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Coming Home

I’m so excited to be the new Assistant Director at Goldman Union Camp. This was my first summer at GUCI since 2002, and on my first day I was struck by how many people walked up to me and said “welcome home.” After my arrival was announced to the broader GUCI community, I received at least a dozen emails with that message—from old friends I’d lost touch with, fellow campers I’d forgotten, former campers of mine, and from at least one person I’d never met.

And it was like coming home. I’ve been privileged to be part of the GUCI family for almost twenty years—as a camper, Avodanik, and staff member—and I feel that all the more so this time around. Turning onto Moore Road for the first time in years, I felt the familiar butterflies in my stomach that we’ve all experienced, but this time was a little different: I wasn’t leaving at the end of the summer.

And what a summer it was. Despite the oppressive heat at the end of Kallah Aleph and the beginning of Kallah Bet, this was a hugely successful summer. Campers made new friends, renewed old relationships, played and sang and swam and prayed together. I helped plan Yom Sport, went on Kesher and Yom Tiyul. Both Mary Poppins and Joseph were huge hits—you could watch people singing along in the audience. Counselors worked tirelessly to make sure that each camper had the time of their life, and each session everyone came together to close out their time here with a final song session, a last slideshow, one more friendship circle.

We all know what a privilege it is to be a part of this family; and come next summer, I’m looking forward to greeting every one of you so that I can say “welcome home.”

Joe Slade
Senior Assistant Director