By Michael Davis, Alex Gelman & Beth Kanofsky
When you reminisce about camp reunions, a ski weekend or sleepover may come to mind. Some reunions happen on a subway train or a street corner, when you run into someone who you haven’t seen since you hugged them at the end of the summer on the porch of Carmel Boys 1. The truth is, throughout our multi-generational, international Harlam universe, camp reunions happen everyday and everywhere! Some reunions celebrate life’s great milestones. Just recently, we attended the wedding of our old friend Beryl Trauth-Jurman and Mary Grace Coalter in Richmond, Virginia. While it had been a while since we were all together at camp in the summer of 2014, we instantly rekindled the bond that only summers at Camp Harlam can bring. It was a joy to celebrate their special moment and create new memories with members of our Camp Harlam family.
Some Harlam reunions happen on purpose, as old friends meet up. Alex and Michael both live in New York City. They try to see each other as often as possible but life as usual gets in the way. When they do get together at a local restaurant, they always irritate the waiters by talking too loudly and staying too late, discussing their current lives and all of the meaningful memories that they had at camp.
Some Harlam reunions take place between people who have never even met before. When Beth was working at the National Women’s Law Center in Washington, D.C., someone stopped her on her first day at work to ask about Camp Harlam. Marcia Greenberger, a founder and co-president of the organization, had seen Camp Harlam on Beth’s resume and shared that she had spent summers at Harlam in its very first years. At that moment, a wonderful connection was formed between two Harlamites of different generations.
Getting involved in Harlam@60 means a year full of exciting and fulfilling reunions. Being a part of Harlam@60 has already given us the opportunity to reconnect with old friends we’ve spent summers with in years past, as well as to forge new friendships with Harlamites of different eras. Camp Harlam has changed a lot since 1958, and everyone’s experience with camp is different – some people think Iguana Ball should be an Olympic sport, while others might think it’s a type of basketball game played by lizards. But for all that’s changed about Camp Harlam, more has stayed the same. A summer spent at camp instantly connects you to everyone who has ever spent a summer there, to those who are there now, and to generations to come. Getting involved in Harlam@60 is your chance to rekindle an old bond, forge a new one, and work with others to celebrate and invigorate the place that gave us all so much.