​Herkimer Diamond Mines Press Releases

WINDMILL LODGE GRAND OPENING
August 9, 2017

Herkimer - The Herkimer Diamond Mines KOA Resort celebrated the Grand Opening of their newest edutainment lodge, the Windmill Lodge.  A ribbon cutting ceremony was held where campers from Connecticut and former MLB player Tommy John cut the ribbon.


At the KOA, an edutainment lodge is one that provides education in an entertaining manner.  The Windmill Lodge educates consumers on one type of alternative energy.  The windmill transfers raw kinetic energy from the wind into usable energy. 

“We are excited to offer yet another lodge that educates consumers on alternative energy.  With this opening ceremony, we are offering our largest lodge, complete with sleeping arrangements for eight.  With three separate areas, we are able to accommodate a single family to three generations in one lodge,” says Dr. Renee Scialdo Shevat, President and Owner.  Daniels Woodland, Inc., California, assisted in both the design and engineering of the project, with Cavco Industries, Arizona, assisting in both the architectural and construction phases of the project 

The Windmill Lodge has three blades and is capable of producing 600 watts or 24V of energy. Inside the windmill’s core there is a generator. This generator transforms that raw kinetic wind energy into usable energy while the windmill’s blades are turning. This energy becomes stored in large battery packs and can be accessed at a later time. These energy packs are connected to four 5V USB outlets for consumers’ usage.


The USB charging outlets are simple and easy to use: a consumer plugs in a device’s charging cord and will have access to instant energy. These outlets can charge a various amount of electrical devices, including cell phones. If a consumer is curious on how much energy the windmill is currently collecting there is a voltage reader along the side of the windmill’s tower.


The lodge includes a queen bed, two sets of single bunk beds, sleeper sofa, and a full bathroom.  As with all of the Resort’s lodges, linens, cookware, and dishware are provided.  Included in the kitchen is a microwave, refrigerator, sink, coffee maker, rangetop, and toaster.  Cable, heat and A/C are all a part of the lodge amenities.

Edutainment lodges are plentiful at the Resort. Three Solar Powered Lodges, an Astronomy Lodge, a Mining Themed Treehouse, and a Robotics Themed Lodge with two drones are also frequently occupied by many customers.  Other special themes including a Paleontological Dig, The History of Dinosaurs, Fish in the West Canada Creek (very much known for its trout and bass) and New York State Birds have also engaged campers of all ages.

The Herkimer Diamond Mines KOA Resort is open from April 15 to November 1. For reservations call 1-800- 562-0897 or on-line at www.herkimerdiamond.com.

Herkimer Diamonds are beautiful double-terminated quartz crystals found in Herkimer, New York.  Incredibly, these phenomenal gemstones are close to five hundred million years old.  The crystals are magnificent works of nature, found in the rock, having a diamond-like geometrical shape.  Thus, the name recognition of “Herkimer Diamonds”.

Miners’ Table Resort Pizzeria and Chophouse is a mine to table restaurant at the Resort.  As Herkimer Diamond Miners discover a grouping of diamonds in a vug -or pocket- they hit what is called the “Miners’ Table”.  It’s usually a place where they are greeted by Mother Nature’s many great finds.  And, although one won’t discover diamonds at their table, they will experience some superb culinary finds.  Miners’ Table uses a woodfired oven, providing a unique experience, and offers a variety of beers and spirits that use Herkimer Diamonds in their brewing and distilling process.

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20TH ANNUAL BOY SCOUT MERIT BADGE JAMBOREE
October 24, 2016

Herkimer, NY - The Herkimer Diamond Mines and KOA Resort have been advocates and supporters for youth education for many years. This year marks the 105 th Anniversary for the Boy Scouts of America, which has created a foundation of leadership, service and community for millions of American youths. The Herkimer Diamond Mines hosted their 20 th annual Boy Scout Geology Merit Badge Weekend this past weekend where they offered the Geology Merit Badge as well as the Mining in Society Merit Badge.

Dr. Renee’ Scialdo Shevat, President and Owner of the Herkimer Diamond Mines, Inc. stated “We are proud that the Herkimer Diamond Mines KOA Resort can host the Annual Boy Scout Jamboree. Our environment from mother nature is perfect to offer educational opportunities for scouts.”

Over 40 troops participated in the Jamboree Weekend with participants from NY State, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania. During this event, each Boy Scout participated in a series of educational activities, which included several modules: Mining Experience; Paleontology; Sustainable Energy Sources; Earth Processes; Earth Materials and Water Pollution.

Over 5 troops were involved in a second badge offered. The second badge, Mining in Society, focused on Minerology, Mining Enterprises and Resources, Potential Hazards, Commercial Mining, and Economic Uses.
“Scouting has always been about having fun and learning. This weekend, scouts had the opportunity to do both while meetings boys from many different states,” said Steven McEwan, Scout Executive and CEO of the Leatherstocking Council.

Upon successful completion, scouts received their Merit Badge. Highly skilled educators included: Mike Whitton, Tina Bickerstaff, Joani Hughes, Renee Scialdo Shevat, Sam Salamone, Aurore LaVine, Amanda Young, Hannah Blanchard, Jenna Bunce, Jeff Voorhees, Jordan McDaniel, Ronald Caringi and Austin Davis.

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MULTIPLE GRAND OPENINGS AT HERKIMER DIAMOND MINES KOA RESORT
June 15, 2016

Herkimer –The Herkimer Diamond Mines KOA Resort will be celebrating their Grand Reopening at 4:00pm on Friday, June 17. The Herkimer Diamond Mines KOA Resort has always been a resort by their own standards.  Now, they will be one of 7 out of 485 parks in the KOA Franchise that has the distinct honor of becoming a KOA recognized Resort. “KOA Resort status is equivalent to ‘destination park,’” said Dr. Renee Scialdo Shevat, President and Owner, Herkimer Diamond Mines KOA Resort. “We have all of the amenities to attract existing and new customers to stay with us for a more extended period of time.”

