Our first Shabbat of the summer was spectacular. Our theme for services for this first week of camp was “We are one family.” On Friday night in the Elmore Solomon Chapel, we welcomed new campers and staff into our Blue Star family and reflected on our connectedness not only as a camp community but also as one human family. We came together to pray, sing and share a joyful and peaceful Shabbat spirit that resonated from the Chapel all throughout camp. When we unveiled the names we had added to the memorial board in our camp chapel this summer, I shared the following quote from Buddha with our campers and staff…“To those in whom love dwells, the whole world is but one family.” Our Blue Star family seems to share a unique heart, one that spans generations, wishes the best for all humanity, stays connected to each other and to the spark of magic that we hope each of us finds in ourselves from the time we spend at camp.
Making this first weekend of our 2016 camp season even more special was that we were joined by an illustrious (think: BSC all stars!) group of camp alumni. All former long time campers and staff (most whom have been members of our leadership team in various capacities over the years), this close knit group of camp best friends returned to Blue Star to celebrate the upcoming marriage of two camp sweethearts, Susanna (Susu) Fried and David Cohen. Susu and David actually got engaged the day after camp ended last summer on the black top! Another couple in the group, Allie Weprin and Eric Rosenberg, are also engaged to be married. At Saturday morning services, Eric shared the following “original thoughts,” a Blue Star tradition, at our camp services.
Original Thoughts by Eric Rosenberg
Last night’s service ended with a quote from Buddha. To build upon those thoughts and continue this summers theme of “We are One” I thought it would be appropriate to share these words from another spiritual leader…One Direction – “One band, one dream, one direction.”
I was a camper from 2000 to 2005 and on staff from 2009 to 2011. Many times I stood right here and looked out to a crowd full of faces where I knew nearly everyone, but today I only recognize a few. While part of me misses my own camp days it makes me even happier to know that Blue Star will always continue on with new generations of campers and counselors who will create some of their life’s most meaningful relationships here.
Something people will tell you a lot out there in the real world is that the only constant in life is change. Those people have never been to Blue Star. Here always smells the same, feels the same. The brunch bagels never get softer, Evan and Sosna never leave, and the Blue Star magic doesn’t stop once you turn out of camp.
I came here this weekend with a large group of friends. From youngest to oldest we span 6 Blue Star units. For you Senior 3’s, that means coming back to camp in 2029 and hanging out with a bunch of Pioneer 1’s. While that probably sounds impossible today, Blue Star makes it possible. You may have met someone 6 days ago who will be the best man or maid of honor at your wedding. Your future boss may be at Juniors waterfront right now forgetting who their buddy is.
David and Susu will have gone from awkward Pioneer coeds to having children and grandchildren together. I met my future wife Allie in 2010 as counselors. We were a unit apart for 5 summers as campers and never once crossed paths. Senior Girls – that means the short boy across the aisle with the mismatching socks, who is too nervous to talk to you today, will be someone you spend your entire life with.
As you all grow up and move away from this place – going to different schools, having different experiences, falling out of contact with some camp friends and reconnecting with others you never knew before – there will always be ONE Blue Star. Blue Star will always continue long after we are all and maybe even this place, is gone. It is a state of mind you can tap into, it’s a foundation for any relationship you’ll have. It will be your family forever.
One camp, one dream, one direction