“I went to Poyntelle and Lewis from 1972-1978. Those summers have always been the highlights of my teen years. But who would think that the friendships made during those short weeks every summer would become lifetime friendships? There are five of us (now four) that have made the effort to stay part of each other’s lives through all of the usual milestones (marriages, babies, jobs) and one tragedy (we lost one of us, Jon Weiss, to cancer in 2007). And, when Jon passed away, it was a calling for my buddies and I to raise money to renovate the Rec Hall in his memory.
My girls also consider CPLV a significant part of their lives. It’s one of those wonderful parental slices of joy to see Rachel look forward to summers the same way that I did and more importantly to forge the same types of friendships that I did all those years ago. CPLV is very much a part of my family’s identity.”
“When I thought about why I would give back to CPLV, the answer couldn’t have come more easily. This morning I woke up as a 30 year old married Jewish woman who occupies her time working as a Geriatric Social Worker in New York City by day, having dinner with 4 of my closest girlfriends at night, all followed by being a wife to a great Jewish guy, who would love to do the Iron Man around the Lewis lap, rather than avoid it at all costs like me.
I think I really began to ‘take shape’ around 12 years of age. I was the new kid at CPLV, with more junk in my trunk than all of the other kids, in the most literal and figurative sense. I was warmly accepted by my bunk mates who, over the last 18 years, became my childhood support system, my NYC room mates and then my bride maids and ketubah signers on my wedding day.
As children, we would walk to Block and Hexter Vacation Center, the older adult camp down the road from CPLV. While participating in the inter-generational program through CPLV and Block and Hexter, I knew that I had a purpose (at the time it was baking challah and hearing stories about grandchildren), when it came to making an impact with older adults. The foundation had begun to build and lead me to earn a BA in Gerontology and a BA in Psychology, followed by a Master’s in Social Work with a focus in Health and Aging. People always laugh when I say “I love old people,” but it is true and that feeling began through the unique programming at CPLV.
Who I woke up as today, the person that writes this letter, has so much to do with CPLV, that I could not imagine not thinking about the ‘tomorrow’ of the camp I credit so much of my character towards. Signing the legacy sheet, and agreeing to bequeath a portion of my estate when I pass away, will only help to ensure that future children are granted the same privilege of having life long friends, and the kind of summer memories that underscore a truly happy childhood. I was lucky enough to discover and follow my bliss due to CPLV, and it is my hope that future campers of Camp Poyntelle-Lewis Village possibly find their own passion through Jewish camping, which they could turn into their profession.”
“In a time of pre-adolescent uncertainty and not feeling connected Jewishly, my experiences at Lewis Village swept right in and transformed me into a complete, compassionate, self aware young woman. Over my over 10 years at camp, my connections with bunkmates, counselors and head staff metamorphacized me into the professional, friend, wife and mother I am today. I owe a lot to Camp Poyntelle – there is nothing I would love more than for my boys to spend their summers there – other than ensuring it’s there for their children. My husband and I decided to become a part of the Legacy Society because we know that there is no better foundation for a child than Jewish camping.”
Kelly Smith Brown