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  • I can’t believe that it was just two days ago that I greeted all of our campers as they entered camp with their families. It was so much fun to watch our returning campers jump out of their cars hugging the friends that they have been waiting 10 months to see.  Our new campers arrived excited about the adventures that await them this summer.

    With 3 drop off times (instead of 2), drop off went very smoothly. I have heard many parents say that this was the smoothest drop off they have experienced.  The rest of the day seemed to flow the same way, just easy. Campers quickly settled into their bunks and everyone seemed relaxed and happy, and very ready to start the camp summer.

    6.29.16 LunchLunch was, of course, the traditional first meal of grilled cheese and French fries.  For some reason, an opening day grilled cheese sandwich tastes better than any other grilled cheese sandwich. After lunch the dining hall was rocking as we sang and danced to a variety of songs. The energy in the room set the stage for the fun that lay ahead.  Although no one could rest, rest hour followed lunch.  This time allowed campers to finish unpacking and bond as a bunk.

    The bonding continued through the afternoon as campers toured camp, enjoyed free swim and played bunk games.  Our oldest campers were introduced to BLT, our Bog Leadership Training program.  This program includes weekly activities and facilitated discussions that encourage leadership skills focusing on the topics of community, connection and communication. We know this program will greatly enhance the leadership opportunities in which our oldest campers already participate. They also met with our kitchen staff in preparation for being waiters at camp.

    After dinner was department skits.  These skits provide a way for all of our campers to learn about all of the activities that are offered at camp, while at the same time they get introduced to every staff member at camp.  One of the best parts of the program is that staff get up on stage and act silly in front of all of the campers.  It is so important that we model the value of expanding our comfort zone for our campers, and there is no better way to do this than to be totally goofy on stage.

    6.30.16 soccerYesterday was amazing.  Walking around camp, I could not believe it was the first day of activities. After a week of orientation, our staff was ready, and it showed.  I watched our Olot (3rd through 6th grade girls) have their swim tests, I learned a new Israeli dance with Birya (our 10th grade girls), I saw the amazing artwork produced in a drawing class and I cheered on a group of Tsofs (7th and 8th grade boys and girls) playing softball.  I spent time in the Seth Feldman Fitness Center during boot camp class and cross training classes. I probably should have stuck to cheering in those classes because today I am feeling the results of the 250 second wall sit!

    Last night’s evening activities included a campfire for our Bogs (9th and 10th grade boys and girls), meshugana games for our Tsofs, and a picture scavenger hunt for our Oles (3rd through 6th grade boys and girls).  The feel of camp is truly amazing – calm yet energized.  It was a perfect first full day of camp.

    We woke up this morning to picnic tables surrounding our flagpole compliments of TNPC.  Thursday Night Prank Club is back again this year ready to make the camp smile every Friday morning with their antics of the night before.

    Today is another full day of activities. This morning I saw our Israeli delegation leading an activity teaching our kids about games played in Israel.  I loved watching them laugh and yell out the Hebrew words that were part of the game.  The best part was hearing two girls wish each other good luck as they prepared to compete in the final round of the game.  We have such great kids here! I look forward to singing in the Bobroff Family Beit Shira and cheering for our campers as they play ultimate Frisbee and soccer this afternoon.  But mostly, I am looking forward to this evening.  I am looking forward to spending our first Shabbat together as the 2016 Tevya community.  I love Shabbat and all that it represents.  I love that we come together, all dressed in blue and white, and reflect both personally and as a community on the week that passed.  I love that as we reflect on the past week we anticipate the coming week and set goals.  This week we will talk about the importance of trying new things and we will encourage members of our community to expand their areas of comfort, the very value that our staff modeled just 2 days ago.

    It is hard to believe that it was just 2 days ago that I greeted individual cars coming into camp.  All those individuals, are now together as one Tevya family.  Shabbat Shalom to our entire extended family.

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