An Update On How We’re Doing at Camp

1923922_28881346945_5584_nTo Our Timber Lake Camp Family:

On the morning of our last full day of camp, I wanted to update you on how your children are doing and how the camp is doing after yesterday’s sad news.

I spoke with the full camp, which assembled at the Tiger’s Den Basketball Court, at just after 4:00 yesterday afternoon to tell them about our loss. I decided that it was necessary for me to be the one to share that news, in an appropriate fashion, rather than for it leak out, bit by bit, due to the postings already up at that time on social media.

When I spoke, I reassured everyone that this tragedy was due to Steve’s long battle with a form of cancer that we had never shared with campers and staff. I wanted them to, at the least, be free of concerns for anyone else’s health. The focus of my talk was about Steve, what we will remember and about life and the sad and often unexpected lessons it provides. The tone and spirit was of remembrance and about resilience – which is part of the mission we teach at camp. I believe that the campers, all of whom listened intently, found it to be sad but uplifting.

I told the campers that Steve would have wanted us to end the summer the way summers at camp are supposed to end: on a high note. Last night the Banquet and Prom were scheduled as the activity. I told the campers that that was exactly what we would be doing, but I offered those who felt it would be too difficult, an opportunity to miss the Prom.

After I spoke, the campers went back to the bunks as Mindy and I and others on our team comforted the few campers who needed to talk. I then walked through all of the younger boys bunks. Everyone was showering and dressing up for the Banquet. As the pictures we posted tell the story, the campers all came dressed in their finest wearing broad smiles. No one opted out of the Prom and we had one heck of a party last night.

Camp is about teaching life lessons. This was one I never wanted to have to teach to our campers up here. But I would like you to know that your children are doing well and are really just wonderful. Far more campers came to ME last evening to console ME and make sure that I was doing alright, then I had to console. Mindy and the rest of the staff spoke of the same experience. Not only are kids resilient and able to move forward, but our campers have learned well; they are caring and thoughtful.

In my talk with the camp yesterday afternoon, I told the camp that what I will miss the most are my 6:20 AM walks with Steve around the lake. But, I told them, that I am going to keep walking. That’s what life is all about and that is what we ALL have to do, sad though it may be.
This morning, when I came out of my house at 6:20 for my morning walk I found about 30-40 older boys and girls and counselors on my porch waiting to walk with me. They were there in memory of Steve, they were there for me. I will never forget that moment.

That exemplifies the true spirit and meaning of camp. That is why Steve loved doing his job and Mindy and I love doing ours. It is because even through the toughest of times we have the privilege of working with and being with some really terrific kids.

– Jay Jacobs

This Sunday at 2:00 PM
8000 Jericho Tpke
Woodbury, NY 11797

Shiva Call:
Sunday after graveside ceremony
67 Orange Drive
Jericho, NY 11753


  • There is no place in the world that children learn so many important life lessons as they do at Timber Lake Camp. I am who I am because of my experiences at Timber Lake, and the same is true for my children. Time will heal, but I am sure that the children at Timber Lake will never forget Steve Bocian. This is certainly not one of the lessons that one would wish for a child to learn about at camp, but in a way, it is a beautiful thing because they have each other. There are some things that people outside of camp, just don’t understand! The fact that so many people were waiting for you, Jay, at 6:20 am is a testament to you and their life lessons of how to treat others. I did not know Steve well, but I am truly sorry for the loss to the entire TLC family.

  • I never had the pleasure of knowing Steve, but as a TLCer, I am saddened by the news. I know how much of an impact he had on so many. My heart goes out to all of TLC.

  • Your heartfelt words resonated with us Jay. Lori and I also send our sincere condolences to you, Mindy and the entire TLC Family. You may not know this, but we also walked the lake almost daily together, and that’s where we truly bonded and first found each other. A very special place for so many of us. xo -Lori & Lonny Siegel

  • Going to your website seeking nursing opportunities for Summer 2016, I was touched by the love that was shown for your dear friend and colleague. Although I have never meet Steve, Jays letter allowed me to have a sense of the close bond that is shared at your Camp, by all. I am certain that he was a very special person.I wanted to take a minute and offer my condolences to Steves family, as well as his friends. I’m sure he will forever be alive to all those who’s life he touched.

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