Blog Entry

Are Herzl Camp Alumni Food for the Soul?

December 2, 2011 by , under General Posts, Letters from Alumni, Letters from Staff.

Jenna (Gordon) Budda, Jesse Simon, Marcy Simon, Bobby Shapiro, Beth (Altman) Pfeifer, Kim (Schneider) Gelperin, Leah Goldstein, Emily Mermelstein, Ellen (Berdass) Feldman, Adam Chall

By: Anna Simon, Community Relations and Event Manager

What does it really mean to be Herzl Camp alumni? I decided to start with the dictionary…

The American Heritage Dictionary defines an alumnus, as “a graduate of a school, college, or university.” Alumni are also former members, employees or contributors. According to Merriam-Webster online, the noun “alumnus” comes from the verb “alere”, which means “to nourish.”  Fascinating.

So, does that mean am I responsible for providing healthy and delicious food for the campers? Well, there are definitely a few precedents for that…

Alum Amy Cytron spent a day working hard in the kitchen this past summer. She actually did nourish the campers!

Some of you may remember when the Hanhallah used to cook dinner in the old Chadar for all of camp on Thursday nights. The kitchen staff had the night off so the Hanhallah would take over the kitchen and prepare the food. Admittedly, the only person who actually had any knowledge of cooking at the time was Shelley Kornblum, who always doctored up the baked beans.

So it’s been done before, but for most of us, cooking for the campers is just not a realistic option!   So I go back to the dictionary…The definition for nourish is “to support or encourage”. From there, I’m taking the leap that alumni take action to keep Camp thriving for the next generation.  Nourishing. Supporting. Encouraging.

At Herzl, alumni nourish, support, encourage in a lot of ways.

Did you know that the majority of our camper parents are actually Herzl alumni themselves?  If you are reading this blog, you probably do know that BUT what you may not know is that it’s unusual, even unheard of, at other camps.  Herzl is a “legacy” camp – a shared experience between parents, kids, grandparents, maybe even great-grandparents!

So, if you have kids, you are probably supporting Herzl by sending the next generation of campers (and BTW, there are still spots available for Summer 2012, click here to register!)

Or maybe you are supporting and encouraging Camp by coming back to camp yourself – for Winter Alumni Camp…or Family Camp…or Kishishim…or the ’72 Ozo Reunion…or the ’60-64 Staff Reunion…(More info on our Alumni page)

And over 1,000 of you will live camp vicariously this December by making a gift to camp so you can be part of the next generation of campers.  There’s a simple joy in paying it forward – knowing that I’m sending a kid to camp or making some special programming possible.  Someone made camp possible for me and now I’m making it possible for someone else.  I think I may have even learned that Jewish value at camp…If you haven’t made a gift yet, do it online – click here to donate.

So at Herzl, we’re literally never too old to be campers and we can always be a part of the power and magic of Herzl.

Shabbat Shalom!

Anna & Beth (Altman) Pfeifer in the Old Chadar, 1995

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One Response to “Are Herzl Camp Alumni Food for the Soul?”


Comment by Alex Locke.

Winter Alumni Camp… I’m going to that one!

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