exeter on November 25, 1923, three years before Warren Tucker sold 65 acres of land on the shores of Kingston Lake to provide a permanent site for Rockingham County YMCA’s summer camping experiences for boys and young men. Dick entered his teens at just about the time that Camp Lincoln had developed into a one-week overnight camp for boys ages 8-15. A few cabins had been built and the capacity per session was 60-80 campers. Dick had very fond memories of those days and his mother had kept a scrapbook with pictures. You can view some of those pictures at Camp.

Dick was a “poster child” for the kind of ingenuity, initiative, and sense of community that is fostered at Camp Lincoln.

Dick graduated from Exeter High School as the US was entering World War II and went directly into the US Army where he served in both the European and Pacific Theaters. He landed on Omaha Beach on D-Day plus 1 and was part of the Signal Corps Communications Team that supported General Patton during the Battle of the Bulge. As we all know, Patton “led from the front” and Dick’s unit was overrun during a night battle. In the morning they found themselves behind the newly advanced enemy lines. They took a great risk in donning uniforms from dead German soldiers and then drove their own truck with all its signal gear into and with a German convoy for several days until the convoy came within sight of the US Army lines and they made a run for the US lines – and were almost shot by the GIs.

When orders came to ship out from Europe, instead of going home as he expected, he found himself going through the Panama Canal on the way to the Pacific where he entered Hiroshima with a reconnaissance team three days after “the bomb” was dropped there.

When he finally returned home after the end of the War, he used his Signal Corps background to get a job at the former New England Telephone Company. But having never gone to college, he started as a lineman while taking correspondence courses in Electrical engineering.

Have we mentioned the ingenuity and initiative fostered at Camp Lincoln?

In 33 years Dick worked his way up from lineman to an Engineering Supervisor working on assignments that included the “field communications board” used by US Presidents when traveling away from the White House.

His sense of community was equally impressive.

He was an active member of the Exeter Congregational Church, served as a deacon and Sunday School Teacher. He was a member of the Exeter Rotary Club where he served as the Secretary for many years, and he was Member of the Star of the East Masonic Lodge in Exeter.

He was also very proud of his service as a Trustee for the Robinson Female Seminary Foundation.

The Robinson Foundation was formed in 1853 by the will of William Robinson, an Exeter native who attended Phillips Exeter Academy and for whose sister there was no similar educational facility in the area. The will specified that the funds be for “only and solely for the instruction of females…all other things being equal, always to give preference to the poor and the orphan”. In 1869, the newly-built Robinson Female Seminary opened its doors to females from the Exeter area.

From 1869 until 1955, Robinson Seminary was the only public school in Exeter to serve post-elementary females (males attended the Tuck High School). In 1954 the School District passed a bond issue to build an addition to the Tuck School. The first co-educational class graduated from Exeter High School in 1956. A fire in 1961 destroyed the Seminary building. The Lincoln Street Elementary School and related playgrounds now occupy the site.

With the original need for post elementary education now filled by the public schools, Dick and the other Trustees worked to discontinue the existing gender bias in the distribution of awards. The Trustees petitioned the County Probate Court and in 1996 the court issued a decree that established a new Trust purpose: “…to create a fund to provide opportunities to enrich and enhance the educational experience of post-elementary age individuals within the area served by the Exeter Region Cooperative School District, through the development of programs, scholarships and grants.” Since that time Trust Earnings have been used to annually award up to four-year scholarships to Exeter High School graduating seniors going on to college or trade school based on financial need, grades, and community participation.

Dick was a “happy camper.” He will be remembered for his contagious smile and laugh.

Dick Brewster

CSA: Local Food Opportunities

Last Saturday was CSA day at Seacoast Eat Local’s Exeter Winter Farmers Market. If you were in a saddened state because you missed this great event, I have some good news: a second CSA day will take place on February 22 at the Wentworth Greenhouses Farmers Market in Rollinsford. Click here for a list of the farms that you might see at CSA day.

What is a CSA, you might ask? CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, and is an opportunity for a farm and its customer to form a direct relationship. CSA members make a commitment to a farm by purchasing a “share” of the harvest in advance of the growing season. This commitment provides farmers with the capital they need early in the year to buy seeds and supplies. In return, members receive a weekly “share” of the farm’s harvest: fresh, in-season, high quality food grown and harvested on the farm. Depending on the farm and CSA you choose, this food could include vegetables, fruit, eggs, meat, dairy products, grains, or more.

Not only is a CSA a great way to secure fresh, local food for your family; it can be a wonderful opportunity to learn about local farms, introduce your family to the benefits of supporting local businesses, maintain good health, and get creative in your kitchen. In some cases, joining a CSA can even offer the opportunity to get your hands dirty on the farm. Is there a better way to educate our youth about food and health?

There are many local farms offering different types of CSA shares. For a searchable list of CSA farms in the NH seacoast area, visit www.seacoastharvest.org. For a nationwide directory, visit www.localharvest.org.


Health Benefits of Winter Activity

We know that February can be a hard month to get out of the house, exposing your family to the cold and snowy weather. Staying active throughout the winter is important for your health and happiness. Here are some creative ideas for your family to enjoy the fresh powdery snow! Have fun!

Ice Skating This activity can be slippery for newcomers, but is easy to get the hang of, and certainly worth the learning! Check out your local ice rink for public skating opportunities. The Rinks at Exeter offers public skate and skate rentals for only $10. Make sure to bring your own helmet (a bike helmet will do), and a buddy for balance and laughs!

Building with Snow Pull on your snowsuits and strap on the boots for this accessible and fun activity! You can build a snowman in your yard; it’s as easy as rolling a few snowballs into snowman body parts, and then decorating with sticks, fruit or vegetables. Kids of all activities can enjoy this activity! Already have a snow family in your yard? Try building a snow igloo!

Snowshoeing People who love walking or hiking will enjoy this activity! Your kids will have fun pretending to be big foot, crunching down into the snow with their big snowshoes. This is a great way to get cardiovascular exercise outdoors in the winter. Most outdoor gear retailers will sell snowshoes and poles (poles are optional). Maybe your neighbor has some snowshoeing gear that you could borrow for an afternoon?

Sledding A winter activity that never grows old, no matter your age! Grab a sled, saucer or toboggan and find a hill to glide down. Make sure to bundle in warm clothes for this activity; you’ll have so much fun that you want to stay outside for a long time! The ride down is super fun, and you get a nice workout climbing to the top of the hill. Not to mention the added health bonus of laughing!