Sunset at Haleakala Crater—January 2005 © David Brotsky
Sunday & Monday, August 8 & 9, 2010
4th Annual July Extravaganza
at Wawayanda State Park , near Upper Greenwood Lake, NJ
I am pleased to announce our 4th Annual Extravaganza, this time taking place on Sunday, August 8 and Monday, August 9, 2010.
Basically, we go to a really nice park in the NJ that has an excellent list of possible activities, and have people do a variety of things (including nothing at all but hanging out), as well as a BBQ and a bonfire. This year, we are adding a bonfire for everyone and camping for a small amount of people, and the next day we will do a hike in the area.
Here are some of the activities available:
Hiking (Advanced and Easy) Boating & Fishing (Canoe & Kayak)
Volleyball, Soccer and Frisbee BBQ
Beach with Swimming Playground for kids
Biking/Rollerblading (Mountain and regular bikes, but you must bring your own equipment/bikes)
Please see below for all the details and prices…
Decide quickly so you won’t get closed out! Right now, the weather looks to be awesome ( in the mid 80s and sunny). Severe rain cancels, but otherwise the event will occur.
PLEASE READ ALL INFORMATION BEFORE EMAILING US
THE ANSWER IS USUALLY BELOW!
EVENT RSVP DEADLINE - TUESDAY, AUGUST 3
YOU MUST PAY IN ADVANCE FOR THIS EVENT
VIA PAYPAL OR CHECK.
GIVEN THE SIZE OF THIS EVENT,
PEOPLE WHO DO NOT REGISTER PROPERLY,
DO NOT PAY IN ADVANCE, OR SUPPLY ALL REQUIRED INFORMATION
BY THE DEADLINES ABOVE WILL BE REJECTED.
We had to reject many people last year because people registered late or incompletely, and we still had about 60 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, we go to a really nice park in the NJ that has an excellent list of possible activities, and have people do a variety of things (including nothing at all but hanging out), as well as a BBQ and a bonfire. This year, we are also able to have a small group of folks for camping, and the next day we will do a hike in the area.
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!
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. You do need to purchase a fishing license in advance. You can do so on this state website. Just make sure to bring your fishing gear and any bait you want to have. They do sell worms at the boathouse, if that suffices for your needs.
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
IMPORTANT INFORMATION - PLEASE READ
Here is how things will work – this is a little complicated, so please read carefully, and help us
Leave by 7:30 AM/8 am
You will need to leave no later than 8 am from Manhattan & NJ ( 7:30 AM from Brooklyn, Queens and LI) and get to the park NO LATER THAN 9:30 AM. The park has already closed its doors to cars on busy summer days by 10:00 am this 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 BBQ/Bonfire 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 2:00 to 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 1PM to see when you can get in or just show up at 3:30, which is when they should certainly re-open from past experience. The park office’s number is (973) 853-4462. They sometimes
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 might 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.
For those who do manage to get a ride, 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 4 regular 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.
ORGANIZED EVENT DETAILS
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.
We are still determining the length of this hike, but it will be 6 to 8 miles in length and will likely be partly along the Appalachian Trail. This is a level 6 hike, with 10 being a very hard hike. Its for intermediate and experienced hikers only.
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 hike occur 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.
KASHRUT, BBQ, BONFIRE & CAMPING DETAILS
We will also be camping nearby, a 5 minute walk away from the BBQ area, in a location where you can drive your car to. The BBQ will begin at about 3:00 PM. The bonfire will start at about 7:30 with singing, stories and musical accompaniment. Let me know if you can bring an instrument! 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.
For camping, we will first pack up the BBQ stuff and then head over to the camping area, a 5 minute walk from the BBQ area. Those camping will be able to drive over to the area and start setting up tents around 6:30, and we hope to have the bonfire starting around 7:30 PM for those who want to stay around. On Monday, we intend to do a hike in the area.
