About

Camp Sarsaparilla crafts in the barn

Camp Sarsaparilla is a day camp for childrenĀ ages 5-12. Day camp isĀ 9:00-3:30 daily.

Camp Sarsaparilla Program: Major daily activities include art, outdoor exploration and camp craft, swimming, singing, read aloud games, riding the zip line, snacks, picnic lunches brought from home, and journal writing. We make the morning games as close to the old neighborhood types as possible – variations of hide and seek, kickball, wiffleball, and tag. The traditional Friday game is Capture the Flag. Ample time is given to free, supervised play. Snack is provided each morning with two each week prepared by campers with counselor help and include blueberry muffins (berries picked at camp), and chocolate chip zucchini bread and Sarsaparilla on Fridays.

Camp Sarsaparilla Facilities: The camp has two 19th century barns, one housing our art program and the other housing our nature center, a gathering place for camp meetings, journal writing, and singing our camp songs, and rainy day activities. Sarsaparilla has views overlooking surrounding mountains, and is situated 15 minutes from Williamstown and 20 minutes from Bennington. The property includes 40 plus acres of woodlands including areas for camp crafts, trust-building activities, the popular making of gnome homes, fields for wildflower hikes and other nature activities, and large, flat, grassy areas for games. There are two spring-fed ponds; one for frogging, the other lined for swimming.

Camp Sarsaparilla Staff: Our staff includes two directors. Merry Anderson and Dick Steege and four teenage counselors ages 16 or older, one of whom is a certified lifeguard. By keeping enrollment around 30 we can maintain a staff to camper ratio about one to five or six.

Merry Anderson

Merry Anderson came to the Berkshires in 1967, and began her teaching career as an art teacher in 1970 at Williamstown Elementary School. Throughout most of these years, she has raised four children, and run Camp Sarsaparilla in the summer. Merry received her Master’s Degree in 1978, taking most of her art courses at Mrs. Beineke’s brainchild artist’s studios in the Windsor Mill building.

Merry has recently resumed her love for watercolor painting, and is working on a series of floral paintings for greeting cards. Knitting, creating molds for paper casting, needlework, and reading are among her passions.

Dick Steege

Dick has been a co-director at Sarsaparilla for over twenty-five years. Prior to that he was a Village Director at Camp Becket, Becket, MA for three years. He is married to Gwen Steege, Senior Acquistions Editor at Storey Publishing. They have three children; Kristin, married with family living in Portugal, Paul and his wife are potters in the California Sierras, and Ben and his wife teach music on the college level.
Dick has taught in the Haverford, PA school district and retired from the Williamstown Elementary after 37 years. He enjoys skiing, hiking, woodworking, singing in choral groups, as well as tending his sheep from which Gwen uses the wool for dyeing, spinning,knitting, and weaving.

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