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Glen Spey, NY - Lengthy Upstate Power Outages Have Locals Flocking To Jewish Camp

Published on: March 9, 2018 10:00 AM
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Camp Simcha warming centerCamp Simcha warming center

Glen Spey, NY - Residents of a small upstate town who have been without electricity for nearly a week have been enjoying homestyle Jewish warmth as a local sleepaway camp has opened its doors with offers of overnight accommodations, heat, showers, food and recreational facilities.

The Town of Lumberland was one of many in Sullivan County that was hit hard by a nor’easter that knocked out power to more than 10,000 homes on March 2nd.  But with every building on its campus within the town outfitted with generators to accommodate campers’ medical needs, Camp Simcha, a division of Chai Lifeline, reached out to Lumberland officials, reiterating its long standing offer to be of assistance in any way possible.

Town supervisor Jenny Mellan said that two locations in Lumberland had been chosen to be used as warming centers in case of a power outage, but both were inaccessible because of downed trees and power lines.

“We contacted Camp Simcha and by the time we got here the caretaker was already opening the place up for us,” Mellan told VIN News.


A post on the town’s official Facebook page directed residents to the newly designated warming center at Camp Simcha which has more than 65 hotel style rooms available for overnight guests and laundry facilities, hot showers, coffee, WiFi, phone chargers and snacks available around the clock.  Crockpots that will be used exclusively for the warming center’s visitors are ready for those who want to enjoy a hot meal, with plenty of games and recreational opportunities for children.

Town clerk Laurie Terry said that Lumberland residents have been extremely grateful for Camp Simcha’s hospitality.

“It is not only the creature comforts that are going well,” said Terry.  “It is a warming of the spirit because of the open and giving nature of the camp, and to see them coming out and giving everything they have.  Our every possible need has been met and we really appreciate it.”

Local resident rescued from his freezing home and brought to Camp SimchaLocal resident rescued from his freezing home and brought to Camp Simcha

With cold days and frigid nights all through the week, visitors to the warming center have been thankful for an opportunity to warm up and Camp Simcha has been grateful for the opportunity to be a good neighbor, said camp director Nachman Maimon.  The camp plans to continue operating as a warming center until all Lumberland residents have had their power restored, with Orange and Rockland currently estimating that 90 percent of the town will be back online by 11:59 PM Friday night.

As the lengthy outage has dragged on, more and more shivering residents have been making their way to Camp Simcha.

“People are coming out now and getting in their cars and finding out that there is this beautiful warming center,” said Mellan.  “They come in and they just want to get warm and they can’t believe how beautiful and welcoming it is.”

National Guard unloading supplies at Camp SimchaNational Guard unloading supplies at Camp Simcha

Mellan said that the town was fortunate to have escaped further damage in this week’s storm, but at least 96 downed trees still remain on area roadways.  Many residents are only now discovering the extent of the damage, nearly a week after the first storm hit.

“When you are at your home and you lose power, you only know what is going on in your home,” explained Mellan.  “We are trying to let people know that they should come out here and warm up because what happened in front of their house is what happened everywhere, which is why it is taking so long for the power to come back on.”

Camp Simcha has turned out to be the silver lining in the storm clouds that hit Lumberland, said Mellan, who noted that many new friendships have been forged in recent days.

“People have come here for help and for warmth and they have gotten so much more,” said Mellan.  “We see people who come in turning around and the next thing you know they are getting up to help organize, cook and make a cup of coffee for someone.  People you never met before suddenly become friends and it is beautiful to see neighbors helping neighbors.  We are so grateful to Camp Simcha for their generosity.”

Sullivan County manager Dan Depew meeting with army, town supervisor at Camp SimchaSullivan County manager Dan Depew meeting with army, town supervisor at Camp Simcha

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Read Comments (7)  —  Post Yours »


 Mar 09, 2018 at 10:18 AM PaulinSaudi Says:

A bit of brightness in the news.


 Mar 09, 2018 at 10:42 AM Yossi Says:

what a kiddish hashem.Ma Yomri Hagoyim?


 Mar 09, 2018 at 10:56 AM Frish Says:

For them it's a חידוש
For us it's a פשטות


 Mar 09, 2018 at 11:12 AM Educated Archy Says:

Beautiful and to think that some of those locals gave camp simcha quite a hard time . Its a beautiful way to show them how wrong they were


 Mar 09, 2018 at 03:35 PM Ppppp Says:

Let’s see if it alleviates some if the anti senitism. I’ll bet not,


 Mar 09, 2018 at 04:17 PM Nachum Says:

I congratulate the officials of Camp Simcha for performing this outstanding mitzvah!

I read that over 1,000,000 people were without power, because of the storm. I can't understand why so few homeowners don't have standby generators, which operate on natural gas. In fact, less than 2% of residential homes in the USA, have them. They only cost about one sixth of what a new car would cost, and last three times as long. In 2012, after losing power, because of a "Derecho" storm, I sweated in my home for three days and three nights, in 106 degree temperature (late June through early July). All of the Empire chicken in my freezer became spoiled, and had to be thrown out. My family and I felt like refugees; it was a horrible experience, and one which I vowed, we would never go through again. Hence, immediately after the power was restored, I called a contractor, and had a 14kw standby generator installed. It cost $6,100.00. Since that time, the power has failed a number of times. Within fifteen seconds, my power comes back on, thanks to the generator. I have the only home on my block which is still lit up, when the power goes out. It only costs about $85.00/year to maintain it.


 Mar 10, 2018 at 08:55 PM HeshyEmes Says:

I’m sure that it’ll be somewhat helpful; but unfortunately the majority of the anti-semites (i.e. most of the resident goyim, including [and/or especially] the irreligious self hating yidden) will remain anti-semites and will vilify their benefactors, (e.g. “those rich Jews with their fancy generators”, or “our tax money is supporting these filthy Jews who don’t pay the town taxes; hell, those are OUR generators!”, etc.


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