Oh, Steve. I, Rachel Askinasi, of the greatest tribe in the summer camp industry, Camps Equinunk and Blue Ridge, wish to commemorate all that you are…
That’s just it, though. Steven Gelobter wasn’t part of the industry, he was part of the tribe. He is the reason why Camps Equinunk and Blue Ridge really are different form the rest.
On the morning of Sunday, November 1, Steven died at his home in Roswell, Georgia. He was 67.
Steve was a true Son Of Equinunk (SOE) in the most literal sense of the term. His grandfather, Edward Lehrer, known to all as Chiefy, founded CEBR in 1920. Chiefy’s legacy was then carried on by Steven’s father, Martin “Marty” Gelobter. Marty died in 2002 and, ever since then, all of the traditions that make up the magic which is Equinunk and Blue Ridge has been perpetuated by Steven.
Over at Equinunk, Steve was known as Mr. Color War (MCW). He got this name from the weeks before and after camp that he spent with his extended family each summer growing up. The Lehrer/Gelobter/Greenwald clan enjoyed the privilege of having the camp to themselves in the weeks their parents spent setting up and closing down the summer. Steve was the oldest of Chiefy's grandchildren and therefore was the leader when it came to these sorts of activities. One of his cousins recalled in a eulogy that Steve would make them all line up on the front walk of The Hotel so that he could read out the scores of the pre and post-camp color war, where activities consisted of card games, board games and the occasional athletic event.
More recently, he took over “The Speech” after his father could no longer give it. Every summer, the upper senior boys would run around just days before the break with walkie talkies, scouting out MCW in what Richie Kamen, co-owner and director of CEBR, calls "Gelobter Patrol," waiting for something, anything, to happen.
In 2008, MCW was the focus of a Staff Spotlight, a feature in the CEBR Buzzer. “Steven Gelobter is our guardian of the traditions of camp,” wrote the Buzzer curator.
Steve has touched an unimaginable number of people in so many unmeasurable ways. He had his brothers as a camper, his campers as a counselor and his sons and daughters as a director/pivotal member of the tribe. The boys and young men who each shared their own unique bond with MCW felt the same grief and heavy hearts as the men in their 60s who were his peers.
The most awesome part of Steve’s tie to camp was exactly that. On that shocking Sunday morning, there were hundreds of people from various generations, all feeling the same heartbreak for the same man who touched their lives in the same way, and half of those people don’t even know each other.
Steve’s children, Evan, Dylan and Giselle, will continue to share his legacy with new campers through their relationships and connections to camp.
Now, Steven will forever be High Up on A Mountain, looking down on all that continues. The traditions will keep being traditions and the values of paradise will still be upheld. Whether it’s tribes on Thursday at Blue Ridge or the war at Equinunk, Steve will still be there and his lessons never forgotten.
“In their hearts, the soul of Blue Ridge, we’ll pass his words through generations. Live on, his words live on, in our hearts forever.”