Camp Sarsaparilla is a day camp for children ages 5-12. Day camp is 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 has lived at Crow Hill Farm for 47 years. Her four children grew up here, and at various points during their childhoods there were chickens, cows, ponies, horses, dogs, and cats.Now Merry’s five grandchildren love spending time here.Now retired , after a 46 year career as the art teacher at Williamstown Elementary School,Merry pursues a variety of passions.Reading, swimming, yoga, and walking are central to each day.
Creating art kits for children,creating fanciful creatures of the imagination, and exploring fiber arts are Merry’s beloved activities. Her mind is always filled with new ideas for camp art activities which will allow children to experience the joy of using their hands. Learning new skills in creating things with natural materials is essential to childhood!
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.