Issue: Summer 2015

> Nominations now open! Submit your info using the online nomination form.
> Circle Induction is August 1, 2015. If you plan to pin someone, please contact the camp office for visitation policies.
> Circle Reunion: September 25-27 | More information is online!

Download the printable version of the Louise Lighthouse.

Letter From the President

There have been so many fabulous Circle activities going on over the last several months! We’ve had joint Happy Hours and a Trivia Night with Leaf in D.C. and Baltimore, and a fantastic mid-winter-get-together going bowling in Columbia. Just a few weeks ago, we celebrated the first annual Circle Day, where Circle members and camp alumni around the world spent the day sharing memories and making new ones. My favorite part of the day was seeing all of the great photos posted on social media as everyone celebrated #CircleDay15! I’d like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who made these events happen, and to everyone who participated.

A few weeks ago, I was up at camp assisting with tours at Open House. After a long cold winter, it was so exciting to be back at camp in the summer sun! Watching all of the new campers on their tours seeing camp for the first time, I was taken right back to my own tour before my first summer. While working with many other staff members throughout the day, we were greeted by another familiar face – Circle Member Laurie Young came to visit on the mountain. She jumped right in to help and shared wonderful memories of her time at camp! It’s moments like these that remind me that camp will always be a part of all of us, and that any time you are at camp, it’s like no time at all has passed since you were last in Cascade.

This past Saturday was Camp History Day and I was so happy to be spending the day sharing the history of Louise with all of the campers. There were Circle members of all ages up at camp sharing stories and assisting with camper activities. Next year, plan on coming to join in the fun!

Looking for more ways to stay involved with Camp and Circle? Keep an eye on our website, Facebook, and email newsletters for dates of upcoming activities. And of course, make sure your calendar is marked for this year’s Circle Reunion – September 25-27! Registration materials will be sent in the coming weeks.

We are also excited to announce two new initiatives launching this year! First, it will again be possible to register online for Circle Reunion, and we can also now accept donations online. We are also going to be accepting online nominations for the Circle Board, and elections will take place online and at Reunion, so you can vote on new board members even if you can’t attend this year’s Reunion. Being a member of the Board is wonderful opportunity to give back to Circle! Read on to find out more about all of these great developments!

I hope you are all having a warm and relaxing summer, and I can’t wait to see you back at Camp soon!

Andie Snyder
President, Camp Louise Circle

Letter From the Director

Being a camp director is a funny thing. People ask me all the time – what do you do the other 10 months of the year? And before I became the Director (in 2008), I have to be honest with you – I wasn’t 100% sure. I often find myself trying to figure out how to get an extra hour or two in my day to get done all the work that is needed… and I'm not alone.

We have an amazing group of people who work year-round for camp (whether on payroll or not). They tirelessly plan, recruit, program, and do so much to help create the magical summer experience in the mountains of Cascade, Maryland. I feel so fortunate to work with these incredible people… and that’s what camp is all about – the people, the family we choose, the community. It doesn’t matter if you were last at camp in 2014 or 40 years ago – the feeling is the same. This will never change – and this is what has been keeping us going strong for over 90 years!

Many of you will never know the impact that you had on a camper, a counselor, or another staff member during your time at camp, but I guarantee it was powerful and positive. Think about the people at camp who have affected you. Reach out to them. Write them a note. Find them on Facebook. Let them know how much they meant to you. It will fill that person with warmth and fond memories - and it will do wonders for you, too!

Don’t wait – pick up the phone or write a note. Do it now! You won’t regret it!

Here’s to another wonderful summer of fond memories and creating that magic on the mountain for over 900 campers and hundreds of staff members as well!

Alicia Block Berlin
Director, Camp Louise

Reconnect on Facebook »

Top 10 Reasons to Donate This Summer

By: Jennifer Falik Rains and Elissa Sachs-Kohen

10. Because we all know the other seasons don’t really matter.
9. Think about the starving children at canteen!
8. Commemorate that embarrassing statement/accident/outfit from your CIT summer before it’s forgotten with a Circle Tree of Life Leaf.
7. That longed-for escalator to the top of the hill could become a reality today!
6. They let you come back to work 3 different times.
5. To make Miss Ida and Miss Sara smile from above (and reportedly, at times, from the Music Room).
4. We could finally splurge and add rhinestones and puffy paint to the pins for the 2015 Circle inductees.
3. Without Circle Reunion, where would you get the latest koozy?
2. Days pass and your gift will live on. Ever and Ever.
1. You are living the good you have learned here!

