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Old 08-16-2011, 02:36 PM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Florida
Posts: 9
Visiting Day

After a little more than a week at camp, we came upon the annual ritual of visiting day. Whether visiting day during the three-week trip was intended to maintain parity with the six-week trip, or to assure parents that their children were in a safe place, or to actually overcome the separation anxiety of as many as ten days away from home, visiting day was an unwelcome intrusion on my Wel-Met experience. Sure, some kids loved the preposterous volume of candy hauled back to the bunks. Some may have even enjoyed seeing a parent or a sibling or showing off the waterfront or an arts-and-crafts project. Certainly after five summers at Narrowsburg, I had moved on.

We spent the early morning hours cleaning an all but uncleanable bunk to a state that seemed perfect for us and rustic, to be polite, for everyone else. Everything was put in place just right. The “normal” morning routine was disrupted by the building tension of the afternoon’s impending activities. Lunch was a mad dash through typical mess hall fare to be able to get back to the bunks or wherever else we would intercept the visitors, visions of unhealthy treats dancing in our heads.

As a staff member, I later learned of the bizarre efforts parents went through to get to their darlings just a little more quickly. We yelled, cajoled, and negotiated with the masses for an orderly stampede at the precise moment.

When the grand reunion came, it was short-lived as after all, wasn’t it just about a week ago we had said good-bye to these people and hello to the freedom of the alternative universe of Wel-Met? So we gave the tour, ate the food, and then waited until it was all over. We assured our visitors that we were having fun, remained healthy, missed them terribly but not too much, and looked forward to returning home. We then suffered the pregnant pause of how many more hours until it was over; boyfriends and girlfriends reunited, bunkmates swapping loot, and counselors attempting to move on to the next scheduled activity.

This year, the three-week campers would have endured Visiting Day on August 21. (For what good Jewish camp would have visiting day on other than a Sunday?) While I am nostalgic for my Wel-Met experience, I am singularly grateful that at least I don’t have to put up with another Visiting Day.

[A final footnote – This year Wel-Met alumni mourn the loss of one of our own. My brother Robert Turin passed away after a long and brave battle with ALS. He leaves behind a wife, three grown boys, and many memories from our Wel-Met days.]
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Old 08-16-2011, 05:17 PM   #2
Alan Alterbaum
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Yorktown Hts., NY
Posts: 25


My condolences to you and to Rob's family. I have fond memories of him and join you in your loss. I am so sorry to hear of his passing.

May his memory be for a blessing.

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Old 08-17-2011, 12:53 PM   #3
Harvey Shiffman
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: florida
Posts: 50
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condolenses to you and your family
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