The Herkimer Diamond Mines KOA Resort will also be hosting a Grand Opening for their newest edutainment
lodge. "Whether customers are first time miners or tried and true regulars, they are bound to learn more about mining in America while staying in a very special, authentic tree house," said Shevat. Daniels Woodland, Paso Robler, California, assisted in both the architectural and construction phases of the project. Made with
California redwoods, the lodge sleeps four comfortably in a memorable miners setting with hand hammered
copper sinks to redwood kitchen chairs to dozens of old mining tools and decorations.

Following the reveal of the new lodge, across the street will be the Grand Opening of Miners’ Table. Miners’
Table is a pizzeria and chophouse focused on both Farm to Table and Mine to Table dining. While Farm to
Table dining focuses on the culinary aspects, Mine to Table focuses on the spirits in the restaurant. Herkimer
Diamonds are used to filter and distill a variety of spirits and the restaurant will be offering specialty drinks
featuring the spirits. At 5:00pm there will be a ribbon cutting, champagne, strawberries, vodka tasting, and
pizza tasting. Following the opening will be a Father’s Day Steak Bake from 6:00pm-10:00pm Friday and
5:00pm-10:00pm Saturday. Live music from Oscar Stivala Jazz Quartet from 5:00pm-9:00pm and fireworks at
9:30pm. The restaurant will be open seven days a week, from 5:00pm – 9:00pm until December 31, 2016 for
the season.

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HOME SCHOOL OUTING AT HERKIMER DIAMOND MINES
June 7, 2016

Herkimer, NY- This past Monday the Herkimer Diamond Mines KOA Resort hosted their ninth annual Home School Outing. Attendees from all over the Northeast participated in the Outing. Families traveled from Massachusetts, Connecticut as well as throughout the New York State. Participants were able to engage in a variety of activities while also learning about the science behind each task.

The day started off with a brief introduction to geology, which was facilitated by the owner, Dr. Renee Scialdo
Shevat.  Educators included, Cosimo Tangorra, Sam Salamone, Mel Milewski and Jeff Vorhees.

Hands on learning involved topics in geology, paleontology, gemology, sustainability, ecology, alternative
energy and robotics. By utilizing the Herkimer Diamond Mines, the various KOA science based lodges, the
organic gardens, and the West Canada Creek, significant educational engagement took place.

The day came to a close with an awards ceremony in the Diamond Mines Museum where participants were
given various award such as Future Engineer, Eager Excavator, Exceptional Leader and Most Inquisitive.

“At the Herkimer Diamond Mines KOA Resort we place the highest value on education,” said Dr. Shevat. “It is
always a pleasure to have home schooled children come together to team approach science.”said Dr.  Renee Scialdo Shevat.

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19th ANNUAL BOY SCOUT MERIT BADGE JAMBOREE
October 27, 2015

Herkimer, NY - The Herkimer Diamond Mines, Inc. hosted their 19th annual Boy Scout Geology Merit Badge Weekend October 23rd through 25th.  The Herkimer Diamond Mines and KOA Resort has been an advocate and supporter for youth education for many years.  This year marks the 104th
Anniversary for the Boy Scouts of America, which has created a foundation of leadership, service and community for millions of American youths.

There were over 50 troops in attendance at the Jamboree Weekend with participants from NY State, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania. The opening ceremony commenced at 8:00am with the assistance of Assemblyman Marc Butler along with a flag ceremony by Troop 151 from Leominster, MA.  During this event, each Boy Scout participated in a series of educational activities, which included several modules:  Mining Experience; Paleontology & Gemology; Sustainable Energy Sources and Robotics; Earth Processes; Earth Materials and Water Cycle, Conservation and Pollution. In the educational modules a demonstration of specifics from the KOA’s Solar Lodges, Astronomy Lodge and Robotics Lodge were offered.  Upon successful completion, hundreds of scouts received their Geology Merit Badge.   Highly skilled educators included: Mike Whitton, Earth Science teacher at Herkimer High School, Tina Bickerstaff, Sr. Vice President at O’Brien and Gere Engineers, Pat Becher, Executive Director at Mohawk Valley Water Authority, Renee Scialdo Shevat, President and Owner of the Herkimer Diamond Mines and KOA Resort along with Sam Salamone,
Aurore LaVine, Amanda Young, Hannah Blanchard, Mike Zipko, Jeff Voorhees, Jordan McDaniel and Caitlin Gannon.

“The Scouting Program at Herkimer went above and beyond,” said Paul Koch of Delmar, NY. “The Scouts truly enjoyed their stay.” “The Herkimer Diamond Mines and KOA Resort prides ourselves on educating others in the study of sciences and we have already begun planning for a very special 20th year celebration in 2016,” said Dr.  Renee Scialdo Shevat.

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OVER 250 PARTICIPANTS CELEBRATE 12TH ANNUAL GIRL SCOUT WEEKEND AT HERKIMER DIAMOND MINES AND KOA RESORT
September 29, 2015

The Herkimer Diamond Mines and KOA Resort hosted its 12th Annual Girl Scout Weekend on Friday, September 25th through Sunday, September 27th, 2015.  The weekend included a mining experience along with various science themed educational modules.  Throughout the day scouts learned about mining, lapidary science, paleontology, sustainability, alternative energy and water conservation. 

