We often speak about how Camp UP is all about creating a family. But some of us are lucky enough to share camp with actual blood relations. Head coach Erin Curme is one of the lucky few—her brother, Dan Curme, also coaches at Camp UP. Here Erin reflects on the power of camp and sharing with siblings and other nuclear family members:
As camp UP 2014 comes to a close, I’m reflecting on what it has meant to be part of a family unit at camp. My big brother Dan was one of the first UP staff, and he has been here at camp every summer since the beginning. This year, I had the opportunity to coach alongside him as part of staff, and the experience was one of the best of my life. I finally got to watch him doing all of the things I have heard, watched, and read about as I have followed his story with Ultimate Peace for the last five years.
There are many families that come to this place together, and each has its own dynamic. I watch Nancy Melrose and David Barkan famously whisper-arguing about schedule changes during all-camp meetings. I watch Mickey, Nadav, and UV (Yuval) Pearl singing together in the corner, giggling while taking breaks with rounds of tri-convergence, a game where they all try to say the same word at the same time (which, may I add, is successful for the three of them way too often). I coached this year with Dani and Tala Glass, a pair of cousins who interact gracefully and beautifully with only eye contact and bring the Glass family energy to every game of “Pterodactyl,” making me laugh until I cry.
Dan and I are no different; we bring our own Curme flare to staff, making sarcastic jokes about missing swimsuits and ceramic mugs and holding awkwardly long eye contact across the dining hall. Multiple families populate and help create the atmosphere here at camp, and watching and experiencing all of these interactions on staff is, simply, beautiful.
Not everyone on staff is part of a family unit connected by a name or a bloodline, but we are all part of the Ultimate Peace family, and that is what I think we’re trying to create for our staff and for our kids every time we come here. As a staff, we live together, laugh together, cry together, eat our meals together, joke together, and exist in the closest thing to a family I have experienced outside of my own. When we bring that energy, both from the real family units on staff and from our created staff family, it spreads to our kids and into our teams. This is what creates the atmosphere at camp. This is what fuels real change. This is what we’re here to do. Thanks to my own brother, and to all of my UP family for a great week of camp. I love you, and I’m proud to be part of your family.