The Passing of Our Friend Steve Bocian

To the Timber Lake Camp Family,

I cannot fathom writing to you again with sad news about our camp family, and it is with tremendous sadness that I have to inform you of the passing of our long-time Boys’ Head Counselor, Steve Bocian.

Steve died today at North Shore University hospital on Long Island from complications from a form of Leukemia which he had lived with for many years. When he complained of persistent back pain and, after a number of doctor visits we could not identify the problem, knowing his health history, I decided to send him down to Long Island for better care. Unfortunately, after almost a week in the hospital, a non-contagious infection overwhelmed his compromised immune system. The doctors, hospital and Steve’s parents have assured us that this was unique to his condition and NOT something communicable to anyone else.

I worked with Steve for 29 summers. Here at camp, he was my closest friend and a valued member of our leadership team. Boys’ Side campers will remember him as the person who organized the schedule and the leagues and ran our tournaments. He was a kind and caring father-figure on camp and enjoyed spending evenings going through the bunks and telling old camp “war stories” to our campers. He and I walked together every morning at 6:15 to start the day.

Camp is such a happy place. And Timber Lake, of all places, is so magical and uplifting. That sorrow would return to Saddle Mountain is unfathomable. I still cannot reconcile my mind to last year’s tragedy. Campers now, once again, must find themselves returning home to face the unpleasant realities that life, from time to time, visits upon us.

When Steve left camp on Monday he told me that he would be back to close camp at the end of the week. I will be telling the campers of our loss later this afternoon and, difficult as it will be, we will be ending camp in the manner and spirit that Steve would have wanted.

Jay Jacobs

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