The attached PDF file is a wealth of information about summer events for the whole family that are going on in Pottstown this summer.

Click to access POTTSTOWN-SUMMER-HAPPENINGS-2016x.pdf

It’s Spring!‏ At the Althouse Arboretum

Volunteer Day!  We need YOU!

It’s time to start creating our community center! The basement has been cleared out, beams added, April 23rd we’ll be installing stud walls. We can use people with some “construction” experience to help.  We will also be painting, working on trails, clearing areas for our “playground features”,  and more…. something for everyone! Please come!

Saturday, April 23rd, starting at 9am
We’ll be there all day.
Picnic lunch provided!

Rain date:  Sunday, 24th

We have some but can use more if you’d like to bring them!
If you’re willing to work on the house:  Nail gun, electric saw, tools in general
Outside work:  Need shovels, rakes, clippers
Painting:  Bring extra brushes, extension roller, scraper
Everyone:  Work Gloves!

Friends of the Arboretum

2015-01-19 07.05.30Monday, May 2nd, 7pm
2019 Mimosa Lane
(around the corner from the Arboretum, off Snyder Road)

So much going on! Find out what’s happening, add your ideas!

(Here’s more about the Friends)

And the Winner Is…

Watch for your chance to participate in making this a model of native plants and education.

Summer Camp

Time to sign up for Summer Camp! Three choices this year: Water Week, Wildlife Week and Outdoor Science Week. Discount when you sign up for all three!


GreenAllies News

  • GreenAllies received a grant to complete the Arboretum’s Master Plan including a Low Ropes Course and a Children’s Forest Trail.  Work will begin this spring and continue throughout 2016.
  •  Franklin Institute will provide the funding for GreenAllies to run a Climate Change Action Summit for college students at the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge. College volunteers will be trained in climate action projects for middle and high school students for the purpose of serving as mentors during the upcoming school year.  The goal is to inspire student environmental projects across the region.
  • Emerald Ash Borer:  The invasive insect is forcing the township to cut down all the ash trees near trails and other “targets” throughout the township. Althouse Arboretum has over 200 ash trees on its property.  Plans are being formulated to cut some trees immediately; monitor and cut other ash trees when needed in the future; and to SAVE some of the most important trees through chemical treatment.  Looking for supporters to sponsor a tree and help fund the chemical treatment to SAVE THE TREES.


Picture 577Pottstown, PA​ — Steel River Playhouse is now accepting enrollment for the Spring term which includes private study in guitar, piano, voice, trumpet and acting, along with group classes in acting, performance, improvisation and much more.

Steel River’s spring term begins on Monday, March 28​. Classes for the Spring include four different acting classes geared towards different age groups, Improvisation, Group Vocal Study (for young performers who are not quite ready for solo study), Broadway Dance Styles, and the popular Flights of Fancy program for young actors, where students create an original show for parents. Several new classes have been added for Spring for Pre­K to 12th grade and adults! Private lessons are also available in piano, voice, guitar, trumpet and acting.

A new addition to the program is a group class for guitar players of all skill levels called Guitar Calisthenics ​with instructor Russ Ferrara. Students may try the class for free with advanced sign up by March 28, for up to three classes!

Students may join Ferrara on Thursday, March 31, April 7, and 14 at 6 p.m. for a one-hour class allows students to work on guitar in a group class setting. Classes will only run with advanced sign up, so make sure to reserve your spot in the class. The class will continue for nine weeks, and students will need to enroll to continue in the class after the three free sessions.

Students may also enroll for Spring workshop productions of DRACULA (classical workshop for dramatic actors), CINDERELLA (musical workshop for young performers) and Broadway Cabaret workshop​, all planned for Spring Semester. Workshop productions that culminate in performance are offered ALL year this year in the education department. Workshops offer acting lessons for the first part of class, and then use those lessons to work on rehearsing a fully staged production. The productions go up at the end of class on the black box main stage of the Steel River Playhouse.

Summer camp enrollment has also begun, ​ and students can register for three different two­ week camps. The first camp for singers and actors has a Vaudeville theme, and runs from July 11 to July 22. The second two-week camp runs from July 25 to August 8, and is a musical theater camp presenting Arabian Nights (a musical), and the final camp focuses on acting and the creation of original one acts. The One Act camp runs August 8 to 19. Camps run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily (with option for half day camp for younger students). Before and after camp is also available. Each camp also culminates in a performance for parents, and includes workshops in specialty skills that will be used in that performance, such as juggling, Broadway dance styles and more.

