Joseph Vander Walde & Joan Gimpel Vander Walde

The first time we met I was in Nivonim and Joey was a junior counselor in Bogrim. I had permission to miss the peulat erev and was sitting in my favorite tree overlooking Lake Buckatabon near the library. He was looking for one of his campers and when he saw me in the tree, told me to get down. I refused, telling him that I had permission to be there and although he was somewhat taken aback, he continued on his hunt for his missing camper. We met again two summers later when he was a counselor and I was a junior counselor. We became good friends over the summer and the friendship continued at the University of Wisconsin during his senior year and my freshman year of college. We didn’t start dating until he had moved on to medical school in Philadelphia and I had transferred to Brandeis in Boston. It was through Ramah, both the camper’s camp and the staff’s camp – the shared work, play, discussions and problem solving that we were able to develop the close friendship and mutual respect that grew into love.

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