By Ross and Marnie Bear
Our sons began 6 Points Sci-Tech five years ago when Henry, now 16 first arrived at the governors academy in 2014 during the pioneer summer. Greg Kellner shared his concept as the first specialty camp not for athletes, but for the kid who wasn’t there for sports, but was there for the science, the curiosity, the patience, the wonder of it all, the Judaism, and the community spirit. We were sold as soon as we met him.
For the 12 nights Henry spent away from us, he grew. From a shy timid boy to a kid eager to share his passion for science and a love of curiosity. He asked more questions, came out of his shell and returned a more mature and confident tweenager. That first summer there were only enough kids to fill the staff dining room. Today, many meals are broken in two in order to accommodate the entire camp.
A year later as the program grew to a second boys dorm, our younger son Ethan began his own journey, in the new Baer dorm. He hit the ground running much as his brother before him. For the first time in over a decade our home was without our sons as they spent a month in Massachusetts learning all about science, being Jewish, having fun and even sending an occasional letter home. During this time we became active in the Parent Ambassador Corps, helping the full-time camp staff Greg and Robbie (who is now in medical school) spread the word and love about this wonderful place.
About this time, when I had a life threatening health condition, Greg and the team went out of their way to make the boys time even more special, even calling me to check in. In short, Greg created a Jewish community that we are proud to be apart of.
In summer 2016, when the third dorm opened for boys, Henry was there to be part of this further expansion and start it up, as an in coming freshman. Ethan had matured and the Bear boys were the kids eager to lead and help fellow campers get settled in to camp.
This past fall, following the boys second full-summer at 6 Points, Ethan, not wanting to miss out on being a pioneer asked to attend both Sci-Tech – East and the new West campus in southern California in 2018. At the same time, Henry will head on the second Sci Tech Israel trip as a 11th grader to Israel.
The boys have grown up at Sci Tech. From Henry learning to song lead to our many trips for Ethan’s camp friends’ bar mitzvahs around the north east, not to mention a house full of science experiments and books, it has been quite a ride.
We are so blessed to be a part of the Sci Tech Family. With Season 5 for East, a Pioneer stint out West, and the sequel in Israel, our boys have found something special at Sci Tech: their Jewish Identities.
We can’t even begin to imagine what the next half of the first decade will have in store.
Ross and Marnie Bear were pioneer parents of Sci-Tech East in summer 2014 and this summer will be Pioneer parents at Sci-Tech West and parents of a Sci-Tech Israel participant.