The morning started early with an introduction to geology, which was facilitated by Dr. Renee Scialdo Shevat.  Dr. Shevat, head educator and Owner of Herkimer Diamond Mines, Inc., believes that, “Here at the Herkimer Diamond Mines we focus on providing a fun and educational environment.  We believe in continuous learning and that learning does not only have to take place in a classroom, but wherever you go.”

Following their introduction girls broke into groups for the many activities that awaited them.  Scouts were rotated throughout the property to learn about the many aspects of geology.  “We drove 6 hours to attend the Girl Scout Geology Weekend at Herkimer Diamond Mines.  It was well worth the drive.  The Saturday Geology Program was very educational and the Herkimer Diamond KOA has an excellent staff,” said Marjorie Beardslee, Leader of North East Ohio Troop 77139. 

Staff educators for the weekend included Jeff Voorheese, Jordan McDaniel, Aurore LaVine, Tori Kenney, Sam Salamone, Amanda Young, Mel Milewski, Michael Milewski, Cliff LeMoine, Renee Shevat, Mike Zipko and Cait Gannon.
 
Twenty-two troops throughout New York State and out of state participated in the event.

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HERE COMES THE SUN WITH HERKIMER DIAMONDS
September 8, 2015

The Herkimer Diamond Mines, Inc. has partnered with designer, Efva Attling, and Apple Corporation to offer a line of jewelry inspired by legendary Beatles songs.  “Here Comes the Sun”, “From Me to You”, “Two of Us”, and “It’s Only Love” represent part of the initial offering in both sterling silver and gold bracelets and necklaces.  Each piece of jewelry depicts a verbal message and incorporates the world famous Herkimer Diamond.

Dr. Renee Scialdo Shevat, owner and president of Herkimer Diamond Mines, Inc., Efva Attling, a leading jewelry designer in Sweden and Paul Cole, Apple Corps. Limited greeted over two hundred and fifty business leaders in Stockholm, Sweden this past weekend to debut the new line.  Participants attended from England, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and New York.  The event included a feature film of the Herkimer Diamond Mines, Inc., remarks from Dr. Shevat, Ms. Attling and Mr. Cole along with musical performances from leading Scandinavian artists.

Efva Attling is recognized for her work as a jewelry designer, model, clothing designer, her music and her magazine industry.  She was spotted by Eileen Ford at the age of seventeen and a twelve year modeling career began.  Through the years she designed clothes for Levi’s and H&M.  She started a band called ‘The X Models’ and had hit ballads in the 1980s that Efva composed.  In 1996, Efva returned to where she once started in the southern part of central Stockholm and opened her first jewelry shop.  Today, the company has seven flagship Efva Attling stores (one in NYC) with the remaining throughout Scandinavian countries and works with over two hundred retailers worldwide. 

“I put strong expressions in my pieces of jewelry because I want to boost people with my jewelry and
that’s when they become conversation pieces.  You can say that some of the statement pieces are reflections of life.  I love the Beatles songs and lyrics and I adore the Herkimer Diamonds.  Together, they represent magic,” she stated to the group of participants in Stockholm.

Herkimer Diamonds are world famous because it is the only crystal in the world that has a 7.5 in hardness and is the only crystal that mother nature has already faceted by giving it eighteen faces or facets and double terminated points.  It is also the clearest and the oldest crystal known to mankind.  They can only be found in Herkimer County and there are sought after by many for jewelry, collection and research.  In addition to two flagship stores, Herkimer Diamonds are available in hundreds of stores worldwide.

“It is with honor that we share our local gem in such an unusual and special collection.  Working with Efva and with Apple has been inspiring and exciting.  We are very proud to showcase the world famous Herkimer Diamond with some of the world’s favorite music, treasured musicians and legendary lyrics,” Dr. Shevat shared with the participants in Stockholm.

Mr. Cole indicated that designer Attling captured the magic of the Herkimer Diamond in her exquisite line and that hopefully the line will continue to expand with additional songs.  “It is truly a unique collection,” stated Cole.

 The collection will be available globally and will be offered for the Holidays by the Herkimer Diamond Mines at the Gems Along the Mohawk location located in Herkimer, NY.

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23rd ANNUAL ROCK AND GEM CAMP COMES TO A CLOSE
July 27, 2015

Herkimer, NY – The 23rd annual Herkimer Diamond Mines Rock and Gem Camp came to a close this past Thursday night with their awards ceremony. The Rock and Gem Camp is designed to provide quality instruction and science related fun in a safe environment to children ages 6 to 13. The Herkimer Diamond Mines Resort is an ideal setting for this science experience.

“Our staff includes geologists, gemologists, environmental geologists, lapidary artists, professional miners, certified life guards, water safety instructors, counselors in training and trained counselors,” stated Dr. Renee Scialdo Shevat, President of the Herkimer Diamond Mines, Inc. These trained instructors and counselors serve to create educational and recreational opportunities. The trained staff includes Caitlin Gannon, Whitesboro, NY, Alexa Barber, Cortland, NY, Nicole Seaver, Frankfort, NY, Ali Bamonto, Farmington, NY, Blair MacLeoud, Ithaca, NY, Joshua Giddings, Keeseville, NY, Jenna Bunce, Dolgeville, NY, Cosimo Tangorra, Herkimer, NY, Mary Kate Moylan, Barneveld, NY, Hannah Bouchard, Poland, NY, Ryan Schell, Mohawk, NY, Adam Salamone, Frankfort, NY, Alex McKenzie, Huntington, NY, John Dodge, Middleville, NY (serving as the camp’s EMT) and Merrick MacDonald, Newport, NY (serving as the Water Safety Instructor).

