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Camp Laurelwood celebrates Norman Feitelson’s 95th birthday 

More than 175 alumni, families and friends of Camp Laurelwood, reunited at the Madison camp one afternoon in August, to reconnect, reminisce and celebrate a significant milestone: the 95th birthday of former camp director Norman J. Feitelson.

The camp’s first Summer Social featured a cookout, lots of camp activities – like swimming and ga-ga – as well as heartfelt tribute to Feitelson that included speeches, songs, and video messages from alumni and former staff.

Feitelson led Camp Laurelwood from 1971 through 1984 after serving on the Board of Directors from 1964-1970. He is credited with developing many of the on-site and camper experience improvements still popular today, like the Upper Lake boating venue, a large canopied outdoor structure for sports and entertainment events called the “Chuppa,” and the Super Senior Complex for 13-14-year-old campers.

“Those years at Camp Laurelwood were the happiest and most rewarding of my life,” Feitelson recalls. “I’m proud of all the good work we did. But I’m most touched when former campers, counselors, and staff approach me on the street or at a restaurant to say how much Camp Laurelwood changed their lives.”

Camp Laurelwood alum Ken Gilstein summed the afternoon by saying, “I’m waiting to get on my plane back to Baltimore and feeling fantastic thinking about the party for Norm. Words can’t describe what it was like after being with all of my wonderful friends that I hadn’t seen for over 40 years.”

In addition to bringing together generations of Camp Laurelwood family and supporters, the afternoon raised almost $14,000. 

Main Photo: Norman Feitelson receiving a commemorative bench to celebrate his 95th birthday and honor his dedication to Camp Laurelwood.

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