Chen-A-Wanda News

Never Goodbye…It’s Always See You Soon

To Our Chen-A-Wanda Parents at home that have read our blogs, watched our videos, sifted through thousands and thousands of pictures, loved our Instagram posts and stories and believed in us enough to send your kids to spread their wings with us at Camp Chen-A-Wanda. We can’t thank you enough for sharing your children with us this summer. I have spent the past 49 nights writing to you at home in hopes of giving you a glance and what is happening inside our gates but tonight I wrote this letter and read it to your children for our last evening activity of Summer ’19. They were arm in arm with one another, crying happy tears for the love they feel here and sad tears because summer ’19 has come to an end. It has been the most magnificent summer and it is because of your children, the heart and soul to Camp Chen-A-Wanda. Thank you again for believing in us to care for your babies and enjoy them tomorrow when they are back in your arms.


Forty-nine days ago you all arrived here and we began our Summer ’19 journey together. We built a community based on trust, kindness, communication and a commitment to be the best versions of ourselves. We hope you stepped outside of your comfort zone and tried something you never thought you would be able to do and gave it all of your effort. It’s about the journey that matters most and we hope your summer was meaningful and full of great awesome moments.You may not always remember all the details of what happened this summer but our hope is you are able to reflect and cherish on how Camp Chen-A-Wanda and the people here made you feel.

For 49 days we have had the privilege of witnessing the best part of humanity. We have seen you at your best, we have seen you come through tough moments and we have watched you put the needs of others before your own. There have been countless examples of your kindness that has inspired us to be better people. We have seen you embrace one another and support each other. We have watched friendships develop and we have had a front row seat as we watched your hearts grow bigger as you let people into your lives. When one of you is hurting, all you of come to the rescue. Your words are full of compassion and empathy, your acts of kindness inspires everyone around you. Together we have formed a perfect place to spend our summers at. The word perfect doesn’t mean it was without conflict or disagreements but it does mean that we listened to one another and that we heard each other and more importantly that we took responsibility for actions that may have negatively impacted someone else. When we listen to one another and truly hear each other, we become better friends and happier people.

To our staff.. You have blown us away with your spirit, your loyalty to the campers, your commitment and care in everything you did here. We told you at orientation that this experience will be one of the most challenging jobs you will ever have and that it will require you to dig down down and believe in yourself, trust the process and watch your life change for the better. You gave to our kids when you thought you had nothing left to give and then you gave more. You leaned on each other and developed a camp family that had each others back. These relationships are lasting and meaningful and will enrich your lives for years to come. We hope you feel a sense of great accomplishment and pride for what you provided to our campers this summer and most importantly we hope this experience gives you the confidence to continue doing amazing things with your lives. Wherever your path takes you, we hope you will always remember how incredibly awesome you were that summer at Chenny. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts, Thank you.

To our campers who stole our hearts this summer- It’s hard to put into words the effect you have on us but you changed us for the better. You inspired us to face our fears, step outside our comfort zone and you gave us confidence to know that whatever comes our way, we got this. 
Freshman owned the cuteness game and we hope you loved your first summer full of piggy back rides, gaga tournaments and making so many new friends. Juniors & Middies – Thank you for your off the charts camp spirit and playing all summer long. There is nothing sweeter than watching our kids play and watching you warmed our hearts .Inters & Collegiates – Mohican kids brought the fun this summer. Your positive energy spread sunshine all throughout camp. You played and laughed and learned that inclusion makes everything better.  Seniors and Supers – The bigger kids with the later curfew -we hope you continue to find your voice and always keep your hearts open to each other. When your world gets bigger, your world gets better. To our GC’s, you wandered and embraced the West coast but it wasn’t where you were, it was who you were with that made your summer so spectacular. You became One Division and now you are on deck to lead camp next summer. We can’t wait to watch you shine so get back here and kill it! Summer ’20 is yours. To our CIT’s, you blew our minds and you lead the way this summer and set the tone for how incredible the feeling here was. Your camper road has come to an end. There are no more Sign and Songs, or Girls Sings, no more Boys Lip Syncs or Color War but every moment, every memory lives forever inside each of you. You passed the love you have for this place onto your campers and that is the circle of love we do here at Chenny. It’s never ending. We just cannot thank you enough for the giant and beautiful mark you left here at Camp Chen-A-Wanda. Listening to Sam Tell and AJ Grisack share a piece of their heart with us at Boys Lip Sync with their incredibly powerful words shows all of us the impact camp has on each of us.We ask that you each of you never forget the lessons that this summer has presented to you, they will serve you and enrich your lives if you let them. Thank you CIT’s of ’19. You will never be forgotten.

