We loved seeing all of the pictures from camp get togethers in November! We are counting down the minutes until we’re all reunited on Saturday at the NY/NJ reunion! The reunion will take place from 10 a.m to 1 p.m. at Sportime USA in Elmsford, NY!
A message from The Krouners:
Our family has always been deeply committed to making the Schodack experience available to a more diverse population of campers. To accomplish this, we began personally scholar-shipping campers in 2004. In addition, we spearheaded the establishment of The Schodack Campership
Initiative (SCI) because we wanted to give Schodack alumni and current families the opportunity to join us in this wonderful endeavor. Operated by Camp Schodack alumni and parents, SCI is a non-profit organization dedicated to sharing the Schodack experience with children who come from underrepresented backgrounds.
Our family will always offer these camperships because we have seen how it enriches the camp experience for everyone and we hope others, through SCI, will join us in this endeavor.
To that end, the SCI Board is excited to make two announcements…
* Recently, there was an installation of a new executive board. Please join us in welcoming…
– Brett Cohen, President
– Andrew Lief, Vice-President
– Greg Maltzman, Treasurer
– Leah Zygler, Clerk
– Sydney Blumstein, Board Member
– Brian Snerson, Board President Emeritus
– Ben April, Board President Emeritus
Also, please join us in thanking outgoing Board President Ben April and Board Vice-President Larry Klein. Under their leadership and guidance, SCI has averaged two camperships per year over the past several years.
* You can become a permanent part of Camp Schodack by participating in the SCI Brick Campaign. SCI is selling bricks and will be creating a beautiful walkway with them on camp. Leave a lasting impression on camp by sharing your family name, favorite bunk or a special memory from camp. Bricks cost $250 each. For more information and to register, click to: http://www.scicharity.org/
Let me list all the clichés: the wind is howling outside my dorm room window as I write this, I’m listening to old alma maters, Facebook’s recent memories are showing me that I left camp 3 months ago to the day.
There’s a lot of uncertainty in my life right now, but this past summer taught me how to deal with uncertainties. Wrangling 90 LTs (“the children”) with a co-staff of six was no easy task. We had classic mix ups like bringing the kids to The Playhouse (when it was the Garden) and the Garden (when it was the Playhouse), but we all came out on the other end tanner, stronger, and happier.
More clichés: on really tough days and even on not-so-tough days, I scroll through photos from this summer … and last summer … and the summer before that. I listen to all the songs my girls have put in the massive Google Doc labeled “Triple Crown Ideas 2017!!!” I ignore the emails reminding me to pre-register for next semester, I procrastinate writing my final papers, I pretend that I don’t need to start applying for my concentration. I read old yearbook notes.
“Are you coming back?”
It’s the worst question. It hovers over the table during late-night My Place runs. It lingers in the Common Room while you sit on duty with your girls. It hits you like a bus on the last morning when that junior camper gives you a bear hug and tearfully looks into your eyes while clinging to your chest.
There’s an inverse relationship between the impact of the question and the certainty of your answer: as you get older and older, that simple ask digs deeper and deeper into your chest, and your response wavers as the summers churn on by.
I posted in my girls’ Facebook group last month, explaining that I had received a life-changing internship offer and that I would not be returning to camp.
“Being your counselor and friends has literally redefined who I am as a person,” I wrote. “Which of course begs the question, ‘Why would you not come back to camp?’”
I’ve checked all the boxes at Schodack: I was a camper, a CIT, a bunk counselor, an activity counselor, LT Staff. I’ve painted a couple dozen dedication plaques and a few more Tribals plaques. I spent five mind-bogglingly exhilarating days as a Tribals general alongside three of the most kind-hearted people I’ve ever met – two of whom I grew up with at camp. I’ve won Apache. I’ve stargazed on the tennis courts, I’ve run around in yellow rain boots and tutus, I’ve made handshakes with 44 girls, I’ve danced and sung “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” in the rain with my campers.
I’ve gotten up early and gone to bed late, worked 18-hour days, 6-days a week, come home early from days off to spend more time with my kids. I’ve made best-friendships and more memories than my brain can remember or my heart can hold.
I’ve gotten to do it all in a short 12-summer tenure. So why come back once again, even though that Apache will never be run again, even though those best-friendships are opting to do internships instead, and even though some of my girls are now in the Schodack Staff 2017 Facebook group with me?
Every summer from here on out is just a cherry on top. My memory-making is coming a close, but I want to be there to ensure my girls have every opportunity to make those same memories. I want to be there for their water fight with behind the Lodge. I want to cheer them as they go down the waterslide while it’s torrentially down-pouring. I want to watch them fall in love with being a counselor.
No internship could be as life-changing as realizing that your purpose in life is to work with children and encourage that same sense of curiosity, excitement, passion, dedication and love that was once cultivated in you by your counselors. Let my peers work for senators, travel the globe, intern in hospitals. I’ll be with my kids.
My Return to the 12123…
To Paraphrase Dwayne Johnson, aka ‘The Rock’…”Finally, Carter has come back to Schodack!”
Seven long, cold, camper’s choice-free years had passed before I finally set foot back on that hallowed turf that has been a 2nd home for so many of you and one that I considered a first home for a long time after spending years working year round with Paul, Matt, Owen, Karen & Peggy.
