Hanging with The Fonz at Tri-State Camp Conference

Okay – who didn’t love the Fonz? Arthur Fonzarelli… The guy in the black leather jacket… Richie Cunningham’s best friend… I LOVED him! L-O-V-E-D  HIM!  No one was cooler than a guy who could turn on a juke box with one swift bang of his fist!!  So when the Fonz showed up at the American Camp Association Tri-State Conference in mid-March, I was thrilled. It turns out that the Fonz, (a.k.a. Henry Winkler), is an extraordinarily charitable and warm-hearted man who grew up attending sleep-away camp and was thrilled to join 3,000 camp professionals for a couple days.On the last night of the conference, the TLC Family of camps presented Mr. Winkler with the Founders Award at our annual SCOPE dinner. (SCOPE raises funds to help send children from low-income families to non-profit overnight summer camps.) Mr. Winkler was gracious and charismatic as he told stories about his personal experiences at camp and contemplated what it would be like to be a camp director himself.

He was inspired by our commitment to SCOPE and to helping children whose paths might not otherwise lead them to a sleep-away camp. As a matter of fact, our own TLC Foundation for kids is a major founder of SCOPE, among many other charities helping children. We take every opportunity to share that philanthropic spirit with our campers every summer at Tyler Hill.

Okay… back to the Fonz. My excitement over meeting Henry Winkler makes me wonder if my kids will one day feel that same way about Miley Cyrus or Zach Efron. It also makes me realize that if I were to watch Happy Days today, the Fonz would be more like a little brother (or a son???) to me than the cool older guy that I wanted to sit with at Arnold’s. It pains me to think that I have more in common with Marian Cunningham than I ever did with the Fonz!

~ Wendy

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