11.15.2018

As you all know the Woolsley fire has brought so much destruction and devastation to Southern California which is where we live. We know many people who have had to evacuate, and have heard terrible stories of others who have lost everything. Our hearts go out to those mourning their homes at this time. 

Here at Side by Side, our job and our major efforts most days are spent making spaces beautiful and experiences memorable for our clients. One of the most beautiful spaces we have ever spent time in and the place that has provided the most special memories in our lives was brought down by this fire too. Only one building remains at the camp we called home for many summers.

Although camp is known for having painted walls where campers and counselors can leave a mark that they were there, art installations representing groups who have come to stay for a while, and otherwise brown wooden cabins where everyone sleeps in bunk beds, our camp (Gindling Hilltop Camp … clap, clap) had true natural beauty. Perched on top of a hill in Malibu overlooking the ocean is not a bad way to live! There really has never in the history of the camp (and we just celebrated fifty years) been a need to dress up this space or change it in any way … It is absolutely gorgeous in our eyes because truly what makes this place is not the structures themselves at all. Yes, they will rebuild it and make it more beautiful than it ever was #hilltopneverstops … The memories we and so many others who called this place their home away from home made will always remain. 

After spending ten summers up at camp, we knew it would always play a special part in our lives. From our days as campers believing there was magic within those walls and underneath those stars to making magic happen for our campers. So many memories made, life lessons learned, and spiritual growth making us into the proud Jewish women we are today. A few years ago, Tami got engaged at the Hilltop chapel, more recently than that we helped plan a wedding for a couple who had met at camp and wanted to be married there, and this past summer we visited for its fifty year reunion. We will always cherish the time we have spent at camp and will continue to hold it close to our hearts even if it doesn’t look exactly the same. 

The way the community has come together to give to this special cause gives us so much hope for the future of our special place. #wewillrebuild so that our children can have the same amazing camp experiences that we did, and so that so many kids can continue to make memories in this space for the next fifty years and more. 

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