Acropolis Memories

For all Saginaw campers and staff the bus ride up to Oxford in late June for the first day of camp was always a seminal moment for the year.  In the attached document Suanne and April Riskin, along with some help from their friends, provide a detailed Acropolis memory walk of these times from the late 1960’s and and early 1970’s.

Acropolis Logos from over the years
Acropolis Logos from over the years


Acropolis Shirt 1971....notice the Dove is in play already
Acropolis Shirt 1971….notice the Dove is in play already


Bunk H 1970 "Characters" Plaque
1970 Bunk H “Characters” Plaque


1983 Plaque…..The Ritz…Home of the Aides
1996 Bunk N…Let it all hang out!

Besides the description of the frenetic bus ride and the aromatic moment stepping on to upper field, they provide over 100 “bits of trivia” that are sure to tap into your own personal recollections of your times at Saginaw.

These include highlights like:

The Job Wheel

Short sheeting beds

Hanging bras on the flag pole

Capture the Flag

Big Shows

Color War

Acropolis Songs


Oscar’s Sticky Buns

Milk Bar

Big Rock

The vomit machine

The smell of pine needles

(Click to reminisce with the Bunk J Alma Mater (circa ?))

1967 Acropolis Troupe: Michelle G, Fern Genderson, Barbara Chaiken, Ruthie Bell, Audrey E., Nancy Novack, Gail Davis, and Lisa H.
1967 Acropolis Troupe: Michelle G, Fern Genderson, Barbara Chaiken, Ruthie Bell, Audrey E., Nancy Novack, Gail Davis, and Lisa H.

Besides Senior Girl activities, there is no denying the importance of the connection between the Acropolis women and the men of The Hill.    Sadie Hawkins Day, Cabaret, Co-Ed Swim, Brother and Sister, Late Nights at the Canteen, and Longwood Gardens just a smattering of shared activities in and out of camp.

As we know many of these often were the springboard to life time relationships that lasted well beyond the Saginaw years.

Acropolis Leadership: Kathy Aberman-Sharon (Korman) Weiss-Marion (Eisman) Forman
Acropolis 60’s Leadership: Kathy Aberman-Sharon (Korman) Weiss-Marion (Eisman) Forman


Acropolis 1970's: Myra Holt, Steffi Baer, Amy Kurtzman, Stacy Shinberg, and others
Acropolis 1970’s: (Top-Down) Myra Holt,  Amy Kurtzman, Berne Bronk, Steffi Baer, Nesa Orlowitz, Cookie Rosenthal, and Rona Kramer


Suzi Burka, Sue Ann Riskin, and Mona Kleinman remember times on the Dell Vomit Machine
Suzi (Burka) Walsh, Sue (Riskin) Schuman, and Mona (Kleinman) Shapiro remember times on the Dell Vomit Machine


Mona Kleinman and Simone Saidman reminisce at Big Rock
Mona (Kleinman) Shapiro and Simone (Saidman) Dickstein reminisce at Big Rock


2011: The Ritz-Home of the Aides


2011: Acropolis Doves
Karen Edelson Barash under the Acropolis Welcome Arch (circa 2006-Aides project)
Karen Edelson Barash under the Acropolis Welcome Arch (circa 2006-Aides project)

(Click to enjoy a full array of Acropolis Songs)

Feel free to sing along but have the discretion to close the door since your kids, grandkids, and the dog will think you are loopy.

The 70's administration: Shirley Chalik, Connie Chalick, Mayer Kutler, and Herbie Cohen
The 70’s administration: Shirley Chalick, Connie Chalick, Marilyn Kutler, Mayer Kutler, and Herbie Cohen

Pour yourself a large iced tea (it is unlikely that you have any Bug Juice in the fridge), sit back in the lounge chair, and enjoy this wonderful romp down memory lane.  You will laugh and probably get misty as well as you relive some of those larger than life moments from your Saginaw youth.

(Click to read Acropolis Memories in it’s uncut form)


6 thoughts on “Acropolis Memories

  1. I know you were looking for camp stories…well I have a doozie.

    It was in the summer of 1971. We were Low Seniors in Bunk H. We had just come back from our annual trip to New Hope. We had visited Bobby Newman’s dad’s Ice cream place, went to see a show at the Bucks County Play House, had our Peter Max Black light poster and tie die shirts. We came back into camp after curfew – it was late.