Steel River Playhouse employs performance educators who are regionally and nationally renowned in their fields. All are trained in their fields with many holding advanced degrees. The facility is also renowned as one of the highest rated theatrical venues in PA, featuring state of the art performance spaces, studios, classroom space, sound reinforcement equipment and seating, full set, costume and prop shops as well as the best green room of any theater in the area. Steel River’s goal is to provide the highest possible educational experience for students and participants in the Tri­County area, focused on every level of training from beginner to expert!

About Steel River Playhouse: ​­Steel River Playhouse is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable education and performance facility that seeks to strengthen community, inspire creative exploration, educate, and entertain, through the presentation of quality performing arts events and education for diverse audiences. Designated as a “gateway” performing arts center, Steel River provides affordable, high quality performances, comprehensive educational offerings, and enriching volunteer opportunities in all aspects of theatre arts. Students and volunteers of all ages and backgrounds are encouraged to explore and grow their skills by working side ­by­ side with professional instructors, performers, directors, and designers.

Forensic Sciences Summer Camp Returns To Chestnut Hill College

The Forensic Sciences Summer Camp, directed by Joe Kulkosky, Ph.D., chair of the College’s biology department, will be once again offering the unique opportunity to students grades 5-12, to participate in a week-long summer camp with immersion into the Forensic Sciences. Presented during the months of July and August, the camp will be offered in two one-week sessions.

The Forensics Sciences camp will focus its curriculum on the collection and analysis of crime scene evidence such as serology, toxicology, entomology, odontology and trace evidence. It will also provide students with hands-on experience in several techniques used by professionals who conduct criminal investigations such as crime scene investigation, DNA typing, fingerprint classification, fabric and shoe print pattern comparisons and blood type testing.

High school students can register for the one-week session from July 13-17. Middle school students can register for the one-week session from August 3-7. The camp runs daily from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The fee for each session is $250 for high school students and $200 for middle school students. The fee must be received with the completed registration form in advance and registration is first come, first serve with each camp capped at 16 students.

The registration form for the Forensics Sciences camp can be found here.

Contact Dr. Kulkosky at or 215.327.3340 with any additional questions.

Steel River Playhouse Summer Camp 2015

Picture 577See how the arts can enrich your child’s world, through skill building, performing and working creatively and collaboratively with others.

*Each session taught by our professional staff

*Sessions specially designed for Elementary, Middle and High School Ages

*Choice of AM or full-day activities for elementary school students.

*Financial Aid available for families in need of assistance (click for application)

*… and a Steel River Summer Camp t-shirt included with camp tuition!

Enroll Now!

Three separate sessions to fit your family’s summer schedule:

  •  Session 1: July 6-17
  • Session 2: July 20-31
  • Session 3: August 3-14

SRP summer camp 2015 registration form

Camp 2015 Program Guide

More information:

Olivet Boys & Girls Club Summer Camp

June 16th through August 8th
Richard J. Ricketts Community Center, 640 Beech Street, Pottstown, PA  19464

Monday – Friday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
Breakfast & Lunch

Ages 6 to 14 (volunteer opportunities available for youth older than 14)
(weekly fee is income-based – $25 or $50 – proof of income is required)

Subsidized families – call your case manager

Olivet Boys & Girls Club (484) 945-1020, Janice Burgess, Unit Director

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Muhlenberg College’s Camp Imagine Performing Arts Camp For Middle Schoolers Nurtures A Passion For The Arts

Logo of Muhlenberg College

Logo of Muhlenberg College (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Allentown, PA — This summer, Muhlenberg College’s Camp Imagine program celebrates its 16th year of educating and enriching the lives of the Lehigh Valley’s middle school students. Founded in 1999 the program provides young people in grades 6-8 with a month-long performing arts experience, which is free for students of the Allentown School District.

The program runs June 30 through July 25, Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

“Camp Imagine provides invaluable opportunities to nurture a passion for the performing arts,” says the program’s education manager, Lindsay Quinn. “It also builds real-life interpersonal and expressive skills, which help students in all areas of their lives.”