So.. here we are at the end and each of us in this hall will soon return to school, team tryouts, SAT tutoring, carpools, homework (lots of homework),tests, hebrew lessons, college applications, starting college and some will head back to work, finding work, bills and the stress of growing up. But we ask each and every one of you sitting here in front of us to remember, on those cold winter nights how this place made you feel and how it filled your heart with so much joy. How Camp Chen-A-Wanda changed you for the better and how we all created a world of kindness and compassion that will last far beyond the 7 weeks we just spent here. So as you head back out to the “real world” share a little Chenny with everyone you meet. Be kind, put down those devices and talk to one another, replace Fortnite with a great game of Palace, hold hands with your friends, find time to stargaze, tell those you love how much you care about them, Carpe’ Diem, sing at the top of your lungs and dance like you are still in the Lodge.

Thank you Chenny for a summer we will never forget. We Love You!!

Jon & Elissa

Late Night Laughs Replaces Tears of Goodbyes

Today was the last official day of regular activities and we enjoyed every single minute.  It was a clean up day as we prepare for packing day tomorrow.  The sun was shining and it was a relaxed dat at camp. Things are winding down and it feels like summer is getting close to the end. With only one more day to go, reality is setting in – Summer ’19 is wrapping up.

Center camp looked like a movie set with kids having a catch together, throwing the Frisbee to one another and swinging on swings without a care in the world. Imagine a world where there is just no pressure and kids outside in the fresh air playing all day long? Your children are in that world for one more day here at Chenny.

The most anticipated evening activity of summer is Late Night with Leahy and tonights show was INCREDIBLE. So entertaining , there is no other way to describe it other than beyond belief funny and fabulously entertaining. Brian Leahy creates the most entertaining videos and produces a show that is second to none. The hall is packed and every staff member  chooses to stay in camp even if they are off so they can catch the show too. There are incredibly funny videos, dances, Thank You Notes and Beats Headphones giveaways.  Campers and staff absolutely went crazy for the hilarity of what they witnessed tonight. It was a perfect way to end a perfect day and the ideal warp up to summer 2019. Ask your camper how Late Night was and we know they’d say, BEST SHOW EVER!

Just one more day to go until summer ’19 is in the books. We have had the most incredible summer to date and our Chenny spirit is flying high here. You can feel the vibe, its undeniable. After so many of our friends have left camp already due to Florida starting school today and High School Sports starting practices, our tears turned into belly laughs tonight with Late Night. It is exactly what we all needed. No onto our last day of Summer ’19.

Chenny Out.


A Few Goodbyes

Goodbyes aren’t easy and when our Florida kids had to leave today so that they could start school tomorrow it began the process of leaving the people who we loved spending all summer with. Reality has set in and our summer is coming to a close. There was a mellow vibe on camp today but our hearts full of experiences and memories that has brought us close to one another in ways that is indescribable.

The night was full of surprises as we sent out Seniors, Supers and GC’s out to the movies for one last unexpected trip. They loved it and had an absolute great time out for one last hoorah of summer ’19. Nothing says summer like watching a summer blockbuster with a group of your favorite people. The Freshman – Inters had their own movie but back at camp and outside under the stars. They brought their blankets and chairs and enjoyed The Greatest Showman. It was a perfect night with an outdoor movie and our littlest campers loved their evening. The Collegiate division had their own movie night in the Chen-A-Plex and had a ball. Our CIT’s spent the night stargazing as they BBQ’d and enjoyed s’mores around the campfire. They listened to music, spent time with one another and just enjoyed one of the last few nights of Summer ’19.

It may be winding down but each moment spent together is a a moment we cherish. Two more days with the best people in the best place and tomorrow is Late Night with Leahy. We’re going out with a bang.

Chenny out.

Banquet Rocks

Reality has set in that our last few days of summer 2019 are upon us. It is a mix of emotion here at camp as we are organizing for the end. With Color War behind us and banquet happening tonight, the end of summer 2019 is coming closer. We have a few more days and we are taking advantage of every minute of each remaining day here. It has been an unbelievable

As the sun was setting over Fiddle Lake, we were all dressed up in our best outfits and headed to center camp where we took pictures together with our friends & counselors. Everyone looked beautiful. The vibe was insane and just so full of joy. Kids stood on the dock, arm in arm smiling for that group picture that will be looked at a million times as soon they return home only to remind us of this very night.  It was a night that had a tangible feeling attached to it – we looked gorgeous, felt happy and it showed on every person here at camp.  Living free and happy is how we choose to live up here. This night was perfect and as they walked into the Lodge for banquet dinner we walked into Mardi Gras with beads, boas and masquerade masks.  We grooved to big brass band music and dined on delicious steak sliders, fried chicken Caesar salad, steak fries and corn niblets, The kids loved their meal but the big hit was dessert as everyone went crazy for the edible chocolate chip cookie dough! It was an great meal with our camp family.

After dinner it was off to Shields Hall for our end of the year division Awards. Each Division highlighted the following campers in 3 areas; Honor Camper, Athlete of the Year and All Around Camper. They are truly standout campers and we couldn’t be more proud to highlight and honor them on this great night. To receive an award on this night is the highest honor we can give our campers. These are remarkable campers who deserve all the accolades and praise they were given. We have outstanding campers and tonight the light was bright on the campers we recognized with these extremely prestigious awards. What an honor, what a night and oh what a feeling!!!!

