During staff orientation prior to each summer from the late 1960s into the early 1990s, Flick Fleischner (as camp director) would talk with counselors about the significance of their work with children. To paraphrase: “No matter what you do for the rest of your life, no matter what successes and fame await you, this may be the most important job you will ever have—for you will have the chance to make a difference in the life of a child.” I reflected recently on my father’s words after an email exchange with a current camp parent.
One of his sons, a first-year camper, was excited for the summer, but also a little nervous. Especially about his swim test. (This stir a few memories for many of you out there?) Boys head counselor Cory Schwartz had already been in touch and offered to swim alongside his son during the afternoon test on Opening Day. The dad loved this, remembering his own first day as a camper more than 40 years ago, when a counselor named Rob swam alongside him when he felt nervous— and how that had made all of the difference.
I remember the Rob of whom he speaks. He had been a college classmate of mine and spent exactly one summer at Scatico as a waterfront counselor. I wish I knew where he was today, so I could share with him how one small act of kindness as a camp counselor during the summer of 1977, helped launch a Scatico career that covered 6 camper years and now carries over to a next generation, how he is still remembered more than 40 years later by that then 9-year-old boy.
We talk with counselors all of the time about the positive and lifelong impact they can have on children. How a single moment of empathy can resonate for years. How they should reflect on any adults who made a positive difference in their lives when they were growing up and consider how they want their campers to remember them through the years to come in the future.
Of all the big and little magic that happens in any given summer—gazing into a campfire or admiring a sunset; an achievement or memorable moment at an activity; the energy of a fullcamp special event or the calm when talking with bunkmates on a cabin porch during an in-between time— so much can come down to the culture embraced by the camp community and the caring shown by a single counselor in a single instance.
...And when this year’s first-year camper becomes the parent of a first-year camper 40 years from now in 2058, he/she may just remember how a counselor took the swim test alongside them on Opening Day in 2018. Little acts of kindness reverberating and spreading to others from generation to generation….
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Yesterday and Today…
To the left: Six of ten 1993 Soopers got together in November in New York City to celebrate the upcoming 25th anniversary of their graduating summer.Front—Sara Michaelson Yarkon and Beth Herbstman Weinberg. Back— Melissa Green, Carrie Levitt Kaplan, Dori Popkin Chait, and Stacey Koretsky Strauss. To the right: On the long-since-dismantled Vomit Wheel on back campus in 1993.
How Much on eBay?
This issue’s award for best found piece of Scatico memorabilia goes to Cathy Fine, daughter of Stanley and Sandra Delson Fine (1940s). Cathy recently found the pin to the right while going through her mom’s possessions. Sandra passed away in 2009. She was a French Professor and the Founding Director of the Roslyn Artists String Quartet. Stanley, who currently lives on Long Island, followed up with the following email: “I first became a camper in 1943 (age 10) and stayed for about 6 years through Junior Counselor and my last name in those days was Finkelstein. 1943 was the year cut short by a camper developing polio. Harry Kaplan was the head counselor. I have home movies (now on DVD) of those days, including the ‘war canoe,’ waterfront carnival, and Uncle Nat shooting (and missing) foul shots. Also of two Knicks who were visiting, Carl Braun and Ernie Vandeweghe (father of Kiki). Ernie later went to Columbia Medical School while playing home games for the Knicks, two classes ahead of me. I am still practicing.”
Left—vintage 1960s-70s— “A quick green and gray gathering” in March in Washington, DC, with Rona Schmutter Siskind, Roberta Goodman Rosenberg, and Jill Herzog Phillips. Jill, who sent in the photo, reports that it was her first time seeing Roberta (who lives in Los Angeles) in 45 years. Jill and Rona live in Maryland.
Right—vintage 1950s-60s—a fall dinner with Stephen “Scooter” Schneider, Dennis Plehn, and Larry Fabian. Dennis reports: “Scooter is a psychiatrist practicing in San Francisco, I recently retired as a real estate broker and have recently relocated to Venice, FL, and Larry is an attorney and lives in New York City.”
