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|Peer-to-Peer Campaign: 2019 30th Anniversary Campaign|
Money Raised: $37,737.00 Campaign Goal: $30,000.00
For 59 years, from 1930 through 1988, Camp Rising Sun was an incredible opportunity only available for boys. A confluence of factors contributed to the creation of a Camp Rising Sun program for girls. At the October 1986 board meeting, the decision was made to seek out a separate campus nearby and an ad-hoc committee was created (and named/dubbed?) “Girls Camp Committee” chaired by Michael Engber. At the December, 1986 Alumni Reunion, Michael Engber and Marshall Beil stood before the Rising Sun community and announced the purchase of the site in Clinton. There was cheering and support. In late 1988, the site was coming together, selection and recruitment for campers and staff had begun and the vision for a girls program was becoming a reality. In June, staff arrived early to begin prep, but the Clinton campus was not yet ready.
In 1989, Rising Sun welcomed at the Clinton campus 40 girls and 15 staff members. As the bus arrived, the staff sang “Camp Henry Welcomes You,” a tradition adopted way back in the 1930 season of Rising Sun. This left some of the arriving girls wonderinged if the bus had pulled into the wrong Camp. It was not until 1990 that our now familiar “Pine trees are swaying” song was established. The core structure of the Rising Sun program model supported them through that first summer. Girls were working on projects, leading engaging instructions, hiking in the Catskill mountains and enjoying singing traditional camp songs. The arts cabin was developed into a good creative space. The tents which had just been numbered were given names and signs painted for each. Campers pulled weeds out of the pond to make it swimmable. Lots of projects involved painting and reorganizing the existing spaces to be more suitable for camp activities.
The following year, returning campers transformed customs from 1989 into enduring traditions. Each year, building upon the last, has yielded the Camp Rising Sun we know and love today. The program has been influenced by each and every camper, counselor and director, yet it is remarkably the same Camp Rising Sun Freddie birthed in 1930. Please make a donation in honor of the efforts to create a Camp Rising Sun for girls and all of young people who attended. Your donation will be matched dollar for dollar by Rick and Nita Luis.