Mar 27, 2015

Echoes from An Echo

Since 2002, the South Tea Echo has become a highly anticipated publication. Whether you were a camper, parent or staff the previous summer, 10 summers ago, 30 summers ago or more, Tamakwans literally around the world rejoice when the South Tea Echo is published.

We are so fortunate to have such an incredible team of writers each year to create such an amazing paper, well most particularly Editor & Project Manager Robert Sarner.

In this new recurring blog segment aptly named “Echoes from an Echo” we will be periodically sharing with you some of our favourite articles from earlier editions of the South Tea Echo.

What better article to start with than this one we found entitled: “Echoes from the Echo” from 2003!

It’s an article filled with letters to the editor remarking about our inaugural edition of the South Tea Echo in 2002.




First issue rekindles fond memories and triggers comments aplenty from Tamakwa of different eras.
(compiled by Robert Sarner)


Thanks for the South Tea Echo. It brought back many memories, almost all of them good.

For me, it all started in 1937, or was it 1938? I was one of about 30 campers who paid for the privilege of helping Lou and Jo Handler and the remarkable Stringer family build the camp. The next four years at Tamakwa were great but nothing could compare with the excitement of that first year and being part of something new and wonderful.

During that summer, four of us Rangers and our counselor, Joe Pont, lived in a cabin (actually a tent on top of four low walls) perched on the edge of a cliff. Because the latrine was further away, we all took advantage of the convenience of the cliff when we woke up.

Unfortunately, one-day Lou’s mother was picking raspberries down below when we indulged our laziness. Whoosh! Right on her head. Neither Lou nor his mother appreciated our resourcefulness.

You might enjoy the great humiliation of my life that occurred in 1940 or 41. After having been taught canoeing by Omer Stringer and Tony Bernard, an Algonquin Indian who was an extremely nice guy, a superb canoeist and owner of a genuine birch bark canoe, I was by then Tamakwa’s canoeing instructor.

What was then a large group of parents, including mine, were down at the waterfront for our aquatic show. My part was to do the canoeing demonstration. As I’m sure you all know, you can do a 180-degree turn with a flick of your paddle.

Being a young hotshot, I came straight at the dock going as fast as I could. When I started my turn, I dropped my paddle and struck the dock head on. The bow split and I sank right in front of Lou and all of those parents. Obviously, I was the “hit” of the show but I’ve had nightmares about it ever since.

Probably fortunately for Tamakwa, World War II ended my camping days.

Best wishes to all and thanks again for refreshing some, but not all, of my memories.

Jim Wienner
Jensen Beach, Florida


I just finished perusing the South Tea Echo and found great joy in reading the write-up on Ada Bandalene. I knew Ada from my Jewish Community Center swim team days in the late 1940’s and as a Tamakwa camper in 1948 and 1949.

I would love to make contact with Ada. Could you send me her address and phone number (email too)?

Your newspaper is terrific and it’s nice to see a blending of news on current and former campers and counsellors. Unca Lou would be proud of what you have put together.

Incidentally, some of my best friends today were fellow Tamakwa campers and hope you have them on your mailing list… Richard Edgar, Carl Levin, Merrill Miller.

Bob Marans
Ann Arbor, Michigan


I just received a copy of the South Tea Echo in the mail and am so… I just can’t explain. Too many emotions swirling around.

The paper is great. I particularly loved the articles in which people say how much Tamakwa and Algonquin Park have played a part in their lives. It’s true. The camp, the Park, the people… There’s no other place like it.

This week, my sister and I had a long discussion about what’s important in life. We agreed that one of the most important things in life is the impact you have on people. What you do to help others. What you do to make other people’s lives easier, better, more fulfilled. I hope you realize the impact that Tamakwa has had on so many. It’s priceless. The time I spent at Tamakwa changed me profoundly, not to mention how it saved me in so many ways.

I can still remember crying when I left at the end of my first summer only to arrive back in Florida trying to figure out a way to spend the rest of my life up in Algonquin Park with the people I just left. Unfortunately my life took a different path, but nothing can ever take away those memories.

Well, enough of that. I just wanted to say that the Echo is great and thank you.

Krisie S.


As an old Tamakwan, it was wonderful to receive a copy of the South Tea Echo. It brought back many, many memories. Let me just correct a little of Tamakwa history as written in the Bar Mitzvah article in the first issue of the Echo.

I attended Tamakwa from 1951 through 1963, missed 1964, but returned in 1965. Not to brag but as Program Director in 1963, I was honored with a Bar Mitzvah ceremony on the Slope at Friday evening services.

Over the years I have followed the success of Tamakwa. It is wonderful that the traditions of camp continue. Tamakwa will always remain in my heart.

How How.

Richard Leach
(Leachemo 1951-63, 65) Fair Oaks, California


Congratulations on the launching of the South Tea Echo. It’s a spectacular newspaper. It really is a knockout.

John Fanning


Just went through my edition of the South Tea Echo cover to cover.

What a wonderful job Robert Sarner et al did! I wanna go back to camp myself! You all should be tremendously proud of what you’ve achieved there on the shores of South Tea and in turn I feel privileged to have an ongoing association with the most beautiful of spots and that most wonderful of camps.

Please pass on my congratulations to Robert, Vic, David and all.

Bernie Goldman


I greatly enjoyed the South Tea Echo. It’s a wonderful publication; Extremely professional.

Please give my best regards to all my old Tamakwa friends.

George Hirsch
Publisher, Runner’s World New York City


While reading the South Tea Echo, I was most surprised to see my picture on Page 6. This is from 1950 (not the late 40’s as indicated) and the pictured campers are, from left, Gary Gutow, Fred Safran, Mark Hauser, Sandy Colman (of blessed memory) and Frank Safran. We were 8-years-old and part of the Yeomen that year.

There was a pink eye epidemic that summer and those Yeomen who did not have it (the guys in the picture) were moved into the first cabin in the girls section (Trailblazer 1?) before it was occupied by any of the girls. I’m quite sure that my name is still carved into that cabin.

I have a great memory of that summer, which may have been the best of my six summers at Tamakwa. Our counsellors were Dave Krieger, Harold Katzman and Al Newman. There was also a CIT from New Rochelle, NY. Was that George Hirsch? Possibly, but the name does not ring a bell. When I looked at the picture I thought it was Al Newman.

While I still see everyone else in the picture (except Sandy Colman who died quite a while ago) as well as Dave Krieger and Harold Katzman on a fairly regular basis, the identity of George Hirsch is a mystery to me.

Mark R. Hauser
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan


A hearty congratulations on the South Tea Echo. It’s an excellent newspaper and it gave me more insight into life at Tamakwa.

My kids tell me some things, but the rest I hear from their friends and this paper lets me know what’s really going on. I was very moved by all the articles. Keep up the good reporting.

Shelley Fine


Please add my name to all those Tamakwans who are so pleased with the South Tea Echo. The format is great, and I even recognized a few faces after all these years.

Eric Winkelman
1957-59, Staff 1961-63 Franklin, Michigan


Thanks for sending us the South Tea Echo. It is a wonderful news- paper about Tamakwa. It is excellent in every respect – the articles, the sentiments expressed, and everything else in it. It is done in a very professional, interesting, and exciting way. Congratulations!

Renah & Max Bardenstein
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

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