December 2021
Blue Sparks Newsletter
Dear Camp Jeanne d’Arc community,
Welcome to the latest edition of the Blue Sparks newsletter. As many of you may know, I am the new Director of Alumnae for Camp Jeanne d'Arc and I am super excited to connect with all members of the CJDA community. In this newsletter, you will see a few camp projects, an alumni spotlight, and learn about a fun way to get involved with camp! Please feel free to get in touch with me to share what you are up to or simply say hello!
All the best,
Liz Bateman Rambo
Bring Back Blue Sparks!
While looking through some archival photos, I noticed an issue of Blue Sparks from 1946. I read the front page and I couldn't help but smile. So many noteworthy happenings in 1946 are still happening at camp today. For example, there is mention of the Horse Show, the Canoe Club, Wishing Night, Eclaireuses, Mountaineering Club, Fleur de Lis Trophy, Latin American and International Campers, and more. My favorite lines are: 

  • “1937 - Christmas dance at the Lodge, splendor of Northern Lights” -- So did Christmas in July originate from enjoying the splendor of Northern Lights? I have an amazing image in my head of beautiful Northern Lights enrapturing the night sky as campers sing and dance to Christmas music! I love how this tradition has evolved, but at the same time, remained so much the same.

  • “Even though our hands and our fingernails get dirty, we don’t mind ‘cause we’re working for JDA!” The Victory Garden seemed to be robust in ‘46. I love that gardening has recently made a comeback - thanks to Sandy! 

  • “It will be our aim to reach every old and new Jeanne d’Arcer with a hearty invitation to join the fun. However, our files are sadly incomplete with what war-time marriages and changes of address.” Ha! Preach. Just as Colonel did in ‘46, we’d love our alum to help us with our “sadly incomplete'' files. Send me your info at

Of note are some of the things in this 1946 newsletter that are not happening. Like, who are the Kittens of Whippoorwill? From what I can read, the Kittens enjoyed laughing, playing the piano, wearing braids, and pony rides. Sounds like a blast. Has anyone heard of the Kittens? 

And what about "1938 - Hanging of the Lanterns Ceremony" with music and serenaders? Does anyone remember this tradition? I can picture bringing it back as adorable serenaders releasing floating lanterns above Archery Hill. Am I right?

In closing, enjoy this issue of Blue Sparks. I hope that the same smile that crept on my face adorns yours as you see how much the original spirit of Camp Jeanne d’Arc lives on! 
Alumni Spotlight: Katie Feola
New camper June Oshinsky and her cabin are going to feel pretty amazing this summer as they enjoy the coveted “Sunset Soiree” -- a waterfront pizza party complete with a sunset cruise around Chateaugay Lake on the brand new sailboats. All thanks to her family, JDA alum Katie Feola and her husband Matt Oshinsky, who supported the Sailboat Fundraiser as Sunset Soiree sponsors. Thank you to Katie and Matt for supporting the fundraiser!

Katie was a camper from 1989-1994 and a counselor from 1998-1999. As a member of the Campcraft and Senior Mountaineering Clubs, Eclaireuses awardee, Archery tournament runner-up, a Smuggler and a proud Jolis captain, Katie experienced the very best of Camp Jeanne d’Arc.  

I love talking to Katie about all things JDA. Her memories of camp are nothing short of supersonic -- she can recall who won the name game in 1993, the obscure lyrics to the Eagles cabin song written to the tune of Take Me Out to the Ballgame, who was the best tetherballer at camp -- among many, many other memories. But most of all Katie remembers that camp provided her with confidence, friendship and one heck of archery shot!

Today, Katie is a recovering attorney who has worked as a realtor for the Corcoran Group in Manhattan and Brooklyn for the last 10 years (and counts many JDA alums among her clients). Jeanne d'Arc is so grateful for her generous donation and is extremely excited to welcome her daughter June to camp for her first summer in 2022. And from what I hear, June’s archery shot is almost as good as her mom’s!
Camp Projects Corner
Where did you do Arts & Crafts at camp? Bluebird living room? Old Owl? The Lark cabin? Nothing is better than sitting around with your camp buddies stringing beads along a lanyard or learning how to add texture to your clay masterpiece from your favorite Arts & Crafts counselor. In recent years, this activity has been housed in Lark cabin. We want Lark cabin back for our littlest campers! So, Arts & Crafts is moving. Randy and Sandy are working to reclaim the Peter Pan building for Arts & Crafts. The transition will happen in phases, with completion of the process scheduled for summer 2023. Stay tuned for this transition, it's going to be messy and fun, just the way art should be!
Archive Project Update
Did you all know about the amazing Archive Project happening right now? Camp alum and Head Counselor, Lauren Cesiro, is heading up an awesome project to preserve camp photos and artifacts dating back to the 1920s.  

According to Lauren, “The Camp Jeanne d’Arc Archive is a space to preserve and research the ephemera, photographs, and personal and collective history of Camp Jeanne d’Arc, Ruth Israel McIntyre, and alumni of Camp Jeanne d’Arc.”

The Archive’s main goal is to sift through 100 years of photographs, records, letters, and any information donated to Camp Jeanne d'Arc by Fran McIntyre or found in the Chalet attic that pertains to Camp Jeanne d’Arc and Ruth Israel McIntyre. 

The process began in the early 2000s when Jocelyn Pellerano organized the artifacts and photos into boxes. Now, Lauren is working to scan the images, identify the people and tag them (where possible), store the digital file in a safe external hard drive, and preserve the photos. She is also thinking strategically about how to preserve today’s memories to make it easier to archive for the future. Speaking of the future, we envision establishing a camp museum displaying decades of artifacts and memories for all to see. This is a huge gift to the past and future of JDA. Thank you, Lauren!
Alum Focus Group
Do you feel like you have some good ideas to share with Camp Jeanne d’Arc? Do you want to be “put to work” to help with camp projects? Do you want to be “in the know” of what is happening at camp today? If you are reading this enthusiastically nodding your head, then the Alum Focus Group needs you! 

We are a very casual group of JDA alum who meet via Zoom every few weeks to brainstorm ideas, get updates on camp projects, and learn about ways to stay connected to our favorite place on earth. Here’s the best part -- you don’t have to commit to every meeting. And we send out post-meeting notes to keep you in the loop. This is a low-commitment but meaningful way to give back to JDA. Send me a note and I’ll get you connected. Side note: we may or may not share embarrassing photos/stories. Who’s in?
Where in the world are
Randy and Sandy?
The Abbotts are ready to hit the road! Pending community Covid levels, Randy and Sandy are looking forward to visiting JDAers in their own cities soon. Keep your eyes out for information about the Abbotts touching down in Puerto Rico, New York and Mexico in the coming months!  
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Not on social media? We want to hear from you! Send me a note with what you've been up to!