Not long ago I re-reconnected with an old friend. We found one another on Facebook, had an online disagreement, and lost one another. But he resurfaced recently with a photo that I’m glad he shared. It was a picture of twenty or so 19 year old’s as counselors at Wel-Met camp, back in the day.
I was in the front row, middle (not shocking) lying on the lap of the woman behind me – who was staring down at me as though I were her baby. None of this struck me as odd as I scanned the photo and my memory for clues into my past. My then boyfriend was in the picture (nowhere near me) as was the friend who sent the photo. This is the use of social media at its best. Reuniting people that want to be reunited, no harmful, unjustified, or illegal motives afoot. Then, this same friend, hooked me up to a Wel-Met Facebook group, and wonder of wonders, the past flooded in, in the best possible way.
People wrote in about collecting salamanders after a summer rain, singing “Rise and shine,” to the kids to wake them, singing songs with very fast hand movements while waiting for meals in the dining hall (which I later taught to my own kids), getting lost in the woods (and found) and a host of large and small memories that warmed my heart.
Those were great days. There was a sense of safety, and I suppose innocence, we enjoyed that no longer exists in our world. No one was harming children, hitch hiking was not an excuse to rape, early morning was filled with sunshine and dew, not dangerous lurkers. I feel a little like my Dad who used to think his era was the best era – music, romance, humanity. Perhaps it is each generation’s way of loving life. It works for me.
Wendy, I posted the original picture (I’m the photographer, ergo not in the pic). That’s Deb Fins looking down at you. Do you mind if I ask who sent it to you? Some of my fondest memories are of my counselor days at W-M, 1969-71.
Great shot! Howie shared it with me, I believe he spoke with you as well. Any others?
Hi Debby! So glad you saw the picture and responded! Where do you live? Would love to get together for coffee, lunch, dinner…and reminisce. What a great summer that was.
Hi There..many great memories after seeing this..Hank Kobrin here..Narrowsburg…marc tunnel in this picture amongst many others…cannot believe its been 43 years..where have they gone! be all
oops you probably remember me as Mady Gelfman.
Hi Wendy-Debby Kaplan here! Couldn’t believe you posted this photo. I have it too. I’m the third person directly behind you, Debby Fins and Shad. I’m still friends with Ed Osterman. Sadly Marsha Bart, my co-counselor that year, died many years ago of cancer. We remained friends for a long time. I’m still in contact with her husband. She’s in the second row, 1st on the left, with her hand on the blond head of the Dutch counselor, (forgetting his name now). Oddly enough I work at Goddard Riverside Community Center where one of the first reunions was held. They also took over the camps in the late years until closing them in 1997ish. Lots of wonderful memories…The photo got me thinking of the great times we had.