(Above) Aaron and Lillie Straus



Dear Camp Family,

In nearly 100 years at Camps Airy & Louise, I am only the 5th executive director, and I find myself thankful for being part of an incredible community filled with tradition. Each summer, faces old and new join us on the mountain in Thurmont and Cascade for an incredible seven weeks. We don’t get a lot of time to give thanks while coaching, empowering, mentoring and entertaining nearly 1,650 campers and 600 staff – so this time of year I like to pause and appreciate the people that make it all possible.

People such as Alicia Berlin and Marty Rochlin, our directors, who have each been part of the camp family for nearly 40 years. Or our incredible facilities team, some of whom are members of the same family who built and sustained these camps for nearly a century. Then there’s our summer staff, made up of both former campers and new recruits from across the globe. And of course, our campers, the ones coming for the first time and those who are third and even fourth generation.

Most importantly, I thank you, our camp families, alumni and friends, for being part of this shared experience; whether you send your children to camp, spent time at Camps Airy & Louise in your youth, or have generously supported our mission of making sure every Jewish child has a chance to find their inner awesome on the mountain.

It’s an incredible history we celebrate, and I am fortunate to be its steward. I know whatever the future might bring, this tradition will continue to be unmatched in longevity, stability and history in the Jewish summer camping community. Join me in celebrating the new and the old at Camps Airy & Louise by watching our Thanksgiving montage.

I hope all of you have a wonderful “Season of Thanksgiving,” and look forward to seeing each of you again very soon.


Jonathan Gerstl

PS – As our centennial approaches, please stay tuned to our social media channels and make sure we have your most updated contact information to stay informed about all the excitement to come. You only get to celebrate your 100th birthday once so we’ll be creating an experience you’ll want to tell your grandchildren/great grandchildren about; unless of course they’ll be there themselves.

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