Newsletter Detail

Homer High School Skiing

Photo Courtesy of Kevin Douglass '99, M '07                         

One of the most interesting partnerships at Camp Huntington over the years is the joint program between the Homer Junior High School science club and the New Visions Program offered by the Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCES (OCM). Although the groups differ in age and purpose, they share an interest in coming to a better understanding of the natural world through discovery at Raquette Lake.
For years, the Homer program was led by popular science teacher Jim Barry M ’89, who happens to be the husband of recently retired Assistant Vice President for Human Resources Joanne Barry M ’97. Jim was a consistently strong supporter of getting kids into the outdoors and having fun and used Camp Huntington for his base every winter and every other spring, allowing the 7th and 8th graders a chance to experience two seasons on the lake. His love of Homer High on Mtn top
nature and encyclopedic knowledge about the environment were infectious to his students. With Jim’s retirement this year, he turned the program over to longtime assistant Kevin Douglass ’99, M ’07. Having learned under Jim’s tutelage,
Kevin is perfectly prepared to take over the program, and this winter’s January retreat went off without a hitch. We wish Jim well in his retirement and hope he comes back to visit often.
New Visions Environmental Science is a one-year program offered to highly motivated high school seniors, who are interested in a career-focused alternative curriculum. Located at Lime Hollow Nature Center, students explore environmental issues in a real-world setting. In addition, they take a number of field trips to the Adirondacks, including to Camp Huntington each year.
Tim Sandstrom ’76, the longtime teacher of New Visions who retired a few years ago, was called upon to fill in for his replacement, Jay Elko ’90, who was out on leave and announced his retirement this spring. Tim had brought BOCES students here for years, beginning the partnership with Homer and Jim Barry. Though both groups follow their own agendas –– the Homer group skiing and snowshoeing at camp while the New Visions group heads out to climb nearby
Goodnow Mountain –– they Homer High School Snowshoeingcome together in the evenings to share information about the environment. This often takes the form of short infomercials created by the New Visions students on topics like sustainability, organic farming and pollution.
It was sad to not see Jim with the Homer group this year, but great to see Tim and longtime volunteer Ray Kneer back one more time. With new leadership at both Homer and New Visions, we are hopeful a strong partnership will emerge to carry on this collaborative partnership for years to come.