    The next morning we were supposed to have a “late morning”. Well the Inters in Bunk 10, whose bunk was in front of us, decided it was the morning they were going to make as much noise as humanly possible. After repeated efforts to shut them up, they finally went off to breakfast. Tired, irritable, and yes probably pre-menstrual as we all of 12 and 13 years of age – we decided to plot our revenge.
    We raided bunk 10 – who was in bunk 10? Robin Feld, Dori Garfinkel, Amy Leibowitz, Susan Landis et al.
    The kicker was that one of the kids in our Bunk – Janise Astor had a cousin in bunk 10…..Dori Garfinkel. After much planning – she laid down the law that under no circumstance was Dori’s area or her stuff to be touched…..mistake number one – YOU NEVER LEAVE A CALLING CARD!
    We collapsed beds – remember they were those metal framed beds. We stripped linens, dumped cubbies, smeared toothpaste everywhere….all this and leaving Dori’s area, bed, cubby etc…untouched!
    The next day, our counselors – Karen Kotloff and some “one hit wonder” ( she came to camp as a counselor for one year and never returned…doesn’t say much for us); were summoned by Sharon Weiss, Nadine Kleinyoung and Ellen Rashbaum to have our bunk arrive at the “Color War” central Pagoda. Why was it called the Color War Pagoda? – for the week that came after the end of Color War we would all meet after breakfast at this one pagoda and sing Color War songs from years past. This served several purposes – 1) to remember the songs from as far back as the oldest person could remember and 2) to teach these songs to all the kids. So, when they get to be “Old Timers” they can do the same, thus the tradition will live on.
    OK on with the story – We had a horrid reputation of not only be bitches in the camp, but bitches to ourselves. Everyone was now assembled at the pagoda, except Sharon. Now for those who do not know Sharon – she too had quite the reputation – she was respected and yes quite feared. She came in quietly and began:
    “Number 1 – all your late night privileges have been revoked for the rest of the summer!
    “Number 2 – you are bunked for one week – if you survive each other we will discuss what happens from there on!
    “Number 3 – I AM FURIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Her voice had reach such a deep resounding pitch, that instantaneously all us began to cry. Whether it was guilt or fear or any emotion you could possibly dream- up we knew this was as close to HELL as anyone could come.
    Though the day was rout with horrors and sadness several positive things came out of the day.
    1) Many of the kids who really didn’t belong at camp, never returned
    2) Those that did – turned over some sort of a leaf and vowed to be the best of campers
    3) We learned that if you raid… had better be organized as to what you want to accomplish, have an exit strategy – and for G-d’s Sake NEVER leave any evidence that it was you; keep cool and hopefully….. you won’t get caught.
    Number 3 would come in very handy some three years later. We proved to have learned our lessons VERY well.
    So, we did indeed redeem our reputation….to a point. Only 6 of us returned the following year. Barbara Stern, Beth Resnick, Mindy Lundy, Janise Astor, Debbie Glaser and myself – Deb Forman. There was a whole other group of new campers the same age as we were. But Danny Pevner and Connie Chalick , who ran Girls Camp, were quite careful not to put them together with us – lest we either corrupt them or tear them to shreds. We were a dossal crew. Good athletes, spirited kids even had two of us who were Top Ten of Miss Saginaw. But, they still didn’t want us anywhere near the new kids.
    So the year passed and we all had a wonderful summer. Let us skip ahead two years. It is now 1974. Camp Saginaw was a much smaller camp. Enrollment was down. There was quite the recession going on at the time. Waiters and male counselors were still nervous that their draft numbers would be called, though the war was winding down. But, we didn’t think of those things. It was our Aide year. We had been put together with the new kids in 1973 and this was our second year in Bunk S, which was the end of the line for Senior Girls Bunks. We all were so excited to be together again. We even went as far as to get together for Marilyn Goldman’s birthday in April . We had a whole weekend at her house; planned Big and Little Sister day (complete with hour to hour activities); and had chosen our Color War Themes….we even started sketches for the banners – now that’s being organized and yes very psyched!
    So to say the least we were going to hit 1974 with all the gusto that 15 and 16 year olds could. We had our favorite counselor again for the second year – Myra Holt and a counselor, new to Saginaw and new to the camping experience who was Division Leader – Debra Funkhouser.
    The year went well. We were the most spirited, the most athletic, and the most popular kids in the camp. Everyone looked up to us….yes we were the top of our world.
    One evening after lights out, we decided we were bored…………..OK…. here’s where trouble begins. There were several of us who remembered the lessons we had learned from Sharon only 3 years before…so we took great care as you will soon see.
    For as long as all of us could remember the Hill was the top of the top, cream of the crop, frankly they had a huge chip on their shoulders – more like a boulder and we thought it was our job to knock them down a peg.
    Thus, the plot was hatched.
    The Hill was to go out of camp for dinner and a baseball game one evening. That was our opening.
    With the precision of a well-oiled machine, we had planned the perfect raid. We split the bunk into several teams. Half of which consisted of three teams of two or three were assigned to underwear…..yes underwear; and the other teams were assigned to pillows. We reserved our two best runners to be look-outs at the base of the Hill and at the Top beyond Hill 6 and before Lenny’s Cabin (I think Lenny was Director – but it might have been Connie at that time – I can’t remember) Strange how I can remember in such detail this plot though – AHHHHH….. how the mind does work!
    Those assigned to underwear were to take all the underwear out of a given bunk and switch them with a pre-assigned bunk. The idea being that the smallest guys….like Hill 6 would have Hill 1’s underwear and visa versa. We had planned exactly what bunks underwear was to go were. At the same time – those assigned to pillows were to take all the pillows on the Hill and get them onto Hill Court. There another team was waiting to design a giant I J on the Hill Court. We rehearsed several times in the bunk by way of graphs on paper. We were so well trained that when we left the bunk on our raid, NOT A WORD WAS TO BE SPOKEN. Only the runners were allowed to signal us through a series of whistles, that trouble was on the way. We even had escape routes, in case of a visitor to the Hill, while we were doing our “jobs”. We figured the best time for the raid would be just after Girl’s Dinner Mess – as the boys would be at dinner and the girls would be off doing whatever they do after dinner – which was usually running around having water fights, or shaving cream fights or just hanging around. Oh by the way – we even organized a water fight on the Acropolis to divert attention away from us – pretty slick! We had told our counselors that we were headed off to Big Rock to polish up the Color War songs, so that they would know where we were…..yeh right!
    I have to say – the whole operation was quite the success – until we heard Beth Resnick whistle. Then we knew we were in trouble. By that time the pillows were kind-of in place but the underwear brigade was in the middle of their run. Needless to say, the underwear was just tossed and the girls just took off….sorry to say some ended up in trees, bushes, and the shower house – at that moment we really didn’t care. We just needed to get out of there and quickly.
    The plan was, no matter what happened, we were all to meet up at Big Rock. Well it was close. Janise Astor was stuck in the shower house waiting for “whoever” to move away so that she could make her escape. Actually, Beth just got nervous and whistled out of just plain nerves – no one was there and we all made it to Big Rock approximately an hour after we left our own bunk to begin the raid. We then had to come up with a plan why we were all out of breath, sweaty and bit ragged. We then hatched the insipid idea that Marilyn Goldman had fallen or was falling off of Big Rock, which cause quite the stir and panic with all of us. To further the rouse – we scratched up Marilyn with sticks – she was a good soldier – and we all rolled in the dirty wet leaves. Three of us decided we had to go down and finish at least the giant IJ. We waited for their return with much anticipation and concern. Finally, we then went sprinting back to Bunk S where we told our “tale” to Myra and to Deb. Beyond our wildest dreams….they bought it! Well, I’m not entirely sure Myra bought it. When we asked the two of them to have a pre-evening activitiy – Myra looked at us and said:” What ever you guys are up to, just make sure it won’t get Deb in trouble”. My campers will tell you, they could have never pulled this crap when I was their counselor. In fact, any of us who did stay long enough to become counselors were so well practiced that no bunk of ours could ever pull the wool over our eyes as we had done everything they could possibly dream up, twice and gotten away with it at least once!
    That evening, actually, it was more like after mid night – the Hill returned. We heard them pass by our bunk, which was dark, and quiet. We were as still as “church mice”. Within about 20 minutes all hell broke loose. There was yelling, cursing, shouts and calamity coming from the Hill. It was fairly dark, but I will bet all the money in my pocket verses all the money in your pockets, we all had evil grins on our faces for we knew we were successful.