Participants in 2013 said that the program helped them “to take risks and ask questions,” “to be confident and be loud,” and “to not be afraid to show my art.”

Camp Imagine will culminate in a free showcase performance for family and friends at the conclusion of the four weeks, on Saturday, July 26. Participants will be guided through creative arts experiences in the performing arts by talented teams of Muhlenberg College students and alumni. These teaching artists are experienced, professionally trained and supervised.

Camp Imagine students will explore their talents in acting, music, and dance in a safe and open environment, rotating through classes in drama, movement, and vocal expression. They will also get to work with Muhlenberg alumni and students to create a dynamic ensemble environment with their peers.

Camp Imagine meets 9:30 to 12:30 a.m, Monday through Friday, June 30 through July 25. There is no session on Friday, July 4. A lunch is provided for free to all participants, and free bus transportation is provided from all four Allentown School District middle schools. The camp is free for all students who attended Allentown School District middle schools in the 2013-2014 school year. For non-ASD students, tuition is $395; however, partial and full need-based scholarships are available.

Students must register to participate. Applications are available online at, and by request at or 484-664-3693. Students should enroll by June 1 to ensure availability.

The programs are made possible by underwriting support from Embassy Bank, Enterprise Car Rentals, Highmark Blue Cross, Lehigh Valley Educators Credit Union, The Foundation for Allentown City Schools, and individual donors.

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The 10th Annual Performing Arts Summer Camp At Steel River Playhouse

Picture 577Summer Camp 2013

Begin planning today for Summer 2013!

The 10th annual Performing Arts Summer Camp for Grades 1 to 12
Three Sessions (Take 1, 2 or all 3)
  • July 8th – 19th
  • July 22nd – August 2nd
  • August 5th – August 16th

For detailed information about Summer Camp 2013, CLICK HERE.

To register for Summer Camp 2013, CLICK HERE. 

To apply for Counselor in Training for Summer Camp 2013, CLICK HERE.

Month-Long Performing Arts Camps At Muhlenberg Give Young People A Taste Of The Stage At Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre

Allentown, Pa.  — Every summer, Muhlenberg College plays host to dozens of young performers, participants in two month-long arts education programs that are part of the Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre program. Covering grades 6 to 12, the Camp Imagine and Performing Arts Workshop programs run July 2-27, and enrollment is still available in both.

Camp Imagine, now in its 14th year, gives middle schoolers a daily experience in drama, vocal expression and movement. About 60 participants rotate through the three activities, learning from Muhlenberg College students and alumni — and from each other. At the end of the four-week session, the ensemble presents a world premiere showcase performance, developed over the course of the program.

Founded in 1999 as a program to supplement the arts curriculum in the Allentown School District, Camp Imagine was originally conducted on site at Harrison-Morton Middle School. The camp has since both expanded and moved to the state-of-the-art performance facilities on the Muhlenberg Campus.

“We found that one of the most important aspects of the program was giving the students a chance to experience the college campus environment,” says Charles Richter, a Muhlenberg theater professor who helped found Camp Imagine. “Many have gone on to study the arts in college — and study other things in college — in part because they came to Camp Imagine.”

Camp Imagine remains free to Allentown School District students, and many other students benefit from full and partial need-based scholarships. The program participates in the District’s free lunch program, and provides free daily busing to and from all four ASD middle schools.

Camp Imagine runs 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. daily, July 2-27, and a showcase on Saturday, July 28, at 10 a.m.

Camp Imagine’s sister program, the Performing Arts Workshop, is now in its fifth year. The Workshop gives high school students — many of them alumni of Camp Imagine — a chance to extend their performance training through intensive workshop performances taught by professional performers, as well as master classes with Muhlenberg faculty members.

The Workshop runs 1:30 to 4:30 daily, July 2-27, with a showcase Friday, July 27, at 7 p.m.

“The objective of both programs is to use the arts as a means of helping young people to nurture their passions and enhance their social and communication skills,” Richter says. “And also to build self-esteem, concentration, and confidence — all of which help them in the performing arts, in school, and in life.”

And it’s working. Parents of participants consistently report that their children are more independent, more self-confident, better able to focus on tasks, and better at cooperating and collaborating within their families.

