EBR Camps Blog

Tag: Richie Kamen

Presidential Candidates To Visit Blue Ridge and Equinunk This Summer

Fresh off dramatic “Super Tuesday” wins, presidential candidates Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump have announced plans for a mid-summer caucus and debate at Blue Ridge and Equinunk.

Many of our PCs and Upper Seniors were notified by email, Instagram and Twitter that the presidential hopefuls will be seeking their support and endorsements even though they are too young to vote.

Based on early returns, the young women and men in our Senior groups are excited to meet the Blue and Red candidates because they support their gender representation and the Seniors are hopeful that the timing of the event can provide the impetus for more meaningful and positive campaign dialogue.

As many of you know, the mid-August excitement and cheering in each Mess Hall transcends anything we’ve seen during the Primaries. The PCs and Upper Seniors are confident that both presidential candidates will be transformed by experiencing the joy and excitement that all of us at camp have for each and every candidate
who is cheered for Chief.

As the candidates continue onto the final road to November, Blue Ridge and Equinunk have great hopes for more positive, respectful and a tolerant campaign and future for our country….the same values we embrace every day at camp.



This past Monday, a magnificent sculpture was placed in Brooklyn Bridge Park and will remain there until August.

Stretching  8 x 17 1/2 feet, this amazing sculpture is both powerful and simple and spells out YO.  Described by Deborah Kass, the artist, “The fact that this particular work resonates so beautifully in so many languages to so many communities is why I wanted to make it monumental”. I can’t believe that the dedication and opening of this piece of art is coincidental.  The color of it is yellow, however I’m sure that when Equinunk and Blue Ridge do its summer magic, it will glow red and blue.  So the next time you’re walking along the east side of Manhattan, think of MCW and give a YO!!!

You can read the full article in The New York Times, Thursday November 12th, Page A28.

1-2-3- “YO”

While we’re all busy in the Equinunk/Blue Ridge post-season with school, sports, family and friends, take a moment and smile at a 95 year tradition, the life of an American folk hero and a Cuban Paul Bunyan.

We all know that for 95 years, every Equinunk line-up has been highlighted by each group cheering 1-2-3 Yo, forecasting great morning and evening activities. In addition to announcing our daily activities, we also present our “real world” Sportswire.  Baseball, an American tradition, celebrated the life of YOgi Berra this month. YOgi was not a big man; he waYogiBerras a great man. Although he was one of the greatest players of his generation, his greater success was a life devoted to family, sports, team, humor, community and charity. YOgi made everyone better and happier in his humble and unassuming way.

YOenis Cespedes joined the NY Mets a few months ago and continues to write one of the most amazing 60-day game season baseball has ever known.

YOenis’ displays of raw power and skill has made everyone on the NY Mets better and excited as they begin the World Series.yoenis-cespedes-bat-glove-cleats-batting-gloves-sunglasses-sleeve

YOenis’ courage and power have been on display his entire life. He was born in the tiny town of CAMPechuela, Cuba. As an adult, he and 11 others were stranded on an island for 3 days as they defected from Cuba.They nearly ran out of water and he arranged to get the group to safety.

YOenis’ humble beginnings, his difficult road to freedom, his perserverence and courage, and YOgi’s greatness and humility are great values for you to consider as YOu become the best version of YOurself. So get ready for YOur next great moment with 1-2-3 YO!!!!!

The CECBR Subway System


Everyone is “Buzzing” about the possibilities of a 2015 Subway Series featuring legendary baseball teams the New York Yankees and the New York Mets. Just imagine fans from those two camps dressed in their team uniforms going back and forth from the Bronx to Queens on Mass transit. As dreamy as that possibility, I can only imagine how out of this world it would be to have a CECBR subway system connecting Equinunk and Blue Ridge.

Why not dream? How many of your friends would believe that we already have the CE/CBR Bridge connecting our two camps? New York City just opened a new subway stop connecting the 7 line to the West Side of Manhattan. Why not us?

We are in contact with the Wayne County Transit Authority and have our eyes on the tracks in Callicoon and the train in Honesdale. 

Just imagine the convenience of high speed transit going to your favorite places in camp: Blue Ridge and Equinunk Class, Boys campus for Carnival, shows at the amphitheater.

Service would be air conditioned and a Food Car would service fruit and ices after Rest Hour and milk and cookies after evening rides.

Lori and Gil have already applied for Chief Engineer and Conductor positions.

We anticipate subway service beginning this summer for the 2016 season. We will keep you posted on the progress, but for now keep your fingers crossed for the Yanks and Mets. 

“It is what it is” and “Whatever” NOT!!

Two of the most overused expressions in recent years were certainly not apropos to describe the experience of January 11th reunion. Campers, counselors, staff, and parents were all swept away in the excitement and emotion of the weekend. Months of planning, preparation, and delivery of the entire program enabled 900 members of our camp family to enjoy another wholesome event that is part of the Equinunk and Blue Ridge endless summer experience.

