What makes camp, camp?
Some say the friends, some say the traditions, some say a little bit of both but I think everyone can agree that it is the people who make Equinunk and Blue Ridge such a special place. Whether it be Sheryl and Richie, Nicki and Adam, Lori and Gil, Hilary and John, Ralphie and Lilla, a counselor and a lifeguard, maybe even Stan, everyone who has spent time at Equinunk and Blue Ridge has been positively influenced by a CECBR Staff member.
It is these staff members, not a treehouse, basketball court, amphitheater, or Color War Break that makes Equinunk and Blue Ridge what it is today. It is through the hard work, attention to detail, and level of care of these staff members that separate Equinunk and Blue Ridge.
You may have noticed but rather than leading up to camp with a “countdown” social media campaign we are doing “Staff Spotlights” on Instagram that showcases some of our extraordinary staff members. Check out our Staff Spotlight Campaign or see what’s going on at Equinunk and Blue Ridge by clicking here.
-Eric Iskols, CE Camper Liaison
“Fifty” – a flagpole cheer at Equinunk line-ups during the past few decades cries out to our Upper Seniors to score fifty-plus points in the Color War Basketball Game. Mikey Goldman, Ryan Daly and Jeremy Hoch scored 50, 52 and 53 points respectively in recent years.
A few summers back we celebrated Bernie’s 50th season. This summer we’re proud to welcome Lori into this elite circle as she celebrates her 50th summer at Blue Ridge. This milestone is remarkable in its longevity, her contributions and the consistency Lori has displayed as a camper, counselor, group head, athletic director, head counselor and assistant director. She has transcended the decades, generations of campers and staff and astonishing world events.
To put her 50th-year tenure at Blue Ridge in perspective, consider the following worldwide phenomena fifty years ago:
– The New York Mets led by Tom Seaver, the Jets led by Joe Namath and the Knicks led by Willis Reed won world championships in 1969 in their respective sports. The New York Yankees were nowhere to be found. (Sorry, Lori!!)
– Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong walks on the moon. The Apollo 11 had less advanced technology than the iPhone you carry around everywhere today…but not at camp!!!
– Woodstock, a concert in Bethel, New York, 45 minutes from camp, attracted more than 400,000 rock and roll fans. The concert impacted our culture far greater than the 3 days of fun, love and music.
– “The Outsiders”, a book mostly about boys’ struggle with adolescence was written by a 16-year-old girl, S.E. Hinton, and has spoken then and now to generations of boys and girls.
– Walmart, much to the delight of our staff, became incorporated!!!
Celebrating Lori’s 50th, we remember:
– Camp bugle calls for revile, mess, taps, etc., were played on a record player and were transmitted over the camp PA system
– The Blue Ridge tennis courts were made of clay
– Blueberry-picking was an activity
– Lori started at camp when she was 6 years old, typical for that time. Some campers started as early as 5
– Camp had an open visiting policy and some parents stayed at camp for the entire summer at the Plaza, Ritz or Waldorf hotels. These buildings were later transformed into the Garden basketball court, the movie theater, the Hobby Center and our current main office and staff housing complexes. Visiting Day every day?!?! What?!?!
– Hockey with boys wearing sneakers, not skates/blades, was played on a make-shift rink on a tennis court with Social Hall benches turned on their side enclosing the court
– CBR Gymnastics was housed in the area we now call Breeze
Some things never change!!!
– Equinunk boys led by the Seniors cheered before meals
– Blue Ridge sang 3 times a day after breakfast, lunch and dinner
– Color War plaques in the CBR and CE Social Halls listed the names of the Chiefs and Seniors
– Although there were no golf carts, radios, satellite dishes or cell phones in camp, we were all connected, loved our friends and continued to live for camp
Lori has seen it all, been there and done that and like Blue Ridge and Equinunk, has gotten better with age. Our entire Blue Ridge and Equinunk Family congratulates Lori on this milestone and can’t wait to celebrate Lori this summer.
From the moment I stepped off the bus in June of 1966, with my Yankee cap on, and baseball glove in hand – I knew that my life would change forever…and I was right. I’m about to spend my 50th summer at Camp Blue Ridge, and the impact that camp has had on my life has truly been remarkable (for those doing the math – I missed 4 summers after I got married in 1984, and Amy was born in August of 1987 – that made it difficult to come to camp that summer).
Growing up as a camper, I found a place that was warm, welcoming and supportive – a place where I could thrive, be myself, have fun – a place where I was free. I’m amazed to say that over 50 years later, I still feel the same way about camp. My goal is to continue to provide this same environment for every camper and counselor that spends their summers at Camp Blue Ridge.
When I reflect on my 50 summers, I am overwhelmed by the memories, stories, and emotions. I can tell stories about Tribes, Color War, camp shows, the waterfront, my friends, my counselors, activities, HQ, being in the bunk, the flagpole – the list is endless. I would be happy to share a story with all of you this summer – just ask when you see me around camp.
The connections and relationships I’ve made over the years are the most special part of my 50-year journey at camp. Whether it’s a lifetime friend, a coworker, or a camper that was in my bunk for only one summer – those relationships and connections have enriched my life since 1966.
A heartfelt thank you to Richie, Sheryl, and Adam for being such a huge part of my 50 years at camp.
So…everybody up, up, up! It’s going to be an amazing 50th summer. I’m looking forward to 50 more!