The CIT class of 69 all wearing a necklace – a sun with a “69” in the middle – after their class motto: “Let the sun shine in.”

After more than six months of planning, the CIT class of 1969 – whose motto is the Hair classic “Let the Sun Shine In” – met for their 50-year reunion last September in San Rafael, CA. They came from all over the United States – Los Angeles, Sedona, Northern California, Portland, Seattle – and even as far as Israel. Except for two alumni who have passed and one who is ill, nearly all of the 30-member class was there to celebrate the decades-long friendships they made at camp.

As preparation for their gathering, each alum wrote about how camp’s programs, counselors, and staff impacted their lives, and then shared their memories along with their bios and photos at the reunion. Alumnae Tamar Raff (one of the reunion planners) and Mindi Horn documented these sharings.


The CIT Class of 1969

“[It] was truly a magical day. I felt like I relived the best days of my youth, with the people I loved the most!” exclaimed alumna Dove. “Seeing and listening to all of you sharing how our CIT experiences had such a profound effect on our lives … the seeds and inspirations that blossomed over the years, bringing us back together to witness the magnificence of who we are, who we have become.”

“[The] reunion was a wonderful revelation of how deeply we were affected by a six-week island of time, and how familiar and common our ethics and values are after 50 years of separate growth and life experiences,” Allen, a ’69 alumnus, observed.

“As evidenced in the quotes,” Tamar said, “Camp Swig made a significant impact on the lives of the members of our CIT class.”

She couldn’t be more right. Read how camp touched their lives below:

Camp inspired their future careers …

“My life was set on its path at Camp Swig when Jim put a mic and tape recorder in my hands.” — David/Harpo

“Camp provided my foundation to teach, and demonstrated to me that I can take risks and be who I wanted to be.”  — Melissa

“Camp Swig taught me that what I had to offer was beautiful. The hike through history programs made such an impact on me that it informed my career on PBS.” — Dev

“Camp filled my spirit and inspired me to be an artist.” — Chuck

“Growing up and feeling like a political outsider in Seattle, made me appreciate the community and values at Camp Swig. I came from a committed Jewish family. Together with what they modeled and camp, I am proud that I was part of a small group to start a Jewish day school.” — Steve

“I’ve come to realize how profound the camp experience was. It has impacted every part of my life as an architect.  The importance of Helen in my life goes beyond her artistry, as she had such authentic wisdom in the way she viewed the world.” — Susie


Camp shaped their Jewish values, identities and pride …

“Camp informed my life as a Jew.”  — Howard/Rosey

“It was at camp that I learned my responsibility to carry on Judaism. Camp became central to my spiritual life, through the ability to create a prayer service connected to political action.” — Ellyn

“Camp was a refuge of infinite possibilities, a place where Judaism came alive.” — Shelley

“Camp Swig showed me how music is connected to Judaism.  It has informed my parenting.  M’dor L’dor, I feel a responsibly to pass on Judaism to my children and grandchildren.” — Jody

“Camp was intended to be living Judaism. And it succeeded in that. We didn’t just talk about injustice, we were immersed in it. I was at camp many summers from the time I was a very little girl. Dad would often be on faculty for a session and invite amazing scholars that he and Rabbi Joe knew. Camp is an essential part of my being. The depth of experience … with other Jewish kids was the piece that has sustained us in our lives.” — Louise

“My whole life is profoundly spiritual because of camp.” — Bonnie


Camp fueled their passion for Tikkun Olam, tzedakah, social justice, and caring for others …

“Camp Swig empowered each of us to have the courage to dedicate our lives to make a difference in the world, and to bring the values of gimilut hasidim, and social justice into our careers, our communities and to our families.”  — Tamar

“The backdrop of our CIT year was losing Kennedy, MLK Jr. as well as  the vibrant peace movement,  We learned we had to take care of others.” — Roger

“At camp we learned to engage in rational thought and live a life of principals, to be guided by acts of justice and tzedakah. Camp stimulated my life’s direction.” — Geoffrey

“The mantra that has always been in my head is tikkun olam, and that came from camp. It was also the first time someone told me I was good at something. I learned one can be spiritual through movement and dance. I learned my job was to create memories. I have carried the values and ethics of social justice throughout my life.”  — Allen

“Camp provided me with an evolving sense of self in a safe place. The experience set my life path to help others feel safe in the world.” — Dana

“Camp informed my involvement in social causes, and how I felt about Judaism. It is how I measure religion.” Peter


Camp gave them community…

“Grounded in the beauty of the redwoods, my Camp Swig experience was the first time I felt I belonged and connected to other idealistic people.  I was embraced by an amazing community.”  — Dove

“At camp, I learned to be a Jewish leader. Camp Swig gave me the gift of humanity, nourished my creativity and gave me a connection to community.” — Solomon