Children explored topics including geology, gemology, paleontology, hydrology, astronomy, robotics, biology, earth science, physics, chemistry, sustainability, water cycle, solar power and other alternate energy sources.  All modules include fun, interactive, and memorable activities. New this year was an emphasis on robotics with drones and the Herkimer Diamond Mines “Diamondcopters.”

“As adults we need to remind ourselves of the importance to integrate sciences for children and to do so in an environment that generates enthusiasm, creativity, quality thinking, and interactive fun,” states Dr. Shevat. “At the Herkimer Diamond Mines, Inc. we have taken this shared community responsibility seriously.”

The camp operates each year during two weeks in July and occupies the grounds of the Herkimer Diamond Mines and KOA Resort in Herkimer, the site of the world famous Herkimer Diamonds, the West Canada Creek, and an award winning KOA Kampground. Rock and Gem Camp encourages 100 campers each week to explore risk taking and acquire new learning experiences in an effort to enhance campers’ self-esteem. This year, participants were from Herkimer, Mohawk, Ilion, Frankfort, Middleville, Fairfield, Little Falls, Newport, Poland, Dolgeville, Holland Patent, Remsen, Boonville, Old Forge, Watertown, Westernville, Rome, Marcy, Utica, Clinton, Yorkville, New Hartford, Salisbury Center, Fort Plain, Bridgewater, St. Johnsville, Cobleskill, Jordanville, Endicott, Orchard Park, Cherry Valley, Cold Brook, Van Hornesville, Gardner, Richfield Springs, Canajoharie, Hagaman, Endwell, and Rochester, all in New York State.  Out of state campers were from Lancaster, MA and Mystic, CT.

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HOME SCHOOL OUTING AT HERKIMER DIAMOND MINES
June 3, 2015


This past Monday the Herkimer Diamond Mines KOA Resort hosted their eighth annual Home School Outing. Over 70 students all over the Northeast could be found breaking rocks and learning all about the Herkimer quartz crystal.  Participants traveled from Vermont, Connecticut, Pennsylvania as well as throughout the New York State. Students were able to participate in a variety of activities while also learning about the science behind each task.

The day started off with a brief introduction to geology, which was facilitated by the owner, Dr. Renee Scialdo Shevat.  Following a morning spent prospecting in the mines, participants jumped right into many of the educational events planned for the balance of the day.

Students were able to get involved with some hands on learning while being instructed about Geology, Paleontology, and Gemology.  After analyzing their geologic finds the participants learned jewelry making, cabachoning, faceting, and crystal formation.  Participants then learned about sustainability, ecology, astronomy, robotics and solar energy by touring the organic gardens, solar astronomy, and robotic lodges, and cray fishing in the West Canada Creek at the KOA Park.

The day came to a close with an awards ceremony in the Diamond Mines Museum where participants were given various award such as Eager Engineer, Role Model and the Mega Miner.

“We strongly believe in the use of interdisciplinary science based modules, which are included in all of the educational programs,” said Dr. Shevat. “Diamonds are valuable, and the Herkimer Diamond has been increasing in economic value for the past 34 years.   However, as valuable as these diamonds are, I place the highest value on education.  It is always a pleasure to have home schooled children come together to team approach science.”

Students had a fun filled day and many are eager to return again next year, with some planning on returning even sooner!

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HERKIMER DIAMOND MINES AND KOA CAMPGROUND AWARDED 2015 TRIPADVISOR CERTIFICATE OF EXCELLENCE
Recognized as a Top Performing Herkimer Diamond Mines and KOA Campground as Reviewed by Travelers on the World’s Largest Travel Site
May 26, 2015

Herkimer Diamond Mines and KOA Campground today announced that it has received a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence award. Now in its fifth year, the award celebrates excellence in hospitality and is given only to establishments that consistently achieve great traveler reviews on TripAdvisor. Certificate of Excellence winners include accommodations, eateries and attractions located all over the world that have continually delivered a superior customer experience.  

When selecting Certificate of Excellence winners, TripAdvisor uses a proprietary algorithm to determine the honorees that takes into account the quality, quantity and recency of reviews and opinions submitted by travelers on TripAdvisor over a 12-month period as well as business’s tenure and ranking on the Popularity Index on the site.  To qualify, a business must maintain an overall TripAdvisor bubble rating of at least four out of five, have a minimum number of reviews and must have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months. 

“Winning the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence is a true source of pride for the entire team at Herkimer Diamond Mines and KOA Campground and we’d like to thank all of our past guests who took the time to complete a review on TripAdvisor,” said Renee Scialdo Shevat, President and Owner. “There is no greater seal of approval than being recognized by one’s customers. With the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence based on customer reviews, the accolade is a remarkable vote of confidence to our business and our continued commitment to excellence.”

"TripAdvisor is pleased to honor exceptional hospitality businesses that have received consistent praise and recognition by travelers on the site,” said Marc Charron President, TripAdvisor for Business. “By putting a spotlight on businesses that are focused on delivering great service to customers, TripAdvisor not only helps drive increasing hospitality standards around the world, it also gives businesses both large and small the ability to shine and stand out from the competition.”

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CORNELL UNIVERSITY 4-H CONSERVATION DAY AT HERKIMER DIAMOND MINES KOA
May 21, 2015


The Herkimer Diamond Mines KOA was again the host for the Cornell University Cooperative Extension 4-H Conservation Day Program.  There were 667 students from 11 students participating in the event.  Many organizations participated in the education including NYS DEC Forest Rangers, NYS Office of Fire Prevention, Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste, Herkimer Diamond Mines and West Canada Paddlers.  Shown are some students learning from the NYS DEC Police.