Donate now »

New! Nominations Now Online

In an effort to make Circle Board more accessible to all members- whether you are at Circle Reunion or not- the nomination and voting process will now be online.

From June 30 to August 31, nominations will be open for any members who wish to run. Keep an eye out for an email in early September to vote on all nominees. Online voting will close on September 23, but a printed ballot will be available at Circle Reunion for those who are unable to vote online.

Take a moment now to think about someone you’d recommend to join the board, and email your nomination to If you would like to nominate yourself, go directly to the nomination form.

Board Responsibilities

Interested in learning more about what it means to be on the board? You are committing to a 3 year term (you may be re-elected for a second term) in which you attend at least 2 of the 3 meetings per year. You will be expected to be on at least one committee and more importantly, you get to work with people who are just as passionate about Circle (and camp) as you are! If you have any questions about being on the board, contact Circle President, Andie Snyder at

Nomination Form »

Committee Update: Membership

Raise your hand if you met a new Circle member this year. Now take a look around. If you are raising your hand, high five! If not, don’t worry -- there will be plenty of opportunities this upcoming year.

Social/Special Events

We kicked off this fall with happy hours and trivia nights in Baltimore and DC with Camp Airy’s Order of the Leaf. In January, members reunited for a bowling Mid-Winter Get Together in Columbia. Finally, on May 28th, we all celebrated #CircleDay15!

History Day

On June 27, Camp Louise hosted about 25 Circle members on a very rainy Saturday. Groups of alumni were positioned all over the White House, sharing stories with campers and staff about what camp was like when they went to camp. Meanwhile, some younger alums were assisting with making a campwide quilt and a challenge course of history trivia. Be sure to join the fun next summer!

The Lighthouse

Meanwhile, We are so proud to introduce the brand new online template for the Lighthouse! Please don’t hesitate offer any feedback you may have on it. If you miss having the physical version of the Lighthouse, you can still download a printable version. For those who receive this in the mail, please consider signing up for the digital version through the Circle Member Database instead. You can imagine how much money Circle can save each year by mailing out as few as possible. Please send any feedback or comments to


Lastly, in the spirit of making Circle information more accessible, nominations and voting for Circle Board will now be online. More information can be found in the article above.

Thank you to all the members of the membership committee for your help this past year! And thank you to everyone for participating in the events we plan, contributing to the Facebook page and group, and for taking the time to read the Lighthouse each issue. It’s people like you who make the membership committee so much fun to be on!

Iris Maslow
Vice President of Membership

Committee Update: Reunion

Can you believe we are already half way through 2015? It seems like just yesterday we were putting on our snow boots to go anywhere! With temperatures rising it only means one thing – camp starts soon and then 2015 Circle Reunion is right around the corner.

This year’s reunion will be held Friday, September 25 to Sunday, September 27 so be sure to mark your calendar. Registration information will be sent out by mid-July and yes, we will be bringing back the option to register online! The theme this year is “Safari” so be sure to bring out your wild side to join us for a weekend of new camp discoveries.

As always, we are requesting more volunteers to run arts and crafts projects, and organized activities at both the pool area and in cookery. If you are interested in volunteering to run an activity please contact me at
See you in September!

Jana Hummel
Vice President of Circle Reunion

Circle Reunion 2015 »

Committee Update: Fundraising

It’s been a busy winter and spring for the Circle Fundraising committee! In addition to working on streamlining our donating process, we are excited to announce that our generous supporters can now give to Circle online. More on this further down…

On Thursday, May 28, 2015, we were very pleased to support the launch of the First Annual International Circle Day! #CircleDay15 was celebrated throughout cities in the U.S. as well as globally in the UK, Australia and Israel. All funds raised from this day will go towards the General Circle Fund. Many thanks to all who helped organize and all who participated in-person and online!

Meanwhile, we are happy to announce that donors can now give through the Circle website! Visit the Circle donation page and find out some of the ways your generous gifts can benefit Circle and Camp Louise.

As always, we are eternally grateful to those who donate to Circle. With your gifts, we can continue to support the important programs and initiatives of the camp we love, Camp Louise, as well as make attending Circle Reunion a reality for those who could not otherwise afford it.

