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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To the guy that shot my brother...

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To the guy that shot my brother,

On January 9, 2019 my families entire life changed with one phone call. The phone call that my little brother had been shot in the face, no other details. We didn't need any other details. The woman on the phone who called us in full panic told us where he was so we went, as soon as possible. I don't think it helped that not even 10 min prior I talked to Zach on the phone.. kind of irritated with him, and the ONE TIME I didn't say 'I love you' as we hung up. Could've been the last time we ever spoke.. I remember pulling up to the hospital thinking 'this can't be real' 'it's not our Zach' 'this is just a dream Sarah, WAKE UP' I'd close my eyes really tight just to open them, I was still in the hospital emergency parking lot. I could still hear the ambulance sirens coming. It was all real.

The day our life's changed was definitely a test of faith. A test of how strong we were, as a family. I sat in that waiting room ready to see the damage that has been done to my sweet baby brother. Because at that point we had no idea how lucky he got. That glimpse of seeing Zach will haunt me forever. How helpless I felt in that exact moment frequently wakes me up from these horrific dreams I've been having ever since that day. That is a moment burned into my me and families brain forever.

You always hear about these things in the movies or on the news, a house being shot up, someone shooting another innocent person, not to care if they died on your watch. But we found ourselves on the news.. We have been confined to the hospital since that day. Running on barely any sleep, taking shifts of sleep so we don't make ourselves sick taking care of Zach. Watching him suffer. Undergoing surgeries, to repair the damage you did.

Before I proceed let me tell you a little something about the man you shot.

Zachary Keith Wright. A blonde hair blue eyed boy. Who could potentially be the most annoying human on the planet (possibly coming from his sister). A man who loves his God first, loves his family second. Perfect by no means, but almost perfect to me. A 19 year old who was to graduate high school this month. After graduation he was prepping to leave for Marine boot camp in the summer.. being in the military has been Zach's dream since he could talk. Literally. Running around, playing war with underwear on our heads, and finger guns. Some would say we looked like natural born assassins.. growing up he has been a country boy. Let me tell ya country to the core. He loves this country like he loves his family. He believes in helping people, taking charge in what's right, and never leaving a brother behind. He's lived by that his whole life. Until now....

The day you shot him. The day not only did you change my brothers life, you changed his families life too. The day you almost ripped my brother out of this world... for what? A misunderstanding? Because you've let something take ahold of your life that you can't let go you're willing to kill someone innocent over? Luckily for him, his guardian angels were protecting him in your time of cowardice. There were 3 times that day he should've died, the time you shot him, the time you tried to shoot him again as he stared you directly in the face, (even tho he couldn't talk I know you could read his eyes, and he still intimidated you. That's why you tried to pull the trigger again) and the time he was running out of the house. But he lived. A man who was shot in the face, didn't lay there helpless, didn't scream in agony. That MAN walked to the neighbors to get help. Why? Because he's a MAN, and because he's on this earth for a reason.

It's gonna sound a little strange not only to you, but the audience who is reading this. I must say thank you. Even in this situation, this was the best outcome we could get. He gets to live. He will make a full recovery. He will graduate. And he will go off into the Marines. You united my family together. Closer than ever. Thank you. You tested our faith and brought us closer to our God. Thank you. Because of your moment of weakness, you showed us what prayer could do. Heal anything. Thank you. This was a bump in the road, and a helluva way to kick off our year of 2019. But here we are.. all laying in the hospital. I'm looking around as mom is sleeping in her recliner chair exhasted but still here, Zach his awake playing his xbox all hooked up to machines, fighting to heal and get better. And of course I'm writing this letter to you.

See you in trial,

From the girl whose brother you shot.

'Fight the good fight' - 1 Tim 6:12 🤟🏼💙

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