It’s hard to believe that this is our final Shabbat of our 50th first session! We have had so much fun these past 3 weeks, and time has truly flown by. This past week has been full of activity for our campers. Check out our week in review video to see some of the Jacobs magic from the past 7 days! Our campers have been making friends, memories, and laughing like crazy this whole session, and while we’re sad it’s coming to a close, we want to take a moment to look back at all of the wonderful adventures they’ve been on this past week!
Last Shabbat was another one for the books! We were so fortunate to have our camp committee here to celebrate with this exceptional group of campers. These individuals play an instrumental role in providing Jacobs magic to all of our kids, and we were beyond lucky to get to celebrate the Sabbath with them!
Since then, our campers have been running around, having a blast, and participating in every activity under the sun! Of course, this week was Maccabiah, our color war at HSJ. Our campers were split into 4 teams and spent two days competing in tons of exhilarating competitions! The theme was Marvel, with the red team led by Iron Man, blue by Captain America, green by Gamora, and yellow by Captain Marvel. They had an all-camp relay race, running all the way from the gate to the tower, showed off their incredible talents at our Haggigah showcase, and spent their days playing wacky sports, splashing in the pool, and rocking out in Just Dance. In the end, red team won, but we are so proud of all of our campers for the chutzpah and sportsmanship they displayed during this amazing all camp festivity!
Beyond Maccabiah, our campers have had bundles of other activities keeping them busy! Garin had messy night this week, and this rambunctious group loved letting loose and during this favorite camp tradition. Their evening programs have been as exciting as ever, playing life-size board games, having a camper vs. staff battle with tug of war and machanayim, and a minute to win it competition! During the day these campers have been playing with chickens, taking classes at Hogwarts, and playing ultimate soap! These young campers’ endless energy makes every day and every activity a party!
In Maskilim, campers had their annual day trip! They spent the morning picking up litter in Utica, filling 7 garbage bags and practicing Tikun Olam. This summer, HSJ is focusing on environmental responsibility and Shmirat HaTeva — protecting the earth. Our Maskilimers modeled this expertly for our entire camp community and we are bursting with pride! Afterward, they got to relax and enjoy a trip to the movies to see Toy Story 4. Back at camp, these kids enjoyed messy night, a stages of life program, and their talent show!
Talmidim spent the week in a bunch of different activities. They enjoyed their minors, doing everything from archery to robotics to ceramics, and partook in fun chugim like volleyball, fishing, and viking biking! Their evening programs remained engaging, with a talent show and a block party! These campers remain leaders of our camp community, and we have had such an amazing time with them.
Chalutzim arrived this week, and our oldest campers have already begun making their impact on camp. They are forming strong bonds as a unit, with many of the campers having never met before this summer! As a unit which combines campers who previously attended either session 1 or 2, Chalutzim is always an amazing example of new friendships. They have been swimming in the lake, doing adventure games, playing capture the flag, and plenty of other classic camp activities, as well as lots of educational social justice programming. They have covered topics from environmental sustainability to Jewish advocacy, demonstrating so much passion and maturity. We are thrilled these amazing campers are finally here!
Our Solelim were busy as ever this week, spending their time in a variety of activities. While many of our Solels helped out with camp operations in the rec room, others spent their days in their departments spreading Jacobs magic to all of our campers. After all of this hard work, they took a much deserved break on Thursday, visiting Jackson to enjoy dinner and a movie!
Our sports department remains a pillar of camp life. Our campers love running around, being crazy and energetic, and we make sure they always have plenty of opportunities to do so! Our sports specialty camp meets there daily, playing games like soccer, dodgeball, and basketball as well as water activities! Our younger campers too have opportunities to spend time in this department, playing everything from tennis to ultimate soap! Adventure activities are another way our campers remain active, enjoying team building exercises, biking, boating, and so much more!
The art room too remains a center of camp life! Our campers have endless creativity, and there is nowhere better to see that in action! Whether it be recycled art, ceramics, or specialty camp activities like shark tank product invention or collages, the art room is constantly producing incredible works! Our creative arts department remains busy as well, with dance and gymnastics prevailing as some of our most popular activities!
Our Jewish life practices continue as well, with our J team leading the way for religious growth among our campers! Between Garin kehila, which continues to focus on this summer’s values of Shomrei Adamah, protecting the earth, Ba’al Tashchit – not wasting earth’s natural resources, Tza’ar Ba’alei Chayim – caring for animals and Jewish food ethics, and specialty camp education, our campers engage with their faith daily in a fun and captivating way! Additionally, our services this week were extra special with our visit from The Institute of Jewish Rock. Our campers were able to get involved with performance of Jewish and secular music during services, and it was a true joy to see these kids performing so beautifully and embracing their culture!
And just like that, it’s our final Shabbat of session 1! While it’s hard to believe we’re already so close to closing day, there are plenty more memories to be made, laughs to be had, and friendships to be formed! Yet, time is moving so quickly, and it’s important to take a moment to pause and reflect on what our campers, staff, and the entire Jacob’s family have created this summer. With #HSJ50’s focus on gratitude, we want to take a moment to share all we appreciate. We could not be more grateful to the staff who work so hard to make this camp run. We could not be more grateful for the campers who bring their brightest smiles, insatiable curiosity, and, unfading dispositions. And of course, we could not be more grateful for you, our Jacobs families, who make it all possible!