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2018 Message from the Founders

by on Oct.09, 2018, under Letter

It is with a heavy heart that we write to tell you about the best session (8/13 – 8/25) of camp in 31 years.  Mary Bayes Ryan, the lovely lady who owns the property in East Hampton where we have been camping since 1993, passed away on September 21st.  We are so grateful to have had one last summer together but very sad about her passing shortly after camp ended.

Mary represented many things to everyone involved with Camp Erutan:  friend, mentor, grandmother, mother, hope, love, light.  She took the time to look directly into your eyes and give you her undivided, nonjudgmental attention and love.

Mary’s sons Maxwell and Oliver have also been a part of Camp Erutan throughout the years and Mary’s granddaughter Ursula, Max’s daughter, was a responsible assistant during camp this summer.  Max and Ursula invited us to swim in their pool and hosted movie night in their theater.  Oliver put together a silent disco for us on the bluff one evening.  Everyone wore wireless headphones and Mary sat in her golf cart where she kept the beat and greeted campers.  While listening to the song Havana, we set up a soul-train that grooved towards Mary’s golf cart.  We laughed, smiled and swayed with the moon in the sky above the bay, fireflies dancing in the trees, and campers experiencing another first.

Campers had many new experiences on a daily basis this summer.  Not surprisingly, everyone’s favorite day was the day we were guests on a beautiful boat that left from Sag Harbor on an adventure no one could have imagined.  We anchored just off Shelter Island where there was a jet ski and jet boat waiting for us.  The driver of the jet ski gave rides to 2 campers at a time, and the jet boat came complete with a floatation device that 3 people were able to stand on at once while being pulled by the boat.  We were invited to the owner’s house after docking for lunch, swimming, rock climbing, basketball and freshly baked cookies.  This amazing day ended with a shopping spree where each camper picked out a new outfit, shoes included, to be worn the following week when we were to be guests of The Palm restaurant in East Hampton.

Other activities enjoyed during the session included horseback riding camp, dance class, swim lessons, stand up paddle boarding, book making, collage, painting, making happy beads, ropes course, drumming, playing ukulele, chess lessons, farming and our 1st Annual Luis Colon Camp Erutan Challenge held on the last full day of camp.  Luis first attended Camp Erutan when he was 6 years old, 18 years ago, and has been a counselor at Camp Erutan for the past 6 years.  Luis is an incredible role model for current campers, working not only as a physical trainer but also towards completion of his master’s degree.  The challenge started with campers having their feet in Gardiner’s Bay, picking up a rock the size of a large potato, running to the barn, exchanging the rock for a piece of ice from Oliver, running to Max’s pool, jumping in the deep end, swimming to the shallow end and giving Luis the piece of ice to end the race.  The campers loved retelling the story of this event to Mary later that evening.

When the challenge was finished, the campers were excited to put on a Gratitude Show for Mary.  It was an amazing performance filled with song, dance, gymnastics, jokes and most of all, love.  Each camper hugged and thanked Mary, saying goodbye knowing this may be the last time they would see her.

Mary was a talented artist and loved the art projects campers created while at Camp Erutan.  In her memory, Camp Erutan is setting up the MBR Scholarship Fund to provide campers with art supplies so they may continue to create.

As always, we appreciate and thank you for your support of Camp Erutan.  With your continued support, we are all able to make a difference in the lives of our campers.

Lisa Tanzman & Elaine Mermelstein

In addition to online donations, you may also donate via Amazon Smile by naming Camp Erutan as your preferred charity.

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2018 Summer Videos – NY Camp

by on Sep.10, 2018, under Videos

Enjoy these videos of a Camp Erutan dance class with Olivia of Alvin Ailey Dance Company at Tracy Anderson’s studio in East Hampton, an explanation of the 1st Annual Luis Colon Camp Erutan Challenge, and Soul Train on the bluff.

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2018 Summer Photos – NY Camp

by on Sep.10, 2018, under Photos

East Hampton, NY camp in August. Check out the photos here.

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2017 Summer Photos – NY Camp

by on Aug.22, 2017, under Photos

East Hampton, NY camp in July. Check out the photos here.

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Rare Joys for Campers in Springs, NY

by on Jul.25, 2017, under Letter

Please enjoy this PDF article link from the East Hampton Star:

Rare Joys for Campers in Springs | The East Hampton Star

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2017 Spring Photos – CA Camp

by on Jun.09, 2017, under Photos

Cayucos CA camp in May. Check out the photos here.

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2017 Message from the Founders

by on Jun.09, 2017, under Letter

Summer 2017

Camp Erutan is proud to be celebrating our 30th anniversary!

To kickoff the first session of the season, we were invited to stay on the Arfa property where we used to camp in Cayucos California.  The Arfa’s have turned their property into a beautiful retreat,, and welcomed us as their guests.  All of our meals were prepared for us, campfires going day and night, s’mores fixings, luxurious accommodations, and loving hospitality.  Former campers who are now young adults attended this session and were very touched that the photo album at wellspring ranch included pictures of them as young campers.  A great time was had by all of us.

