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In December, Temple Beth El in Pensacola, FL hosted a Jacobs Camp Shabbat with their congregation. Families were encouraged to wear white and Jacobs Camp campers were asked to share a few words about what they love about camp. Below are some of the prepared responses campers gave on that lovely Friday evening.

“Being able to go to Jacobs Camp is an amazing opportunity and it as become a part of me ever since I became a first year camper. Even on my first day, I remember walking into my cabin immediately surrounded by girls who openly welcomed me into their family. Little did I know they would be my best friends for many years to come and they would be there through all the good and bad. Camp really has shaped me into the person I am today and I can’t even imagine what life would be like if camp wasn’t there. Jacobs Camp has provided me with lifelong best friends, memories that I will never forget, and the best summers I’ve ever had. It’s such a wonderful feeling knowing you have something special to come back to every summer and have the time of your life. At Jacobs I really like I belong, especially because everyone around me is Jewish too. Jacobs is one of the few places other than my temple I can really feel my Jewish connection. Being Jewish in the south is hard because not a lot of people even know what being Jewish is. At camp, I can talk about anything that relates to being Jewish and not feel weird or different. Camp is truly my home.”

“I had so much fun at Jacobs Camp this summer I can’t wait to go back. My favorite part about the lake is the iceberg. My favorite activity was bubble soccer. I had so much fun climbing the tower also. We did so many cool things there like messy night, rib night, Shabbaptionals, and biking. I made a lot of new friends and I loved seeing old ones. This year I was in a new cabin and loved it. But Shabbat was my favorite part of camp it was so fun; the songs and Jewish people, it was all amazing and I can’t wait until next year! I love Jacobs Camp!”

“What Jacobs Camp means to me is the very important people at camp like my counselors, Anna, and lots and lots of friends. I definitely love making friends at camp from all over the world. Another reason I like camp is the things we do, like swimming, rock climbing, archery, and Shabbat. Shabbat is definitely the best part of camp because it is so fun to have the whole Jacobs Camp be there with you. Jacobs Camp is my home away from home. That is what camp means to me!”

“I think camp was fun because I made new friends and I thought the lake was fun because I liked the water slide. I thought the counselors were really nice and that is why I think camp is fun”

“I love Jacobs camp because everybody is Jewish and it’s a place where I make friends, do activities, and lots more!”

“Shabbat Shalom, my name is Maya and I have been going to Jacobs Camp most of my life, but I have been a camper for 2 years and this is what I love about it. I love everything about Jacobs Camp. My favorite thing to do at Jacobs Camp is to make new friends. My favorite activity is the Wet Willy, which is the big slides that go into the lake. My favorite meal is grilled cheese and tomato soup. My favorite evening program is messy night. After meals we do song session which is what we will be doing after dinner. Thank you for helping me and other kids be able to go to Jacobs Camp.”