Please send any questions on how to support Circle financially and any other feedback on the donation process to

Jennifer Falik Rains
Vice President of Fundraising

Give »

Recap: Circle Day 2015

Circle members around the world gathered on May 28, 2015 to celebrate the first annual Circle Day - from Boston to Baltimore, Philly to Frederick, and everywhere in between! Thank you to everyone who participated, and who used the hashtag #CircleDay15 to document your day. It was truly heartwarming to see Circle members across the globe connecting with each other -- whether it was in person at one of the many meet ups, at work, with the next generation of future Circle members, or virtually on Facetime and Facebook. We loved seeing all of your pictures and your Circle spirit -- check out the #CircleDay15 album in the Circle Facebook group for a compilation of the celebrations.

The Camp Shirt Initiative

Can you recall every camp shirt since 1997? Circle is collecting old campwide shirts to decorate the Dining Hall. If you have any of the shirts below and you're willing to donate them to the Camp Louise Dining Hall, contact Anna Koozmin.

  • Cool Stuff Happens (1998)
  • Camp's Back (1999)
  • Camp Rox (2000)
  • Adjust Your Latitude (2001)
  • Wild and Crazy Campin' (2005)
  • Light Blue Sky with Chicken (2008)
  • Light gray with Small Campfire (2009)
  • Friends for Life (2010)
  • Eat. Sleep. Camp. (2011)
  • You Just Have to Work Here (2012)
Send in a Shirt »

Recipe: Chocolate Chip Potato Chip Cookies

By: Alyssa Chircus (Circle 2011)

Makes about 30 cookies that stay soft no matter what!

1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1 small package (3.4 ounce) Instant vanilla pudding mix
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1-2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 bag salted kettle cooked potato chips

1. Preheat the oven to 375F.
2. In a large bowl mix the butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Using a mixer, beat on medium-high speed until the butter is evenly mixed.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remainder of the dry ingredients (obviously not the potato/chocolate chips)
4. Slowly mix the drys into the large bowl with the wet ingredients.
5. Once fully incorporated, fold the chocolate chips into the dough.
6. Gently break the potato chips into slightly smaller pieces then fold them into the dough as well.
7. Drop tablespoon size cookies onto an ungreased baking sheet (I like to line it with parchment or tin foil for easier cleaning).
8. Bake for 8-10 minutes- they may be soft still after baking, don't worry, they're meant to be soft! As long as there's some light browning, you've done it right!

Download Recipe »

Golden Circle Spotlight: Myra Polen

The Golden Circle Spotlight features someone who is 50 years old or older and still passionate about Camp Louise

Location: Baltimore, MD
Age: 95
Circle Year: 1956
What brought you to camp? Myra Polen started as a camper in 1929 when she was 10 years old and attended Camp Louise for several years, coming from Philadelphia. She then took a break and returned as a counselor in 1938 and 1939. She once again took a break to marry and have two children, and then returned to camp as a staff member in 1956, when she made circle and was pinned by Miss Ida. She started out in the music department, became a unit leader and then an administrative assistant to Sara Yudlson, until the late 1970s.
Favorite Camp Memory: Some of her fondest memories are working with Betty Dressner (show director) and Diana Kramer (head of swimming). Her other favorite memory of camp is lining up for flag at dinner on Friday night at the old flagpole in front of the White House and seeing all the girls in their whites, standing with Sara, Ida and Uncle Airy on the porch.

Job in the Real World: In her "real" life, she was many things -- a teacher before she had children, then a sales rep and a cosmetician for Estee Lauder. She is also a great mother. During camp years, her husband Jack would come up every weekend -- after all his whole family was there and he became a part of the Louise family too, helping with transportation and assisting Miss Ida in her garden.
Hobbies: Myra has always been interested in anything musical, played the piano and had a great singing voice in solarium, where she appeared in many shows. She loved helping campers feel good about their camp experience and softening the feelings of homesickness that some had. Some of her now adult campers remember her with fondness and gratitude about the nurturing she provided at rough times in their summers.
Do you still work at camp? What are you looking forward to in 2015? Myra is now 95 and lives in a nursing facility near Baltimore. She is as sharp as ever -- she taps her feet and snaps her fingers to her favorite music during car rides. She is also the best dressed in the residence!

