The Louis August Jonas Foundation and Camp Rising Sun has officially ended its 2019 Camp Season! Throughout the summer, our campers had fun on wilderness hikes and working on projects, bonded with other campers, navigated tough conversations, and learned about servant leadership. In total, we had 129 campers this year with 64 girls and 65 boys from 35 different countries. Although our campers' time at Camp has come to an end, their journey is just beginning. We hope their evolution into campers for life brings with it all the remarkable lessons, experiences, and friends from their Camp days. Thank you to the parents and guardians, campers, counselors, volunteers and alums for a successful season. We look forward to Camp Rising Sun 2020!
Letter from the PROGRAM DIRECTOR
It has been just over a month since we said goodbye to our final campers from the 2019 season - can you believe it? While by this point everyone’s bug bites have healed and sleeping in tents is a thing of the past, we hope 2019’s campers will never forget how it felt to walk single file into the forest for council or shout songs around the piano after lunch, arms slung around each other. The Louis August Jonas Foundation is incredibly proud of all 129 campers who attended Camp Rising Sun and have re-entered the greater world as alums tasked with carrying all they have learned at Camp with them. While some newfound knowledge may be irrelevant, including how to best trick Luna into letting one pet her, we feel good knowing there are 129 new alumni in this world who better understand how to improve their communities and the world with their leadership.
This year’s campers carried on the ever-present traditions of projects, instructions, evening programs, and staying awake past midnight sharing their life experiences with each other. The campus has been brightened and improved for future generations through a new bridge, lovingly named the Flip Flop bridge, which crosses the creek and uses wood from an old tent platform, the beautifully reworked treehouse which has unofficially been named The Most Beautiful Spot On Campus, among many other additions. Come check them out next summer, alums! Our campers further utilized their widespread knowledge to lead instructions on everything from The Impact of Society on Identity to Meme Culture, and organized evening programs centered around such topics as language and how to make your voice heard. Our campers further experienced the wilderness trips - some having camped for the first time! - and the age-old traditions of ghost stone council, learning how hard it is to light a fire during vigils, and singing Lean On Me around the council fire ring.
As always, this Camp season would not have been possible without our summer staff - thank you to all who worked hard to create a summer filled with learning, growth, and putting smiles on the faces of 129 young adults. It is important to also recognize our alumni who volunteered their time with us this summer - your work was appreciated, immensely important, and spoke to the commitment of our alum community. Furthermore, thank you to all of our volunteer host parents and families who opened their homes to our campers from around the world and demonstrated what hospitality can look like in the United States - we are immensely grateful.
To our newest alums, our 2019 campers - thank you for all you added, celebrated, questioned, thought critically about, welcomed, and contributed to this summer. I am proud to have been your Camp Director and look forward to seeing what you accomplish in life and how we can work together in the future. You all demonstrated what Camp Rising Sun should be, and I am grateful for it. Continue to take dedicated time to process all you experienced this summer and remember the things you wanted to take from this summer and bring into your home life with you. Welcome to the greater Camp Rising Sun community!
It is already time to begin working towards creating a successful 2020 season - LAJF’s 90th anniversary, and Camp Rising Sun’s 89th season! And with that, in honor of every Camp night’s singalong, “I hate to leave you, but I really must say - Goodnight, sweetheart, goodnight.”
Luna, being tricked into allowing humans to pet her.