A Record-setting Day At Camp Simcha

A Record-setting Day At Camp Simcha

On an ordinary day, a 1,340-foot ribbon will reach around a quarter-mile running track.

On one recent day, a 1,340-foot gold-colored ribbon reached into the Guinness Book of World Records.

Some 300 girls with leukemia and other blood-related illnesses, joined by 300 counselors and staff members, formed the ribbon into the shape of an “awareness ribbon” at Camp Simcha, a camp sponsored in upstate Glen Spey. The feat, verified by the Guinness people, broke the old record for an awareness ribbon of 802 feet set last year by N.T. Drug Testing Services in Mission, Tex.

The campers, ages 5-19 — some of them in wheelchairs, some leaning on walkers, some wearing gold hats over bald heads that had lost hair to chemotherapy, shouted “We are powerful! We are golden!” while holding the ribbon aloft. Some shouted, “We beat the record; we can beat cancer!”

“It was incredibly empowering for the campers,” said Shaindy Lowenthal, program director.

Camp Simcha, and its sister camp, Camp Simcha Special, has provided a free summer respite to ill children for a quarter-century, offering such fare as sports and crafts and concerts. This year more than 420 children and teens attended the two-week sessions.

Gold is the color of childhood cancer awareness.

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