Camp Connection

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Sam & Adam Kruger First Date: September 2008,  Home Grown Café  in Newark, Del. Wedding Date:  June 14, 2015 Venue:  Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel Residence:  Federal Hill Favorite Activity:  Curling up on the couch  and watching movies
Sam & Adam Kruger
First Date:
September 2008,
Home Grown Café in Newark, Del.
Wedding Date:
June 14, 2015
Venue:
Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel
Residence:
Federal Hill Favorite
Activity:
Curling up on the couch and
watching movies
(Photo provided)

Adam Kruger and Samantha Ellis did not go to the same summer camp growing up. But a camp connection through friends brought them together.

While a University of Delaware senior in August 2008, Adam hosted a visiting international counselor. At a fraternity party, his friend’s friend brought Sam along.


During Sam’s first week on campus, she and Adam connected over their mutual love for camp. They crossed paths at several parties and pre-party gatherings, and they were together more and more.

After nudging from the international counselor, Adam asked Sam on a date. After meeting on the main drag, Adam reached for Sam’s hand. They endured a nervous dinner at the Home Grown Café, then headed to Adam’s, where they talked and cuddled.

That night was not the occasion of their first kiss, however. At a party, Adam’s friend told Sam Adam was interested in her. Liking the idea, she kissed him.

“I was glad she did,” said Adam, 28. “I was too nervous.”

Quickly, they opted to date exclusively. “We had spent so much time together, by the time we went on a date, we knew we wanted to be boyfriend and girlfriend,” he said.

Adam graduated and moved to Towson for graduate school. He returned to Delaware on weekends to see Sam. When it came time for Sam’s hotel management program placement, she successfully secured a spot in Baltimore and joined Adam in Towson in July 2012.

That April, Adam landed his current job, youth director and family programmer for Beth Shalom Congregation in Columbia. After two family weddings in a month, Adam found Gary and Mary Ellis and asked for permission to marry their daughter.

On their first night in their new apartment in May 2013, with only an air mattress, a folding table and chairs, Sam returned from the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel to find dinner from Home Grown to celebrate Adam’s graduation from the Baltimore Hebrew Institute at Towson University.

Adam presented Sam with a gift — a stuffed teddy bear wearing a University of Delaware shirt. She noticed a ring box in the bear’s hands and turned to find Adam down on one knee. Stunned, Sam failed to answer for nearly 30 minutes.

They married on June 14, 2015 at the Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel. Chazzan Emanuel Perlman of Chizuk Amuno Congregation officiated the traditional ceremony before 150 friends and family members, including Adam’s mother, Linda Freud.

The emotional day started with their first look. They held hands from opposite sides of a door. With their families and attendants watching, Adam walked out with his back to Sam. He turned around to find her in tears.

“I lost it,” he said. “I couldn’t believe the woman I was staring at was the one I was about to marry.”

The poignant day continued as Adam performed a song he wrote for Samantha, and the couple announced that in lieu of favors, they started their life together by donating $1,500 to the Howard Ellis Glioblastoma Fund, set up in Sam’s uncle’s memory. The disease affected Adam’s grandmother and a family friend as well.

Linda L. Esterson is an Owings Mills-based freelance writer. For “Beshert,” call 410-902-2305 or email Linda.Esterson@verizon.net.

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