By Nathan Mayberg
MONTICELLO June 24, 2005 With so much being reported about a possible casino at the site of Kutshers Sports Academy, the nationally renowned sports camp will continue forward with its 37th season.
The 2005 sports camp opens next Tuesday, June 28 and will run through Saturday, August 20.
Located on Anawana Road in Monticello, the camp has hosted thousands of children throughout the country, as well as some of the greatest NBA players of all time. KSA will be holding its final season in Monticello before it moves about an hour west along Route 17 to Hancock next year.
The move will join the KSA camp with French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts on a site of more than 300 acres in the Town of Hancock in Delaware County. French Woods is a top performing arts camp which focuses on theatre, music, photography and dance. Both camps will retain their individual identities, but campers will be able to choose which facilities to use on any given day. A lake will separate the two, but campers will be able to travel back and forth on a ferry.
In addition to its new location, KSA has a new owner in longtime camp director Marc White. White has been with the camp for 25 years, since he started as a basketball instructor in between seasons as a professional basketball player in Europe.
White will lease the camp from Kutshers Resort this summer. The hotel hopes to sell the campsite to the St. Regis Mohawks if they gain the necessary state and federal approvals.
White said the idea to work with French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts came from a proposal by its owner, Ron Schaefer, two years ago.
Schaefer and White will now be co-proprietors of the KSA camp.
Kutshers co-owner Mark Kutsher will stay on as a consultant, and the camp will be able to retain its famous name. Mark Kutsher is very proud of the camp and wants to see it continue. White said he was very appreciative of Kutsher, who has been involved with the camp since its inception.
The KSA camp was founded by late Kutshers owner Milton Kutsher in 1968, and, as White noted, has been a thriving operation ever since.
KSA has earned its high marks for the wide array of sports available to the youngsters, as well as the professional coaches who teach them.
The long list of sports includes baseball, basketball, golf, roller hockey, tennis, lacrosse, gymnastics, wrestling, karate, sailing, swimming, waterskiing, canoes and row boats, fishing, fitness and weight training and track and field.
Ten of the camps coaches have been there for more than 20 years. Joel Schwartz, a professional instructor in Florida, has taught golf at the KSA camp for 29 years.
Chris Cummings has been teaching basketball at the camp for years. He graduated from Monticello High School and went on to enjoy a 20-year professional basketball career in Germany, where he is now a coach.
White came to the camp in 1980 after attending Denison University in Ohio. He met his wife, Caroline, at the camp in 1984, when she was a camp counselor. They married in 1989 while he was the director of the camps basketball program. Shortly thereafter, he became involved on the administrative level. Caroline is now the head of the girls camp.
White said the combination of two professional camps such as these has never been done before.
Were really looking forward to our summer this year, he said. It will be nostalgic in some ways, but were looking forward to moving to the new camp next year, which will be a state of the art facility.
The new KSA property will be about five times bigger than the current 65-acre parcel. However, White noted that most of that land will not be used.
The new site will feature five outdoor basketball courts, a fieldhouse with three indoor courts, and three soccer/lacrosse fields. Two baseball fields, a fitness center, and a sand volleyball court are some other highlights. The weight training and fitness center will feature a new elliptical machine. White noted that the elliptical machine is a cardiovascular machine that has very little impact on the knees.
In order to retain a sense of the old place, the new facilities will be built in the image of those at the current KSA camp.
Just like todays new replica baseball parks, White said.