Best Way to Take Your Mind Off of Politics? Think Camp.
We received the following email from Richard Trachtman, an Elizaville neighbor: July 2017: I was walking down Broadway, approaching 72nd Street, when I noticed two, short, elderly white-haired ladies stopping passersby on the corner. One of them came up to me and asked, “Are you a registered Democrat?” I replied, “I am. In Columbia County.” She raised up her hands on either side of her face and smiled widely, exclaiming “Columbia County. I love Columbia County. I went to camp there.” I asked which camp she went to. To which she replied, with great enthusiasm, “Camp Scatico.” I said, “That’s in Elizaville.” She replied, again with her hands raised and a huge smile, “Elizaville. I love Elizaville.” And I said, “Elizaville is my zip code.” With smiles on both of our faces she went back to collecting signatures for her preferred candidate and I went on my way, marveling at what a positive impact one summer camp could still have on someone 65 or 75 years later in life.
Carrying on the Tradition
More than 100 alumni will have children at camp this summer as campers or counselors. In no particular order: Jon Cooper, Andrea Baron Cooper, David Feldman, Marc Stiefel, Eric Strauss, Stacey Koretsky Strauss, Pam Blomberg Schwartz, Margie Ostrove, Andrea Friedman Voorhis, Chris Harwood, Alison Doliner Harwood, Dave Kedwards, Kara Horowitz Bockstein, Dori Popkin Chait, Jen Florin Finkel, Randy Goldstein, Stefanie Birbrower Greer, Ian Ranzer, Justin Lapatine, Roger Lowenthal, Larry Max, Ken Senior, Michael Vickers, Debb Falk Zerwitz, Jeff Hellman, Corey Gluckstal, Shawn Chudnoff Goldberg, Greg Mazarin, Josh Weiss, Gary Orseck, Hillary Nahoun Krane, Pavel Mozga, Maggie Parwinicka Mozga, Tom Rubinson, Jennifer Fleischner, Scott Yurdin, Beth Gustave Bochner, Samantha Nahoun Gornstein, Eric Kleiner, Jodi Kleiner, Alan Ranzer, Arthur Roses, Rob Rubin, Andrew Tannenbaum, Kerri Berkman Winderman, Andrew Zuckerman, Katie Mazarin Derasse, Laszlo Nemeth, Gregg Rosh, Stacey Lipton Schumer, Whitney Scott Jacobson, Barry Pisetzner, Melissa Rosenblum-Pisetzner, Melissa Koehler, Stephanie Deutsch Clendenin, Susie Oshatz Perlman, David Rothenberg, Jared Shapiro, Randi Madison Zelkin, Harley Sourifman Goodfriend, Dana Tannenbaum Savitsky, Brian Kanter, Alison Goodman Ecker, Jessica Clarke Newman, Aaron Ziff, Ben Klein, Sara Michaelson Yarkon, Rebecca Roses Harrison, Jen Feuer Kahn, Carlyn Ross Schlechter, Allison Stiefel Lobel, Pam Weiss Caldara, Kate Deutsch Eichel, Doug Florin, Scott Madison, Hillah Wiczyk Mendez, Jason Sanders, Ken Vallario, Dusty Fox, Aaron Wattenberg, Todd Garber, Sloan Zuckerman, Kara Haback Freeman, Lara Holzer Miller, Julie Nahoun Hartstein, Beth Yurdin Metzendorf, Jeff Araten, Linda Lowenthal Tolstoi, Adam Holzer, Patti Klyde Press, Melissa Fass Karlin, Julie Strauss Greeley, Todd Fass, Gerald Stein, Michael Ditkoff, Rob Klafter, Laura Danford Mandel, David Rosh, Jill Herzog Phillips, Jessica Weiner Mester, Jon Feldman, Elyssa Berger Schecter, Dave Berger, Felicia Berger, Wendy Sheldon Brown, Dick Hecker, Nancy Klyde Hecker, Michael Smiley, Leslie Wayte Heineman, Mike Madorsky, Elisa Segal Madorsky, Susan Greenbaum Gross, Carolyn Mitchell Kane, Todd Sherman, Becky Feuer, Randy Au, Lynette Au, Larry Hamburg, Richard Croland, Brandt Josephson, Courtney Chiddick, and Wendy Nedlin Schindler.