To say that I was excited would not do justice to the overwhelming joy that was building up inside me as I booked my flights. I contacted old staff and campers and harassed the year-round team to make sure that I could come to Schodack not just as a visitor, but as a member of the team – ready to put my energy, skills and experiences to use and once again be a part of the magic that happens every year in Nassau, NY.
When I last left Schodack (finally having a Tribals Plaque to call my own with the greatest Co-General ever in Julia Kaplan) I quoted a song lyric in my yearbook article saying that, “There has never been any place quite like this one, and for once in my lifetime, maybe I’d be foolish not to stay.” To return to Schodack this summer reminded me of that feeling, but it also hit home that the joy of camp being 2 months and not 10 (as so many of us have wished for in the past) and the fact that eventually most of us have to leave to take on other challenges is that we get to grow up, find someone to share our life with, have a family and then share with those new family members the greatest place in the world…Camp.
Camp is and always will be the best education I have ever had. I remember reading Will Borowka’s blog talking about how he knew he was ready for college because Camp had prepared him for it. I feel the same about every challenge I face and I will always try to share Schodack with everyone I know and meet.
I could write about my love of Camp for pages and pages, but I’ll keep it short and just say, I want to thank the all of you who were at Schodack this summer for the amazing welcome that I received, in particular the Head Staff who let me wonder around like I owned the place and the Waiters that welcomed me on my very first night!
Finally, I’ll leave you with my top 3 Schodack moments and a final thought:
- Breaking Tribals as Willy Wonka – because we made something truly amazing happen that night for staff and campers alike.
- Every time I drive around the corner toward Camp, pick a song to play and start the countdown…10, 9 ,8…
- My very first night at Camp, sleeping in B3. I was anxious, excited, a little scared and having no idea what was about to happen for that summer. I’ll forever be a little jealous of everyone that gets to relive that feeling.
My final thought is that I think I will always teach everyone I know the importance of learning the difference between a lump in your oatmeal, a lump in your throat and a lump in your breast. Life is lumpy. Life is unfair. Luckily for all of us, Camp Schodack will be there to help teach us to tell the difference.
Good night, Sig.
Is this blog Quard? Hundo P!
Where do words come from, anyway?
While much of the English language comes from Latin, Old Norse, Germanic and French influences from well over a thousand years ago, new words have cropped up throughout history. I mean it is not like the Vikings needed the word television, is it?
Any idea where the word Penguin came from? No? Neither did I, but The Oxford Dictionaries tells us that
The name originally applied to the great auk (now extinct) of the seas around Newfoundland in Canada, and may have come from the Welsh pen gwyn, meaning ‘white head’. In the logbook of the Golden Hind… in 1577–80, there is a reference to a ‘(bird), which the Welsh men name Pengwin’ …The sailors on the expedition may have mistaken penguins for great auks (which) resembled a penguin in that it was a large flightless bird with black and white plumage.
So there it is – some guys just decided to name something that they had never seen before, and wouldn’t you know it, the name stuck.
Apparently, back in the 1790s in Ireland, Richard Daly made a bet that in two days he could make a brand new word with no meaning known throughout the city, and that the public would supply a meaning for it. He told his staff to write the word ‘quiz’ on walls around the city. The next day the strange word was the talk of the town, and within a short time it had become part of the language.
There is some doubt as to whether this story is actually true, which only makes it more interesting in a way. What really did happen?
There are examples in sports and entertainment of people succeeding or failing to make new words or phrases ‘happen’. The famous basketball coach, Pat Riley, told the world that his Los Angeles Lakers would go for the ‘threepeat’ in 1989. The Lakers did not in fact win a third championship in a row, but the word has stuck. Gretchen Wieners in the movie Mean Girls famously tries make the word ‘fetch’ become part of the language, but is sharply told by Regina George ‘stop trying to make fetch happen; it’s not going to happen!’
All of which brings us to what has been going on at Camp Schodack over the last year or so!
The massive overuse of the term ‘awkward’ brought about, in my opinion, the need for a new word. Everything was awkward, even the really minor stuff. In fact most of it wasn’t awkward at all, it was, well, quard. Sure, two people reaching for the last slice of pizza at the same time was ‘something’…but, fully awkward? I think not!
And while some may like to say ‘a little awkward’, or even, ‘a bit awkward’ why use 4 or even 5 syllables when a nice, neat quard would do just as well.
The key to quard is time – if a situation looks like it will be over quickly and have no lasting effect, it’s quard, not awkward!
Now, so far, quard hasn’t ventured too far out of middle school soccer in Newton, MA and standard Super Senior and LT usage at Camp Schodack.
But do I hope it spreads further?
(I imagine right now a bunch of you are thinking, ‘Hundo P? That’s not an expression! What does it even mean?)
But it does exist! It just isn’t widely known yet!
Hundo P is a phrase that Drew Kantor brought from his fraternity house at Emory University. How it started there I don’t know, but Hundo P is an even better bet to catch on than quard. It has a really good ring to it!
Hundo P may be used instead of ‘100 per cent, ‘definitely’, ‘for sure’ or ‘of course’ and is just a whole lot cooler than any of those terms.
Finally, the key with using both quard and Hundo P is to look just a bit surprised that everyone DOESN’T know the words yet. It will probably mean they start using the words themselves!
Next stop Nickelodeon and the Oxford Dictionaries!!