All Is Well, Safely Rest, Mr. Color War

All Is Well, Safely Rest, Mr. Color War

The Camp Equinunk and Blue Ridge family suddenly lost Steven Gelobter, the symbol of tradition for this tight-knit community.
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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.”

How!

Cover Image Credit: Camps Equinunk and Blue Ridge

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I Blame My Dad For My High Expectations

Dad, it's all your fault.
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I always tell my dad that no matter who I date, he's always my number one guy. Sometimes I say it as more of a routine thing. However, the meaning behind it is all too real. For as long as I can remember my dad has been my one true love, and it's going to be hard to find someone who can top him.

My dad loves me when I am difficult. He knows how to keep the perfect distance on the days when I'm in a mood, how to hold me on the days that are tough, and how to stand by me on the days that are good.

He listens to me rant for hours over people, my days at school, or the episode of 'Grey's Anatomy' I watched that night and never once loses interest.

He picks on me about my hair, outfit, shoes, and everything else after spending hours to get ready only to end by telling me, “You look good." And I know he means it.

He holds the door for me, carries my bags for me, and always buys my food. He goes out of his way to make me smile when he sees that I'm upset. He calls me randomly during the day to see how I'm doing and how my day is going and drops everything to answer the phone when I call.

When it comes to other people, my dad has a heart of gold. He will do anything for anyone, even his worst enemy. He will smile at strangers and compliment people he barely knows. He will strike up a conversation with anyone, even if it means going way out of his way, and he will always put himself last.

My dad also knows when to give tough love. He knows how to make me respect him without having to ask for it or enforce it. He knows how to make me want to be a better person just to make him proud. He has molded me into who I am today without ever pushing me too hard. He knew the exact times I needed to be reminded who I was.

Dad, you have my respect, trust, but most of all my heart. You have impacted my life most of all, and for that, I can never repay you. Without you, I wouldn't know what I to look for when I finally begin to search for who I want to spend the rest of my life with, but it might take some time to find someone who measures up to you.

To my future husband, I'm sorry. You have some huge shoes to fill, and most of all, I hope you can cook.

Cover Image Credit: Logan Photography

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