Dear Tevya families,
If you’ve been following along with our newsletters the past few summers, or even if this is your first summer, you may have noticed the letters follow a similar format from week to week. We’ll begin with a more abstract yet meaningful intro, followed by an overview of Camp Activities from the past week, the Midat Hashavuah, and then Upcoming Events. When we first started writing these in 2021, we didn’t really have a format to help guide us, and our first newsletter wasn’t sent out until the end of Week 2. Since then, we’ve gotten into a much better rhythm that allows us to capture everything from the past week, while not taking too much time away from camp action to write.
Value of the Week / Midat Hashavuah
This week, however, we’re going to switch it up and lead with the Midat Hashavuah. The value of this past week, which was introduced last Shabbat, was Gratitude. We love that Gratitude was the value for our final full week of camp. We have so much to be grateful for. Our campers and counselors, the beautiful surroundings in our summer home, trip days and game days, and the amazing partnership we have with our parents and families. We are so grateful to all of you for sharing your children with us. We are also grateful for our seasonal Operations Staff and Senior Staff who help us create the magic of camp each and every day. Whether it’s under picture perfect skies, or even in the rain, our dedicated team of professionals ensure that our campers and counselors have a summer that they will always remember.
Last Shabbat we celebrated Arielle Welch’s 26th Tevya summer – her double Bat Mitzvah. We are grateful to have Arielle as our Head of Waterfront keeping everyone happy and safe on Potanipo.
This Shabbat, we celebrated the camp B’nai Mitzvah of Adina Kurzman and Nikki Naisuler, and the 26th Summer (double Bar Mitzvah) of Ben Aronson. We are grateful to have Adina as our Olot Head Counselor, giving our youngest girls and their counselors the extra support and a mom’s touch. Nikki stepped in to help us with our Dor L’Dor back at camp program. She excitedly took the job to be with the campers she had been with the two previous summers, also knowing this would be her 13th summer at camp. We are grateful to have counselors who grow up with us and then choose to give back to our community by being on staff. We will also celebrate Ben Aronson, our Bogrim Head Counselor. We are grateful for his 26 years at camp, including the 18 that he’s been on staff helping to shape our campers’ experience each year, leaving a lasting impact long after the summer is over.
Last Shabbat, our campers and their counselors participated in a rotation of activities around the loop of camp, just as if they were traveling around the world. They stopped at various stations to learn about the countries that our counselors come from, including Israel, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, France, and Hungary. After Havdalah on the beach, our Kadima CITs set up a fun Casino Night for all of camp. They had various table games set up and campers won tickets for playing. At the end of the night, they were able to turn in their tickets for prizes. Kadima did an awesome job hosting this evening activity for all of camp.
As we said in last week’s Newsletter, the last week of programming was going to be action packed! This past week included… An all camp trip to Canobie Lake Park, a special Bog trip for bogs from all 3 Cohen Camps to In the Game, Dor L’Dor met at the Beach House for a fun reunion with all 3 Cohen Camps, we hosted the Annual Tevya Tennis Invitational Tournament, our Boys Basketball teams traveled to Camps Yavneh and Basuercest, our Oles and Tsofs had a Talent Show, Party Excitement was here to throw an awesome party for us, the Oles had a bonfire while Tsofs played another special round of Manhut, our Jewish Art Festival (JAF) group traveled to Pembroke to perform at JAF, we had a Game Day with Camp YJ, and our staff competed against each other in our annual USA vs. International Soccer Game. Not to mention, this week was filled with all the magically mundane, every day camp moments sprinkled throughout all the action.
Last night was Final Shabbat. Amidst speeches from BTC ’23 about what camp has meant to them, we recognized four of our exceptional counselors through the David Minn International Staff Leadership Award, and the Aaron and Blanche Gordon Award. The David Minn Award is given in memory of David Minn, a beloved staff member and friend who lost his life in 2018. David had a tremendously positive impact on our community in his 3 years on staff. He had a magnetic personality and was truly a connector of all people. The David Minn Award is presented each year to a returning international bunk counselor who emulates David’s positive leadership style. The Aaron and Blanche Gordon Award is a scholarship given to “homegrown” Tevya counselors in honor of Aaron, a former Tevya director, and his wife, for their long-time dedication and contribution to both Tevya and the greater Jewish community. This award is given to two first year counselors entering their first year of college based on their exceptional leadership and strong character during their summer as a first year counselor. Thank you to Temple Israel of Boston and the Gordon family for allowing us to recognize our staff in celebration of young Jewish leaders. This year’s David Minn Award recipients are Chloe Jolly and Sam Bromiley, and the Gordon Award recipients are Rebecca Hofftstein and Brett Goldfarb. All of our counselors have been exceptional this summer, but these four counselors consistently go above and beyond for their campers and our Tevya family.
With a few days left of camp, we have a lot of exciting things to pack in. Today after services, we will be holding our traditional Staff/CIT vs. Tel Chai Softball game, and on Monday afternoon we will hold the Staff/CIT vs. Birya Football game. This afternoon, our Kadima CITs have planned a Water Carnival with fun water activities around camp including slides and dunk tank.
Tomorrow will be our last full day of regular programming for the summer (a hard sentence to type!). Tomorrow night, we’ll be visited by Siagel Productions for our traditional end of summer Siagel Social! Steve Siagel is a Tevya alum and we love having his crew help us close out the summer with an awesome party. On Monday, our Israeli delegation has planned an amazing Israeli Day experience for all of our campers before we start the long process of packing and cleaning. Monday night will be our Night of Tevya Performing Arts, or Tarts, where we will see a showcase of all of the performing arts electives in addition to a special performance from our Jewish Arts Festival participants. Tuesday afternoon will be our Department Award Ceremony, followed by our Second Session Banquet in the evening. KTY has been working hard on Banquet all session long, and we can’t wait to see all their hard work pay off as they transform the Dining Hall and blow us away with their surprise theme. After Banquet, we’ll wrap up the evening with our final slideshow of the summer and a special viewing of the Color War Video, followed by our final Shira session. There will no doubt be plenty of tears – a sign that an incredible summer has, unfortunately, come to an end.
Thank you to all of our families for reading these newsletters throughout the summer and for the positive feedback we’ve received. Lauren and I spend our time throughout the week out of the office and in camp as much as possible. So, when we do spend time in front of our computers putting these newsletters together, it’s rewarding to know that our families are reading and enjoying following along with all the action here at camp. We are grateful for you. Thank you!