A poem to our community by a Hagigah camper. And a letter to Porter Creek by a faculty member & longtime alumna. Both reflecting on camp yesterday and today – and finding that the things they used to complain about are now what they miss the most.  

That was Oct 9, 2017

A poem by Hagigah Camper Isaac Harlem

Dear 4088 Porter Creek Road

By Joanne Cohen, Nefesh (Camper Care) Faculty, Parent and School Counselor

Dear 4088 Porter Creek Road,

I am so sorry I ever complained about you. You see, my kids and I spent 8 summers living on your beautiful site and I watched my children fall in love with you more and more each year. It is like you were family. Not just any family, but really close family. The kind we figured if we complained about you, you would still love us and still be there for us.

We never thought about the idea that you actually might not be there for us someday.

I think about you a lot. It sounds silly, but right now I would give anything to have a wood chip stuck in my Teva as I walk by the Beit Am. I would love to tell campers to slow down right before the art room where the road abruptly ends and the dirt starts.  I wish I could be sitting on your backless benches at the Beit T’fillah watching a song session or service with the sun shining in my eyes through the trees behind the stage. I would love to be excited for a camper if they got assigned to live in an old cabin in “The Village” as those cabins had so much history. I wish I could be walking in to your noisy Chadar with its old tables and streamers hanging from years past. And I would love to sit on one of your benches under a tree, even if they all tilted at an angle causing discomfort.

You will be happy to know that Camp Newman is still going strong while we wait patiently for you to be fixed up. The campers are still thrilled to see each other when they arrive and cry when they have to leave. We sing and dance and pray and do sports together.  We are in fresh air and are soaking up a different kind of nature at Newman by the Bay. We laugh and stay up too late because we have work to do or just love being with each other. We are still Camp Newman.

We miss you terribly 4088 Porter Creek Road. We are staying strong so that we will be ready when we can live amongst your trees and buildings again.