In July we will be holding an extra long session of camp in East Hampton New York.  For this session of camp, it will be the campers 4th year attending Camp Erutan at Fireplace Farm where the Ryan family has graciously invited us back again this year. Our wonderful host Mary Ryan lets us store all of our gear in her attic and is the grandmother figure all campers adore. Maxwell Ryan ( put up a yurt for Camp Erutan in 1993 and we have been camping there ever since.  Oliver Ryan ( shares his barn with us so we have a fantastic kitchen and lovely outdoor shower to use.

None of this would be possible without our amazing volunteers.  Karen is the other responsible adult at East Hampton camp who takes the train with the campers and plans great art and science projects.  Luis, who has been coming to Camp Erutan since he was 6 years old, graduated college last year and will continue his tradition of helping us set up and breakdown camp.  Peter, who has been a part of the Camp Erutan family since he was 3, will be coming to NY from CA to be a camp counselor – Peter is now 29.  Izzi has been coming to Camp Erutan since she was 3 and will return as a counselor this summer.  Eva will be joining our counselor staff for her 3rd year in a row.  Isabelle, our newest champion, has found a donor to pay for extra activities this summer like horse camp, stand up paddle board lessons, and a fancy night out to dinner.

It is because of your continued generous support that we are able to offer Camp Erutan free of charge to kids in need of an opportunity to be a kid, and to also stay connected and offer additional programs to former campers as they become young adults.  Making a donation is as easy as clicking on this link or sending a check to CAMP ERUTAN, PO Box 6730, Los Osos, CA 93402.

We wish you and your family and friends a happy, healthy and peaceful summer.

With heartfelt appreciation, we thank you for caring.

Lisa Tanzman & Elaine Mermelstein

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Campers and Counselors

by on Dec.24, 2016, under Photos

Camp Erutan Counselors are still in these campers lives – 16 years after their first session together.

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2016 Message from the Founder

by on Aug.20, 2016, under Letter

August 2016

Dear Friends,

We just finished an amazing session of Camp Erutan in East Hampton, NY that marked our 29th year!  I have to say this was the best week we have ever had, although Elaine is quick to remind me that I say “this was the best week we have ever had” every year!  This is a good thing since if camp didn’t continue getting better and better, I’m not sure it would still exist.

There were many contributing factors to this year’s success.  Mary Ryan, owner of the property in EH, graciously greeted all of the campers and invited us to dine with her on her deck at the beginning and end of the session.  Scott Chaskey of Quail Hill farm, who introduced us to Mary Ryan, met us on his tractor and not only remembered our returning campers, but he and his interns made a lovely lunch spread for us in the Quail Hill Farm apple orchard.  Jim Turner, a local musician, joined us to give harmonica lessons.  Christine Clark of Black Sheep Knitworks, taught the campers how to knit scarves using their arms instead of knitting needles.  Local volunteer Danae, made the most delicious macaroni & cheese for dinner again this year.  Isabelle taught our campers how to make zucchini bread from zucchini we harvested at camp and also invited Jimmy, head East Hampton lifeguard, to join us in the pool at John & Jenny’s (local supporters), where he taught all of the campers how to float on their backs.  Isabelle also invited us to her pool on another day where she and her daughters not only had an awesome snack buffet waiting for the campers but also had Alyssa, a swim instructor, there to give our campers swim lessons.

The biggest shout out goes to our extraordinary volunteer counselors.  Karen has been committing her time, resources and talents since 1999.  Luis started out as a camper when he was 5 years old and has come back year after year – he’s now 22 and a senior in college.  Izzi first attended Camp Erutan when she was 3 years old and this year returned as a counselor.  Eva was happy to come back as a counselor again this year and she loved doing the dishes so much that now all of the campers want to help with the dishes too.

Campers who attended this summer, returned for their 3rd year in a row.  Smiles, laughter, stories, songs, dancing, swimming, exploring and listening to each other were just some of the memorable moments.  These kids are very special individuals who are kind and compassionate.  They love their time at Camp Erutan and everyone shed tears when they boarded the train to head back to New York City.  We’re excited we will see them again later this year when we all get together for a Camp Erutan holiday party.  We are also looking forward to hosting a session of Camp Erutan on the Central Coast of California this fall.

Thank you very much to all of our supporters for your continued support.  Your contributions have allowed Camp Erutan to continue for 29 years and we’re still going strong!

With heartfelt gratitude and appreciation.

Lisa Tanzman
Founder & Director

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2016 Summer Video – NY Camp

by on Aug.20, 2016, under Videos

Enjoy this video of campers performing for the camp host and friends, at the East Hampton NY camp in July.

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