Camp is Amee Cookler’s Happy Place. Plain and simple. Looking back at her childhood in Baltimore, Amee remembers loving two things the most — summers and camp.

“I grew up going to Jewish day camps in this area as well as two sleepover camps,” recalls Amee. “Camp was my happy place.”

Every day brought a new adventure for Amee, whether it was playing Gaga, snagging an extra popsicle or flying down the zip line. But one memory sticks out to Amee in particular.

“Holding the counselor’s hand, walking from activity to activity, it just stuck out to me,” she recalls. “It’s meaningless to so many but it was that counselor who made you feel like you were part of a group. I ultimately got to be that counselor when I was older and making every kid in my bunk fit in and have fun and laugh all day was amazing to me.”

“Another memory that sticks out to me is color war and having so much camp spirit. I remember the excitement I felt dressing head-to-toe in my color and losing my voice from screaming.”

After Amee married, she moved to Rockville where she and her husband started a family. Their connections, and their temple in Rockville, was so special and nurturing and played a significant role in their lives.

“Jewish summer camp became our main connection to Jewish peers and a happy place for our kids.”

Fast forward ten years when the COVID-19 pandemic changed everything. After ten years Amee, her husband and her three kids packed the car and returned to Baltimore.

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The Associated Contributors

The Associated Contributors are writers from The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore.