New England Tennis Camp - 1991-2010
From Gordon Kent to the NETC Community
From Gordon Kent to the NETC Community
We have had 20 great summers of New England Tennis Camp at Trinity-Pawling School. Unfortunately, 2010 was our last summer. It is with great regret and many, many fond memories that I make this announcement. Below is a short look back on the last 20 years of NETC. I hope you'll share some of your favorite NETC moments on our Facebook page.
It's the summer of 1990 and I had just finished my 16th summer running a tennis day camp at Horace Mann School in Riverdale, NY. I had been looking into buying a piece of property in the Catskills which had been the home of Premier Tennis Camp. There were about 16 red clay courts, several dorm buildings, a main building, a swimming pool, and a residence. I had actually had gotten approval on a bank loan to purchase the property. An engineer's report showed that it needed lots of work. I was debating whether or not to go through with the purchase of the property. There would be many headaches and lots of expenses.
And then I heard the news that the owners of New England Tennis Camp were looking to sell the business. NETC was founded in 1965 by Norm Winik and Jay Norek. Along with Chase Tennis Camp, Frank Brennan Tennis Camp, Connecticut Tennis Camp, and a few more, NETC was one of the first pure tennis camps. Norm and Jay also owned Rye Racquet Club in Harrison, NY. The camp previously had been located at the Cheshire Academy in Connecticut and the Lawrence Academy in Massachusetts. (That's why it was called New England Tennis Camp, even though it wasn't in New England!) NETC moved to the Trinity-Pawling School in the mid 70's.
I was immediately interested in NETC. I had sent numerous campers there over the years. The camp had a great reputation and it was a first class facility. Jay, Norm and I completed our negotiations and in September of 1990 New England Tennis Camp was mine. Our first summer in 1991 was a great success. There were many campers from the previous regime, kids from my junior program at Stadium Tennis Center, and lots of new faces. I still remember most of our first staff - Eddie, Jon, Pete, Ryan, Mike, Juan, Steve, Fiona, Nicole, and more.
The early years of the camp are still fresh in my mind. There was the inseparable trio of Frank, Teddy, and Peter. Who could forget their lip synch presentation based on the Masterpiece Theater? Dave Wax, Dave Arnett, Dana, Johanna, Sarah, Chondita, ... I could go on and on. Trinity-Pawling School looks quite different now than it did in those days. Cluett was almost totally rebuilt. The squash courts were added as was the wrestling room along with a new track and athletic fields. A new art center, a new dining hall, and new classrooms - all happened in our years at TP.
My 20 years of New England Tennis Camp are filled with more memories than I can write down. All the trips to the movies, bowling, and the mall. Lots of great tennis, basketball, softball, the cave, snack bar, team matches, express, videos, lip synch, the auction, smelly shoes, the lake, ... And all the great campers! And the staff who came back year after year. Brooksie was at NETC for 11 years! We had many, many counselors from the UK - Colin, Beth, Gemma, Jen, Vicki, Charlotte, Kira, and lots more. It was always great to have the international staff. They added so much to the camp! The Assistant Directors who put up with me - Juan, Dave Gilbert, Roger, Luis, and Jonathan. All did a great job! We had something close to 200 different people who worked as counselors in our 20 years.
More than anything, New England Tennis Camp has been my family's life for the last 20 summers. Kevin has spent all but his first summer at NETC. He ended up going to school at Trinity-Pawling where he played squash, tennis and baseball. Lindsay was born during the first session of 1992. I remember getting the call that I had to get to the City quickly. Lindsay was on her way! My car broke down, a girl fell out of her bunk bed just as I was leaving, I was 15 minutes late... What a night! Liza worked in the City all week and then would come up on the weekends. Our babysitter lived at camp during the summers, when Kevin and Lindsay were little, and watched them while I ran the camp. When they were old enough, they took part in the camp program and lived in the dorms. And then they both worked as counselors. My parents came to NETC every summer in the early days. Truly, NETC has been our life!
I want to thank everybody who made NETC possible. The staff, the campers, and everybody at Trinity-Pawling - you were all great! New England Tennis Camp was a tremendous success right up until the last ball was hit in the last session of 2010. I can't imagine what summer will be like without camp!
Links to NETC Newsletters
2010 Newsletter coming soon!
Tennis Camps We Recommend
The Joel Ross Tennis Camp at the Kent School in Connecticut
The Julian Krinsky Tennis Camp near Philadelphia
New England Tennis Camp, P.O. Box 212, New York, NY 10044
Telephone - 212-935-0250