attending Camp Huron Lake since 3rd Grade, 14 year-old Jake
Rosenstein’s school friends, Joey (“Joey D”) D’Andressio and Shawn (“SMac”) McMurray
still believe Rosenstein spends seven weeks and two days in a tent in the woods
somewhere in a remote part of Pennsylvania. For years, his two childhood chums always
wonder why Rosenstein would rather “rough it” in the woods instead of hanging
out at McMurray’s above-ground pool all summer.
camp involves living in tents, eating meals cooked over a campfire started only
by rubbing sticks together, hiking for miles, bathing and washing clothing in a
local stream and sleeping under the stars.
But the boys couldn’t be more wrong about what goes on at Jake’s sleepaway
campfires are started by using a Duraflame log strictly supervised by a local
member of the volunteer fire department.
Once the campfire is in full force, campers circle around the 4-foot
high perimeter barrier and roast their marshmallows using a pole vault-sized
surgical steel rod. Camp Director Marty
Feldstein believes safety around the campfire simply cannot be overlooked. “About thirty years ago, one of our junior
boy campers was making a S’More on the campfire when an ember landed on his EG’s. Needless to say his summer was ruined
although I always wondered why a boy would wear socks like that.”
the perfect time for Rosenstein, a bit short for his weight, to take off those
extra pounds gained during the school year.
But Camp Huron Lake’s dining schedule is not exactly eating a few bowls
of fire-roasted baked beans twice a day.
Starting with a breakfast including either pancakes or waffles, home
fries, bacon substitute strips, assorted cold cereals and a variety of
beverages, campers eat until they have enough nourishment for a day full of fun
and exciting activities. After a
mid-morning snack, the campers return for a hot lunch buffet which consists of
the special of the day along with three types of pasta with five different
sauces, ten organic deli meats, a 75-foot long salad bar, and a frozen yogurt
area with more choices than any one of the thirteen yogurt stores in
Rosenstein’s Long Island hometown.
fruit and homemade cookies and freshly pasteurized milk from the local organic
farm. This snack break is followed by a
few more activities then the campers return to the Indoor/Outdoor dining
pavilion for dinner served by a tuxedo-clad wait staff. As nice as this sounds, an affected
Rosenstein begs to differ. “The eating
situation isn’t as great as it seems. A
few nights ago, our bunk waiter forgot to my counselor’s Pinot Noir and all
hell broke loose. Sometimes living off
the land for two months can be very difficult.”
Rosenstein and his favorite clothes come back in pristine condition after a
rugged summer of the outdoor elements.
“We figured between the rain and the mud and sleeping on the floor of a
filthy tent, Rosey would come home and be a filthy mess but we meet him at the
camp bus, and he smells like some of that Pot Porri. Fuckin’ guy looks like he spent the summer at the Brentwood Country Club,” cried a flabbergasted McMurray. While not exactly a country club, McMurray’s
sentiments about Camp Huron Lake aren’t far from the truth.
stalls to give the children a rustic outdoorsy feel. Both stalls have ten pressurized nozzles to
ensure that even the dirtiest camper will get somewhat clean. The campers are wrapped up in Egyptian cotton
towels by the bunk bathroom attendant before moving to his/her own walk-in
while delicate items such as basketball, football, and baseball jerseys are
laundered by the Camp America dry cleaning staff. While some may find these creature comforts
over the top, Rosenstein can’t overstate the importance of having these
facilities at his beck and call. “Last
summer, I got a dime-sized drop of imported Belgian vanilla ice cream on the
bottom of my white camp shirt. Thank god
the camp laundry is open day and night.
Can you imagine how embarrassing that would be to walk around in a shirt
Upon seeing his home friends at the end of the summer,
Rosenstein is peppered with questions on his camping odyssey. He always simply replies, “It’s rough out
there for seven weeks but this kind of experience helps transform a boy into a