July 19, 2009

3rd Annual July Extravaganza

at Wawayanda State Park,

near Upper Greenwood Lake, NJ (07421) in Northern, NJ/ NY Border




I am pleased to announce our 3rd Annual July  Extravaganza (anyone have a better name? The first year it was the August Extravaganza and so far that’s what stuck – anyone who comes up with a better name that is accepted for use will get a reduced rate!).  It’s a very involved event with something for almost anyone, so we expect a large amount of people. Please help us with this by reading these details carefully, and filling out the RSVP Form properly with all the information we ask for….


See below for the prices and details-  decide early so you won’t get closed out! Right now, the weather looks to be awesome ( in the mid 70s, partially cloudy). Severe Rain cancels, but otherwise the event will occur.











We had to reject  many people last year because people registered late or incompletely, and we still had about 50 people. This year we had over 70 for Memorial Day, and at some point I will close this out. It could be our biggest event ever! Register QUICKLY, so you don’t get closed out!


Basically, the concept is to go to a really nice park in the area that has a variety of activities, and have people do a variety of things ( including nothing at all but hanging out), as well as a BBQ much of the day.


The park we are going to is Wawayanda State Park, in Northern NJ, near the border with NY. Its about a 75 minute drive from Manhattan.


The park has a beautiful lake ( pictured below), which is long and has several islands in it to explore. It’s a very special place, as you can see from the pix below—I visited several other parks before choosing this one, which has a large number of potential activities we can do. All of these pix below are within a 10 minute walk of each other, in fact!




Here is a link to some more pictures of the park





The park has the following possible activities, all of which are within walking distance of the picnic/BBQ area we will be at:


Hiking – several excellent long ( 7 mile) and short ( 2.5 mile to a nice pond) hikes that anyone can do. Last year we had kids on the short hike and we saw a BEAR!


Boating/Fishing – Canoes, row boats, electric motor boats & a very limited number of kayaks/double kayaks. The lake is stocked with Salmon.


Paved Biking/Rollerblading trails + Mountain Biking areas ( if you bring your own gear!)


Volleyball/Frisbee/Kites/radio controlled airplanes – anyone have a good volleyball set they can bring?


Playground with equipment – for young children


Beach – for relaxing, with a lifeguard for swimmers


BBQ/Picnic areas




Here is how things will work – this is a little complicated, so please read carefully, and help us


Leave by 8 am  - You will need to leave about 8 am from Manhattan & NJ ( 7:30 AM from Brooklyn, Queens and LI) and get to the park by 9:30 AM. The park closes its doors to cars on busy summer days by 10:00 am in the summer, so if you are late, you might not be able to get in until as late as 3:30!… Last year some people missed out because the park closed. We will be in the park till about 6:00pm, which means you should get back after 8pm, though people may leave earlier.


3:30 PM Session

 If you want, you can also come just for the afternoon session/BBQ - be advised that you will unable to enter the park before 3:00 or 3:30, depending on how crowded it is that day...there will be no rides or vans organized for this option. Call the park office after 2PM to see when you can get in or just show up at 3:30, which is when they usually reopen. Their number is (973) 853-4462.


Limited rides – minivan solution - Because of the large numbers I expect for this event, rides will be limited and may not satisfy the demand. Also, buses are not allowed into the park. If there is enough interest, we will  organize people into 15 passenger vans, hopefully from a few areas. The ride will cost about $25 to $35 per person, for gas and the rental. If you are willing to be a driver of one of the rental vehicles, you will also get a reduced rate to the event. We will try and send a list of drivers with phone numbers out in advance, but if you need a ride, assume you will have to go in one of the vans.


If we do sort some rides out for people, pay the driver $15 when you enter the car. They are doing you a favor, so please have the money available in cash.


Organized activities vs optional activities


There are some activities we will organize, others that you can do on your own with your own rentals or equipment, and then join us at the BBQ


We will help organize folks into the following activities—please indicate your choices on the  RSVP form


Long and short hike

Boating – canoes and very limited supply of kayaks ( ie 6 regular kayaks, 2 double kayaks? )


Volleyball/Frisbee/Kites ( anyone have any nice kites to bring?)



All of these activities leave from the same area, right next to the boating area.




Helping Out -

 As at all of my events, we ask everyone to assist with things at the event. We are all in this together, so help when asked, volunteer to do things, clean up after yourself since we are not your maids, and things will go much quicker and smoother for everyone. Thanks in advance!



There will be two hikes – both will leave in the morning around 10 am, though we can run a second short hike in the afternoon if people want. We ran hikes at both times last year.



This will be a 7.5 mile loop hike, taking about 5 hours.  You will pass several lakes, a unique Cedar forest in a swamp ( traversed on planks!), surrounded by hemlocks and rhododendrons, a lake with a beaver house, and a lake with a dam. This is a 6 hike, with 10 being a very hard hike. It has about 600 feet of elevation, and is long!



