Blog  Shalom Chaverim

Shalom Chaverim

Dear GUCI Family,

Hello! This is quite a bittersweet email for me to write. As some of you know my final official day working at G.U.C.I. is today.  Serving as the Assistant Director the last 4 years has been one of the greatest experiences of my life.  It’s truly been an honor serving the G.U.C.I. community.

As I’ve grown up I’ve always struggled with ways to make the world better.  I know there are plenty of ways to do this but it still seems like such a daunting task.  I find working at camp to be the most direct and rewarding way to accomplish making the world a better place.  I’ve seen and felt it at G.U.C.I. every summer since I was 10 years old.

So how do I sum up my time at G.U.C.I.?  It’s impossible to find words to reflect all the incredible people, great memories and beautiful moments that I’ve experienced at camp but I think this quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson gets as close as possible.

“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded. “

That is success and that is camp!

Many people have been requesting a photo of the piece of art I donated to camp as a parting gift.  Here it is.  The painting was done by Martin Benson, a friend I grew up with at G.U.C.I.!  I told him to try to capture the essence of camp and this is what he came up with.  I think he nailed it!

“Illuminating the Sabbath”
Painting by Martin Benson
Donated by Max Klaben

As I pack up my things and move on to my next adventure I want to continue the friendships and relationships that were created here at camp.  Even though I won’t be at camp I’ll always be here for the G.U.C.I. community.   My personal email address is so please stay in touch!

Signing off from our home away from home,

Max Klaben
Assistant Director
Goldman Union Camp Institute