Crossover Circle Spotlight: Sybil Kessinger

The Crossover Spotlight features someone who is a member of both Camp Airy's Order of the Leaf and Camp Louise's Circle.

Location: I live in Carroll County, Maryland, but teach in Howard County.
Age: 54
Circle Induction Year: 1984
Leaf Induction Year: 1988
Job in the Real World: Teacher
What Brought You to Camp? My friend, Dana Campbell, worked at camp the summer before and told me I would love it!
Number of years worked at camp/department: I was on swim staff for all three summers and assistant unit leader my last summer before making Circle.
Do you still work at camp: Yes...I work at Camp Airy and run the aquatics program
Favorite camp memory: My camp boyfriend and I went to Ocean City for turnover. We had heard that some other counselors might be going also but had not made any plans. We stopped at the Inner Harbor for dinner and then drove on to OC. We arrived in OC just after midnight and started looking for a place to stay. As we pulled up to a stoplight...I looked over at the all-night mini golf and there was Rick Frankle and 10 or so of our Airy/Louise friends. While sitting at the light, we made plans to meet the next day on the beach. They played mini golf all night till they could go on the beach and sleep.
Hobbies: Sports, anything to do with the water, traveling, playing with my dogs, reading
What are you looking forward to in 2015? I have trained the most wonderful group of lifeguards at Airy and I can't wait to watch them become amazing staff members!!!
Any other fun facts you'd like to share: I loved folkdancing on Friday nights on the field by the road. I didn't know a single folkdance my first year but my campers and counselor friends quickly taught me Snoopy and 16 tons and they became my favorites...still are! I still get giddy when we folkdance at reunion. I love attending Circle reunions. I immediately feel like I am transported back to the early 80's and being young and in my college years. I remember borrowing someone’s VW bug from Louise to drive a bunch of us to Airy. When we got there, the boys were at dinner. We decided that the bug was just perfect to drive up the path. Luckily, no one saw us but we laughed about that for the rest of the summer. Most of my really close friends are camp friends because they are the ones that I know I can call at the drop of the hat and they will be there... they are the best friends in the world. Camp friends are always there....good times and bad...weddings and births and divorces and funerals...they are there to give support and love!!!

Transplant Circle Spotlight: Becky Gutin

The Transplant Spotlight features someone who is not Homegrown or didn't attend camp as a camper. Instead, this person came to love camp later in life.

Location: Pikesville, MD

Age: 60
Year you made circle: 2006 - it was the largest group to make Circle, there was 45 or so of us!
Job in real world: You all know Rabbi Elissa? In real life, I'm her assistant at Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, where I've worked for 21 years as Assistant to Clergy and Bar/Bat Mitzvah Coordinator (and anything else they throw at me!). I also work part-time for Bloomery Plantation Distillery in Charles Town, WV, handling their Internal Communications. We make nine flavors of SweetShine, and we have a whole lot of fun doing it. If you're in the area, stop by for a tasting with our wacky fun-tenders!
What brought you to camp? I'm second generation through my daughter- Rachel "Gutin" Medvin! I started coming to Louise when she was eight, thanks to encouragement from Betsy Rosenthal. Several years later, I had accumulated enough vacation time that I could take two weeks off to work in the Office 2002-06, then the Bank 2007-10, then back to the Office 2011-13.
Do you still work at camp? What are you looking forward to in 2015? Unfortunately I no longer work at camp. I still have a day job, and decided that I wanted to use my vacation for other things. So far I've been to Israel and this summer I'm going to Alaska for hiking, kayaking, cross-stitching and other fun stuff on the Kenai Peninsula.
Favorite camp memory: I sat here for ten minutes trying to think of my favorite memory. And I decided that I don't have a favorite, because all of my twelve summers at camp were full of wonderful memories! It's the people that I met, who became my friends; that is my favorite thing.
Hobbies: I do a lot of counted cross-stitch, and enjoy going on stitching retreats. I spend far more time than I should reading. And I visit Philadelphia, a fabulous place for museums and restaurants, but especially because Rachel & her husband Mike live there :)

New Circle Spotlight: Irina Lessne

The New Circle Spotlight features someone who joined Circle in the most recent induction class.

