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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                        ...

Sunday, September 1, 1996

Staff Returning to Camp

                                                                                    September, 1996

Dear G.U.C.I. Staff:

The last staff letter I wrote to you was bursting with the anticipation of a
summer to be.  Now I write to you from the quiet of my office during the lull
of time between the
 summer that was and the Rosh Ha Shannah that is almost. 
Thoughts of this past summer will warm me long into the winter; it was that
good.  The sparks that illuminated our Goldman Union Camp flame this summer
came from many directions.  They joined and burned brightly.  From our youngest
Garin campers (third and fourth graders) overcoming homesickness and leading
the community in beautiful Friday evening Shabbat T'fillot; to a rowdy and
rambunctious Avodah unit painting the camp truck at 2:00 A.M., camp shined a
radiant, youthful, Jewish light.   It was a summer of beginnings and renewals. 
We welcomed many new staff members, including six great new Israeli friends. 
And we welcomed back several staff family members who returned to camp after
being away for years.  Julie Waterman (whose homecoming actually started in
'95), Judy Abramson, and Danny Nichols came home to G.U.C.I. this summer.  They
not only added their talents, enthusiasm, and energy to our collective pool,
they gave much more, a sense of G.U.C.I. history to our staff.  In addition, a
visit from Ian Silver, a ten year Avodah reunion led by Linda Ross, drop-in
visits by Jim Bennett, Danny and Jason Gottlieb, faculty stints by Sandford
Kopnick, Lee Freedman, and Mark Glickman, and Adam Morris' return engagement as
a unit head, this time in Garin, were constant reminders of the rich heritage
our staff inherited here at Goldman Camp.  This summer's staff stood the test
of time and took its own place in our camp's history.  I am proud to be a part
of it.

There were many personal lights shining this summer as well.  I cannot really
express how meaningful it was for me to work with my sons Jeremy and Michael,
together on our Leadership Staff.  I admit to some (perhaps more than a few)
emotional moments watching them work with their kids and fellow staff members. 
I was proud of their individual struggles to achieve all that we hold dear in
our thoughts and feelings of camp.  As the Camp Director, I loved working with
Mark Covitz and this summer's Leadership Staff.  But as a Camp Director who is
also a father, it was a special gift to be given a summer like this with my

I learned a lot this summer.  A fellow named Mike Melon, an H.U.C. student, 
came by for a few weeks to learn about camp.  I think he did that, but in turn,
taught me a thing or two about being open and inviting to kids.  I watched him
walk into an established camp society, toward the end of the summer, and
immediately find his place among the staff, Leadership staff, and campers. 
Important lessons.

And then there was Danny Nichols who taught us how to sing.  He brought back to
G.U.C.I. a renewed spirit and emotional energy which, I believe, will be with
us for years to come.  He really linked the best of our camp's past to a
renewed spirituality of today and had a profound affect on us all.  Danny wrote
a kind of rockin' tune to the prayer we use to begin each day, "Baruch Atah
Adonai Elohaynu Melech Ha Olam, Sh'Natan Lanu Hisdamnut Letaken Et Ha Olam. 
Blessed are you Adonai our God, King of the universe, for giving us an
opportunity to make this a better world."  So many bright, shining, and smiling
camper faces told me that we had done just that; this summer, here in

I hope that 5757 brings you many bright lights and smiling faces.