With a heavy heart, we’d like to share news of the passing of our dear friend Linda Lewis. Though she retired about 10 years ago, Linda was Tumbleweed’s Camper Services Manager for over 25 years, and for many of us she was much more than that. Many camps have a “camp mom,” and Linda was just about the best camp mom we could’ve asked for. She was always there with a quick laugh or a hug when we needed cheering up, and (like the best moms) gave us a reality check when we needed it or a shove in the right direction when we were stuck in a challenge. Like the best moms, Linda was a detail-oriented multi-tasker, whether that meant organizing a 5000-piece brochure mailing, returning thousands of summer camp phone calls, or baking a birthday cake for our directors on their birthday, every birthday.
If you had a child at Tumbleweed from the mid 1980s to the late 2000s, Linda was probably the first person you ever spoke with at camp. John Beitner, Tumbleweed’s long-time Executive Director, remembers that “her ability to calm parents and reassure them that what they and their children were experiencing was normal and good for them was a real super power.” She got to know many of you and your children over many years, and you got to know her, too. Though your phone calls were ostensibly about camp schedules or payments, she always listened for more than that and remembered everything.
Behind the scenes, working at a summer camp year-round can be a bit unusual, and Linda was the glue that held our team together for many years. Her passion for camp and her hard work were an incredible example for all of us. Erin Borda, a past owner and President, remembers that “she was quick witted and taught each of us by example as nobody worked harder. I count much of my success as a business leader today with my many years working alongside her.” She solved problems, broke down obstacles in her way, kept us all grounded, and did it all with a great sense of humor. Over the years, Linda positively impacted the lives of dozens of Tumbleweed directors, hundreds of camp counselors, and thousands upon thousands of campers and camp parents. She’ll be remembered by all of us who knew her, learned from her, and loved her at Tumbleweed.