The values that we embrace as a camp community, the high regard that we hold one another, the love, compassion and friendship that was so visible on Saturday is an extension of what happens every day all summer long. Watching this take place in the short span of three hours in a narrow setting magnified for many of us how special, unique, and rare this is in society that regards some of the best moments as “whatever” or “it is what it is.” Those who know us best recognize that CE and CBR moments are tangible, measurable, and life changing. See you at the next one! : )

~ Richie


As long as I can remember, generations of campers have entered the Equinunk Social Hall and have been immediately drawn to the Color War plaques mounted on the walls surrounding the “Bernie Strauss” basketball court.

The plaques begin to tell a story of Camp Equinunk… The folklore of the Red and Gray, Color War, The Upper Senior Basketball Game, lovingly known as “The Game”, the names of the teams, the Seniors, the scores of the “game” and of the “war”. The real story behind the plaques is the lifelong Legacy of Brotherhood, Tradition and Family that Seniors and all of the campers, staff and parents have embraced throughout the ages.

The plaques are Equinunk national treasures, yet only this week I believe I have uncovered an answer to a question or should I say a mystery that has perplexed me and perhaps you as well. We all know that Camp Equinunk was founded in 1920, so why no plaque until ’42? Early yearbooks dating back to the ’20s reference “the game”, list the teams, players, scores and totals. So why no plaque until 22 years later?

My story begins with the early pioneer leaders, Seniors and other campers. These Camp Equinunk visionaries anticipated that someone or something so extraordinary would come along in the future that would be worthy of commemoration in a Senior plaque, a symbol of profound excellence. Their patience and wisdom was rewarded as number 42 was worn by Jackie Robinson, as he became the first “Negro” to cross the color line and integrate the sport five years later.

His number “42”, the title of a recent movie, depicts Robinson’s courage, intelligence and greatness in making his teammates and everyone around him more understanding and compassionate in a time when ignorance and bigotry often was the norm.

It’s no small wonder that  “42” is the first plaque that adorns the walls of the CE Social Hall and that Major League Baseball followed our lead at camp and placed “42” plaques on the outfield walls of every big league stadium.

Just as early CE leaders and campers anticipated that greatness was coming in ’42, our current leadership and campers are expecting greatness in all of you this summer. We are so excited and sure that your friendship and kindness will continue to enrich the Camp Equinunk legacy in 2013.


WE LIVE FOR THIS!…Inspires, makes us think, makes us laugh, makes us cry, makes a difference in our lives. Gives us courage to try, to pick ourselves up after falling, to venture forward and follow our dreams and an adventure, to allow the story to unfold and love that we’re all in it together.

These emotions are all stirred and sweetened every year at the Oscar ceremony as we saw last week at the 85th annual Academy Awards.

If some of you thought I was referring to camp and not the Oscars, what if the leading movies were filmed at camp?  What if??  Well, they might have looked a bit like this……

Argo, a great Color War theme, whether in Blue, Red or Gray/Grey with terrific break possibilities.  Imagine as speeding trucks chase a plane trying to prevent its take-off, portraying courage, imagination and commitment to our camp brothers and sisters and never forgetting someone or leaving a friend out.

Life of Pi, a compelling drama with a young(er) Chuck Porazzo cast in the title role on a raft at the new CBR waterfront, with a whistle and a clipboard as he stargazes in 3-D at endless CBR summer skies.

The historical Lincoln, a three plus hour movie that plays like a seven week summer memorializes the struggles of the Presidency and the Congress. It depicts them coming to grips with historical differences recognizing every voice regardless of their perspective and viewpoint. Set in the Senior Quad overlooking the lake, the Blue and Grey uniforms of the Union and the Confederacy could be updated by Morton’s and Everything Camper.

Les Miserables, like EBR, is about transformation, singing and cheering.  Gavroche, the youngest child, soars with his rendition of Little People and help saves the moment with his valiance and courage.  The show stopper, One Day More, is the anthem for every PC and every Upper Senior for wanting one more summer. The themes of Les Mis and CECBR transcend generations and are kept alive through all of our voices.

Flight, with Steven Gelobter, aka “MCW”, playing the pilot as he inverts his damaged plane for an amazingly safe landing as Color War breaks and even more surprising, the sheets land perfectly on Lehrer Field.

Zero Dark Thirty, dramatizes one woman’s unyielding efforts and commitment to stand up and be counted while putting much at risk in order to follow and be true to her beliefs. This is a time honored Blue Ridge theme we see summer after summer.

Silver Linings Playbook’s Oscar winner, Jennifer Laurence, trips, falls and triumphs just like in the movie as she receives her award in Hollywood.  At CECBR, we know our friends and counselors are always there to help pick us up and cheer our next victory.

However, my recent Oscar-worthy favorite moment was from 2012, Moneyball. A towering baseball player is awkward, fearful and reluctant to go for the extra base. Finally, after summoning the courage to try after a big hit, he trips rounding first base and slowly crawls back untagged. The first baseman as well as his coach are laughing and clapping. They’re cheering him and encouraging him to get up and run because the ball he never saw traveled 100 feet over the fence for a homerun.

Like all the Academy Award nominated films, everyone at CECBR  makes our hearts grow bigger, gives us strength as they stand by our side, makes every day an adventure, every moment a precious laugh and every day an uplifting story.

So…. the homerun or the Oscar goes to the entire CECBR Family 2013!!!