2013 Letter

Dear Fellow Saginaw Alumni:


            On the morning of a hot sunny day in June of 2001 I walked off of the bus as an eight year-old boy and took my first steps in Camp Saginaw.  I saw the endless green of upper field and the crowds of campers hugging in joy as they reunited with old friends.  As I took this in, the sweet smell of pine trees began to fill my nose.  Little did I know, my life would never be the same.


Flash forward seven summers as a camper, three as a counselor, and one more as Zeus; I now have amazing memories and friendships that will last me a lifetime.  But for me, Saginaw started long before I stepped off that bus.  My father, Ira Deming attended Saginaw from 1968 to 1975; my aunt, Leslie Deming attended Saginaw from 1971 to 1977; and my grandmother, Esther Deming attended Saginaw from 1947 to 1948.  As a third generation Saginaw camper, I grew up with my dad singing me camp songs as a baby, and my grandmother telling me stories from camp “back in the day.”


            As Zeus during the summer of 2012, I had the honor of hosting the first ever Zeus Symposium. I invited three Zeus’s (Hank Aberman, Mark Goldstone and Ross Bergman), each from a different era, to attend a senior boys campfire to share their stories and field questions regarding their time at Saginaw. To the amazement of my campers and myself, their stories and memories sounded all too similar to what we were currently experiencing. I quickly realized that the beauty about camp is that while everything changes in the “real world,” camp is the one constant where everything seems to stay the same.  Camp is about being a kid in an environment where endless laughter and having fun is the priority.   Camp is about making new friends and continuing friendships with old ones.  Camp is where you can make mistakes, but then learn from them.  I can confidently say that I am the person I am today because I attended camp.


            While I never had the opportunity to meet Herbie, I have heard endless amounts of stories from my father and numerous alumni.  Everyone I talk to describes Herbie as an amazingly special and unique individual who had a profound effect on so many people during his long tenure at Saginaw.  Through the Herb Cohen Memorial Fund, we have been able to honor Herbie’s legacy and love for camping by providing financial support to children who otherwise would not be able to attend Camp Saginaw.  The Fund also supports and provides assistance for children to attend other camps that represent Herb’s lifelong commitment to kids and camping.  Since its inception in 2001, the Fund has awarded 294 scholarships for children to attend Saginaw.  The Fund has supported other causes, including Variety Club Camps and the YMCA.  This past year, we were pleased to support Camp No Worries, a summer camp created solely to give children with cancer, and their siblings, a relaxing and worry-free summer camp experience. 


With your generous help, the Fund has touched the lives of hundreds of young people in a relatively short amount of time.  Please continue to help!  Donating to this wonderful cause will allow the Fund to build on these success stories and provide even more opportunities for others to experience amazing memories that will remain with them for the rest of theirs.  Just like Camp Saginaw did for all of us.


My best regards,

Brian Deming