By Nissa Weinberg
By Nissa Weinberg
For weeks, we knew the inevitable was coming, but when we received the email that Camps Airy and Louise were closing for the summer, I truly felt a deep sadness in my heart. While I recognize that there are far more serious tragedies going on in the world, this is still a loss that is felt by our family in so many ways.
I attended Camp Louise as a camper for six years, and as a counselor for three. Camp holds a special place in my heart, so it was never a question that my kids would attend when they were old enough. My son, Adley, has been going to Camp Airy for three summers. My middle son, Rece, was planning to attend Camp Airy for the first time this summer.
Camps Airy and Louise held a community wide Zoom to explain to families how they came to their decision, and I found myself crying the entire time. It wasn’t just about the fact that my kids weren’t going to experience camp this summer, it was also because camp is a special place for so many people, and if you love it as much as I do, you think of it like a second home.
Even though I haven’t attended camp for close to twenty years, I still feel its presence in my heart every summer. Just the thought that the campgrounds will be empty, children will not be running around, holding hands, swaying to music together, having campfires, and just immersing themselves in camp life, is truly sad to me.
Adley loves camp when he is there, and we know it will still be there when we are all ready to return back to normal. This summer is going to be very different, unlike any summer we’ve ever had before. For our family, we have found some silver linings in all of this, the most special of which is being able to spend so much time with each other.
Our plans for the summer are to continue to spend time together, get creative with our outdoor activities, hold “campfires” in a fire pit we are planning to purchase, and go swimming in an above-ground pool we recently installed in our backyard. We also plan to do some virtual activities that the camps are offering throughout the summer to stay connected with camp friends. Like, I’m sure many other families are doing, we are creating our own “Camp Weinberg,” so to speak.
I am looking forward to putting my Camp Louise counselor skills to good use this summer. As for Camps Airy and Louise, we will miss you, but we look forward to seeing you again in Summer 2021 and beyond!
Through community outreach, education and public awareness, The Associated’s Center for Jewish Camping engages and inspires the Greater Baltimore Jewish community, in order to maximize the number of children attending Jewish camp and ensuring a vibrant Jewish future.
Partner camps include BT Camps, Camps Airy & Louise, Camp Havaya, Camp Ramah in the Poconos, Camp Shoresh, Capital Camps, Habonim Dror Camp Moshava, J Camps, Perlman Camp, Tiyul Adventure Camp at Pearlstone, URJ Camp Harlam and URJ 6 Points Creative Arts Academy
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