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.
Elissa & Jon