Reflections from Lake Oldham

  • When my daughter was 9 years old, and I was making the decision about where to send her to overnight camp, we took tours of several New England Jewish camps. Camp Pembroke was not the first camp we looked at, but it was most definitely the last. As soon as she heard that wearing pajamas to breakfast was an option, my child was 100% sold! I was thrilled that my daughter was so definitive about her choice, and I agreed with her  but for very different reasons.

    I loved the fact that as soon as we got out of the car, campers ran up to us, telling us how much we were going to love Camp Pembroke, and urging my daughter to enroll. These were clearly unsolicited endorsements  which to me were the best kind! There was very clearly a solid sisterhood that existed within this quiet setting, in its unique little corner of the universe. I wanted my daughter to be part of that, and to form lifelong friendships with the other campers from all over the United States, and with the counselors from all over the world. Little did I know that only six short seasons later, while my daughter was fortunate enough to be part of the Dor L’Dor Leadership Program through the Cohen Camps, I would be joining the staff of Camp Pembroke!

    Now, fourteen summers later, celebrating my ninth summer as Director of this very special place, I am counting down the days until camp is filled with the happy faces of more than 300 girls, anticipating the best summer of their lives. For me, this is the most fulfilling part of what I do  welcoming our girls to Camp Pembroke, wondering who they will be when they leave us, only three and a half or seven short weeks later. Each year, the challenge is to try to ensure that every camper is able to appreciate herself, and all those around her, and leave this place even better than she was when she arrived. I hope that each of our girls finds something new in herself, and is able to define her own sense of Judaism and who she is as an individual.

    I am all moved in to my seasonal home here at Camp Pembroke, and while I do appreciate the quiet and peacefulness at times, I long for the noise that 300 campers create. But I am excited and happy because I know that in a couple short weeks, my summer family will be joining me here, creating memories to add to the cache I already have. I am eagerly looking forward to watching the campers of 2012, as they learn new skills, make new friends, and discover new facets of themselves.

2 responses to “Reflections from Lake Oldham”

  1. Susan Siegel says:

    Ditto…my daughter wouldn’t even look at another camp! Abie spent 15 summers at Pembroke, and has withdrawals as each season unfolds!

  2. DebKatz says:

    Both my girls love camp and I couldn’t imagine a happier place!

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