by Matt Kaufman
on November 23, 2021
This story is told by Jamie, who spend 15 summers at Ramaquois, beginning at age 12.
When I was 8 years old, I started going to camp. I went to two other camps before Ramaquois. Not until I was 12 did I discover where I was meant to be all along.
I will never forget Preview Day, two weeks before camp opened. It’s one memory that sticks out the most. I was going into 7th grade and took a tour with another camper who was starting with me (a friend to this day). “Where have we been going for the past 8 years?” we asked ourselves. “Why are we just coming to Ramaquois now?”
I was worried that everyone was going to know each other and I was going to be the “new” girl. How would I meet new friends? Would everyone leave me out?
After the first day of camp, this thought never crossed my mind again. First of all, it probably didn’t hurt that my counselor took me under her wing, let me wear her college sweatshirt, and I never looked back. Secondly, I made instant friends, who are dear friends to this day. I loved everything from my bus ride to the lake to lunch to Song and Cheer, and anything in between. It felt like I was born to be in Varsity 2 that year. I felt like I had come home.
That was the beginning of history. I spent my formative years as a Ramaquois camper, and my entire adolescence and early adulthood as a counselor. My experiences there made me who I am today.
So this morning, as I put my 4.5 year old niece, Sienna, on the bus to camp, all of the memories came rushing back. She is about to experience the best years of her life (and is lucky enough to start her journey just a few years earlier).
To sum up: there is NOTHING in the world like Ramaquois. The smell, the air, the energy, the passion, the memories. Timeless, ageless, and with me in some way, EVERY day. So thank you. And here’s to many more Rama memories to come!
Matt has spent his summers at Camp Ramaquois since 1984 — as a camper, counselor, and in various administrative positions, including his current role of Associate Director. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in Operations Research and Industrial Engineering from Cornell University. At camp, Matt works in program development, staff training and camper engagement. He has served as the program chair of the Tri-State Camp Conference and authored a book about summer camp staff training entitled The Summer Camp MBA. Outside of camp, he enjoys hiking, reading, website development, and spending time with his wife, nieces, nephew and dog.
We're proud to be considered
one of the best day camps in New York!