Alumni Weekend 2017: Laying the Groundwork
By: Rachel Hammer & Corey Spevack
Hey, Perlman Camp family!! Rachel and Corey here, reporting about yet another amazing and memorable Alumni Weekend!
Every year when summer rolls around, a major feeling of FOMO comes over us, since we don’t live the 10 for 2 life anymore. In the midst of work, traveling, and New York summer activities, we regularly follow all of camp’s social media accounts to feel like we’re a part of the magic of Perlman from afar. Obviously, that’s not enough to fulfill our camp fix, so we find every excuse we can to visit camp, including Visiting Day, Taste of Perlman, and the best weekend of the summer… correction, best weekend of the year, Alumni Weekend!
Counting down the days…
By the time August rolls around, we start counting down the days until we are back at camp and reliving the glory days. At this point in the summer, pretty much all of our conversations revolve around the hype of the upcoming Alumni Weekend! Everything from what we should pack, to who will be there, and what we think will happen (obviously, we had very different thoughts on this last one this time around). During all this excitement, there are also moments of sadness, because we know that the beginning of Alumni Weekend signifies the end of camp for the current campers and staff. That was never a fun time back in our heyday. However, these feelings of sadness are always quickly overcome by our excitement, anticipation, and pure happiness thinking about the incredible weekend ahead we are about to have!
This year’s Alumni Weekend definitely exceeded our expectations! From the minute we rolled up blasting the classic hit “Hey Mama,” we were smiling and laughing non-stop. This is what happens when we’re all back together at our summer home! It was really special seeing people from different decades at camp feel right at home from the beginning, ranging from people who haven’t been back at camp for several years, to people who regularly return and stay involved with alumni events throughout the year. There was lots of reminiscing and catching up about what has been happening in everyone’s lives.
After changing into white tops, everyone headed to the dining hall for a rainy start to Shabbat. The Pios of 2007, who were celebrating a 10-year reunion, introduced the theme (memories), said quotes, and sung a classic camp song, “Where Everybody Knows your Name” (Camp B’nai B’rith!!!!). The Pios of 2009 then led the Friday night blessings before the meal. Following the meal, there was a very spirited song session, during which alumni across camp generations sang songs that were part of their camp experiences. Next was a popular camp favorite…Israeli Dance! After dancing the night away, we all reconvened in the Skolnick Lodge for Oneg, where we continued to reminisce and laugh about old memories.
Day of Perlman fun
There was a lot of buzz on Saturday about the weather forecast, which called for more rain, but the weather actually turned out to be perfect! After breakfast, people went in the lake, hung out in the grass, and even participated in Carpool Karaoke while driving to Hancock for iced coffee and cookies. In the late morning, there was an *intense* basketball game followed by a canteen favorite, chipwiches!
Following a classic Shabbat lunch, we headed to the new Alumni Memorial Grove along the lake. To help beautify the area, we planted flowers that will hopefully be the first step in making that area of camp special for alumni for years to come. Some would say we were laying the groundwork.
Immediately following this, a Saturday tradition like no other took place: Softball. It was a hard-fought game, but in the end, the young guys were victorious. As everyone was dispersing from Doug’s Field, we heard the infamous “YMCA” song, which of course meant Marble Call! This one was the Pios of 2007 versus the Pios of 2009. The Pios of 2009 were the winners! Following this, there were more chipwiches for afternoon snack. Let’s be real, you can never have too many chipwiches at camp. People then cooled off in the pool, made some sweet tie dye in arts & crafts, and hung out by the bunks enjoying the nice weather.
Saturday afternoon surprise
Now comes the story of after shower hour and before dinner. Rachel and her gal pals requested a photo shoot with Corey as the photographer, at the new most beautiful place at camp, the Alumni Memorial Grove. Emily (Corey’s sister) was hanging out at the gymnastics pavilion with two of her friends, but Rachel didn’t think much of it. The camp photographer then came down and said “Don’t mind me, I’m just taking pictures of the new Alumni Memorial Grove.” Little did Rachel know that Corey had asked him to come down then earlier in the day. After some pictures of Rachel and her gal pals, Emily came down and said she wanted pictures with us.
After this, everyone else who was there slowly left us alone, claiming that they were getting stuff that they left by the gaga pit. Then, Corey got down on one knee, pulled out a ring, and asked, “Will you marry me?” After about thirty seconds of Rachel shaking from surprise, happiness, and excitement, she said, “YES!” Just like anything that happens at camp, word spread rather quickly (special thanks to Carrie’s announcement on the PA system), and before we knew it, fellow alumni joined to congratulate us! The proposal (!!!) was followed by a BBQ dinner, canteen, Havdallah, and a campfire.
It was the perfect way to celebrate our engagement, at our summer home, surrounded by our Perlman Camp family. We are so overjoyed to have celebrated such a special milestone at camp! Words cannot even begin to express the gratitude we feel to the Perlman Camp family (including those who weren’t at the reunion) for your love, excitement, and thoughtful congratulatory wishes. Camp is obviously a really special and important place for both of us, so it was only appropriate to take our “let’s stay together throughout the year” status that we established six years ago, to the next level, while at camp. We have shared many very special and unforgettable memories with a lot of you, and we are truly looking forward to creating many more!
362 for 3
Let’s face it, there are a lot of us alumni who now have to live 362 days for 3, and unfortunately, we now have pretty close to that full 362 to go (everyone put in for your PTO for August 10-12, 2018!!). Luckily, there are many ways to stay involved with the Perlman Camp family during the year through the Perlman Camp Alumni Association. Events to get excited for include: Annual Thanksgiving reunion, Shabbat dinners, happy hours, and more!
Looking forward to seeing you there!