We Will Miss You
- Carol Rubinson Strauss, who passed away on January 29, 2018, attended Scatico from 1947-56. Her daughters Julie and Margie were at camp in the 1970s-80s and her granddaughters Kate and Jane Greeley return for their 7th and 10th summers respectively in 2018. Carol’s brother Richard Rubinson was also a camper as were/are Richard’s children and grandchildren. Carol was the co-president and managing director of Travel Four/Altour in Paramus, NJ. She maintained many Scatico friendships throughout her life. To the right—the summer of 1955, Carol and Dennis Rinzler as Laurie and Curley in a production of Oklahoma.
- Sandy Resnick Green, who passed away on May 8, 2018, attended Scatico from 1943-52. She was in the Pixie division her first summer at the age of 6 and stayed straight through until her graduating Sooper summer as a 15-year-old. She remained in touch with camp friends throughout her life and attended the 2012 reunion in Florida, where the photo to the right was taken. From left to right, Sue Kaplan Rudavsky, Joan Greenwald Halpern, Ilene Somkin Lowenthal, and Sandy.
- Trevor Isaac, Jr. who passed away on January 7, 2018, worked in the Scatico kitchen in 2005 and 2006. A fixture on the A court for afternoon “rec hoops,” Trevor managed the boys’ dining room in his second summer. He came to Scatico after serving as a youth leader at Fresh Youth Initiatives, a Washington Heights, NY, community organization founded by Scatico alumnus Andrew Rubinson.
Staying in Touch
Stay connected with fellow Scaticonians by e-mailing news, photos, and recollections to email@example.com. If you prefer the regular mail and printed pictures, that works just as well. We will even return the photographs after reproducing them for the Alumni Newsletter. We always love to hear about Random Scatico Sightings (RSSes) ….
How about two RSSes for a former Scatico parent? When Dori Popkin Chait (1980s-2000s) sent her a Scatico car magnet it wasn’t long before Leslie Popkin was flagged down on Northern Boulevard on Long Island by Ryan Ditkoff (a camper and CIT from 2009-17). Two days later, Leslie met Shawn Chudnoff Goldberg (1983-91—who was a few divisions ahead of Dori at camp) at a nearby JCC fund-raiser….
Largest RSS based on numbers of participants? When Diana Wallerstein, Andrea Arnold, and former girls head counselor Nancy Kleiner (lots of summers from the 1980s-2000s!) were out to dinner in Manhattan, a few tables away were former 1970s-80s bunkmates Patti Klyde Press and Melissa Kantor. Patti returns to Scatico in 2018 for her 6th summer as a camp nurse; Melissa is the president of Yorkville Staffing (a New York-based and tech-focused employment agency); and Andi owns Lifesaving Enterprises, a company that provides first aid and lifeguard training (including annual certification of Scatico counselors)….
In Memphis for a JCC conference, Rabbi Samantha Safran Bodner (1980s-2000s) ran into Scatico contemporaries Eric Kleiner and Ali Doliner Harwood, who were there for training as Lay Leaders in their communities….
Attending the show “Mean Girls” in Washington, D.C. Shira Savada (1990s-2010s) spotted siblings Zach, Gaby, and Halle Phillips with their mom Jill Herzog Phillips (1960s-80s) and aunt Jane Herzog (1960s-70s). Gaby and Halle return for their 11th Scatico summers in 2018 (third as counselors); Shira’s mom Andrea Matles Savada was a Scatico contemporary of the Herzog sisters 40+ years ago….
