LANDENBERG – It’s one thing to pass down clothes between sisters, but in the Lustig family, older sister Shoshanna has given Camp Curious to her younger sister Rebecca to take over and run.
After their grandmother’s death from pancreatic cancer, Shoshanna Lustig wanted to do something in honor of her and came up with the idea of running a summer camp for children ages 2 1/2 to 5 1/2 nine years ago.
“I wanted to help watch kids and raise money because my grandmother just died, so I kind of combined the two,” she said.
Now, Shoshanna Lustig is off to college and has handed the reins over to Rebecca Lustig, who is going into her sophomore year of high school, and decided to change it slightly and run the camp for 6 to 12 years old.
They have even dubbed it Camp Curious 2.0.
“I decided I would continue it because it’s a great camp,” Rebecca Lustig said. “We’ve already gotten $800 from people signing up.”
Many of the eight children in attendance are graduates of the former camp and that speaks volumes to what the sisters have done on their own.
“I’m blown away by the whole thing,” said Nancy Lustig, their mother. “That’s a testament to the girls. Shoshanna created the waiver and paperwork. She was only 9. I’m very proud of Shoshanna and proud that Rebecca is doing it differently.”
Though the girls handle most of the camp, there is some background help from their mom and father and other parents, such as Stephanie and Richard Doroba and Kim and JB Anderson.
To keep the camp fees down (it’s only $100 to attend), businesses in the community have pitched in to help as well through donations or discounts of what they may need.
“Two local pizza places – Papa John’s and Prima’s Pizza, both in Hockessin, Delaware – are supporting us by donating four pizzas each,” Nancy Lustig said. “They have been doing this for years. This would really be an expensive camp if people weren’t donating resources. It’s just amazing.”
This year’s camp will feature some different activities now that the children are older.
Each counselor and camper is making their own shirts to wear and will participate in ice skating at the University of Delaware, painting tiles at Every Artist in Hockessin, enjoy donated ice cream at Woodside Farm Creamery and plenty of pizza.
“(Rebecca) seems to really enjoy having something that’s hers,” Shoshanna Lustig said. “You don’t really realize how cool it is until you do it yourself. I think she’s finally realizing how cool it is.”
The Lustig family has been an ardent supporter of pancreatic cancer research and through the camp and donations from outsiders, they have been able to raise over $22,000 for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.
Pancreatic cancer is something which hits close to home for the whole family as the sisters’ great-grandmother and aunt also had it and what the sisters have done – and continue to do – in support of research and in honor of lost loved ones is astounding.
“I really like kids,” Rebecca Lustig said. “Being able to run a camp for a good cause with a lot of kids is a triple whammy. It’s an honor to be a part of this.”