A Week at Camp

  • Shabbat Shalom,

    They say that a day at camp is like a week in the real world.  When I think about how much has happened in the past week, I can confirm that this is true. Looking at all of the accomplishments of our campers, it is hard to believe that we have been here for 10 days, and not 10 weeks. As we get ready to celebrate our second Shabbat together, I am happy to share some of those accomplishments with you.

    7.8.16 HavdallahOur first Shabbat together was led by Kinneret and Tel Yehuda, our 9th grade campers.  Wearing blue and white, the community celebrated on Friday night with services, dinner and shira.  Unfortunately, it was raining so we were not able to enjoy our outdoor Rikud (Israeli dancing) under the stars, but continued to enjoy a relaxing Shabbat through Saturday.  Starting with a breakfast of coffee cake, and ending with Havdallah on the beach, it was a beautiful first Shabbat.

    Saturday night was MTV night.  Each age group performed a song and dance for the rest of camp.  I love seeing all of our kids working together on stage. As I mentioned last week, getting up on a stage with your friends helps most of our kids expand their area of comfort and they have fun doing it!

    Sunday was a great day at camp. Campers were engaged in activities all day and looked forward to the evening activity. Dressed in red, white and blue, they enjoyed our traditional pre-fireworks social before getting their glow stick necklace and heading to the beach for the town of Brookline’s fireworks.  As we informed our parents, the fireworks did not go quite as planned, and our staff did an amazing job engaging our campers while the town of Brookline fixed the problem.  We were all so happy when the fireworks resumed for a beautiful light show.

    Monday was 4th of July, and for the most part, was a regular camp day at Tevya.  We did enjoy the continuation of red, white and blue clothes and the patriotic music during meals. That evening our Olim and Olot enjoyed field games, our Tsofim and Tsofot had a red, white and blue dutch auction and the Bogrim and Bogrot enjoyed icebreaker games before heading to the beach to enjoy the incredible Lake Potanipo sunset.

    Tuesday was another full day of activities at camp.  I especially enjoyed watching a paddle board class.  The kids were having so much fun and I added paddle boarding to my summer bucket list.  I just hope my balance is as good as the Olim and Olot that I saw!  Tuesday night Birya and Tel Chai went bowling and Kinneret and Tel Yehuda went to a Fisher Cats baseball game. The rest of our campers enjoyed movie night at camp. All of our campers experience one day trip and one evening trip each session, so maybe there will be some other trips coming up soon.

    Wednesday was the introduction of BLT, our new bog leadership program.  We are so excited about this program in which our 9th and 10th grade campers will participate in activities and discussions that focus on three elements of leadership:  communication, collaboration and community.  This week they discussed different types of leaders and leadership skills and looked at the skills that they each brought to the table. Wednesday night our Olim and Olot participated in brown bag skits, our Tsofim and Tsofot ran around camp during a counselor hunt, Kinneret and Tel Yehuda came up with great ideas to benefit camp in Tevya’s version of Shark Tank, and Birya and Tel Chai prepared for an event that they were planning.

    7.8.16 Cake and CookieYesterday was another great day at camp.  Although we started the day with a late wake up (we thought everyone would enjoy an extra ½ hour of sleep), we were back on schedule by first period.  Walking around camp, I can’t help but smile as I watched all of our kids totally engaged in so many activities.  Robert, our Chef Manager, was also smiling as he led a Jewish cooking class first period. Robert is a Professor at Johnson and Wales, and he loves to get out of the kitchen to work with our campers.  The results tasted great – raspberry filled hamantachen! In Arts and Crafts, campers learned about Israeli events and historical figures and started making puzzles representing what they learned. As I was walking to the Seth Feldman Fitness Center to take a Barre class with our oldest campers, I was stopped by a cross country group who was preparing to run to our campsite and back, a 3 mile run.  The campers were a little nervous about the run, but their counselor was very encouraging and so they were happy to try it.  I saw them at the end of the period and they were all so proud of their successful run! Just when I thought I couldn’t be prouder of our campers’ accomplishments, a camper came running up to me with the biggest smile on her face.  She told me that she was never able to get up on waterskies last year and during 5th period she got up twice!

    Last night was our traditional spirit night planned by Birya and Tel Chai.  In preparation for today’s Game Day, our oldest campers taught all of our campers cheers and chants.  They also introduced the teams that participated in today’s games. It is so nice to see our campers plan and lead an event for the entire camp.

    7.8.16 Princess BellaThis morning I was woken up by the entire camp as part of our morning pep rally.  Each year on the morning of our first Game Day, Birya and Tel Chai wake up the entire camp with songs and noise makers. As they move from bunk to bunk, the campers and staff join them so by the time they get to my house, the whole camp is there chanting, “We got spirit, yes, we do, we got spirit, how ‘bout you?” To which I reply that I have spirit too. After a few rounds of this chant, I realize that no matter how loud I yell, the expected, “I got the most,” I could never come close to matching the spirit of our campers. The excitement of the day continued as we walked into the decorated dining hall for breakfast. The blue and 7.8.16 Prince Aaronwhite streamers and balloons created a great backdrop for Yavneh to announce their princess.  Our youngest boys looked so cute as they paraded around the dining hall chanting clues leaving everyone guessing which counselor would be chosen as this year’s Yavneh princess.  Congratulations Bella Hayes! The week of royalty concluded at lunch with our youngest girls in Dalia naming Aaron Lubell as their prince. In between the announcements of this year’s prince and princess, we had a Game Day with Camp Young Judea.  Our Bog softball team, Tsof softball team and Ole newcomb team traveled to CYJ to play and we welcomed CYJ’s Bog volleyball team, Tsof volleyball team and Ole softball teams to Tevya for games.

    We end the day early each Friday to take time to prepare for Shabbat. When I think about how much has happened since I last wished the community, “Shabbat Shalom,” I can’t help but think about that saying that a day at camp is like a week in the real world. So much has happened in the last 7 days. The strength of our community shined when faced with an unexpected challenge; close friendships developed between people who didn’t know each other last week; confidence has been built by campers who are so proud of their accomplishments; and leaders have blossomed as our campers experienced training and opportunities. All this in just 7 days. And, the best part is that we still have 39 more days of camp to go!

    Shabbat Shalom.

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