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GLOBAL TOURISM EXPANDS AT HERKIMER DIAMOND MINES
May 11, 2015


赫基默钻石矿 is the Chinese translation for Herkimer Diamond Mines.  Herkimer Diamond Mines, Inc. has greeted international visitors for over two decades. Throughout the last five years the Mines has witnessed considerable growth with global visitation. Dr. Renee Scialdo Shevat, President and Owner, attributes the increase to both a growing appreciation for travelers to New York because of the changing economy and to the expanded circulation of the Herkimer Diamond in the international community. "Two trade shows per year in Hong Kong and in Tokyo have heightened the awareness of not only the Herkimer Diamond but also what the Mohawk Valley has to offer," stated Shevat.  “We are doing our part in placing the Mohawk Valley on a much larger tourism stage.”

This past weekend the Herkimer Diamond Mines, Inc. welcomed guests from China as well as Chinese Americans from New York City.  Pictured are some guests enjoying the hunt as well as the finished product.  The Herkimer Diamond Mines greets over 150,000 people per year. In 2014 over ten percent represent international consumers. That percentage is expected to double this year in 2015.

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HERKIMER KOA AWARDED 2015 PRESIDENT'S AND FOUNDER'S AWARDS
November 21, 2014


The Herkimer Diamond Mines KOA Campground has been awarded the 2015 KOA President’s and Founder’s Awards by Kampgrounds of America Inc., the world’s largest system of family-friendly campground.  The awards were presented Friday, November 14, at KOA’s Annual International Convention in Charleston, South Carolina.  “We are honored to receive such high praise from Kampground of America Inc. and our customers,” says Dr. Renee Scialdo Shevat, President and Owner.  “Great customer service is something that our customers have come to expect.  We strive to give visitors the best experience possible and encourage them to revisit our area in the near future.”

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OVER 100 TROOPS PARTICIPATE IN THE 18th ANNUAL BOY SCOUT JAMBOREE
October 25, 2014

The Herkimer Diamond Mines and KOA Resort has been an advocate and supporter for youth education for many years.  This year marks the 104th Anniversary for the Boy Scouts of America, which has created a foundation of leadership, service and community for millions of American youths.  To honor this special anniversary and to continue educational pursuits on behalf of our youths, the Herkimer Diamond Mines, Inc. planned a banner year for the 18th Annual Boy Scouts Jamboree Weekend which was held this past weekend.

Over 800 people participated from NY State, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut and Canada.  During this event each Boy Scout will be participating in a series of educational activities, which will include several modules:  Mining Experience; Paleontology & Gemology; Sustainable Energy Sources and Environmental Issues; Earth Processes; Earth Materials and Water Conservation.  Upon successful completion, scouts will receive their Geology Merit Badge.   Our highly skilled educators for the day are: Mike Whitton (Herkimer Central School District), Tina Bickerstaff (O’Brien and Gere), Jonathon Smith (CSArch), Pat Becher (Mohawk Valley Water Authority), Alexa Barber (Geologist), Jordan McDaniel (Commercial Miner) and Renee Scialdo Shevat (Herkimer Diamond Mines Inc., President and Owner).  

Both the opening and closing ceremonies were held at the KOA pavilion on Saturday, October 25. The opening ceremony commenced at 8:00 am and the closing ceremony at 4:00 pm. The opening ceremony was lead by Dr. Shevat and Steve McEwan, Scout Executive from the Revolutionary Trails.  Troop 113 from Webster, NY assisted with the opening ceremony.
Dr. Renee’ Scialdo Shevat, President and Owner of the Herkimer Diamond Mines, Inc. stated “We are proud that the Herkimer Diamond Mines KOA Kampground & Resort can sponsor the 18th Annual Boy Scout Jamboree and that we can continue to offer educational opportunities for scouts.”

"Scouting and camping has always gone hand in hand," said Kampgrounds of America Inc. CEO and Eagle Scout Jim Rogers. "Events like this at the Herkimer Diamond KOA Campground reinforce all that is good about scouting, and we're so proud to be able to play a part in developing the next generation of America's leaders."

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250 GIRL SCOUTS CELEBRATE 11TH ANNUAL WEEKEND AT HERKIMER DIAMOND MINES
September 27, 2014

The Herkimer Diamond Mines, Inc. hosted its 11th Annual Girl Scout Weekend on Friday, September 26th through Sunday, September 28th, 2014.  The weekend included a mining experience along with various science themed educational modules.  Throughout the day girls learned about topics including mining, sustainability, paleontology, gemology, energy sources, water conservation and jewelry creation.  

The morning started at 8:30am with an introduction to geology, facilitated by Dr. Renee Scialdo Shevat.  Dr. Shevat, head educator and Owner of Herkimer Diamond Mines, Inc., believes that, “We, along with the Girl Scout Organization, hold strong the commitment to inclusiveness, diversity and continuous learning.  Here at the Herkimer Diamond Mines, where we place the highest value on education, we are eager to work with and dedicate these special programs to girls everywhere.” “The Diamond Mines is a perfect location to serve as a learning laboratory,” she said. 

Staff educators for the weekend included Dr. Renee Shevat, Jeff Voorheese, Jordan McDaniel, Aurore LaVine, Nicole Seaver and Caitlin Gannon.  Twenty-four troops from twenty-four locations participated in the event.

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22nd ANNUAL ROCK AND GEM CAMP AWARDS CEREMONY
July 18, 2014

The ceremony of the Herkimer Diamond Mines Rock and Gem Camp is scheduled on Thursday night at 8:00pm.  The Rock and Gem Camp is designed to provide quality instruction and science related fun in a safe environment. 

