“Why don’t you try West End?” Andrew “Hurv” Hurvitz had his life changed forever with a recommendation from his Needham friend, Alan Niss. In 1980, Hurv had gone to Camp Bauercrest for his first overnight experience. He did not make many friends and wanted to try something different. So, in 1981, Hurv came to West End, as a 13 year old in 3B for 5 weeks (the options at the time were 3, 5 and 8 weeks).
Hurv remembers getting off the bus, seeing the waterfront, coming to the Council Ring and being a little nervous. After he unpacked, he went to the Tennis Court, with his old friend, Alan Niss. Then he had to write a letter home, “To get past Bill’s Secret Service” and into dinner for the typical, opening night hot dogs. Then there was the evening activity, Capture the Flag. Hurv is adamant that 3B-1981 had the greatest staff of all time with Senior Counselor – Bobby Ryter, Junior Counselor – Jimmy Stoller and CIT – Dean Goldberg. Hurv had Dean as a counselor for each of his 3 years as a camper.
That is 3 Hall of Famers, people have debated this at OTW for decades now, nobody from any era can top 3B- 1981 staff.-Hurv
“I wasn’t a big name camper, not the kind of kid who does the Mystery Question (for Color War).” He loved Kennards and the night activities. Hurv is a numbers guy (he works in Financial Services), so “Stock Market Night” and “Night at the Races” were naturally his favorites. But, his most favorite may have been the night of the MLB All-Star Game. “The entire camp stopped for the All-Star Game and we got Pizza Barn.” Hurv appreciated it when the counselors would come back from nights off with some leftover Pizza Barn (Peebs), probably from either Evan Madoff’s red van or Brett Barenholtz’s blue sports car. Years later as staff, Hurv made sure to bring home Peebs every few weeks for his campers.
As a logistics guy, Hurv analyzes camp as if he is the leader of Parsonsfield Analytics Department. Some moves just make no sense to Hurv. For example, he was perplexed about Pizza Night. “Ryan, kids would line up, stand in the sun to be the first in line for an hour, so they could get their pizza 20 seconds earlier than everyone else.” What about Cake and Milk? “Not a great way to get kids to go to bed.” Hurv enjoys a good nickname, so I promised to get as many nicknames in the article as I could.
Hurv loved the Cooks. “Jackson the Cook was a legend, he got standing ovations, he was a ROCK STAR!” Then there was the famous 1986 Cooking staff. “Popeye the Cook was a legend, fun guy, lived in a van parked at the Cook’s house. And the Callahan brothers played Watermelon and hung out with us.” However, Hurv and his friends were the first CIT group to work in the kitchen, because the “kitchen boys” got in some trouble the year before and Bill chose to keep the job in house. “We were not happy.”
Hurv’s best memories come from his 4 years on the staff. In 1984, he worked with Peter Chantiles and Jon “Sal” Schwartz, with Mike “Santa” Santosuosso and Bryan Label as his campers. In 1985, in 4B, he had Mike “Butthead” Andelman as a camper. But, Hurv is most fond of 1986 (2B) and 1987 (3B) groups, when he had one of the most legendary cabins of all time. He had Dan “Cooker” Andelman, Brian “Bobo” Bloch, Josh Deth, Todd “Satan Boy” Grossman, Josh “Costner” Mendelsohn, Jon “Lil Fred” Alfred, Hal Schwartz and Jon Santer. “Ryan, you have this activity called Guess who is Coaching Color War? Those kids were tracking the coaches ALL SUMMER!” Hurv loves to exaggerate a little, claiming that Cooker, Deth and Bobo were going on nights out and attending Color War meetings at the age of 13. With my brother Eric “Rat Boy” Wilensky, Scott “Iggy” Eagerman, David Gorin, Ron “Frenchy” Cochran, Ron Glickman, Ed “Noid” Sarcia, Todd Paris and Adam “Raky” Rakvika on the “A-side,” it made for an incredible rivalry. “You could do an ESPN 30 for 30 episode on that rivalry. There was nothing like it.” Gottlieb 1989 was so large that Hurv’s old campers moved to 5A.
As a counselor, “Set up week was the best. Throw up a couple bunk beds together, get the waterfront together and just hang out.” Hurv was always amused by the ridiculous (no longer existing) ritual of the OD (Officer of the Day) deciding the night time “Coverage and Relief” schedule. It became political between the staff and led to many arguments. Then “David ‘Dogsie’ Katz would announce the bunk coverage. The entire camp would freeze to listen to his hysterical bunk coverage announcements. 5A Coverage is ___, and bringing them home (for relief) Hurvitz.”
When Hurv was on staff he boasted “We invented Jai Alai and we invented the 2-Dog.” According to the 1987 Spirit, on page 7, The 2-dog is clearly defined.
