As we near the would be last day of camp, I wanted to send a huge thank you to West End House Camp. ACE was beyond bummed when camp was cancelled, but from day one, West End did an amazing job planning an amazing summer for the boys. Every weekday for 8 weeks, West End held 3 to 4 hours of different virtual activities to keep the boys connected and entertained. From games to STEM activities to “WEHC News” to bunk meet- ups, the events were diverse, fun, and engaging.
This effort is the embodiment of West End House Camp where….“When you’re one of the boys, you’re always one of the boys and you’ll always go through.” Despite the trying circumstances, West End “went through” and was there for the boys like it always has been for 112 years. And all this planning and participation from camp leadership and counselors was at no cost to families.
In a summer when it would have been easy to pack it in or do the bare minimum and focus on 2021, the “Spirit of the House” rose to the occasion once again.
Thank you Bill, Steve Lepler, Ryan Wilensky, Josh Daigle, Allan, Ellen, Joe C, Griffin, and all the other counselors for the hours and hours you gave to make this summer a memorable one for ACE and the boys.
On Aug 21, 2020, at 1:08 AM, Liam Grabie wrote:
Hey, Steve I just wanted to thank you for all that you’ve done for camp and for myself. The past six summers I’ve been at camp have been by far the best of my life. There is no place I’d rather be than camp. Unfortunately, due to the ongoing pandemic, I could not be up at camp with all my friends this summer. Once reality sunk in, I was devastated with the cancelation of camp and my Gottlieb year. Myself, along with my fellow bunk mates, would do anything to get our Gottlieb year back. On the other hand, I’ve lately realized that getting my Gottlieb year back is not possible and I must move on. I’ve been very fortunate to have some amazing counselors over my several years at camp. I realize that my time has come to be on staff. I consider going to West End House Camp as the best thing that has ever happened to me. All of my crazy, fun memories and tight, unbreakable friendships that I’ve created over the years have truly had an impact on me. What other place will you make friends for life? I know of several alumni that maybe talk to a few friends from high school, but for some reason they still talk to all of their friends from camp. The best way to explain it is quoting the House Song; “when you’re one of the boys, you’re always one of the boys.” That is truly the best way to summarize what we call the “spirit” or the brotherhood. And that spirit will prevail “as long as the sun is in the sky”. I want every single camper to have the same experience as I hope to have once I am an old timer. That is why I’m very exited to return on staff next year and help give my campers the West End experience that I had. Hopefully, my future campers will grow up together and form lasting friendships and bonds that last a lifetime. Anyway, I wanted to thank you for coming to my house all those years back and telling me about camp. At first, my mom was hesitant about sending us to camp because we previously had a bad experience at another sleep away camp, but you worked your magic on my family and convinced us to go to camp. Without you putting in all that effort and coming to my house, I honestly don’t know if I would’ve ever went to West End House Camp. I can never thank you enough for recruiting Ben and I. I’ve grown to love camp so much and everything about it. I hope to be at camp for many years to come! As someone who cares so much about camp, I appreciate everything you’ve done for the place I call home! You truly have had a profound impact on my life and I am beyond grateful! I’m very happy and excited for you to start a new chapter of your life and wish you the absolute best! I hope to see you at camp next summer and many more to come!
Liam (don’t mind my punctuation I spontaneously felt the need to write this at 12:40AM)
“My son loves the camaraderie and the friends he makes – it’s a place where he’s really, really happy. Giving them wings and letting them go is the best thing ever.”
“I love how he talks about it constantly, and how he can’t wait to go back. We started off at four weeks, then six, now eight, and it’s all been Jack’s choice – and that’s been the best part.”
“The best part of the camp is the brotherhood – there’s a loving family right there. If they could live there all year, I think they would.”
“I like that they are unplugged, so it forces them to interact with their peers. My son has become a lot more mature since going to Camp.”