“Our staff includes geologists, gemologists, environmental geologists, lapidary artists, fly fishermen, professional miners, certified lifeguards, water safety instructors, counselors in training and trained counselors,” stated Dr. Renee Scialdo Shevat, President of the Herkimer Diamond Mines.  “This year children will explore topics such as geology, gemology, paleontology, kinematics, hydrology, astronomy, biology, earth science, physics, chemistry, sustainability, and entomology all made fun, interactive, and memorable.”

Mr. Michael Zipko is the Administrative Director of the camp.  Kate Bickerstaff serves as Educational Director.  “In this capacity we have designed a program that the young campers enjoy and have an easy time learning.  This program shows the campers why things work because of science and that they don’t just happen,” says Bickerstaff.  “We are very constructivist educators with the belief that the children need to be involved in highlighted experiments themselves in order to learn better,” said Dr. 

The camp operates each year during two weeks in July and occupies the grounds of the Herkimer Diamond Mines and KOA Resort in Herkimer, the site of the world famous Herkimer Diamonds and the West Canada Creek. The Herkimer Diamond Mines Rock and Gem camp is a camp that encourages risk taking and new learning experiences in an effort to enhance campers’ self esteem.  Campers come from Florida, Connecticut, Maryland, New York, Illinois, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Canada.

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PROFESSOR GADGET'S LODGE OPENS AT THE HERKIMER DIAMOND MINES KOA
May 19, 2014


Herkimer Diamond Mines KOA, located in Herkimer, NY, was recognized in 2010 as the Kampground of the year on the North American continent.  One of the unique things about the Herkimer Diamond Mines KOA Resort is the hands on and unique opportunity that it allows for the whole family. One opportunity in particular is science themed lodging. The brand new Robotics Lodge is no exception to that experience, as it incorporates several robotic elements for the whole family’s enjoyment. 

The Robotics Lodge was designed by the 2013-2014 graduating senior class of engineers from Binghamton University’s Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science. At the Herkimer Diamond Mines, K-12 projects and programs throughout the year demonstrate a dedication to hands on education and science innovation. With this project, the Herkimer Diamond Mines brings educational opportunities to the collegiate level, by allowing students a unique opportunity to design a commercial project from the ground up. This process manifested itself into five interdisciplinary projects, which were completed by two teams of twelve students. Each project allowed not only for the education of the students who created it, but also for the continued education of KOA guests.  Campers of all ages will learn about motors, motion sensors, battery power, chain machines, vectors and inertia. 

When you walk by the lodge, the first thing you will notice is the 6’ tall weatherproof case engineered by Danielle Brogna, which contains a prototype of a Rube Goldberg rolling ball sculpture. Mark Pallay, team leader of the Rube Goldberg project, expressed his enthusiasm and learning from the project, “I have always loved Rube Goldberg machines; it is what got me into engineering, and I always hoped that I would have the opportunity to design one myself.” 

Inside the lodge, you will find an innovative and interactive lighting system, which was designed and programmed by computer engineering major Elan Ashendorf. As you walk through the lodge, you will notice the mechanical lift system, and hammock, the building sets for guests to practice their own engineering skills, and the robotic display boxes lining the wall. Artist and mechanical engineer Jason Furst designed the displays themselves. “Engineering has indefinite possibilities for the inspired mind, and I intend on taking advantage of that. Never forget that your capabilities are limited to your own creativity,” said Furst, and his own artistry is indeed an inspiration to the visitors to the lodge, as they recreate the path of the Herkimer Diamond from the mines to the jewelry store. 

“What is unique about this project,” says Shevat, “is that each student was allowed the freedom to design to their strengths, which they believed would be enjoyed by many campers.”  Dr. Shevat has a background in collegiate administration, community economic development and consumer tourism, which is what inspired the project. “What better sense of accomplishment can one have when you build something unusual with high energy collegiate talent for campers to experience an all-inclusive scientific theme in a world famous environment?” asked Shevat. 

“The partnership with Binghamton University and campers, as consumer consultants, was very rewarding.  And, yes, we would do it again with another scientific theme!” she added.

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OVER 1,000 PARTICIPANTS AT THE 17th ANNUAL BOY SCOUT JAMBOREE 
October 28, 2013

The Herkimer Diamond Mines and KOA Resort has been an advocate and supporter for youth education for many years.  This year marks the 103rd Anniversary for the Boy Scouts of America, which has created a foundation of leadership, service and community for millions of American youths.  To honor this special anniversary and to continue educational pursuits on behalf of our youths, the Herkimer Diamond Mines, Inc. planned a banner year for the 17th Annual Boy Scouts Jamboree Weekend which was held this past weekend.

Over 1,000 people participated from New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.  During the event each Boy Scout participated in a series of educational activities, which included several modules:  Mining Experience; Paleontology & Gemology; Sustainable Energy Sources; Earth Processes; Earth Materials and Water Conservation.  Upon successful completion, scouts received their Geology Merit Badge.   Our highly skilled educators for the day were Mike Whitton, Tina Bickerstaff, Mike Zipko, Christine Quattro, Alexa Barber, Jeff Voorhees, Jordan McDaniel, Ilia Bautista, Phil Tangora, and Renee Scialdo Shevat.  The West Canada Creek, the KOA Solar Lodge Kolony and the KOA Astronomy Lodge also served as key amenities in education throughout the day.

Both the opening and closing ceremonies were held at the KOA pavilion on Saturday, October 26. The opening ceremony commenced at 8:00 am and the closing ceremony at 4:00 pm. The opening ceremony was lead by Dr. Shevat and New York Assemblyman Marc Butler.  Troop 2079 from Berne-Knox-Westerlo, NY assisted with the opening ceremony and Troop 97 from New City, NY assisted with the closing ceremony.

