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Friday, December 23, 2016

Camp Directors' Kids, +'s and -'s

                                                                                                               Dec. 2016

Dear Family and Friends:

Last night I happened upon a podcast (thank you Katy for putting it on FB).  Micah Hart, son of long-time Director of the Jacobs Camp Institute in Utica, Miss, Macy B. Hart, has instituted a pod cast called" Campfires and Color Wars."  Micah's brilliant idea is to create 45 minute segments all based on experiences at summer camp.  Well, last night's centered around what it is like being the child of the Camp Director.  Micah hosted his sister Leah Tennen and my son Mike Klotz.  It was so interesting for me to hear Mike talk about camp and being my son at camp.

At first I was a bit apprehensive.  My first thought was, "Oh god, this could be a real bitch session where the kids unload about how unfair it was to be in that position and how difficult their fathers made it for them."  But that was not the case.  My wife and I listened to the entire show and it was...heartwarming. I don't want to paraphrase what was said; but I do want to encourage you all to listen to the show and to subscribe to the podcast as I have done.  Cut and paste the following into your browser to tune in:

It's funny.  Macy and I were best camp director friends for over 25 years.  We met the first winter I was hired to direct what was then called Union Camp Institute, before I'd even had a summer under my belt.  the Camp Directors' meeting that February was held at Jacob's camp where we were shown Macy's newly poured kitchen floor and heard a lecture about portion control (how big should a cutlet be, anyway?).  I thought, "What did I get myself into?"  I was studying to be a rabbi and wanted to run a Jewish program centered camp.  I'd never thought about kitchen floors or the size of portions.  Over the years I learned so many practical lessons which enabled GUCI to be that Jewish program centered camp institute.   Macy and I immediately hit it off.  We would spend the next 25 years rooming together at every UAHC biennial, NFTY convention and UAHC staff meeting.  I cannot over state the amount I learned from Macy...about camping...and about life.  We talked about everything.  And we conferred about things when we hit the rough spots that all camp directors encounter.

Now our kids are great camp friends and are talking about their dads.  Give a listen.


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