Welcome Home, Jacobs Campers!
After all the anticipation and waiting, we were thrilled to open the gates on Sunday, so our amazing staff could whoop it up to welcome home a record 226 campers with hugs and high fives, showing everyone just how excited we are to have them back! I am over the moon to be together with our campers again because I know what an incredible summer is in store for them. We didn’t waste any time getting the fun started. Watch this video of highlights from the week, including our remarkable opening day and some of the great activities that followed!
While the gates were open, we also welcomed Chalutzim back from their five-day trip to North and South Carolina, where they’d gone for some whitewater rafting, ziplining, and exploring downtown Bryson City, NC, located in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains. Once they were settled, back into camp, they participated in programming about immigration and discussed Israel with Rabbi Reuven Greenvald, the URJ’s director of Israel engagement.
Olim campers had a busy week, too, full of great activities. Wacky Science involved lots of cool science experiments with color and, sticking with the color theme, Olimers had their very own Mardi Gras Maccabiah color war before they paraded around camp doing all sorts of crazy dances and throwing those Mardi Gras beads. Evening programs included “Around the World,” which had campers globetrotting to different stations to see the world through a Jacobs lens. During sports night, Olimers ran around and used up some of the extra energy second- and third-graders are known for, and on tie-dye night, they created one-of-a-kind masterpieces on white tee-shirts. During their bunk night programs designed by counselors for their cabin only, Olim’s girls had a camp birthday party and the boys trained to become superheroes. The programs were super fun and everyone had a great time!
Garin celebrated the bat mitzvah of Kevin the stuff animal, explored new careers, tried their hand at tumbling, and fought the kracken, a mythological sea creature, as part of an adventure program. They – and every other camp unit – also had fun with the chickens. Maskilim spent time in the art room making yadim from clay and they turned out beautifully. They also had some great evening programs, including a life-size gam night and playing “capture the flag” with an Israeli theme, as well as a night spent exploring camp myths – what they are, how they started, and how long they’ve been around. Fun stuff!
This week, Talmidim enjoyed biking, archery, and a joint pool program with Chalutzim. The evening brought them their very own game show night that broke all camp records for leap frog, penny-stacking, eating Jell-O with chopsticks, and more!
Of course, in addition to each group’s individual activities and events, everyone’s getting steeped in camp’s core values, along with an intro to the summer’s theme, The Complete Person: My Life, My Soul, My Future, and the values that go along with it – wholeness, personal growth, passion, and insightfulness.
Tonight, the entire community will come together at the lakeside chapel to welcome the first camp Shabbat of the summer. The evening will include all the things we know and love about Shabbat: services, dinner (with a yummy cobbler for dessert!), song session, and Israeli dancing. Our celebration will continue tomorrow with optional breakfast, services and Shabboptionals, which everyone loves, before we end the most special day of the week with Havdalah.
I join the rest of the staff in welcoming our campers home. We are so excited to have had such a wonderful first week. We can’t wait for the weeks ahead to unfold, and we are thrilled to have y’all along for this terrific ride into what we know will be the best summer ever!
Jacobs Camp Director