Dr. Renee’ Scialdo Shevat, President and Owner of the Herkimer Diamond Mines, Inc. stated “We are proud that the Herkimer Diamond Mines KOA Kampground & Resort can sponsor the 17th Annual Boy Scout Jamboree and that we can continue to offer educational opportunities for scouts.”

"Scouting and camping has always gone hand in hand," said Kampgrounds of America Inc. CEO and Eagle Scout Jim Rogers. "Events like this at the Herkimer Diamond KOA Campground reinforce all that is good about scouting, and we're so proud to be able to play a part in developing the next generation of America's leaders."

For more information, please contact Dr. Renee’ Scialdo Shevat at 315.717.0175.

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HARVEST FEST AT GEMS ALONG THE MOHAWK
October 4, 2013

When the Adirondack Distilling Company opened its doors last year they held close the idea of keeping business local.  “Everything we use is local.  All the corn that we use, which is the base of the spirit, comes from within 100 miles of us.  From corn to diamonds to bottle, it is all done locally to build a sustainable model,” says Jordan Karp, Master Distiller at the Utica based brewery.  “People want to know where their food and drink comes from.  The fact that they can talk to the owner is important.  We like to interact with our customers.”

The Adirondack Vodka has received many awards since its creation.  In the past two months alone the gluten-free vodka has received five awards.  From the design of the bottle to the product itself, the spirit has received such positive feedback it has been picked up by distributors in Upstate New York, New York City, Connecticut, and California.  “Through word-of-mouth marketing people in New York City are getting interested in our area- When people see our bottle the first thing that they notice is that the vodka is distilled with Herkimer Diamonds.  For those who know about the quartz crystals, they take pride in it.  For those who don’t, they look into it and are drawn to our region. ”

Herkimer Diamond Mines, Inc. President and Owner, Dr. Renee Scialdo Shevat, has a similar outlook on the partnership of the two companies.   “Our diamonds have been used for research, jewelry, and collection. Now to have Herkimer Diamonds involved in agro-tourism in such an exciting way is not only satisfying but fun!”  Karp believes, “the use of Herkimer Diamonds is an essential part of the process in making our award winning spirits.  The diamonds purify the vodka and provides tasters with that clean finish that very few others have.”

The yearlong relationship of these two companies will be celebrated this Columbus Day Weekend.  The Columbus Day Weekend Harvest Festival, which will take place at Gems Along the Mohawk in Herkimer, NY, will focus on local businesses and farm-to-table.  “At the end of the day we are small businesses.  We are right here, directly in contact with our customers, eye to eye and available.  Adirondack Distillery will be having tastings at the event for their Adirondack Vodka and with each bottle purchased, customers will receive a Herkimer Diamond.  The Distillery will also be coming out with more spirits in the future, including bourbon.  

At the Gems festival there will be a sign-up list for the first batch, as well as local agricultural products, vendors, entertainment, and a special farm-to-table menu at the Waterfront Grille.  Discounts will be offered through the weekend by the Grille, Erie Canal Cruises, and the Herkimer Diamond Mines.  On Saturday there will be live entertainment by Steve Falvo’s Easy Money Big Band.  On Sunday there will be pumpkin decorating, face painting, and special appearances by Prospector Pete and Buttons the Clown.  For more information about the Harvest Festival please contact Gems Along the Mohawk at 315.717.0077 or 
info@gemsalongthemohawk.com.  Gems Along the Mohawk, located at 800 Mohawk Street in Herkimer, is open Monday-Thursday, 9:00am to 6:00pm, Friday and Saturday, 9:00am to 7:00pm, and Sunday 10:00am to 6:00pm.  

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GIRL SCOUTS CELEBRATE 10TH ANNUAL WEEKEND AT HERKIMER DIAMOND MINES
September 30, 2013

The Herkimer Diamond Mines, Inc. hosted its 10th Annual Girl Scout Weekend on Friday, September 27th through Sunday, September 29th, 2013.  The weekend included a mining experience along with various science themed educational modules.  Throughout the day girls learned about covering topics including mining, sustainability, paleontology, and gemology.  

The morning started early with a brief introduction to geology, which was facilitated by Dr. Renee Scialdo Shevat.  Dr. Shevat, head educator and Owner of Herkimer Diamond Mines, Inc., believes that, “We, along with the Girl Scout Organization, hold strong the commitment to inclusiveness, diversity and continuous learning.  Here at the Herkimer Diamond Mines, where we place the highest value on education, we are eager to work with and dedicate these special programs to girls everywhere.”  

Following their introduction girls broke into groups for the many activities that awaited them.  Scouts were rotated throughout the property to learn about the many aspects of geology.  “They’re all determined to find the biggest diamond!” says Mary Talbot, leader of Troop 263, while her troop was in the Mines, “their favorite part is being out in the Mines…until they get to go sluicing for the gemstones!”  

Staff educators for the weekend included Christine Quattro, Michael Zipko, Jeff Voorheese, Jordan McDaneil, Aurore LaVine, and Jenna Bunce.  They shared their knowledge in mining, alternative energy, sustainability, rocks and mineral, fossils, faceting and cabachoning, as well as jewelry creation.  Girls in attendance came form fours different states and were of all ages. 

