Can we believe that time has flown by…that from its infancy, to this stage of maturity, we are where we are?
This will be the 16th annual Gleason’s Fantasy Camp unfolding from Aug. 9 to August 12, at Honor’s Haven Resort in Ellenville, NY.
Gleason’s bossman Bruce Silverglade gave me some deets on how and why he started the camp, and all the benefits that accumulate to people who sign up for the session.
“It’s been sixteen really good, fun years,” he told me. “You saw Mark Breland in here (at the gym, in DUMBO, Brooklyn)..
..he’s one of the fellows that’s a trainer up there. People here in New York, and particularly here at Gleason’s walk by Mark, and don’t give it a whole lot of thought, because he’s here every day, but Mark is really an icon in boxing! He won a gold medal in 1984, and was also the Outstanding Boxer for the Games and went on to win three world titles! He’s a very, very nice individual. So this gold medallist will be up there to talk to you, anything you want to ask him, plus he’ll be in the ring, showing you anything you want to know.” Iran Barkley will be on site, and you can sit next to him, and pick his brain while you watch his fight with Roberto Duran.
C’mon…this is a rare opportunity, my friends.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity for somebody just starting in boxing, knows a little bit about the history of boxing,” Silverglade said. “And will get to meet and actually sit and have dinner with and train with some really fine champions!”
The Gleason’s fixture told me that business was down in NYC after the 9-11 attack. He brainstormed and came up with the idea to re-create an old shool style fight camp. Emile Griffith was around then, and he helped Silverglade set up an experience that was true to form from those good old days. Bruce recalled that back in the 1950s and 1960s, going up to such a camp was a big damn deal to get out of the hustle and bustle, and get some of that nature’s groove, in the Catskills. Of course, fighters could and would find hijinks even in a remote camp. The Fantasy Camp will be populated with persons looking for a meaningful interlude, something to recharge their soul, jazz their spirits, challenge them mentally and physically, not break training and look for naughty pleasures.
The campers, is it mostly Americans? “It’s very similar to my gym,” he said. Kids from The Give A Kid A Dream organization, from age 9 and up, do the camp thing. And people from Italy, England, Mexico, from all spots on the globe find this camp, after Googling, and come away with memories that will stick with them for all their days.
By the way, a guy or gal can attend, and bring the spouse, bring the fam. There is a fab spa at Honor’s Haven, so people can get massages and golf and swim and play tennis, take hikes, basically there’s something for everyone. Most attendees do come with a partner, a spouse, Silverglade said.
We talked about the need to get away from it all, escape all the news and the hubbub that dominates media coverage. “We have bonfires at night, do S’Mores, a pizza party, we have delicious food. It’s a fun place!”
Here is more info on the “fun place” …stay tuned for reports from persons who have signed up and are amped to attend!