A Note From Jay

For me, the process of getting 480 campers onto the 10 or so buses from multiple locations and then getting everyone comfortably settled into camp is probably the most difficult day of the year. But watching it all unfold and seeing the camp come alive again is always a beautiful thing. Today was no different.

The buses pulled into camp like clockwork. Watching those bus doors open and seeing the smiling campers pile out into the open arms of counselors and friends reminds me of what camp is all about. Even the first-timers, who step off the bus a bit bewildered by all of the action and revelry, quickly get swept up by those waiting just for them. The smiles, hugs and happiness make a tough day well worth it. Kids are being campers once again.

I had a couple of campers on Long Island who did not want to get on the bus, but ultimately summoned up the courage and did it. I wish their parents could see them now. It’s unbelievable. Their parents are probable basket-cases right now, but their kids could not be doing better. You can really see the magic in the camp experience when campers realize that they CAN have a second home – and this is it.

This is year 50 for me at Timber Lake – and number 37 as the director. The excitement of Opening Day never lessens. Mindy always greets me when my car arrives back in camp just ahead of the Long Island buses and always says the same thing: “Here we go again.” Well, watching the campers come together and the staff lighting up when “their kids” get off those buses reminds us why we love doing it so much. And yes, “Here we go again.”


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