Michelle Lavoie, leader of Troop 10758, recently found out about the program and it was their first time attending. “Since we have the older girls all of the trips we go on are organized by them,” said Lavoie.  “There aren’t too many programs out there geared towards all age group, including the higher levels; it really is a great program.”  Coming up later this month will be the Boy Scout Merit Badge Geology Weekend.  For more information or to register for this event, please contact the Herkimer Diamond Mines at 315.717.0175 or 
diamonds@ntcnet.com

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OUT OF THIS WORLD VISIT AT HERKIMER DIAMOND MINES KOA
September 26, 2013


When the Herkimer Diamond Mines KOA Resort began the construction of an astronomy lodge this past spring they never imaged anyone arriving in a space-mobile.  However, that is exactly what happened this past week.  As the Harvest Moon arrived in September, so did a pair with unique traveling accommodations.  Just as the Herkimer Diamond Mines did not expect such a unique visit, Pam Chambers probably never thought that her aunt would buy a van with a space mural – let alone that it would one day come to be hers.  

Pam and her husband, Gary Chambers, were on a trip throughout the Northeast when they pulled into the Herkimer Diamond Mines KOA Resort last Thursday.  “While we have many special guests who have stayed in our new Astronomy Lodge, these guests commanded a lot of attention.  From the moment they pulled in guests and employees alike across the property were drawn to the couple’s unique mode of transportation,” shared Dr. Renee Scialdo Shevat, president and owner of the Herkimer Diamond Mines KOA.  The van was light blue with a space-themed boarder and a mural covering the entire top half of the van.  The mural was complete with the moon, planets, stars, and satellite.  The couple, who reside in Alliance, OH, started their trip in Maine on September 13.  This was their last stop on their way back home.

The van was originally purchased by Ruth Morgan, Pam’s aunt, in 1978 as a brand new, space mural painted vehicle.  
Once Ruth turned 77, she retired the van and it sat stagnant for fifteen years.  That was when Gary suggested the idea of getting it back on the road and back in shape, which is exactly what he did.  The van itself has an ice box, fridge, sink, bed, bench and table set, along with, of course, its original shag carpet.  Pam joked, “People will drive by to pass us on the road and then slow down to see who is driving.  They’ll see the van in the parking lot at a diner and then go inside to try and figure out who owns it.”

While this was Gary’s first trip to New England, Pam has been camping throughout the area with her Aunt, who originally introduced her to KOA.  “Every stop, with the exception of one, throughout our trip was at a KOA Campground, Pam stated with pride.  “I had seen the Herkimer Diamond Mines KOA Astronomy Lodge in an e-mail this spring and when we arrived with our space mural van it was on the night of the Harvest Moon, which is the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox...How perfect.”

The Astronomy Lodge, which was unveiled earlier this year, made a great place to stay for the Harvest Moon.  The lodge, which carries an astronomical theme throughout, has an exterior raised deck holding a shed pod with a high powered celestron telescope. This telescope uses GPS (Global Positioning System) technology to take the guesswork and effort out of aligning and finding points in the sky.  The telescope is housed in an eight foot wide lunar pod dome.  The cabin, which sleeps 6 and features a full-size kitchen and queen bed, also features a glow in the dark star finder, a star theatre planetarium, and smaller more compact portable telescopes ideal for terrestrial observations.

Visitors Pam and Gary Chambers, came and left along with the Harvest Moon. They pulled their space vehicle away from the Herkimer Diamond Mines KOA Resort Astronomy Lodge with a continued sense of KOA loyalty as they headed home to tell their Aunt Ruth, now 99 years young, all about their trip. 

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STAR CATCHER OPENS AT THE HERKIMER DIAMOND MINES KOA RESORT
May 21, 2013


Science is made fun, again, at the Herkimer Diamond Mines KOA Resort.  A new lodge will be unveiled with a formal ribbon cutting ceremony at 9:00 AM, Wednesday, May 22, 2013.  Mr. Craig Fox, Mayor of Middleville; Mr. John Scarano, Herkimer County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director; Mr. Michael McEvoy, Town of Newport Supervisor; and Dr. Renee' Scialdo Shevat, owner, will do the honors with the  assistance of some of the participants from the County wide sponsored 6th Grade Conservation Day  which is held at the same location that day.

The main feature of the Sun Catcher Lodge is an exterior raised deck holding a shed pod with a high powered celestron telescope.  This telescope ushers in the next generation of computer automated telescopes.  The scope uses GPS (Global Positioning System) technology to take the guesswork and effort out of aligning and finding celestial objects.  "It is so advanced," said Dr. Shevat, "that once you turn it on the integrated GPS automatically pinpoints the exact coordinates in 
the Route 28 sky".   Shevat further states that "observing the moon, planets, sun and other deep sky objects will be fun and will unfold the wonders of the universe for our customers."

The telescope is actually housed in an eight foot wide octagon shaped lunar pod dome.   Ecomate insulated wall panels with hardened spray foam insulation adds incredible strength to the already strong wall panels.

The lodge sleeps six and enjoys interior unusual amenities as well.  The two bedroom ceilings have a relaxing celestial diagram.  There is also a glow in the dark star finder, a star theatre planetarium in case of rain, as well as a smaller more compact portable telescope ideal for terrestrial observations.  Celestron binoculars with a built in tripod adapter fitting is also available for visitors.   Intended to add an additional venue for educational use, the lodge is adjacent to the existing
grid tied Solar Kolony of lodges.  Educational programing, "Dancing with the Stars", will be offered on Friday and Saturday evenings for schools, scouts, families, and campers.  The Herkimer Diamond Mines KOA Resort has evolved with multi-disciplinary science programing over the years.  "We engage in geology, gemology, ecology on the West Canada Creek, paleontology, sustainable environmental sciences, and now astronomy.  Our goal is to make science fun and interactive," 
expressed Christine Quattro, Director of Science Activities.  A number of interns from various colleges and universities have been hired for the summer to utilize their skills in imparting science themed knowledge.

Herkimer Diamond Mines KOA Resort worked closely with Phoenix based Cavco Industries to design a special, park model lodge that will be used as the special astronomy educational tool.