“The best thing was that my child, who is usually negative, was positive, upbeat and excited,” wrote one parent. “He came home one day and said, ‘I asked my teacher if I could do this a certain way. The teacher said that not only could I be loud, silly and different, but that they encouraged me to be! It’s the first time that everything I do at school is right. There is no one saying, Don’t! Stop! Wrong!’ This camp was a very positive experience in my child’s life and for our family.”

Enrollment is still available in both the Camp Imagine and Performing Arts Workshop programs. Tuition for Camp Imagine is $365 for non-Allentown School District students. Tuition for the Workshop is $465. A limited number of full and partial scholarships are available for both programs, based on financial need.

More information and enrollment forms are available online at, or by calling 484-664-3693.

Camp Wanna-Be Fit: Outdoor Summer Camp

Camp Wanna-Be Fit

Outdoor Summer Camp Fun!

Youth Ages 7 to 10

June 20 through August 26, 2011

9 AM – 3:30 PM Monday through Friday

Fernbrook Access Park in North Coventry

 Children may be dropped off at the YWCA between 6:30 and 8:15 AM. 

At 8:30 AM, a bus will transport the staff and children to the park for the day, returning to the YWCA at 3:45 PM. 

Children can be picked up anytime from 4 PM to 6 PM.

Rate:  $155 weekly

Subsidized Families Welcome!

Call YWCA at 610-323-1888 to Register


Pottstown Grad Too Good For Cap And Gown? Part II

In a follow-up to Evan Brandt’s excellent article about Pottstown High School senior Shawn Szydlowski, this Roy’s Rants exclusive uncovers another injustice against a Pottstown High School senior without the happy ending.

Like fellow classmate Shawn Szydlowski, Paige Patton is a graduating senior at Pottstown High School.  Paige Patton was a camp counselor at the Muscular Dystrophy Association Variety Club camp during June of 2009.  However, unlike Shawn Szydlowski, Paige Patton tried working with the camp rather than the school district to resolve the scheduling conflicts between school and camp activities.

PHS Graduation and Baccalaureate rehearsals were June 10th and June 11th with graduation scheduled for June 14th.  Camp orientation was scheduled for June 10th and 11th with camp running the week of June 12th through June 19th at the Variety Club’s Worcester Township site.

Graduating seniors were told if they missed practice, they could not walk for graduation.  Paige took this warning seriously so she and her family tried contacting the MDA Camp Coordinator to work something out but their calls were not returned.  Paige subsequently received a letter from the MDA stating her services as a camp counselor were not needed this year.

Paige formed a special bond with her camper last year.  The camper and her family specifically requested Paige again for this year!  Paige will also miss the camp graduation of another friend she made last summer because she is not allowed to attend camp.

Paige’s involvement with the MDA did not end with camp.  Paige and her family made four trips from Pottstown to the MDA Broomall Office and helped stuff 2500 fundraising envelopes.  Paige also held her own fundraiser at PHS.  She received permission to miss class so she could sit in the hall and sell shamrocks for $1.00.  Two gift baskets were made up and raffled off based on the shamrock sales.  For each shamrock purchase, the buyer received a ticket(s) that were entered into a raffle.  The winners received the gift baskets.  Paige and her family then made another trip to the MDA’s Broomall office to drop off the $125.00 she raised.

Paige will be attending Montgomery County Community College, West Campus this fall where she will begin studying to become a special education teacher.  The experience working with Muscular Dystrophy campers is related to what she will be studying in college.  It is a shame that someone who worked so hard to support the Muscular Dystrophy Association had to make a choice between graduation and volunteering as a camp counselor.  Furthermore, to be dismissed without even a return phone call and a curt letter is shameful.

I would suspect people are not lining up to be camp counselors for disabled children.  The school district and the camp need to be more flexible when working with students who are trying to give of themselves to help others.  No student should have to make the choice these two young women were faced with.  Sadly, Paige’s story does not have the happy ending that Shawn’s does.

Is this the kind of lesson we want to teach our young people?  If we try and “pay it forward” we get slapped in the face.  At the very least this young lady deserves an apology for the treatment she received from the camp and from the school district for making her follow their stringent rules.  The inflexibility of these two entities cost Paige the opportunity to be a camp counselor and denied that disabled camper the chance to spend another week with someone she and her family specifically requested.

Shame, shame, shame.