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It’s Never Goodbye…It’s See You Again Soon

Dear Chenny Families:

It has been a complete and total privilege spending our summer with your children. Tonight is memory night and as we do each summer, Jon and I stand in front of camp and close our season with a few words to everyone in Shields Hall. I have spent the past 7 weeks writing to you at home about what I see here every day and how these moments make me feel.  Tonight, I directed my words and observations to your kids. I hope my Blogs have accurately conveyed the joy we have all felt here and shared those moments that describe the magic we all created here together.

Thank you for believing in us and our team to take care of your kids all summer long. It definitely takes a village and we are so beyond proud of ours. Our goal for this summer was to Make An Impact and we sincerely hope we did that for your children. We want them to walk back into your home, a bit taller, a little tanner, more confident, feeling independent with a sense of deep pride with all they’ve accomplished this summer and of course having so many new friends in their lives. Everything we did, we did for them to create a world up here with lots of teachable moments and experiences that enrich their lives. So in just a few hours you will be holding them tightly back in your arms, waiting to hear all about the amazing summer they spent at Chenny and we hope after a long hot shower (they may need some help getting the color war hair spray out of their hair 🙂 ) and some good home cooked meals and a long long nice sleep, they will let you know that they just had the best summer of their life. 

Thank you again for sharing your adorable, kind, sweet, funny and smart kids with us all summer long. Our cups are so full and after some very needed sleep, we will be back at it again, making plans for Summer 2024! Enjoy your kiddos tomorrow and know that their summer family will miss them dearly.


To Our Chenny Campers:

Forty-nine days ago Jon and I stood right here in this very spot and officially kicked off our 2023 Summer. As we walked off the stage that night, I looked at Jon and asked him what kind of summer he thought we were about to have. He paused for a moment, looked at me and said “I have a funny feeling that this is gonna be a great one.” And boy was he was right. This summer has been truly outstanding. A summer that you all deserved, and we couldn’t be happier to provide  to you. You are the reason why we are all here and you, our campers are the heart and soul to Camp Chen-A-Wanda.

Now, to be able to make this happen, we brought together the most inspiring, engaging, uplifting staff that are sitting in and amongst you all. We brought them in from all over the globe, and we owe a huge thank you to this incredibly talented group of camp counselors, who made such an impressive impact this summer. To you our Staff: Jon and I agree that without a doubt and no question at all that there is no harder job on this planet than the one you all just completed. Being a sleep away summer camp counselor is by far the most challenging job you will ever have. It requires all of you, 24/7 and our hope is that you discovered a strength inside yourselves that you may not have known was there. We hope you discovered you are a bit more patient, a lot more adventurous, a tad more organized, really proud of the job you have done and we sincerely hope you are leaving here with a ton more people in your lives who you can rely on and call a true friend. Thank you for giving us all your effort and showing us your heart. We have no doubt that this experience and this summer will benefit your lives in ways you can’t even imagine. 

And to our campers, we did all of this for you . We wanted to give you a summer that would be unforgettable and would allow you to play and be free and feel connected to a community who adores you. I must start with a shoutout to the cool kids in the back of the Hall- Our CITs, you  arrived with the best and most positive attitude, and you set the tone for the incredible spirit felt all over camp, all summer long. It has been an absolute honor, watching you all grow each and every summer and now we bid you farewell and hope that you loved your experience here. It is time to say goodbye and we hope wherever you go and whatever you do, you will always remember how you felt when you spent your summers at Chenny.

We must address our GC’s who showed up and stood out this summer. You were an absolute force, and it is our pleasure to handover the keys to the castle and to officially let you know that The Hill belongs to you. From our freshman to juniors and our Middy’s to our Inters and Collegiates, Seniors and Supers, you arrived with a mission to play hard and enjoy every moment of this experience and that is exactly what you did. You definitely understood the assignment and watching you thrive was just joyful for us. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for being the heart and soul of this camp. We did it all for you and we hope you leave here with amazing memories that fill your heart all winter long.

Before we go, we have to address a few people who literally help us run this city and make it all happen. From Ally Grossman, who spent all year long, making connections with all of our new kids and families making sure that they were comfortable and connected to one another and to us so that the first day at camp you felt at home. To Nancy Berman who can do just about anything and everything, we love you and we are so grateful to have you part of our team and our family. And finally, to the people who we work with in Base Camp:  Jon and I have had the pleasure of working with so many people in our lives in our careers but Gary, Aaron, Howard, Brian and Laura are the most inspirational, effective, hilariously creative and smart people we have ever worked with and their presence in our lives both personally and professionally, make us better people. We love what we get to create together summer after summer after summer. You truly are the best in the game and we just cant thank you enough for everything you do.

Camp is truly a collection of amazing moments and what we did all summer long was exactly that, create incredible moments together. Together, we created a world where kindness prevailed and having fun was our priority.  With the help of our talented media team, they have created a memory night video that highlights all we’ve done and all the incredible people we’ve done it with. We hope you can sit back, relax and enjoy your memory night. And since we had such an incredible summer, I have a great idea. Let’s all meet here again next year and do it all over again. Thank you to everyone inside this Hall for making Life Really Really Great at Camp Chen-A-Wanda.

