This post courtesy of Hope Calder-Katz. Hope was a camper with Julian Krinsky School of Tennis in 1988 and has since been named the Vice President and Associate General Counsel of Hitachi Consulting.
When I realized that I wanted to pursue tennis as more than just a hobby, my parents enrolled me for a week at (Julian Krinsky School of Tennis) JKST. I was just ten years old and as shy as could be. I was terrified when my parents pulled away from Haverford College, but within hours I was welcomed with open arms by Julian Krinsky and the rest of the counselors and campers. I met people from all over the world and had a unique international experience unlike anything I could have ever imagined. I also loved my time on the courts. To this day I will never forget conditioning sessions with one of the pros named Dave who made us chant the “we are going to the garden to eat worms” song. One awards ceremony later, I left with the “friendliest camper award” (which I cherish and still have to this day—see below picture) and a trip to New York City where Julian drove a school bus filled with campers back to the dorms and then my week was sadly over. There was no question that I would return and one summer quickly turned into five with each stay being longer than the one before.
Several weeks ago I was attending an exhibition match where Andre Agassi was the featured player. As a teenager I idolized Andre and had every picture ever printed of him pasted on my dorm room at Gummere Hall (one of the JKST dorms on the Haverford campus). Needless to say that all of the memories of JKST came rushing back – doing tennis drills at Narberth tennis club, the Saturday excursions, Friday night award ceremonies, and afternoon walks to WaWa. But what stood out about JKST most of all was my time spent getting to know a great group of people. At 34 years old, I am still in touch the friends I made at JKST, not to mention Julian. It is great to catch up with him and learn about how the camp has grown since my first summer in 1988. I know that my days as a camper are long gone, but I am really looking forward to becoming a parent of JKST campers, and with my oldest being three years old, it will be here before I know it!