This is a 3 mile easy hike, to a nearby pond, and some very pretty trees – possibly one of the few virgin hemlock tree pockets in this area of NJ. It has minimal elevation, and is suitable for all ages, including young children. Its more like a nature walk…we might have this more than once – let us know your preference below. We have had families with young kids ( even infants) do this hike and they were fine and enjoyed the hike.



Because of the limited supply of boats, we will organize 2 or 3 groups for 90 minutes each on the lake, leaving at 11:00, 1 and 3:00 PM.



The BBQ will run from about 3:00 till 5:30 PM, so people can come and go as they please catching a bite to eat between activities, or hang out at the BBQ, at their option. We will have plenty of food, for vegetarians, fruitarians (ever have grilled bananas? They are a house specialty), and omnivores. Let us know on the RSVP Form  if you have a special diet.  All of the food at the event is from reputable hechshers. The meat is sourced from places like Brachs in Queens, Glatt Mart in Brooklyn, and other similarly reputable establishments, generally under local vaads.




The following are optional activities which you can do on your own

Swimming at the Beach


Biking/Rollerblading/Mountain Biking ( bring your own equipment—they do not rent these in the park)

Boating – any boats other than canoes or limited numbers of kayaks


If you want to swim, fish, bike/rollerblade, you will need to bring your own gear for this. You can also rent your own boats if you don’t want a canoe, such as paddle boats, electric motor boats and row boats.  The prices are below for these optional boats, but its first come, first served at the boathouse.


What do I need to bring?


All - hat, suntan lotion, comfortable shoes, lunch


Long Hike – same as All plus 3 liters water, bug spray

Short Hike – same as All, plus 1 liter water

Boating - hat, suntan lotion,  1 liter water, and clothes and shoes that are ok getting wet, eyeglass retainer/cord to hold on glasses


Directions - see my detailed instructions here. Please do not use GPS exclusively – it will get you only close to the park and not to the right place within the park, so print and follow along on the directions.


Leaving Times

Manhattan, Northern & Central NJ – 8:00 AM

Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island – 7:30 AM

Teaneck, Monsey – 8:15 AM




In order to complete your reservation, you must make a $10 deposit ($25 for couples and families,  extra deposit if you are boating), postmarked or sent to paypal by the deadlines at the top of this page.




You may pay in one of two ways, via check or via paypal.


Via Check:


please send the payment/deposit , made out to “David Brotsky”


And mail it to:


David Brotsky

c/o Sharon Zavodnick

325 North 3rd Avenue

Highland Park, NJ 08904


In order to complete your registration, you need to have your deposit payment postmarked by the deadlines above.


Via Paypal

Send me the payment/deposit via PayPal, via my email address:




$10 deposit required for individuals, $25 for couples and families, extra deposits if you are boating.



The balance of monies you owe is due at the event. Please bring cash ( preferable) or checks made out to David Brotsky with you. When you arrive you will need to go through registration and pay for the event.


Extravaganza includes the BBQ (Lunch/Dinner – 3:00 to 5:30 PM), Hike, Volleyball/Frisbee –


Extravaganza with canoe/kayak – any other boats are items you can rent on your own at the park, first come, first served. Kayaks are limited ( we may have as few as 2 per session), so indicated below if you want a kayak and won’t boat if you don’t get one. Double kayaks are also limited and will only be rented if you have a friend/child for the boat. If you are a family who wants to go boating, please email me for a custom price – it depends on what you rent and how many kids are in your party.


Time of registration – calculated from when we receive your reservation on the RSVP Form.



Pricing—per person




Extravaganza with Canoe outing - 2 or 3 per boat

Extravaganza, with kayak/Double Kayak (limited number)

Deposit Needed—Non Refundable after 7/14


$35 – individual


$65 -Couple


$90 – family with up to 4 kids under 15

$60 – per person


Family rates available on request


$70 per person




Extravaganza Only


Individual - $10

Couple/ Family—$25



Extravaganza w/canoe/kayak


Individual - $25




Because of the variety of events, I anticipate that this will be one of my largest, if not my largest event of all time. As such, several people are already helping me with this event. If you would like to help out and get $20 off, we might have spots for a few more folks for help the day of, so let me know via the RSVP Form if you want to help out, and we will contact those folks we need for any extra help. We also need some help from folks to buy and transport some of the food, chiefly drinks since we will have more than a car load full just of drinks when we are done, so let us know if you can help with that in the questionnaire.


 RSVP NO LATER THAN Tuesday, July 14, 2009.


PS. Feel free to send this to GOOD friends, but DO NOT BROADCAST this your list - This is not a 'public' event.