With Love,

Elissa & Jon 


It was time to give out our last and final award out tonight for our Campers of the Week for this, our last week. they shined and definitely deserved to be recognized. Thank you to these outstanding campers who prove to be amazing to the very last moment. We are a better camp because these campers are here. They keep spreading joy everywhere they go. We are so proud of them.

Girls Side:

Freshman – Charlotte Pomeranz

Juniors – Audrey Levenberg

Middies – Sophie Gootzeit & Miranda Siegel

Inters – Julia Feldman

Collegiates – Maddy Klatsky

Seniors – Maya Kushner

Supers – Alexa Dombe

GC’s – Cammi Cohen

CIT’s – Jolie Krieger

Boys Side:

Freshman – Jace Johnson

Juniors – Dylan Bahari

Middies – Devon Luhrs & Austin Acree

Inters – Luke Holod

Collegiates – Chase Schwartz

Seniors – Brandon Worth

Supers – Max Coffman

GC – Nolan Irizarry

CIT – Jonah Burke & Lincoln Williams


Party Like It’s Banquet

It was our last Kind Camper for summer 2023 and these campers were so deserving of this incredible honor. All these campers were nominated by their friends who were so excited to share what special selfless act their friends did and we absolutely love calling their name and seeing how happy they are to be selected. The pride on their faces is priceless. Being kind costs absolutely nothing and the payoff is huge. We have been surrounded by kind campers all summer long and our sincere hope is that they all bring that kindness home and spread it everywhere they go. You should be so beyond proud of these incredibly kind kids.

Girls Side Kind Campers: Logan Cohen, Finley Rosenberg, Hallie Sambursky, Aubrey Donson, Kate Holland, Ava Sharaga, Camryn Nazeem, Emma Bruno, Zoey Goldstein, Kelsey Locker, Brooke Russak, Ella Mesh, Brynn Wolpor, Olivia Pall, Charlotte Pomeranz, Ava Koenig, Lily Koenig, Jordyn Kuperstein

Boys Side Kind Campers: Blake Zion, Jordan Schweibel, Tyler Lefkowitz, Dylan Bahari, Ryan Zaben, Nathaniel Menkin, Alex Orlando, Austin Acree, Logan Blatter, Aiden Wexler, Ashton Nadel, Everett Buscaglia

As the sun was setting over Fiddle Lake, we were all dressed up in our best outfits and headed to the beach as everyone took pictures together with friends & counselors. Everyone looked beautiful and handsome. 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 on the yellow brick road looking for the Emerald City. There is no place like home and there is no place like Chenny.  We ate delicious food, sang at the top of our lungs and danced together and everyone felt the love in the Lodge.

After dinner, it was into Shields Hall for our Counselor of the Year awards. We don’t just highlight our campers awesomeness but tonight was our opportunity to celebrate our outstanding Counselors of the Year. We are inspired by these incredible counselors who have put their heart and soul into providing a great summer for your kids. Congratulations to our brilliant and talented staff. We love them and so do your kids:

Boys Side: Aaron Platt, Cam Miles, Chris Duke, Fer Oteo, Joe Ball, Joel Cartwright, Jonathan Gamble, Mac Diley, Martin Johnstone, Oscar Towers, Tom Bates

Girls Side: Anneka Dougan, Carleen Bredin, Charley Godsman, Elisa Clark, Jessie Locker, Kayley Hefford, Leone Marshall, Mollie White, Pepper Masgulis, Sophie Chesterfield, Tara Lamb

After the Counselor Awards, it was party time and we danced all night long. Shields Hall was full of campers who let loose and danced until the very last song was played. It was a party like no other and we celebrated hard!! It was over the top fun having our last true dance party with our summer family. It’s so hard to believe our summer is over but we definitely went out with a bang. Campers headed back to their bunks loaded up with LED party sticks, unicorn headbands, T-shirts, baseball hats, glow rings and light up cat ears. It was the best way to end a summer like no other and the good vibes were all around tonight. We have every reason to celebrate and that is what we all did tonight. Your kids danced all night long and this summer has ended with a party like no other. One more day to go!

All Around Great Day

The sun was shining bright today at Camp Chen-A-Wanda from sunrise to sunset. The feelings were great on camp and today was the last official camp day full of activities so the campers made the most of their day and just played. Every field, every court, every area was full of happy campers who played outside all day long. An absolute perfect day to end the official activities day.

It was our big End of The Year Awards tonight and for those families who are new, this is kind of a big deal. Actually it’s very much a huge deal. There are tons of ways we highlight and honor our campers every summer and we love how being recognized at camp makes them feel about themselves.  I can’t tell you how happy we are to call the names of all our Kind Campers and to see the smiles when they have been awarded Camper of the week. We love how encouraged and supported they feel when we honor those campers who make a difference.

