Lots of staff including waiters, canteen workers & general managers were up all Motzei Shabbos night preparing for visiting day.

This morning there was a bedside inspection in honor of visiting day. Shachris followed in the Shul. After breakfast there was a raffle for the fantastic stereo system. The winner was Camper Daniel Amishay from Bunk Yud-Tes.

Though visiting day didn’t “officially” start till 12:00 noon, many parents and visitors actually began arriving much earlier. The carnival people began setting up for the visiting day carnival during Shachris.

Today’s visiting day will go down in history as one of the nicest ever, for many reasons. Firstly there was a great carnival with games, slides, moonwalks and more. The carnival went on for 6 hours from 12-6. Secondly the amount of visitors was enormous.

The visitors came from a record 6 countries, Israel, Latvia, Canada, South Africa, Hong Kong, USA & 17 states, Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Massachusetts, Nevada, Connecticut, New Jersey, Washington, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Minnesota, Kansas, Missouri, North Carolina & of course New York. Amongst the hundreds of visitors that came were many prominent Shluchim from around the world, including Rabbis’ Pinny Andrusier, Mendel Lipsker, Shea Harlig, Alter Tenenbaum, Yossi Shemtov, Yitzchok Newman, Leibel Shapiro, Mordechai Avtzon, Mordy Einbinder, Moshe Spalter, Ari Raskin, Yehuda Shemtov, Yisroel Rubin, Gershon Grossbaum, Yanky Saacks, Benzion Friedman and many others. There was a line of cars stretching from in front of camp caretaker Eric Taylors’ house till after “Turkey”!

In typical Gan Izzy fashion the rain made a few brief appearances during the day, B”H it was just drizzles & the carnival for the most part was not affected.

As visiting day was coming to an end, campers were seen shlepping bags and bags of nosh & other goodies, back from their day out of camp.

The canteen closed early tonight, after a very successful day B”H.

Rosh Chodesh Tammuz

Regular day. The PA was fixed in all bunks on the hill. The younger divison began “leagues” today. Delicious fresh Pizza prepared by camp chef Shloimy futerfas and his staff was served for lunch. In all there were 50 full sheet pans with about 1000 total slices of pizza. Today was the first day for the one and only CGI roller blading activity, the kids all had a grand time. Yeshivas Kayitz had a b-b-q tonight for Supper, in Siberia. Bunks 12 & 13 were rewarded with the Summers first late night swimming activity in the indoor pool.

Wednesday 2 Tammuz

The seven oldest bunks in camp went on hikes today. The H.C.’s had a meeting in Rabbi Futerfas’ office this afternoon to discuss the Gimmel Tammuz Schedule. Later on in the afternoon the L.D.’s held a meeting with the L.T.’s on the front lawn.

Before Mincha all the campers went up to their Bunks to change into their Shabbos clothes. @ the meal the campers were priveleged to listen to Rabbi Yisroel Deren – Shliach in CT, who spoke about the Rebbe & Gimmel tammuz. After Rabbi Derens’ speech the entire camp sang “With a tehillim” & “Ad Mosai”. Instead of Night activity, the entire camp watched a longer than usual video of the Rebbe, afterward Rabbi Deren davened Maariv @ the Umud. Rabbi Shemtov, his voice choking with emotion, davened Maariv @ the Umud with the waiters Minyan. L.D. Rabbi Baras chazzered a portion of the Maamer “Veatuh Tetzaveh” @ both minyonim.

After maariv the youngest bunks went to sleep. The remanining bunks were split up in two Farbrengens, one with L.D.B.H. in the Yeshivas Kayitz dining room, the other with Rabbi Yisroel Deren in the main dining room, later in the eveing Rabbis’ Deren & Baras farbrengend for the staff.

First Gala Pidyan Haben Ceremony

Sunday August 15, 1976, FREE held its first Gala Pidyan Haben Ceremony at camp FREE Gan Israel Summer Camp, Parksville, New York.

The head table flanked with distinguished guest: Pictured left to right is Rabbis: Leibel Lipsker, Dovid Okounv, Mr. Gegerman, A. Pliskin, Avroham Shemtov. Rabbi Hirsh Chitrik, Moshe Pincos Katz, Zalmen Shimon Dworkin, Asher Kirsblum, Zev Nisenevitz (speaking).

F.R.E.E First Gala Bar Mitzvah Ceremony

Sunday August 7, 1973, FREE held its first Gala Bar Mitzvah Ceremony for fourteen young refugees at camp FREE Gan Israel Summer Camp, Parksville, New York.

The 14 Bar Mitzvah boys stand at the head table together with the distinguished guest: Pictured left to right on the lower level is Rabbis: Leibel Lipsker, A. Pliskin, Pinches Hirsprung, Zalmen Shimon Dworkin, Mayer Okounov (standing), Sholom Ber Gordon, Yisroel Friedman, Moshe Chaim Levin (standing), Mendel Okunov (standing). Upper level: Hirsh Okunov, Avroham Shemtov, Yitzchok Raitport, Hirsh Chitrik (speaking), renown tenor Jan Peerce.