by Stacy Shapiro
I had the privilege of being Faculty at Kutz on opening day and being in a position to speak to most of the participants and families. I lost count of how many parents I met who are Kutz alumni and wanted to share their memories. These parents, adults, and many others, myself included, for whom Kutz has had a lifelong impact have found it almost necessary over the years to share Kutz by talking about it to everyone who will listen and ultimately hoping a teen is listening and will attend. It doesn’t seem to matter whether one’s experience at Kutz was years ago or last year. The lessons we learned have stayed with us and the emotional pull of needing to walk through the gates at 46 Bowen Road and come home again is so strong that sometimes it feels like a visceral experience. The parents were anxious to see the camp, to walk around and see what had changed and what had remained the same.
There are things that have changed. There are new buildings but more importantly, there is new programming. Melissa Frey, the camp director, is continually reimagining, redesigning, and rethinking camp programming down to the last detail to make the summer experience one of growth both intellectually and spiritually for the participants, staff and faculty. Melissa has put together an incredible staff of people to help and support her vision for Kutz and to help shape our leaders for today and the future.
What has not changed at Kutz is the ruach, the spirit, the spirit of the Divine that is palpable in the Teatron when hundreds of teens participate in prayer and song because whether they understand it yet or not, they have all come home.
These parents were so proud to share Kutz with their children. I am so delighted for these participants that they are able to experience Kutz and that they will understand what I mean when I say:
Kutz, you make my soul sing.