Tonights awards truly honors 1 or, depending on size of division, 2 campers who excelled with great character and stood out from the crowd all summer long. These campers inspired those around them to be better people. To be on this list is a true honor and we are so incredibly proud of your kids.

FRESHMEN Savannah Lieberman Ivy Havens Savanah Zeitel
JUNIORS Finley Rosenberg Sophia Gene Mia Pillersdorf
MIDDIES Hannah Hochfelder | Mia Brandow Kesley Locker | Sydney Roemer Ella Mesh | Addison Orgel
INTERS Mattea Seigal Zoey Kornablau Liv Penson
COLL. Brooke Yecies | Fallyn Bassuk Lexi Plotnick | Cassie Kaplan Bailey McAlevey
SENIORS Avery Strifas Ella Ogulnick Lyla Goldstein
SUPERS Dylan Schissler Abby Foodim Zoe Lederman
GC’s Sydney Mallah Jolie Weiss Casey Ashkenase
CIT of the Year Kylie Ross


FRESHMEN Lennon Ellis Spencer Weinstein Dylan Deitch
JUNIORS Chase Weiss Noah Hodge Chase Harz
MIDDIES Sid Haven | Jake Blitz Drew Fisher | Cody Goodman Ryder Picinich | Cooper Repinsky
INTERS Jake Zamkoff Drew Brous Drew Kastin
COLL. Max Bernstein Ryden Rubovitz Kyle Goodman
SENIORS Landon Schlanger Jake Shiffman Ryan Donoghue
SUPERS Brady Bornstein Cole Sadofsky Jed Schissler
GC’s Cole Wallis Alex Lindenbaum Josh Kaftol
CIT of the Year Graham Dooskin | Jack Wellikoff

Carnival Fun Day & A Late Night With Leahy

It was a late wake up today and we all LOVED the extra sleep. After our lazy sleep-in morning, it was off to the Carnival for one amazingly fun day. There were dunk tanks, carnival games, water slides, marriage booth,  inflatable obstacle courses, snow cones, cotton candy and so much more.  The camp favorite today was the foam pit. Campers were loving diving into foam and being covered head to toe. They looked like snowmen coming out of the pit and it was hilarious. It was such a fun day and a great way to celebrate the last few days of camp. It’s a camp tradition to give away Carnival day gifts on this special day and this years was a huge hit. All our campers were proudly wearing  their awesome CAW Trucker hats. They all looked great and camp looked completely in synch with everyone wearing their Carnival hats!

The Carnival wrapped up at 4pm but at around 3:45  it was a downpour and there wasn’t a camper or staff member who wasn’t dancing in the rain. We got soaked and it was so much fun. When is the last time it rained and you just stomped in puddles looking to jump into them? When it rained so hard you just laughed getting soaked form head-to-toe and didn’t care for a minute how wet you were or how soaking your sneakers were. That was how our carnival ended today, with everyone drenched and everyone loving it!!!!

It was awards time with honoring this weeks Camper of the week. We are coming down the end and these incredible campers deserved to be honored for their great character and just how awesome they are to be around. A huge congratulations goes to all of them.

Girls Side: 

Freshman – Skylar Rosenberg

Juniors – Natalie Schwartz

Middies – Ava Koenig & Maya Rubin

Inters – Danielle Donoghue

Collegiates – Sydney Pinzon

Seniors – Maddy Frankel

Supers – Maya Knobloch

GC’s – Lila Klarsfeld

CIT’s – Sloane Irizarry

Boys Side:

Freshman – Jordan Teig

Juniros – Max Brandow

Middies – Judah Geller & Aiden Wexler

Inters – Justin Cowan

Collegiates – Ryan Katz

Seniors – Max Goodman

Supers – Dylan DeGeorge

GC – Chase Goldman

CIT’s- Anthony Scarcella

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 hysterical beyond belief and wraps up our summer with the most perfect late night talk show twist.  There are incredibly funny videos, dances, TikToks and Beats Headphones giveaways.  Campers and staff absolutely went crazy for the hilarity of what they witnessed tonight. A camp first was Gary Shields getting pied in the face and the laughs and cheers were deafening. The entire Shields Hall was chanting, “Gary’s getting Pied!!” It was a perfect way to end a perfect day and the ideal warp up to summer 2023. Ask your camper how Late Night was and we know they’d say, BEST SHOW EVER followed by a chant everyone on camp knows all to well…BRRIII-AAAN LEAHH-HHHYYYY!!!!

Just three more days to go until summer 2023 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 energy, it’s undeniable but everyone knows the end is nearing. We plan on making the most of these last days we have together and nothing or nobody can stop the great vibes we are all feeling here. After the show tonight, a Middy camper came to me asked me how many sleeps we have until we go home. I replied 4 more sleeps. She then summed up what I know we all feel when she replied with,  ” I am excited to see my parents on Saturday, but I just don’t want this to end.”  She grabbed her three friends, they all held hands and walked off together back to their bunk. It’s hard to leave a place that makes you feel this good inside.