    The next morning brought Murray Rosenswag in quite a state yelling to Deb as she was Senior Division Leader. I still remember him coming into Girl’s Mess that morning red faced and shaking with anger. We all very carefully gave each other a look of: “if anyone give us away….you are more than dead and the Hill will be the least of your problems.” Needless to say we all stayed really cool with our heads down. Some of us who were more experienced at…yah know….lying…..actually looked up and gave looks to Murray of horror. “Who would do such a thing? How dare someone raid the HILL of all places?”
    The strangest things began to happen over the week – the raid was so well planned and so executed that one by one, bunks started taking credit for the raid. Not just senior bunks mind you….but Inters as well. This was such a source of pride…everyone wanted in on it. This gave us much satisfaction and many hours of entertainment. Then about 4 days after, when no one could be pegged with the raid….things had begun to settle down. The guys got their underwear back – the pillows had dried out and returned, and camp was returning to normal. At lunch, Danny Pevner just happen to saunter by our table. He stopped and leaned into the table and beckoned us to do the same.
    “OK girls….no one….I mean no one was capable of pulling that off except for you girls. Now truth be told….you did it, didn’t you.”
    Stunned, we all turned to the one person who could look Danny in the eye – lie through her teeth and he would believe her – well that task fell on me. I knew what my job was before anyone from the bunk had the time to glance at me.
    “Danny, yah know, I wish we had thought of that – it was brilliant – but honestly we had nothing to do with it.” Without blinking, without taking a breath I then stared directly into those eyes of his, wishing I was dead, or at least anywhere else than where I was at that time.
    He stared back, took a breath, straightened and said: “You guys are the best.” He walked away. And that was that. We knew we had come of age – we had made Saginaw history, we were the best of the best.

