Each year, I have my favorite “pictures”. Not the ones that we post on CampMinder, but the snapshots that I keep in my mind of those camp moments that I never want to forget; camp moments that will forever remind me why Camp Tevya is such a special place. As I did my early morning run around camp on Saturday, I collected one of those snapshots. The Yavneh boys were outside Bunks 1, 2 and 3 playing four square. That happens every day, but what made this picture noteworthy was that it was before wake up and they were all dressed in their blue and white clothes, ready for Shabbat. They were so little and so cute! It was a picture to remember.
Saturday morning Shabbat services rocked! Our older Tsofs led the entire service and were accompanied by our camp guitar players and song leaders. New tunes were interspersed with old tunes, creating a spiritual and energized feeling for all. It was so beautiful! One of my many favorite times each week is standing at the door after Adon Olam wishing everyone a “Shabbat Shalom” as they head out to pick up their cheese and crackers at the weekly Oneg. Seeing everyone dressed in their blue and white, leaving services and ready for a peaceful camp day creates another snapshot in my mind. This Shabbat was made even more special by our Dalia and Yavneh campers who had just learned the identity of their Big Brothers and Big Sisters. They were so happy to have an older camper to play with them and help them around camp. It was another picture to remember.
The rain on Saturday afternoon was a welcome relief after the warm weather of last week. After lunch, Saturday Shira and rest hour, bunks spent quality activity time together. We also held tryouts for Saturday evening’s talent show and had a record 40 acts try out! There was so much talent and we wanted to include everyone, so we split the talent show over two Saturday nights. This week’s performances were amazing. So many pictures to remember.
I spent most of Sunday walking around camp with prospective family tours. During our walks, the families heard a group of campers learning a song for Jewish Arts Festival and they heard a Lids trashcan drumming performance. They saw the dark room where the photography class explained how to develop pictures and they saw a class using our ballet barre to exercise. They held ducks and petted goats in our petting zoo and they felt the spirit of Tevya. Almost all of the families commented, “the kids are so happy here.” These happy kids singing, taking pictures and playing with animals each created more pictures to remember.
Sunday night our Tsofs went to Cedarland where they swam in the pool, went in the batting cages and played miniature golf. While they were gone, it was game show night at camp for our other campers. Our Bogs played a competitive game of Bunk Feud and our Oles played Minute to Win It.
On Monday, Tevya hosted our annual Senior Volleyball Tournament, with participation from four camps. I love seeing the team spirit and the great sportsmanship from all of the Jewish camps in our area. Tevya played Camp Pembroke in the finals and the whole camp was so proud of our first place champions! We are going to need a new trophy case as our tennis team also brought home multiple trophies from the doubles tennis tournament at Camp Young Judea. Tevya won first and second place in the senior girls division, and first place in the senior mixed division. The doubles played so well that Tevya took home the first place team award. It was definitely a successful sports day for Tevya! The look of pride on the faces of all team members created another picture to remember.
Monday night was another fun night with activities happening all over camp. Our Bogs were on the waterfront for a beach themed social. Our Tsofs enjoyed Battle of the Bunks on the soccer field, and our Oles had fun decorating cupcakes in Tevya’s version of Cupcake Wars. I collected a few more pictures for my memory box.
Tuesday morning wakeup was very early, as Birya and Tel Chai boarded buses at 5:00 am for their greatly anticipated 2-day white water rafting trip in Maine. A few hours later, Kinneret and Tel Yehuda boarded their buses for the AMC Highland Center where they went hiking in the White Mountains followed by a day on the alpine slides at Attitash. Our campers look forward to these annual trips when they bond together as an age group outside of camp, and everyone reported that the trips were everything that they hoped they would be. Keeping with tradition, Kinneret and Tel Yehuda arrived back to camp earlier than Birya and Tel Chai and pranked the oldest campers. These approved pranks included turning the Birya bunks into barns and Tel Chai bunks into dining halls.
While the Bogs were gone, the rest of camp was treated to a Siagel game night. Elbess was rocking with the life-size board games, a virtual sports arena, and glowing arcade games. Besides the pictures in my mind, I now have a collection of real pictures from the mirror selfie booth! Thank you so much to Siagel Productions for such a fun night!
On Wednesday, the Oles and Tsofs went to Water Country. It was a perfect day to spend in the water. They returned to camp for dinner and bunk activities.
We returned to regular programming on Thursday. Evening activities included square dancing for the Bogs, Ghost Trials for the Tsofs and Dutch Auction for the Oles. This morning was a Game Day with Camp Tel Noar.
And here it is, Shabbat again. I close my eyes and think about my collection of pictures from the week. Those special moments will stay in my mind for years to come as I can’t stop thinking about all of the wonderful things that happen week after week at camp. The only problem is that those weeks are going by too fast. Good thing I have pictures in my mind to help me remember.