What I Witnessed at a Camp in Lakewood This Summer | Bob Salomon, Security Guard at IronRock Security & Retired Corrections Officer

I am compelled to share what is in my heart regarding what I witnessed this summer at Camp Leba in Lakewood N.J. I felt not only the parents, but also many others should know more about this wonderful summer camp for girls.

I was asked to provide armed security, on behalf of IronRock Security, at the camp and day trips with staff and attending children. As a dad myself my passion is to serve others, especially children. I am a retired correction officer that did 25 years of service for the State of New Jersey. In that capacity I have seen some dark sides of humanity, probably more negativity than most. Such experiences have provided me with an insight, a yardstick if you will, in accessing the actions and motivations of others.

Since I began this new career in armed security, I have worked in protection for Jewish schools in Lakewood, NJ for IronRock Security. The need for such protection speaks to the existing condition of our world. In this summer of 2023, when the school year security had ended, I was assigned to Camp Leba, a girls day camp for primary to grades six.

As I undertook the assignment, running basic security protocols daily, I eventually couldn’t help but notice this endeavor was definitely different. Different in a very positive way. Not what I expected when first I was assigned.

The camp’s motto, almost a mantra, Positive Vibes Only. Only Smiles Allowed, wasn’t just for show. Owners Chaim and Rivka Faigel Katz have crafted a summer camp that enlightens, challenges, and captures the essence of fun like I have never seen.The camp was a non-stop, carnival atmosphere of high-energy, which provided the children with constant entertaining activities of shows, music, dancing, rides, crafts galore, picture booths, you-name-it. And all of this amid balloons and decorations accenting the festivities 7 hours a day… every camp day!!! Nothing like I’ve ever seen before!!!

And more than this, Chaim and Rivka Faigel worked endlessly to create this amazing experience, all the while reinforcing the virtues and values of their, and these girls, Jewish heritage, and culture. It is evident that this is succeeding in the demonstration of kindness and caring shown daily by the girls who attend.There was not a day that went by without a “Thank you” and “Have a great day” expressed a thousand times or more. In a world where the negative is all around us, to see such wholesomeness inspires and gives hope for our future.

The backbone of camp Leba success is the hand-picked staff, an incredible team! Their caring hearts are solely for providing the girls with the best summer camp experience possible. And they do this with grace as well as heart to make a difference.

There is an unmistakable Godly spirit here that pervades all that goes on at Camp Leba. Leba, “beloved woman,” is indeed a place of love. And it provides these young ladies with an experience that assures a lifetime of memories.

It was an honor to have been included this summer in those memories. I am deeply grateful for the memories of my own from such an experience I’ll never forget.

Shalom!

Bob Salomon

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11 COMMENTS

  1. Wow!! Such a heartfelt letter. It speaks volumes about my good friend Chaim and the wonderful camp that he runs, but it also speaks volumes about you Bob and your passion to serve and protect, something that you’ve done for most of your life. Lakewood is blessed to have someone like you. May you have many more wonderful years of good health and success in all your endeavors..

  2. Bob you did your job with a full heart. As a parent who sent to Camp Leeba we all heard about you & how you cared for the campers.
    Thank you!

  3. As a parent in the school where Bob works during the year, I can attest that Bob is an upstanding and outstanding security guard who really knows all the kids and the parents. I’m thankful that he’s in my kid’s school and hope he’s back again this year.

  4. I second your sentiment about Camp Leeba!!! However it must be mentioned that Bob went above and beyond making the girls feel safe!!! It is a great lesson of how one can spread positivity while doing their job. Instead of just doing the job because you have to, you used the opportunity to bring a smile to others faces!!! You are a true example, keep up the great work Bob!!!

  5. As a parent who carpooled to leeba every day we can attest to how amazing Bob was! He went outside daily with music and prizes to put a smile on everyone’s face !!!

  6. Thank you Bob! That was a really well written letter. It’s guys like you that really bridge the gap between a security expert and customer service, both being such an important part of the role. IronRock security is grateful to have you on our team and we are grateful to Bnos Melech/Camp Leba for being one of our valued clients.
    Moshe Fromowitz

  7. Camp Leeba is the greatest & I’ve been sending happy girls for many years. Bob went above and beyond his job as a security guard. Every day he gave the girls prizes and a dose of positivity. He would walk around camp with a garbage can and stick, helping keep the grounds spotless. Thank you Bob and Camp Leeba for a phenomenal safe summer!

  8. Bob, everything you said about Camp Leeba is 💯 true and they deserve our appreciation. But so do you. My daughters often came home from Camp & said that Bob gave out prizes, participated in activities, helped clean up garbage, etc. The pickup lines on trip day are usually an hour long, but this yr it was extremely efficient. When I got to the front of the line, I saw that in addition to Chaveirim directing traffic, Bob was at the front-keeping the line moving & literally running from car to car making sure all the girls were walking to the cars safely. Ty ty Bob!

  9. As a Camp Leeba parent, I went home after carpool and told my husband that I met someone with true “simchas hachaim” or “love of life.” I said, “this man doesn’t just do his job, he does it with a smile on his face and greets everyone with genuine happiness.” You made an impression on the girls, the parents, and the staff. You always made sure the girls got safely to their cars—while smiling. You added to the atmosphere! Thank you, Bob.

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