An Update On How We’re Doing at Camp
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
Sunday after graveside ceremony
67 Orange Drive
Jericho, NY 11753