The following are optional activities which you can do on your own
Swimming at the Beach
Fishing (with a permit—see above for details of how to get a permit).
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?
Everyone - hat, suntan lotion, comfortable shoes, lunch
Long Hikers – same as All plus 3 liters water, bug spray, backpack or bag for your lunch and stuff
Short Hikers – same as All, plus 1 liter water, backpack or bag for your lunch and stuff
Boating - hat, suntan lotion, 1 liter water, and clothes and shoes that are ok getting wet, eyeglass retainer/cord to hold on glasses
Bonfire - If anyone has musical instruments, please bring them and let me know - they add a nice touch to the bonfire!
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. Please note that there is a $10 per car entrance fee for the park, which is included in the ride fee when you offer to take 3 passengers or the van fee.
Leaving Times –
Manhattan, Northern & Central NJ – 8:00 AM
Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island – 7:30 AM
Teaneck, Monsey – 8:15 AM
ADVANCE PAYMENT REQUIREMENT TO RSVP:
In order to complete your reservation, you must pay for the event in advance either via check (postmarked by the deadline) or via paypal by the deadline at the top of this page. Failure to pay may result in your being unable to attend the event.
PAYMENT METHODS - CHECK OR PAYPAL
You may pay in one of two ways, via check or via paypal.
please send the full payment, made out to “David Brotsky”, and mail it to:
c/o Sharon Zavodnick
325 North 3rd Avenue
Highland Park, NJ 08904
In order to complete your registration, you need to have your payment postmarked no later than Wednesday, 8/4/10. Failure to do so may mean you will not be able to attend the event.
The balance of any monies you owe is due at the event. Please bring cash or checks (preferable) made out to “David Brotsky”. When you arrive you will need to go through registration complete any payments 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 that you can rent on your own at the park, on a first come, first served basis. 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.
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.
Price Per Person
Because of the variety of events, I anticipate that this will be one of my largest events of the year.
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.
Here are some answers to common questions.
ARE FAMILIES WELCOME?
Kids as young as 3 can do the nature walk, and younger children can start the walk and then go back with their parents when it gets a little harder. There is also a children’s playground right next to the beach.
WHAT KIND OF FOOD WILL YOU HAVE?
I supply stuff for vegetarians and meat eaters – we grill vegetables, fruits, hamburger, hot dogs and some chicken and minute steaks (limited quantities), plus have salads, chips and salsa, etc – you won't go home hungry I suspect…For those camping out, we will have breakfast and pack lunches that you will make yourself.
LET ME KNOW ON THE RSVP QUESTIONAIRE IF YOU HAVE ANY SPECIAL DIETARY RESTRICTIONS/ISSUES.
I AM A VEGETARIAN - WILL YOU HAVE ANYTHING FOR ME AT THE BBQ?
Yes, we always have plenty for the vegetarians, such as vegetarian hot dogs, hamburgers, grilled vegetables like portobello mushrooms and even grilled fruits such as bananas, apples, etc. all prepared on pareve grills,
WHAT IS YOUR LEVEL OF KASHRUT?
We buy all of the items with the standard recognized hechsers such as OU, OK, etc. All of the meat/chicken is purchased from local kosher markets such as Brachs in Queens, Glatt Mart, Costco, which now carries OU certified meats in many locations and other similar establishments. All of the equipment used are my personal items or equipment that we use only for these types of events.
WHAT ARE THE CAMPING AND HIKING DETAILS?
BATHROOMS/SHOWERS AT THE BBQ /CAMPING SITE?
At the BBQ site there is a normal bathroom with running water. At the camping site, a 5 minute walk away, there is a bathroom, but no showers – the bathrooms are what I call 'hi tech backcountry toilets' – they are clean, they have a seat like any toilet you are used to, and reasonably pleasant - they don't have running water, so we supply handwipes/purell…camping is limited to 25 people.
EVENT RSVP DEADLINE - Tuesday, August 2, 2010