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(You Gotta) Accentuate the Positive and Eliminate the negative...

Pay no attention to the number by the month.  Here's a good thought for the New Year.  Shannah Tovah. Ron                        ...

Wednesday, September 1, 1993

"So, How Was the Summer?"


                                                                                          September, 1993

Dear G.U.C.I. Staff:

I often wonder what people expect me to say when they ask, "So, how was the
summer?"  Do they really expect me to answer that?  The fact is, I can hardly
remember what the summer was like.  I know that camp was full, and that it
rained for the first five weeks of the summer.  That everyone at camp worked
incredibly hard and that spirit was high.  That the summer came and went in a
blur (as I get older, they seem to get blurrier and blurrier).  Kids went to
the emergency room, kids had fun, kids learned, kids made friends, some grew up
a lot, some a little, some fell in love, some didn't.  It was a summer of life,
intense life.

We were touched by two profound tragedies this summer.  Five of our staff
members left camp to attend a fraternity brother's funeral in St. Louis.  I
believe it must have been like an episode of "The Twilight Zone" for them to
leave camp, participate in such a difficult and emotionally draining
experience, and then to return to camp and assume the posture of counselor or
unit head.  I am often surprised at the strength and maturity of our staff.

Two days after OVFTY Institute ended, we received the news of Josh Lerner's
death.  As you may know, Josh was one of our kids; camper, Avodahnick, staff
member.  Even though we knew it was coming, it was crushing news.  The events
of the summer so paled in comparison to the magnitude of these tragedies, that
it is hard for me to recall much of what happened prior to going to Chicago for
Josh's funeral.  I will tell you this though, about thirty camp staff people
came to the funeral.  It was a completely gut-wrenching experience.  But
watching our staff comfort each other, and care for each other, filled me with
a sense of pride.  I was proud of them, and, to be honest, I was proud of the
work we are doing.  Their love for each other told the story of camp.  At the
most difficult of times, they were the best that a family can be; a Jewish
family, sometimes at each other's throats, but never-the-less there for each
other when the chips are down.  Through the tears, it was a beautiful thing to

So, that's how the summer was.  And now we turn to 1994/5754.  I wish you all
the best for a Shannah Tova.  How has the year started?  The Bears are 0 and 2;
things can only get better.