From Opening Day to Shabbat: What a Week!
Summer is finally here, and we were thrilled to welcome our campers home as they came through the gate on Monday! Check out this video to see a glimpse of our week together! With everyone settled in, we’ve been busy having lots of fun and making #JacobsMagic, which is a huge part of what’s going to make this summer – our 50th! – the best one ever. We opened the gates, rocked out at song session, and started the greatest summer yet! With so much to be thankful for, we shared gratitude journals with all of our campers and staff. Now we can keep track of and remain present during what is sure to be the best summer ever!
Here’s a quick snapshot of what’s been going on around camp this week.
For starters, all campers received a gratitude journal, to keep track of all the great things they’re doing and what, in particular, they’re grateful to be experiencing at camp. We also had “Letter Day,” when our campers wrote home to share all of the fun times they are having here. While we try to keep our families in loop, no one can share Jacobs magic better than our campers!
Olim, our youngest campers, had a crazy good week! They were the first unit at the lake – trying out the Wet Willie water slide, the obstacle course, and our newest toy, The Rocket! They also dressed up like their favorite animals and took turns making that animal’s noise. With their noisemaking perfected, they showed off their skills to the rest of the units during a trailer ride around camp! At Wednesday’s evening program, they made chef hats and aprons which they’re using today to bake challah in preparation for Shabbat.
Garin campers also had an amazing opening day! They went swimming, played soccer, and – perhaps most important – learned all their cheers, so they’re ready to share them in the dining hall! Their evening program took them time traveling, had them fighting dragons, learning magic, and dancing the night away! They also learned where everything is at camp with the help of a scavenger hunt!
Maskilim campers were quick to get into the swing of things – at the pool, in their recycled, upcycled fashion show, and in their specialty camp, whether art, sports or adventure! They also connected with nature through fun outdoor activities and of course helped preserve the environment by participating in our new recycling program!
Talmidim campers had a great first night reuniting with friends and have been having a terrific time playing capture the flag…all over camp! They explored their teamwork skills conquering challenges on the adventure course and also learned about immigration in a simulation of coming to the United States. It was not easy!
Chalutzim has yet to begin, but we are preparing everyday for the arrival of our oldest campers, and we can’t wait until our next opening day!
Solelim, the campers in our counselor-in-training program, had fun getting to know each other through team building games with special guest Nate Folen, who facilitated phenomenal programs which helped these teens grow as individuals and leaders. They learned how to create and write awesome programs, and Nadav and I hosted the group at our home for a special snack. It was a real treat for all of us!
On the athletic front, everyone played soccer on opening day; the first day of sports specialty camp was a tremendous success; and campers have signed up for sports fun with flags. Flag football, anyone?!
Social Action has always been at the core of HSJ, and this summer we intend to refocus and highlight our efforts in Tikun Olam through increased and improved programming. Gariners learned about the importance of clean water, Talmidim campers created art that reflects our inner goodness, and Maskilim practiced mindfulness and origami, embracing Jewish teachings by taking care of themselves in order to better take care of our world.
As always, our wonderful visual and creative arts facilities are a hive of activity. Ceramics has been a big hit in the art room, and all our campers have been getting their hands into the clay. Garin has been conducting different egg drop experiments, and, using our brand-new test kitchen, everyone’s been whipping up lots of deliciousness, including challah.
Finally, Jewish life is alive and well at camp. B’nei mitzvah tutoring has begun and campers are practicing their portions until they’re perfect! Garin campers had an opportunity to get up close and personal with the Torah, and song sessions are happening twice a day, with the entire camp community singing and dancing their hearts out!
Indeed, our 50th year has started with a splash and we’re so excited it’s underway. We’ve been waiting all year for this week, and it’s great to have our campers back home. As this busy week draws to a close, we’re looking forward to kicking off the first Shabbat of the summer later today – which will include homemade challah and, of course, delicious cobbler for dessert – and to a day of rest and reflection tomorrow. Wishing ya’ll a Shabbat shalom!