When Jane Rosenfeld (2004-17) attended a NYS-mandated training at the Bank Street College of Education as part of her Masters program, she ran into her former division leader and current school psychologist Rachel Wang (1997-2009)….
And possibly the most random of all RSSes—as reported by Charles Curtis (1990s): “I was with my son on a Q train platform [in Manhattan] recently, when a fellow New Yorker started chatting with him, asking if he liked trains. The voice and face were unmistakable—it was Lawrence ’LT’ Thaler, my former group leader. So great to catch up with him. Weeks later, I spotted former bunkmate David Herman on the subway on my way to a Brooklyn Nets game, also great to catch up with him.” Charles works for USA Today as a sports writer on their For the Win blog and has just published his second book in a sports and superheroes series aimed at kids 9 to 12 years old called Weirdo Academy….
When Maggie Brown (2007-18—daughter of Wendy Sheldon Brown and granddaughter of Barbara Lehman Sheldon) showed up for the first day of her Constitutional Law class at Washington University this spring, she was wearing a Scatico sweatshirt. It turns out that her Professor was Lee Spole Epstein (1960s-70s), who stopped her on the way out of class to tell her that she also went to Scatico. Maggie returns to camp for her 12th summer in 2018—and first as a division leader.
As for non-RSS Scatico news…. Manny Toonkel (1950s-70s) had a one-person art show for his work in mixed media at a Tribeca gallery in March. Scatico attendees included Doug Herzog, Jimmy Rosenzweig, Howard Kaplan, Dick Atkins, Andrew Levine, Jeff Abrams, Roger Warren, and Manny’s sister Arlene Toonkel (not everyone made the photo)….
Ben Krull (1960s-80s), an attorney by day and a freelance writer by night, has had recent essays published in the “On Parenting” section of the Washington Post and in the Queens Chronicle. In the latter, Ben shared his musings about sharing a Park Slope, Brooklyn, health club with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio….
…Congratulations to Jeff Bukantz (1974-79) who was elected president of Maccabi USA, a position held by Scatico founder Nat Holman from 1973- 81. Jeff fenced in the Maccabiah games in 1981 and has been a board member of Maccabi USA since 1993. His dad Dan Bukantz (a Scatico alumnus—1930s) was an Olympic fencer, representing the United States four times between 1948 and 1960….
Lance Gould (1978-1979) recently cofounded Silicon Valley Story Lab, a media strategy firm that works “primarily with purpose-driven organizations, many tied to the United Nations and the Sustainable Development Goals.” Recent travels on behalf of his company have taken Lance to Denmark, Sweden, Singapore, and Botswana, where he moderated a panel on youth and entrepreneurship at the University of Botswana (and with nine-time Olympic Gold Medalist Carl Lewis)...
Adrian Bennett traveled from the United Kingdom to work as an Outdoor Adventure counselor in the early 1980s. Today, he is the founding director of Broadwater Training, a company that develops and runs team development, management, and leadership programs for companies around the world...
Mike “Sandlot” Abrams (1990s) opened Dog Rock Resorts in January, “A luxury dog resort located in New City, NY, offer[ing] daycare and boarding for four-legged family members.” Mike is the son of Jeff Abrams (1960s-70s)….
Jon Gross (2006-16) danced for 46 consecutive hours (in a Scatico jersey) at a danceathon fund-raiser to benefit the Pediatric Cancer Center at the Penn State Children’s Hospital. The son of Susan Greenbaum Gross (1971-80), Jon was one of more than 700 university students who danced, raising more than $10 million during the event….
Rebeka “Rebi” Toth, from Hungary, has worked in the girls dining room the past two summers. Now graduated from University, she is planning the launch of Rebeer, a maker of craft wine and beer….
