Meet a Fourth Generation Tyler Hill Family – The Flaums!
My name is Rachel (Puro) Flaum and I am happy to call myself a Tyler Hill alumni. As I drive through those familiar white gates, faces from my past and present flash before my eyes. Tyler Hill Camp is the most amazing place on earth and I’m so fortunate to be a part of its’ history. I became a THC camper at the early age of 7 and returned each summer through high school. What made my experience different from others was that I was the third generation in my family to go to THC and that my grandfather, Ben “Beno” Puro, was still on the THC staff during the years that I was there. Beno actually began working for Tyler Hill in 1956, the year that THC was founded. In the years that followed, Beno became sort of a local legend. I was so lucky to be able to attend camp with Beno – my grandfather.
In addition to my grandfather, my father, Howard Puro, and his brother, David Puro, also went to Tyler Hill Camp. They started as campers and later became waiters and counselors. My dad and uncle were both very active in camp and even became Color War generals. Did I mention that my younger sister, Miriam Puro, also went to THC? Around the same time that my father and uncle went to camp, many of my California cousins (David Fox, Michael Fox, Michael Geller, Stuart Geller, Marty Geller, and Steven Geller) also attended camp. I won’t say that I had special privileges due to my family connections, but let’s just say that the candy was plentiful and that I may have received a pass or two for raids that allegedly occurred!
During my last year of camp I was a Junior Counselor and I worked with Sy Sundick in the Girl’s HC. It is hard to believe, but some of the staff at THC today like Bette & Lenny Weisenthal, Franko, Bill Lalin, and Marc Shale were also on the staff when I was a camper years ago. It makes me so happy to know that my daughters, Sophia and Bella, are now at Tyler Hill having the time of their lives and experiencing the same things that I experienced years ago, like singing the THC alma in the social hall and that feeling when Color War finally breaks. I also love that every summer I am able to visit my girls during visiting and Alumni Day weekend with my husband, Seth, and my parents, Amy and Howard.
Hi, I’m Sophia and I am the luckiest girl in the world. I represent the best of the fourth generation THC alumni. Not only did my mom go to Tyler Hill, but my grandfather, Howard, and great-grandfather, Beno, went there too. I even have an aunt, uncle and lots of cousins that went to Tyler Hill. Oh, my sister goes to THC also. Ever since I was a little girl, my grandfather would tell me about his experiences as a camper at Tyler Hill, which he still does today.
I was born in New York City but live in Livingston, New Jersey. I am in the 8th grade and looking forward to high school next year. When I am not studying, I love to exercise and play sports, especially tennis and lacrosse. Sometimes I even go to Flywheel with my mom, which is a spin class. Most of my free time, however, is spent playing tennis and hanging out with my friends.
This will be my 7th summer at Tyler Hill Camp and I couldn’t be more excited! I love everything about camp except when it ends each summer. I love color war, trips, tennis, inter camp games and I also love when it rains. Now, I understand Andy and Wendy and all of the head staff get very worried during rain storms, but rainy days are always so much fun. There are always fun activities, but sometimes my camp friends and I just love to chill in the bunk and laugh – I love that. Another favorite part of camp for me is when we all sing camp songs, like our alma or the march, because it makes me feel like I’m at home. I love how at camp everyone thinks of each other like family.
One of the best parts about having a family who went to Tyler Hill is that I get to see them on Alumni Day. Alumni day is very important to me because I get to meet people who knew my mom when she was my age. Do you know that Bette lit a candle at my mom’s bat mitzvah?! That’s right, and she was also at mine!! My great-grandfather, Beno, is in the hall of fame and I always look for his name on the plaque in the canteen. One day I would like to be in the hall of fame too. Maybe years from now my kids will be looking for my name on the plaque.
Tyler Hill is such a big part of my life. I have already collected so many great memories and I also have learned many life lessons (some just from listening to Wendy’s stories at the STARFISH ceremonies). I look forward to having many more experiences at THC and I plan on staying for many more years. One day I would like to be a Color War general. Recently, I was thinking that I can be the next Bette – that is if she ever decides to miss a summer – because I too look great in pink.
My name is Bella and I am the luckiest girl in the world. Don’t listen to my sister because I represent the best of the fourth generation THC alumni. I was born in NewYork City like my sister and I live in Livingston, New Jersey. I am presently in the 5th grade and looking forward to middle school next year.
This summer will be my 4th summer at The Hill and I can’t wait! Some of my favorite things to do in camp are: water skiing, arts and crafts, the swing, panic, lazy Wednesday, and rest hour. I love doing most sports at camp, and I am also very athletic at home. I am on my town’s travel soccer, travel basketball, and travel lacrosse teams. I also play tennis and one day I will be as good as my sister! I have many hobbies, like art, computers, and hanging out with my friends. These sports and hobbies help me during camp, especially during Color War.
As you may have heard, my family has a long history at THC. My great-grandfather, my grandpa, my uncle, my aunt and even my mom all went to Tyler Hill. My older sister Sophia also goes to THC. Since all of my relatives went to camp, this makes me a 4th generation camper. Being a 4th generation camper has a lot of advantages like both my parents and grandparents get to come up for Alumni Day. Maybe one day I can be a hall-of-famer just like my great-grandfather, Beno. You may not know this, but I was named after Beno. His full name is Benjamin, and the “B” in Bella is from him. My parents tell me that if I was a boy, my name would have been Benjamin too. Tyler Hill means so much to me and I am counting down the days till I return and get to see my best friends!!