    To this day no one really knew who pulled off that raid. I will tell you – yes…it was the Aides of ’74….boys. It was us. And given then same circumstances again, we would have done it all over again for no other reason but….. For the glory of the kill!

    Respectfully submitted on behalf of my camp “sisters,” by Aide of ’74 Deb Forman

    PS: See Sharon….. We did learn our lesson – we learned to work as a team, group dynamics, group cohesion, even leadership development!


    1. Thank you for such a hilarious confession that captures the important
      camp memories we treasure. I loved it! By the way, you’re docked canteen for the next week.
      Hank Aberman Zeus II


      1. Thanks Hank! Glad you enjoyed it. No worries I being docked – I’ll just stay in the bunk and conjure up some more stories to tell!!!😎


  2. Love the stories. To answer some questions…I was the unmemorable leader of the Low Seniors in ’73 when those of you writing this were in Bunk H. Lynn Gendason Dubin was Ms. Saginaw in 1969 and I believe Maxine Hofberg won one year as well. Another great memory was the end of summer campfires when we “sailed” balsa wood boats with lit candles down the Big Elk to say goodbye. Never a dry eye In the house.

    The year I was head counselor, it was a daunting summer. Bunk J tried to poison Bunk I one night with a concoction of dishwasher lotion plus nail polish remover and Trident for flavoring. Two girls went to the Nurse. Parents were called, but thankfully no one really drank the stuff. The more memorable moment was when almost the entire camp came down with some bacterial GI bug causing overflow of toilets, not enough toilets, and several campers being hospitalized. Those of us on antibiotics for acne, like me, we’re lucky enough to skirt the problem. The nurses, however, had a terrible time of it, when there weren’t enough beds for all the really sick campers? Turned out it had to do with the water source. I was surprised the camp did not shut down after that. More surprisingly, they asked me before the summer ended to come back the next summer. I realized at that point, it was way more fun to be a camper than a counselor, and have enjoyed reveling in my camper memories since then.


    1. Great story Deb! Sorry Jo Anne, I was the one that stole the crown and won Miss Saginaw in ’69 (more on that later); Maxine won in ’68 I believe. Did Lynn pay you to spread the rumor that she won?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Stephanie…haha. Your victory must have caused me to have memory loss and transference with apologies to Lynn 😉. Small world story: My daughter and Lynn’s daughter, both named Rachel, were sorority sisters in college, where they met, and remain close friends today – in each other’s weddings!


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