August 26, 2000
Dear Camp Timberlane Guys and Dolls,
Sharon and I are writing to let each of you know that the Camp Timberlane 40 Year Reunion was one of the most wonderful experiences of our lives; and we feel that all of you who were able to attend have the same feeling. I know that those who couldnt join us are anxious to know how everything went, and in your hearts you were with us. On Thursday when most of us first got together, we suddenly felt like we had never been away from camp. We hugged and talked about the early years and what we are doing now; but the excitement of just being together is what dominated our joy.
Leslie and Mike Cohen did a wonderful job in offering all of the activities we had experienced at camp, and we also had a chance to see the many improvements they have made. On Thursday evening, Mike showed a touching video of camp from the early days to the present. This was followed by a fantastic video by Bob Gassel that focused on my years at Timberlane, with much rare footage dating back to the 1960s, when some of us actually had hair!
On Friday we participated in many activities, and it was lots of fun. A couple of old guys pulled their muscles while trying to waterski, but they kept on going and it was a great time. The excitement really built because that evening we had our Timberlane campfire. I headed it up, and we started by singing all of our old camp songs. We started with Aloutte, and later I had Bob Komisar lead Gaackoon Went The Little Green Frog. Jon Heller led a crazy Mountain Dew, and Matt Healy and Jeff Leiken also took turns leading the singing. After about 20 songs, we finished singing by blasting "Green Grow The Rushes Ho" Our great guitar players and singers then took over, including Brian Williams, Charlie Groves, Tom Callahan, Mike Pierce, Danny Plattner and Jon Healy. The whole effect was overwhelming, as everyone started remembering the words went we sang our camp songs, and when the musicians asked us to join in. We had started the campfire at 7:30, and at 9:00 it was KEY LOG TIME. Never in our lives have Sharon and I been so touched as by the the wonderful comments about the experiences at Timberlane. Many talked about how today NOTHING FRIGHTENS THEM -- because of their experiences of working with campers. They also expressed their love for all of you, as well as for my family and myself. The Key Log ceremony ran 3 hours, ending at midnight.
On Saturday afternoon, about 150 Timberlane alumni came to our house across Lake Towanda. We laughed as we recalled the early days, and cried at the fact that wed all soon have to go home. It was fantastic, and even if I did go broke from the tons of beer, soda, chips and other refreshments we served, it was well worth it. You know Im teasing you, but remember that I paid many of you the huge salary of $75 to be a Junior Counselor, and $250-$400 to be Senior staff.
Leslie and Mike Cohen have worked hard to
gather money for a charity which sends underprivileged inner-city
kids to camp. A donation of over $2500 was made in our name from a
collection organized by Steve Kravit. Saturday evening we had Casino
Night with different games and wagers, and the proceeds also went to
the charity. The casino winners bought old camp signs and other
memorabilia in an auction run by Lee Glicksman. As a result, a total
of over $5000 was donated by Timberlane staff.
Sunday morning it was time to say goodbye, yet many stayed extra hours to avoid leaving their favorite home. They eventually headed back all over the United States, and Howard Riezman flew back to Switzerland. I know this is a long letter, but I wanted each of you who couldnt join us feel like you were there; and to let you know what made this one of the most fantastic and touching experiences of our lives. Sharon and I want all of you to know that, whether you attended the reunion or not, you have made Sharon and I the happiest couple in the world. We love each of you, and will never forget what each of you means to us.
Love, Sharon & H