Hurv gave his 2-dog, Dan “Cooker’ Andelman, a perfect 9/9 score in the 1987 ratings, cementing his status in the 2-Dog Hall of Fame.
How did this get into the Spirit? Well, 1987 was a strange year with the least amount of campers and staff that anyone can remember. “1A was a staff lounge, we played cards there.”
Hurv also remembers great times on nights out to the Maine Mall, then a movie. “We saw Back to the Future, St. Elmo’s Fire, and Rocky 4.” They would eat at the Ground Round, York Steakhouse, or Hu ke Lau. “But you HAD to stop at 7-11 in Gorham on the way home.” They would also go out to the Pizza Barn, Old Orchard Beach, the Stone Ridge or the Enterprise. In a disapproving tone, Hurv remembered, “The CITs wanted the afternoon off to prepare for their only Night Off per week.”
As a camper, Color War did not start off too well for Hurv. He was on the losing end of 3 consecutive blowouts losing on the Blue Berets, White Warriors and the Blue Force. Hurv calls them “The Blue Farce.” As a camper, he remembers games ending early so that the campers could go watch Andy “Una” Leppo vs. Paul “Bunyon” Klapman in Football. “Robby White was the walking scoreboard giving constant updates to everyone.” As a counselor, Hurv attributed his co-counselor, Johnny Stoller, for getting him on the legendary White Vice coaching staff. Hurv agrees with my brother, Brett’s claim that “Dean and Johnny came out in a limo, that war was over before it started.” Hurv won 4 games to 1 in Volleyball over his good friend Lee Rappaport.
Hurv just loves Old Timer’s Week (OTW). “My (1A) friends are hysterical, we have non-stop fun, at meals, the dock, poker, going into town, getting Pizza Barn…
It’s a Fantasy Land!-Hurv
In 2018, Hurv moved to Milwaukee for a new job in mid-August 2018. He had never been there one time before taking the job. “My entire life moved, but there was NO QUESTION I was going to Old Timers Week. Kevin “Lusty” Lustig knew that I would 100% be there.” After 1 week in Milwaukee, with moving boxes all over his new apartment, he flew back for Old Timer’s Week. He was proud to boast, “I invented OTW BBQ Wednesday Night.” One Old Timer’s Week, on the golf course, Hurv and Scott Eagerman came up with a hypothetical criteria for a West End Hall of Fame. “You need to have 2 out of 3; a great camper, counselor and old timer. Dean (Goldberg), Johnny (Stoller), Bobby (Ryter), those guys are first ballot.” HOF criteria is still debated to this day. Must you have Hall worthy camper, staff and OTW/alumni resume or can it be body of work?
Hurv is beyond thankful for his West End friends. “The guys are always there for you. My mother died recently, I got letters, texts, food sent to me. I want to try to help those who helped me during some tough times.” Hurv and his 1A guys used to have huge dinners in Boston when Hurv lived there.
Hurv likes to visit camp in session as well. When he showed up for the modern day “House Game,” vs. Robin Hood, Hurv was in shock at how incredible of an experience it was. “The House Game is one of the sickest events.” He was honored when he was asked to judge song night on 2 occasions.
Hurv has the utmost respect for Bill “Snoopy” Margolin. In the 80s, “Bill was a 1-man show. When did this guy sleep? He was up all night, then he went for a run in the morning?” Loyalty is very important to Hurv. “Bill is a legend. The same company for 60 years, he’s (former wrestler) Bruno Sammartino, THE LIVING LEGEND. When you think of camp, you think of Bill.”
Camp friends are friends for LIFE.-Hurv
When Hurv was going through some tough times personally, “My crew supported me in 2016 when I had a very rough year. Once you live with someone as a roommate (in a cabin), it’s a different relationship.” To this day, Hurv and John Zinman speak every weekend for 30 minutes.
Since 1981, Andrew Hurvitz has been to camp every single year (except 2020 due to the pandemic). “People miss Old Timer’s Week because weddings, driving their kids to college, take their family on vacations…I would have had 40 consecutive years.” In 2018, I asked Hurv if he could volunteer for a week or so to drive the van to intercamp games and other assorted tasks, he jumped at the idea. Hurv is so excited to return to camp he plans to arrive on Tuesday, the earliest check-in for his OTW career.
When hearing that the 2020 summer would be cancelled, Hurv said he felt particularly bad for the 2020 Gottliebers. That is the kind of guy Hurv is. He’s an empathic and loyal friend who always thinks about and tries to help his fellow West Enders! Thank you, Andrew Hurvitz, for Remembering with Ryan. The Parsonsfield Analytics Department metrics team has looked at your case, and we will need you to come by Kennards to be fitted for your blue and white Hall of Fame jacket.