The YMCA of Montclair, owner and operator of an outdoor education center and summer camp on 30 acres off Germantown Road in West Milford for almost 50 years, was recognized by the West Milford Economic Development Committee (EDC) on Saturday, Oct. 29.
Two framed certificates were accepted by Ann Margaret Gutiervez, Chief Operating Officer for the YMCA, representing Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Buddy Evans, who was not present. One of the documents is an “Established Business Award in recognition of 50 years in business in West Milford.” The second is for “graciously donating toward the success of Beautification Day in West Milford Township.”
The certificates were signed by Mayor Michele Dale and presented by EDC Chair Joann Blom, EDC Secretary John Monahan and Councilwoman Ada Erik.
Since 1970 the YMCA of Montclair has operated a summer day camp at their West Milford Outdoor Education Center. Children were bussed in from Montclair and its area towns.
In 2021 the YMCA of Montclair announced their campaign to raise $1,500,000 to renovate the YMCA Outdoor Recreation Center in West Milford. The project is known as “Reimaging the Camp at the Lake: Out Watershed Moment.”
A major part of this phase is described as building a year-round multi-purpose constable family lodge with a 4,400 square foot building providing space to bring outdoor programs and services year-round, increasing the opportunity for more children and adults to connect with the outdoors.
Plans are to provide access to the outdoors for all participants through expanded programming designed to meet the needs of young children, teenagers, families and active older adults. Gutiervez was unable to provide details, but said Evans was meeting with the West Milford Recreation Department official to discuss coordinating programs. She said the YMCA of Montclair activities are open to West Milford residents’ participation.
A Fall Fest at the outdoor site at Willow Lake on Saturday featured an activity schedule that included archery, boating, fishing, arts and crafts, pumpkin picking and painting, family games and tattoos, bounce houses, field games & DJ, Gaga (similar to Dodge Ball) and Smores at the fire pit to sing some camp songs or tell spooky campfire stories.
The paper program given to drivers as they approached the parking area said, “We are inviting families to learn more about the transformational upgrades planned, including the construction of a new lodge. Families who contribute $150 or more can put a lasting message on the Paddles for Purpose Wall in the Constable Family Lodge.”
The headquarters of the YMCA of Montclair are at 25 Park Street in Montclair. The website lists the phone number is 973-744-3400.