The Lineup: December 2020

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Richie’s Article

A VERY SPECIAL THANKSGIVING

As far back as I can remember, Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. The anticipation of 4 days of no school, the brisk November Brooklyn weather and touch football games in the P.S. 209 schoolyard was making it impossible for me to concentrate on anything ordinary. It was like pre-Color War cheering, “Great Moments” speeches at Line-Up at Equinunk and the best 4 days of camp and definitely of the year.

Even before I entered our 2 bedroom apartment, I was overwhelmed by the roar of laughter and a variety of English/Yiddish conversations. Remarkably, all the chatter occurred simultaneously and everyone seemed to “get” every joke and story, which reminds me of every gathering of 5 or more Blue Ridge girls all talking at the same time, yet not missing a detail.

Just like our extended camp family, my mother had 5 sisters and I in turn had too many to count cousins and family friends. Everyone was seated at long tables and folding chairs like our camp Mess Halls. As kids we were assigned to a cousins’ table and were distinctly separated from the adults, and we inhabited that table from our childhood through our college years. Fortunately, the chairs were not the same as when we were children!!

I remember that the apartment was always hot even on the coldest winter days even with the windows wide open. Also, everyone piled their coats, hats, scarves and gloves on a bed in the back bedroom. It kind of reminds me of what a bunk looks like when laundry is returned!

Unlike the 2 hour Seders that I struggled through, Thanksgiving dinner was served and devoured in lightning speed, not unlike our 20 minute dinners at Equinunk, pre-meal cheering and singing included. Mysteriously, my parents and the other adults always seemed so old when I was a young kid, yet they appeared to grow younger as I aged! I guess it’s like our Sophomores looking up to their counselors only to become their best friends after their PC and Upper Senior summers.

One thing for sure….my childhood and adult memories of Thanksgiving, like my memories of Equinunk and Blue Ridge, are precise today. The hugs, kisses and laughter, the stories and jokes, the smells and the tastes…..I reach back in time as if it were yesterday.

This year, will just be Sheryl and me. The children, grandchildren and family friends will all be distancing…..instead of coming to us from afar. We are both blessed and comforted in knowing that our entire family and yours are well and as close together as possible. I’m thankful that I have the warmth of a lifetime of memories with my family and what seems like a lifetime of memories at Equinunk and Blue Ridge.

Sheryl and I wish everyone the warmest Thanksgiving. Cherish your loved ones and all of your fondest holiday moments and memories, past and present.

With love,

Richie

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The Lineup: November 2020

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The Lineup: October 2020

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Camps Equinunk & Blue Ridge Coloring Pages

We hope these coloring pages remind you of all your favorite things about camp! You can click the link below to download your own blank copies! We would love to see how creative you can get, tag us on Instagram @equinunkblueridge

Download the Blank Coloring Pages here!

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2020 Spring Buzzer

Equinunk and Blue Ridge !  Hello hello !

Welcome to the Spring 2020 edition of ’The Buzzer.’ For our new campers, this is how we get some of the ‘buzzzz’ out on camp, in and out of season. While you can think of the Winter and Spring Buzzers as newsletters, in camp we use it to share some of the most up to date and exciting information that you need to know.  For example, the Carnival Buzzer includes great camp trivia, a map of how the games and goodies are laid out on the CE Front Campus, a Color War Prediction form and not that long ago included the ‘tickets’ we needed for a sno-cone, pop-corn, cotton-candy or even the famous buttered corn served hot and fresh by CBR Waterfront Director Chuck Porrazzo and his squad. Then there is the Color War Buzzer distributed moments after color war break that includes the teams, schedule of activities and event regulations. The origins of The Buzzer go back almost 100 years at CECBR.  The earliest Color War Buzzers are actually on display throughout the halls of the Equinunk Hobby Center – check them out on your next visit to see Stan and the team (as Stan says it) …  “ at Hoooobbiiieeesss!”

From Jamie’s Summer Playlist, to a sit down with our new Assistant Director Stef and with Richie encouraging us all to keep our fingers (and toes) crossed, I know you are going to love getting some ‘camp time’ in.

So grab a seat in the sunshine, think great summer thoughts and enjoy this edition of The Buzzer.

Stay healthy and stay strong !  – Adam

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Richie’s Article

KEEP YOUR FINGERS AND TOES CROSSED!!!!

