Dear Alumni/ae and Friends of Camp Rising Sun,
It is an honor and a privilege to serve as the Executive Director of the Louis August Jonas Foundation. I take seriously my role and responsibilities to uphold the mission and the vision of our founder, George “Freddy” Jonas. Freddy founded Camp during a time of American isolationism and war, with the hopes that his campers would one day create a better world.
At Camp Rising Sun, we create an idealistic community where people and ideas are valued. We teach campers to consider how their actions impact others in the community. We help young people practice how to lead, to be heard and to listen. Our mission is as relevant and important now as it was in 1930.
I am the most fortunate of our alumni because I get to see Camp in action year-after-year. I see them on the first day board the buses with a mixture of nervousness and excitement. I sing with them in the dining hall. I hear the crackle of the council fire. I watch their projects evolve from ideas to tangible products. I learn from their instructions. I witness their inquiry, curiosity and innovation. When the season is over, I receive the words of gratitude from parents who can hardly believe all the wonderful changes in their children. Throughout the year, I see photos of our beloved alumni associations, continuing our vision in their regions. Yes, mine is a very lucky position to be in.
Thank you for your support in my first year as ED. The future of Rising Sun is bright. Thanks to all of our supporters, we are well on our way to reaching our fundraising goals for the year. Our staff team and volunteers will work diligently to ensure our longevity and sustainability. Please be part of this positive future. The world needs us; the struggle is not over.
Stay connected with Camp and our values. I encourage you to reconnect with your local alumni association, recommend a camper or staff member and whenever possible, come to a reunion. Being around Rising Suns always gives me energy and hope.
Wishing you a happy and safe holiday season from tent hill.
Helene Mattera, LCSW
CRS ’97, ’98, ’00, ’10, ’11, ’12, ’15, ‘16