Lasts that Last | Week 7



Dear Pembroke families,

Six weeks. We’ve blinked and they’ve passed, without warning, without a chance to hit the pause button, and now suddenly we’re here, experiencing what we can only describe as the week of “lasts”. Each Friday afternoon, I grab my coffee, my computer and find a quiet place to sit, reflect and look back on the previous week as I prepare to put words, as best I can, to the feeling of connection that I’m so lucky to experience every day. So much of what we do at camp is rich with routine, it’s what provides us all with the consistency and predictability that makes camp a comfortable place, a place that gives us all the space and permission to take risks and grow within that structure.

This last week has been filled with moments of leadership, courage, kindness and grace.  So many of the memories from the last week will forever be ingrained in our minds. Israel Day boot camp, Kangaroo Court cheers, the excitement for the return of our DLD campers, the joy Jewish Arts Festival, the diversity of our community at Around the World Night, fun field trips, Senior Staff Takeover (shoutout to Y’Rush for the most fun we’ve ever had grocery shopping) and omelet bar mornings. So much joy, in just one week, and in less than that our summer experience will come to an end

Camp Pembroke 2023

We all grapple with the end of camp differently. Some of us feel it so intensely as pure loss, others meet it with excitement for what the year and future summers will hold. The trajectory of tradition at camp is so strong, that our hope for all of our campers is that the idea of returning “home” will allow the space for the next week to feel hopeful and exciting and we experience the “lasts” together.

And here we are, almost 25 years since my first summer at Camp Pembroke, and this place is still thick with tradition, weaved into every movement and activity, and the end still weighs heavily.  It’s so hard to describe the feeling in your pit of your stomach, this mixture of pride, excitement and fear of the summer ending, of this incredible camp tradition coming to completion for your own experience. This last week has been emotional, filled with victories, losses, tears and smiles so big you can feel the joy, and even with the six amazing weeks in the rearview mirror, we still have four more days, and with everything in our being, we want them to last.

We just finished our last Friday Staff Meeting, we’ve enjoyed our last Thursday night dress up and BBQ and tomorrow we’ll fill up on coffee cake for one…last…time. We’ve taken our last field trip and sent our final letters home. We’ll do cartwheels in the Horseshoe, place gum on Gum Rock, walk the road, visit the HC for snack, raise the flag, lower the flag, sort through your laundry, jump in the lake, swim in the pool, and on and on and on, this time with some finality.

Camp Pembroke 2023

Tonight, we’ll gather in the Pine Grove, a sea of blue and white, we’ll link arms and we’ll sway together, for one last time. Tomorrow we’ll have our last song session, our last long Birkat and on Monday our last evening activity before Banquet. Soon we’ll hear the last slamming screen door, we’ll hang our towels on the lines for the last time and we’ll take our last photo by the lake and watch the sunset for one…last…time. We cherish every day here, so each moment in these next few days feels a little bit different as we hold on tight and stash away our memories to carry us through the year. All we can hope is that this last week of moments and milestones last a lifetime.

It’s our last Shabbat together as a 2023 family and your last Friday night without your missing piece. And then you’ll get that first hug, in what we know feels like forever, you’ll hear that first camp story and learn all about their first camp friend and the first time they tried that new food and on and on and on.

Whether it was your camper’s first summer or whether it’s their last, they have left their mark here on this place, and they’ll forever be a part of our own camp story…and for that we are forever grateful.

Shabbat Shalom,

Becca + Amy

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