Alumni Spotlight- December 2016

Monday, December 19 by Sari Hirsch

Julie Ruderman Klaff is featured as our Alumni Spotlight this month. Julie was at camp for ten summers and was an amazing camper and counselor. She transformed the sailing program, was Honor Camper in 1999 and was Chief Sachem of the Paramedic Whites in 2000. In addition to her awesome camp career, she is a Cornell and Harvard Law graduate…camp probably had something to do with those accomplishments :)! Now in her adult life, she is not only a mother with an impressive job, she is also a very active member on the board of Camp for All Kids. Julie is clearly successful but more importantly, she is a good person- just the type we hope our campers aspire to be. Read below to learn all about Julie’s camp experience…

What years were you at CRC?
1995 – 2003 and then made a comeback for my 10 year in 2006 (after graduating college).

Which summer was your favorite and why?
Such a tough call. Trailriders ’98 was probably my favorite camper summer. 2006 was also a great summer for me. I had skipped the two previous summers to do “real world” stuff and it really gave me perspective on how amazing and special it was to be at camp for the last time.

What is your favorite camp memory?
I can’t possibly pick just one so here are a few: my Pony Express search for the watermelon with Hailee, Wet Bandits, countless memories with my co-counselors, Susan dropping the put-put motor in the lake and many episodes of my demerits. I also have a lot of great memories from visits to camp (after I stopped going). Bringing Dan (my now husband) to camp in 2008 and seeing that he immediately “got it” made me know he was the one for me. Bringing my son Asher to family camp for the first time this past summer was definitely a highlight too.

What was your favorite activity at camp?
Sailing! Specifically the Kawaga Regatta! For evening activities Tan and White all the way. For special activities- UN Day, of course.

Were you a Tan or a White?

How do you keep in touch with your camp friends?
They are my best friends today so all sorts of ways- phone, email, text, social media and thankfully mostly in person. I am lucky enough to live in Chicago surrounded by so many close camp friends plus my two younger sisters who also went to camp and are now both in Chicago. As we have gotten older the age groups matter less and I have close friendships with people my age, 10 years younger and 10 years older- no matter where you are in life when you meet a new Chippy you know its a special bond!

Where do you live now?
Glencoe, IL

What do you do?
By day, I am VP and General Counsel of Origami Capital Partners, a private equity firm in Chicago. My most important job though is being a mom to Asher, Jordie (a future Chippie!) and Bogey.

What do you miss most about camp?
EVERYTHING. Every June I am both sad that I don’t get to be at camp but excited for those to get to have the life changing experience of another summer at camp. What I miss most is the ability to unplug, slow down and appreciate the world around you – its hard to do that in real life.

Is there anything else you want to share with your Chippy family?
Just that I am so thankful to have such an amazing, loyal and hilarious group of friends that I consider family. Thanks for being there and always making me smile! For those that are still in your camp years- enjoy it and appreciate it – it goes too fast!