As I am sitting at my kitchen table in the morning darkness, miles and miles away from Equinunk and Blue Ridge, about two hours before reveille, my fingers and toes are crossed, superstitiously, wishing for an “all clear” bugle call announcing the beginning of camp. Since the daily reports, information and opinions of leading “experts” appear to change from moment to moment, I try to control my emotional swings.  This reminds me of the two minute drill in football where one team drives the length of the field to take the lead to the elation of their fans, only to have the victory snapped from their grasp, by the opponent kicking the winning field goal as the clock expires. The passion that many of us have for sport is founded in our love for the game, the loyalty for our team, wearing our colors on Game Day and the hope that in the end we will prevail.

Camp is like that…. love, loyalty, uniforms and the hope that our children will prevail. Although we can’t predict what will happen in the coming weeks, we can hope and we can count on what we do know that is true. Sheryl and Adam and their leadership team are steadfast in a resolve to get camp ready to open. That’s genuine! Camp parents, campers and staff have universally sent emails, written letters that zoom hope, empathy and unwavering support. Wayne County camps are in constant communication with one another sharing their letters to parents as well as their hopes, strategies and brother/sisterhood. That’s a pretty amazing display of compassion form competitors!! In a recent conversation with the directors of three nearby camps, I told them if we didn’t own our camp, I would be proud to send our grandchildren to theirs! Such is the greatness of people and camping.

I continue to count on my family, friends and all you guys to continue a lifetime of summers. Please continue to support one another and keep your fingers and toes crossed!!.

Love,

Richie

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Staff Spotlight: Stef Gillman

 

Hometown: Merrick, NY 

Favorite Band: Sting and the Police, James Taylor

Hobbies: Yoga, hiking, kayaking, and my cat Nugget.

Favorite Summer Themed Movie: Now and Then 

Favorite Food: All cake, especially cake with coconut in it 

 

Tell us a little about yourself: Born and raised on Long Island, summer camp became one of the threads of my childhood. My younger brother and I grew up attending day camp and then transitioned to sleepaway camp when I was in 3rd grade. My mom worked Arts and Crafts and my dad would come up on the weekends to do rocketry and play on the staff softball team. Camp became our home away from home. I always felt most at ease at camp– it was my place to shine, take risks, and grow in every possible way. 

As I got older, I began playing competitive soccer and had to choose between soccer or camp. I chose soccer– one of the biggest regrets of my life. It paid off, though, and I ended up earning a scholarship to play at American University in Washington D.C. There I studied Public Communication with a minor in Education Studies. At the time, I knew I wanted to work with kids but not as a teacher. So, I went on for my Masters in School Counseling at George Washington University and later, earned a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University. I’ve worked as a school counselor (teaching Life 101), since 2007 in private and public schools in Virginia and in south Florida. 

I have always been committed to working with young people so woven in between my studies and the school year, were summers at day camp and working teen tours. I enjoyed these summers so much that I soon developed  this dream that “in my next lifetime, I’d work at camp year ‘round.” This year while in pursuit of a summer job at camp, I stumbled upon the Assistant Director position at Blue Ridge. The stars were aligned and well, here I am! I cannot express how excited I am to return “home” to camp. 

What are you most excited about: Connecting with like minded camp fanatics and becoming immersed in the rich traditions of Blue Ridge. 

What was your favorite “Evening Lineup” segment: Richie’s Friday night stories. I love a good story that tugs on your heart strings and makes you want to be a better person. 

What is your favorite camp quote: “That’s OK… let’s try again!” It really speaks to how camp is a safe place to make mistakes and use them as learning opportunities. 

What is your favorite camp meal: Though I don’t eat meat anymore, I have fond memories of camp cookouts. And I always loved “bug juice.” 

What is your favorite camp activity: Color War!

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Congratulations 2020 Graduates!

Social Distance Learning has been one of the major adjustments we’ve all had to make in this unprecedented time. While some things are postponed, schools and our teachers have done an amazing job making sure education continues. Because of all the hard work teachers and students have put in, those who were expecting to graduate, are able to graduate on time. As a majority of them are not able to have the normal graduation ceremonies we wanted to give a special shout-out to all our Elementary, Middle School, High School and College graduates. We are so proud of all you have accomplished and know you are going to do amazing things with your education. Despite not being able to celebrate the proper way, don’t let it diminish the significance of your accomplishments. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!

We are so proud of you all!!!!

 

– Eric

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Jamie’s Summer Playlist

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