FRESHMEN Jamie Eber Brooke Arenberg Sylvia Milstein
JUNIORS Jordana Kohen Mia Donson Ava Mallin
MIDDIES Jordana Gomez Sammie Keane Maya Tave
INTERS Hayden Berger Averie Katz Mandy Adler
COLLEGIATES Natalie Portnoy Brooke Gordon Dani Glickman
SENIORS Abby Weiss& Pepper Margulis Jesse Gatto Dylan Yonover
SUPERS Cori Holtzman Jessie Locker Jordana Brief
GC’s Lexi Tave Maya Grill Jordan Glickman
CIT’s Of The Year Charlie Feldman & Abby Baskind
Lower Camp Jordana Gomez Mia Donson Mandy Adler
Upper Camp Coru Holtzman Jesse Gatto Dani Glickman


FRESHMEN  Zach Capon Nate Isaacson Ryden Rubovitz
JUNIORS  Tyler Roth Alex Berger Jordan Morris
MIDDIES  Zack Jacobsen Tyler Sugarman Dylan Adler
INTERS  Max Eber Owen Isaacson Chase Goldman
COLLEGIATES  Sam Brief & Zack Worth Anthony Scarcella & Jordan Tave Austin Berstein
SENIORS  Drew Schimer Jacob Pinsk Juston Horowitz
SUPERS  Ethan Simpson & Max Gutman Holden Baris & Jonah Marcus Jake Fersko & Max Leff
GC’s  Ryan Bornstein  Jace Nadboy Sam Chaskin
CIT’s of the Year Parker Moritz & Dylan Bortnick
Lower Camp Zach Capon Tyler Sugarman Chase Goldman
Upper Camp Drew Schimer Jace Nadboy Jake Fersko

After the Awards, it was party time and we danced all night long. Shields Hall was full of campers who let loose and danced until their feet hurt. It was over the top fun having our last true dance party with our summer family. It’s so hard to believe the summer is coming to a close for many of our Florida campers as they head out tomorrow morning. It just doesn’t seem real. As campers headed back to their bunks full of glow sticks, T-shirts, glow rings and other items that were given out at the party, everyone was exhausted and elated and had the times of their life tonight. It was a party like no other as we celebrated an amazing summer ’19. It was just an incredible way to celebrate with the most amazing people on the planet. Life is great.. A few more days to go and we don’t want to blink because before we know it, our summer is coming to an end.

Chenny out

Everyone Counts

We Bleed Red & Gold. We fight for something we believe in. We are passionate about a common goal that drives us to be the best we can be. We give it all we’ve got and leave it all on the fields and courts. We sing, chant and cheer with our brothers and sisters. We are superstars every single day. We feel pure exhaustion but slowing down is just not an option. We put our arms around our opponents after a battle well fought. We are a valued team member and we count.  We win and we lose but the journey is what matters. We are part of something bigger than ourselves. We speak the same language and understand why color war rules everything.  We are better together than apart. We love apache. This defines Color War. From our youngest Freshman to our most seasoned CIT’s and everyone in between play an integral role in our Color War. Every point, every basket, every lap and every goal matters and the end result builds character and pushes us to places that we didn’t know we could go. This is Color War.

Everyone counts in the Apache Relay and every camper plays a key role. No matter if you are part of the elephant walk or being wrapped in toilet paper, running around the quad track, painting an entire oak tag board or are heading into the School of Rock for the infamous “unknown”, you count. It is a race that includes every single camper. It is fun, it is intense and it is Apache. When you think of the true meaning of this camp wide relay, you understand how connected we all are and how each part makes up the whole. Campers have spectacular moments that will forever stay with them and today that moment happened for Freshman camper Asher Goldstein. He and 3 teammates from the Gold team were on the dock and the task was that one of them had to catch a fish. He put a worm on the hook and stood on that dock waiting for the fish to bite. He waited and waited and waited some more. He was the youngest kid on that dock (actually 2 of his fishing teammates were his older siblings) and all of the sudden Asher shouted, “I did it, I think I caught a fish.” There wasn’t a kid or counselor on that dock and beach that wasn’t screaming with excitement for Asher. His smile was huge and said it all. The littlest kid was able to do the biggest thing.. he caught the fish.

Tonight was staff game night. It was Red vs. Gold in Wiffle Ball, Softball, Basketball, Volleyball and Soccer. They had the best time playing and our kids had the best time supporting them. To watch out staff get out there and play themselves was priceless. Color War brings out the best in all of us and this War is oh so close. Before Staff Game night the scores wer announced and only 18 points separated the teams. We have a War on our hands as we enter the 5th and final day. It will all come down to SING!

Chenny out.