Blog  Maccabiah, Messy Night, and Memories: Week 2 of Second Session at #HSJ50

Maccabiah, Messy Night, and Memories: Week 2 of Second Session at #HSJ50

Shalom Y’all!

The second Shabbat of session two is already here! We have been having so much fun here at camp, it is no wonder the session is flying by! Watch our week in review video to get a glimpse at all of the magic here at HSJ this past week! Our campers have had an action-packed week, from bunk nights and campouts to color war, and now we are ready to spend Shabbat resting and reflecting on the fun! This incredible group of campers has created the most loving, curious, and adventurous camp community, and we can’t wait to see the joy they bring to the rest of the session! We are grateful for their positivity, compassion, and humor, which remind myself and my staff daily why camp is truly the happiest place on earth! 

Our Olimers had an engaging last few days of camp! They started the week with a visit from a magician, and then had a blast shadowing our staff at take an Olimer to Work day! These adorable bundles of energy were a joy to have around the office, and reminded us all how lucky we are to get to work here at camp! After that, they enjoyed a zoo themed extravaganza to say goodbye to camp, before running home to their parents. Our youngest campers fill camp with giggles and love, and we are so sad to see them go, yet we can’t wait to welcome them back home next summer! 

Garin too had a busy week! They had a cozy movie night watching Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, enjoyed some friendly competition at their staff vs camper program, and had tons of fun playing life sized board games! During the day, these campers enjoyed activities from zipline to gymnastics. They were also matched with their Chalutzim buddies, a favorite tradition here at camp, allowing them to form meaningful bonds with our oldest campers! Garin brings enthusiasm and laughter to our camp community daily, and we can’t wait to see them grow over the rest of the session!

Maskilim had a wonderful week as well! They took some time for educational programing around gender equality, as well as silly activities like a gameshow program! They also had their adventure program, where they bonded as a unit while taking advantage of all of the amazing adventure facilities here at HSJ! Our Maskilimers are enthusiastic about every activity they do here, and demonstrate a true love of camp. Working with these campers is a joy, and we look forward to another amazing week with them! 

Talmidim had an informative and enlightening program on privilege this week, demonstrating maturity and wisdom beyond their years. They also enjoyed an (optional) campout, and stayed active during their sports program. During the day, these campers continued to enjoy their speciality camps, as well as their minors and chugim, all of which provide them the opportunity to explore, in depth, their interests and passions. As some of our older campers, the Talmidimers serve as amazing role models for our camp community! 

Finally, our oldest campers in Chalutzim had an active week as well. From an informative program discussing the impact of mass incarceration, to a fun pirate themed scavenger hunt, to some friendly competition in the sports program, these campers were busy as ever. They also immediately connected with their Garin buddies, dancing with them during song session and playing together during chofesh! We are so grateful for their continued enthusiasm and passion for making HSJ as magical as it can be.

The sports department continued to offer a variety of activities to all of our campers! Garin got to enjoy wiffleball and soccer, Maskilim loved ultimate frisbee, and Talmidim killed it in basketball! Aquatics also keep our campers moving, with fishing, daily swimming, and weekly lake time on Shabbat. Our campers have endless energy, and watching them use these activities to chanel that enthusiasm, as well as learn about sportsmanship and teamwork, all while just getting to be kids is one of the best parts of every summer!

Adventure is another of our popular departments at camp! Garin spent the week exploring the nature around camp and bonding through team building exercises! Maskilim learned how to build their own fires, and worked on their hiking skills in order to help them traverse the isolated Jacobs land. Talmidim also worked on team building by taking advantage of our low elements and initiatives, which push them to think outside the box. The adventure department combines the best of camp, allowing our campers to be active, creative, and bond as friends and peers! 

The art room is another hive of activity here at camp! This week, our Gariners had printmaking, Maskilim got to use our brand new test kitchen for cooking, and Talmidim had ceramics! The art department is always bursting with creativity, and watching our campers channel those ideas into beautiful works is so rewarding! 

As always, Jewish education remained a staple of camp life. Our Gariners continued to engage with daily lessons at Kehila, while our older campers have daily education in their speciality camps. Our camp community as a whole continues to focus on our summer’s value of Shomrei Adamah, continuing our recycling program and focusing on incorporating social action programming into all of our units. Our campers provide constant inspiration in this effort, demonstrating enthusiasm and passion for a variety of causes, and pushing us to create a better world for them and the future!

Finally, our entire camp community came together this week to participate in Maccabiah, our color war. The theme was Looney Tunes, with the red team led by the Tazmanian Devil, blue by Road Runner, Yellow by Tweety Bird, and Green by Marvin the Martian! By embracing their team values, all of which connected to our summer’s theme of Shomrei Adamah, and competing in events like Haggigah, our arts showcase, and the derby, an all camp relay, these campers had two days full of spirit, fun, and a whole lot of cheering! Check our social media to see who won later today! It is also so special to be able to end Maccabiah by coming together as a community, all dressed in white to celebrate Shabbat!

Which brings us to today, our second Shabbat of the session! Every day here at HSJ feels faster than the last, so it’s important to take a moment to pause and look back. This past week has been bursting with joy and Jacob’s Magic, and we can’t wait to see what the next one has in store! Every moment we are reminded by our campers of how much fun can be had in a single day, and they constantly inspire us to do and be better. Thank you for sharing your incredible children with us for the summer, and allowing us to build this powerful and wonderful Kehila Kedosha. 

Shabbat Shalom,


Camp Director