When Jake Solomon arrived at Trail’s End Camp for the 1st time in 2002, as an Upper Ranger, he began the ultimate camp journey that extended over 12 summers. A camp experience.
Unfortunately, after 4 years as a counselor, “real life” has taken over and Jake won’t be returning to TEC in 2014. Jake sent us an email recently sharing his thoughts and feelings about his summers as a camper and counselor.
Top 5 (actually 8) Memories of Trail’s End:
- 1. Winning Olympics with Turkey in 2007 and breaking the curse of Green and White.
- 2. Making an Oscar video in 2008 with Sam Elman. The video was about how we both wanted to win a Camp Oscar. Sam won the Oscar, but I did not.
- 3. Winning Ranger Sing – my first year at camp in 2002.
- 5. Getting to be an Olympic Captain.
- 6. Being part of the first PCF Midnight Madness Sports-a-thon.
- 7. Winning Lou Flego twice. Both times there were people in my square who had never square danced before.
- 8. Sneaking out with the bunk for a midnight pizza party at the golf course. (Lower Cavalier summer, 2005).
My Former Counselors
I was fortunate to have many great counselors through the years… To name a few: Adam Fox, Matt Stroman, Ryan Daughtry, Issac White, Travis Peoples, Jeff Shephard and Mike Russell.
My Former Co-Counselors
Once again, there were many but since you asked me to name a few, these instantly came to mind: Jake Winston, Justin Potter, Adam Stenlake, David Margulies, Ben Bass, Johnny Mulhearn, Ben Taylor, Ali McIntosh.
While @ TEC
I love the leadership and family feeling that is formed at camp. The level of support is amazing as you watch your friends, or your campers, grow and change for the better. A story on leadership that typifies TEC and still gives me chills to think about was a Team Eco-Challenge that came down to the wire. Jeff Solomon (my brother) and Jake Secker had made it their goal to win this race. Everyone thought they would definitely come in first. They posted a great time and were confident that they had won. I remember standing with them and watching their faces as Alex Baren’s team sped to the finish and ended up winning by seconds. I thought Jeff and Jake’s team would be devastated. Instead, they walked over and genuinely congratulated Alex. They were happy for him. To me, this is what TEC is all about, competing your hardest and even if you lose, you leave it all on the field, shake hands, and go back to being friends.
Jake on Varsity
Varsity is the greatest thing for any kid going into high school. People go into Varsity knowing their bunkmates, but in the house, you room with new people, you share a lounge and you get to be with different age groups. Being with the older kids as a First Year and being with the younger kids as a Leadership Trainee (LT), is one of the best things about Varsity. I was an LT when Teddy Drucker, Michael Maslin, David Margulies, Mac Novich, and Ben Bass were 1st Years. They were some of my best friends that year and have grown to be some of my best friends in life. I never really knew them before Varsity.
Final Thoughts – Not a Goodbye
I want everyone to understand the importance of Trail’s End Camp in my life and how I lived 10 months for 2. What gets people through those 10 months is the knowledge that there are another 2 months waiting for them at TEC. Unfortunately, I will no longer be able to spend my summers at Trail’s End but I wanted to say thank you for always being there for me, and giving me the best 12 summers anyone could ever ask for. Mostly, I want to thank everyone for making me into the person I am today and giving me memories and friendships that will last a lifetime.
I will see you at Visiting Day, Alumni Day and any other day I can be up in Beach Lake next summer for another great Experience.
Forever a TEC Camper