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It has taken us a while to compose ourselves enough after an emotionally draining day following the conclusion of our Tuscarora 2017 summer. Nevertheless, here are some final thoughts:

The bags are packed, the tents are cleaned, the beds and shelves are stored in the t-rec. I'm at home drinking non- camp coffee, eating a non-camp bagel and couldn't be sadder about it. Yesterday morning, we said goodbye for the summer.  We hugged and cried, but as soon as I started to clean the tables and take up the bin, it felt like any other morning. It felt like I'd be doing the same next morning, waking you all up, telling you what's happening 1st period and enjoy my day just because I'm with you. Unfortunately that isn't the case and won't be again for Tuscarora 2017.

But this isn't all bad. Remember how Tusc made you feel. Remember what accomplishing your goals looked like. And most importantly, please remember what it felt and looked like to live in a compassionate, productive, loving, giving, and effective community. This is where you being in Tusc will be forever. What you do with what you have learned this past summer is what matters most. Yes, the time spent at camp was incredible and like none other, but I hope you all can help create the community and family we had this summer elsewhere in the world. All politics aside, most can agree that the world we live in today is volatile, threatening, and fragmented. Please carry on Tuscarora 2017. Take all of its goodness , acceptance, and care for things other than itself into the world. We need you all. I'll forever need you all. My utterly unique, unconventionally creative, beautiful group: never forget what we had this summer. Keep trusting the process. I love you all more than you'll ever know.

Love you forever,
Syd Zuckerman, Tuscarora UH

As I was aksed by many people yesterday how it was to say goodbye to all of my Tuscarorans, I kept answering in the same way, "I haven't cried this much since the end of my Tusc summer, but this one hurts so much more." And it truly did. The bond we were able to create with one another was one of a family. A family who loved. A family who cared. A family who defiantly expressed their own unique personalities in spite of any negativity that was thrown at them or surrounded them. 

I genuinely feel a connection to every single one of our 37 campers and my fellow staff. Despite how sad I still feel, I consider myself the luckiest person in camp because I got to be a part of something so beautiful and found a love so strong. I'll never be able to forget the energy in our village or the sense of humor that was always on display. This sense of humor is especially important during this time in their lives and during this time in our society. I hope they keep laughing and loving and bring positive light to any dark situation they find themselves in. That's what is most important following these last two months: that they can feel more confident and appreciative of what they have. And I know that each and every one of them found that. 

Thank you to all of my Tuscarorans and staff for helping create such an impactful summer. Tusc 2017 was a mess of tears on the last day, but it was a beautiful mess that I wouldn't trade for the world.

Love,

Jake Henning, Tuscarora AUH & Media Representative 

 

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