Location: Potomac, Maryland
Age: 21
Year you made Circle: Summer 2014
Number of Years at Camp: 2006-2014. I was a camper, a CIT in 2011 and a counselor in 2012-2014. I was also on swim staff and helped train the youngest mermaids at Camp Louise to become the most FINtastic swimmers they could be!
Job in the real world: Currently a rising senior at Ursinus College, a small liberal arts school near Philadelphia.
What brought you to camp? In 2005, I moved to Maryland from Connecticut and I was having a particularly hard time making friends. The following summer, my parents decided to send me to camp, “and all I could do was to cry . . .boo hoo". Just kidding. I stepped through the gates for the first time in the summer of 2006, and returned as a camper and staff member for the next 8 years. I smiled and laughed and made so many wonderful memories, and never wanted to leave my summer home. I initially came to camp nervous and shy, but have learned over my summers at Louise, that I do indeed have a voice, and have become more comfortable sharing my thoughts and beliefs with others as a result. I will never forget my summers at Camp Louise and have made it my mission to approach whatever life throws my way, with a bright smile on my face. Wherever life takes me, I will "live the good I learned here", and help in whichever way I can, to teach others to carry this mantra and a smile throughout life.
Do you still work at camp? Unfortunately, I will not be returning to camp this summer, because apparently there is this thing called the "real world." For the first half of the summer, I am interning at the Hispanic Heritage Foundation in D.C. After that I will be participating in a month long Creative Writing intensive program at Cambridge's Pembroke College in England. I may not be at camp for the first time in 10 years, but fear not! I will find my inner awesome at my internship, as well as in England and cannot wait to share my experiences with others once I return.
Favorite camp memory: That's a trick question, right? I cannot pinpoint one memory that I would label as my "favorite", rather I can say that my CIT summer, without a doubt, was the most eye opening, wonderful, and most memorable summers of my life. I think that when it comes down to it, camp, cannot be described in terms of favorite memories. In my opinion, and as cheesy as it might sound, every moment spent at Louise is a favorite moment. :)
Hobbies: Gymnastics, diving, reading, writing, fitness, nutrition, smiling, traveling, and baking . . . oh, and reminiscing about camp. I find myself doing that a lot.
What are you looking forward to in 2015? Embracing new opportunities, gaining more confidence (through my internship, and studying abroad) and beginning my Senior year on a positive note!

Jane's Joke

The Louise Lighthouse presents: Jane's Joke! Look for a new joke in each issue of the Lighthouse.

Points on the Circle


> Cobi Edelson (Circle 2001) and her husband celebrated the birth of her son, Jonah Ryan Cohen, on March 17, 2015.

> Lauren Winiker Kaplan (Circle 2005) and husband Michael welcomed their son, Miles Samuel, on April 21, 2015! They are already prepping him for camp by singing him campfire songs before bed.

> Know someone expecting? Surprise them with a camp shirt for their baby! Camps Airy & Louise offer free 12 month, 2T, or 4T shirts to any alumni. Contact with a shipping address and size.


> Sami Holtz (Circle 2001) got engaged to Abby Stoler on May 5, 2015!

> Congratulations to Lara Greenberg on her recent engagement to fiancé, Alex Rabinowitz!

> Jacqie Rubenstein (Circle 2005) is excited to be marrying Alisha Babb on July 25!

Career Achievements

> Becky Gutin (Circle 2013) celebrated her daughter Rachel "Gutin" Medvin graduating from Widener University with her doctorate in Clinical Psychology and an MBA. "Her dad and I are so proud of Dr. Medvin!"

> Sarah "Shiller" Hiller (Circle 2013) celebrated her 22nd birthday by graduating from Scripps College this past May!

> Mariel Berlin-Fischler (Circle 2013) shared big career news: "Thanks to all of the training and experience I gained in the Louise drama department, I've landed my dream job of lead drama instructor at Round House Theatre!""

> Iris Maslow (Circle 2009) is moving to Raleigh at the end of the summer to become the new Digital Marketing Manager for a software company.Thank you to all the camp alums who made these past two years so much fun!

Other Announcements

> Just a reminder to all Circle members and Louise alumni: The Circle maintains a database that contains your contact information (address, phone and email) as well as your camp history. If you've moved or changed your name or address since your record was created...if you're not sure you even have a record, please contact Henri Goettel at to check and update your record. Thanks!

Circle Database »

Available for Purchase:
Want to honor someone, share your camp pride, or give back to camp? Circle provides several options:
License Plate | Mitzvah Cards | Sisterhood Tree of Life Leaves | Dedication Plaques

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