Kate Landis is a nursery school teacher living in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY. On a recent camp appointment in Hastings to welcome a first-time camper, we discovered that not only had Kate been the teacher of the camper-to-be, but that she lived a few blocks away. We couldn’t resist a quick visit….
It had been more than 20 years since 1990s staff members Lynette Au and Vanessa Bowcock last saw each other, but they re-connected in March in London. Lynette and her husband Randy were in England to visit their daughter Kael and assistant boys head counselor Matty Carroll. Matty and Kael met at Scatico as counselors in 2008 and were married in a ceremony at the girls campfire site in June 2016….
Mitch Tandet (1960-65) visited camp on May 15 for the first time since his last Scatico summer more than 50 years ago: “I can now check off an item on my bucket list. My wife and I spent a wonderful hour and a half walking down memory lane this morning! I loved walking around the boys camp and seeing how Scatico has both changed and remained the same since 1965…. My 6 years here were about the happiest times of my childhood!"...
In December, a “team” of 1980s-2010s alumni (standing—Nicki Fleischner, Natalie Polen, Michael Samuels, Hillary Rothman, and Brian Helfman; and kneeling—Rachel Modica, Melissa Samuels, and JoAnnna Datz) banded together at a Manhattan Soul Cycle to raise money for Experience Camp, a free one-week overnight camp for children who have lost a parent, sibling, or primary caregiver. Brian and Melissa will be returning for their third summers as volunteer counselors in 2018, and Melissa is also a member of the NYC Regional Advisory Committee. For information about volunteering or donating, visit www.experience.camp.com….
In closing, Brian Lewis wrote from his home in Switzerland: “When going through some old photos and memories, I came across a photo of camp from 1953. I was a counselor that year and enjoyed coming across this pleasant summer memory. Shortly thereafter I was drafted for the Korean War.” Sixty-five years can pass pretty quickly….
Thanks to all for staying in touch—please email news and photos for the Fall 2018 issue of the Alumni Newsletter to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Jenni Levine and Geoff Michener on May 5. Jenni spent 17 summers at Scatico (1993-2009) as a camper, counselor, and 3 -time division leader. There were quite a few Scaticonians present to help with the celebration: the proud parents of of the bride (Chas and Ellen); brother (Jason); uncles Peter and Andy Levine; cousins Ali Levine and Chelsea Levine; former bunkmates Stephanie Bukantz, Lauren Sherrard Azizian, and Robyn Mohr; current camp parents Jeff and Rebecca Googel; contemporary 3- time boys side division leader Josh Wigler; and Diana Wallerstein and David Fleischner with their daughters Audrey and Nicki.
The Next Generation
- Ava on 7/29/17 to Kevin and Dana Wattenberg Khani (1990-97). Dana’s brother Aaron was also a camper; Ava’s cousin Ellie is a current camper.
- Nathan on 10/6/17 to Todd Markowitz and Allie Fass (1987-94). Allie’s brother Jaret was a camper from 1990-95.
Diane Appel Rotmil sent in the photos below from the summer of 1977 (or 1978?). Left— “Sub Soaps” at the Divisional Sing. Right— “Double Trouble” evening activity. From left to right: Gail Belmouth, Jill Brown, Niki Berger, Amy Sheldon, Jill Reisel, and Amy Brown.
More than 30 years ago—vintage mid-1980s tournament-winning tennis team with Coach Simon Walker. Kneeling (left to right)—Eric Singer and Todd Polay; Standing—Bobby Weinberg, Brian Kanter, Simon, Ken Senior, and Corey Gluckstal. Brian, Ken, and Corey will all have sons at camp this summer.
Calling All Photos:
We are looking for classic (and even not-so-classic) photos to print in future issues of the Alumni Newsletter. Send by e-mail as an attachment to email@example.com or by mail to: Camp Scatico, PO Box 6, Elizaville, NY 12523. We will return the originals, if requested.