Dear Tevya families,
This past week, I got to do something at camp I haven’t done in years: ride on a bus for a Trip Day. I was lucky enough to ride with the Younger Tsofim (7th grade boys). I was sitting a few rows deep towards the front of the bus, so I was able to lean against the back of the seat in front of me and watch the rest of the bus behind me. Counselors were playing music and keeping the energy level up by encouraging campers to sing along, some campers were chatting and playing cards, while another group of campers near me were having a fascinatingly creative conversation about managing restaurant chains – everything from marketing and advertising to expanding their territory. These are the types of everyday camp moments that I can’t get enough of. Within my job, I do my best to engage in camp and soak in these moments, but I can never seem to get enough. For that 30 minute bus ride, I was so grateful to just be there and enjoy what I was seeing and hearing. As a community, we had a lot to be grateful for this past week. Here are the highlights below.
Community Health Update
We’re continuing to follow our COVID-19 protocols as we head into the last week of First Session.
It was a busy, action packed week here at camp! The week started with the crowning of our Yavneh Princess and Dalia Prince – congrats to Princess Ella Gauthier and Prince Bennett Gauthier! While siblings have been royalty before, this marks the first time that two siblings have been royalty at the same time. On Sunday, our Tennis Doubles teams traveled down the road to Camp Young Judaea for the YJ Doubles Tournament. Our team played with great skill and sportsmanship, and came home with the first place trophy!
Early Tuesday morning at the crack of dawn, BTC ‘22 boarded Coach Busses and departed for Three Rivers Whitewater in Maine. A few hours later, KTY ‘22 departed for their trip to the White Mountains. Both trips are highlights of the Bog experience. They provide unique opportunities for our campers to bond as an age group, overcome challenges, expand the boundaries of their comfort zones, and enjoy the outdoors.
The BTC trip started with a group hike, followed by navigating down a portion of the Kennebec river on tubes. They ended the day with a bonfire and s’mores. The cabins at Three Rivers are a bit more “rustic” than what we’re used to here at camp… no electricity and no bathrooms in the cabins enhanced the atmosphere of the trip and led to a deeper level of bonding. The next morning was the main event: rafting down the Kennebec River on class 4 rapids. Our campers and counselors were split into rafting groups with a mix of campers and counselors from each bunk and each raft was equipped with a rafting guide. At the top of the river, campers were asked to describe how they felt in that moment: “scared,” “terrified,” and “anxious.” After successfully navigating the rapids, they were asked the same question: “amazing,” “exhilarated,” “brave,” “bonded,” and “trusting.” This trip is incredible! Thank you to the Three Rivers Staff for taking phenomenal care of us and providing a transformational experience.
The KTY trip began at The AMC Highlands Center where they were split into hiking groups of campers and counselors. Each group was assigned based on hiking ability/desire for challenge. The hikes all had amazing views of the White Mountains, and some campers hiked around lakes and to waterfalls. The guides were fabulous, playing games while on the trail and pointing out the cool natural elements along the way. All the groups met up back at the Highland Center where they enjoyed dinner and an evening program filled with local ghost stories. The next morning they boarded the buses to drive to the Saco River for a 3 mile tubing trip. While the river was slower than normal due to lack of rain, it was the perfect day to be on the water and campers enjoyed a relaxing ride while hanging out with their friends. They ended the day at Weston’s Beach with snacks and pizza before heading back to camp. The campers arrived at camp tired from their adventure, yet more bonded as an age group.
While the Bogs were away, the Oles and Tsofs and had the camp to themselves. Tuesday morning started with a late wakeup and a delicious omelet breakfast served by our senior staff. Campers had a rotation of bunk activities throughout the day, including a stop at our new Waterpark. Evening Activity was a Camper Talent Show. We LOVE the Ole/Tsof Camper Talent Show! It’s so rewarding to see our youngest and middle campers get up on stage in front of their peers to perform songs, dances, and other incredible talents. After each act, campers were swarmed by their bunkmates with hugs, high fives and cheers.
After another rotation of bunk activities Wednesday morning, our campers were thrilled to hear they were going on a trip themselves: Altitude Trampoline Park! We rented out the space just for our group, and our campers and staff had blast jumping around. It was great to get out of camp, even if it was for only a couple of hours.
The week ended as it began with a Game Day against YJ. Tevya hosted Bog Softball, Tsof Basketball, Ole Newcomb, and Archery. YJ hosted our other Tsof Basketball and Ole Newcomb teams. The morning was successful all around with hard-fought, competitive games.
The value of this past week, which was introduced last Shabbat, was Gratitude. Campers and counselors were asked to keep their eyes open throughout the week and nominate people around camp who were demonstrating the value of Gratitude. Counselors read the nomination sheets aloud with their bunks during Shabbat Prep and rewarded individuals or groups with a bracelet that states the week’s value in English and Hebrew. There was so much to be grateful for this week both inside and outside the bunk and all around camp – from Trip Days to Game Days to Omelet Breakfast and everything in between, we are grateful for you sharing your children with us and allowing these special moments to happen.
Though we are approaching the end of First Session, we still have a lot of fun programming left for campers to experience! We are looking forward to having our Israeli Beach Party tomorrow evening with some fun games, music, and pita making on the beach. On Monday, we are having a Senior, Junior, and Junior Junior Basketball tournament. Some of our players will be traveling to other camps, while we host the Junior Junior tournament here at Tevya. Our Kadima group returns to the US from their Israel trip on Thursday and we are excited to welcome them back to camp in their CIT roles a few days later. Our Oles and Tsofs will each have a fun evening trip outside of camp this week and the session will wrap up with our awards ceremony and banquet.