They say time flies when you’re having fun, and our last full week of camp can attest to that! This week at CJ we had: day-trips, overnights, Sammy Rosenbaum in concert, fake-Bikkurim, glass-blowing workshops, StandWithUs programs, Yom Tzofim, the Israel Scouts Friendship Caravan, and the Stern Dugout Dedication. With everything that has been going on, it’s hard to believe that the first session of 2015 is starting to wind down. It’s even harder to believe that in less than two weeks, a whole new group of campers (291!) will be arriving at camp, ready for the best summer of their lives!
Sunday afternoon, Sammy Rosenbaum from Atlanta, came to CJ and performed for the entire camp in the Beit Ha’am. Everyone had a nice time jamming to his guitar, singing, and song-leading. He joined us later for our traditional Sunday night barbecue.
On Monday, Offarim traveled to Tweetsie Railroad and Oranim and Sayarim spent the day at Dollywood. These three groups were back at Camp in time for dinner. Tsofim went to Sliding Rock in Pisgah National Forest, Kesher got to walk through the caves and caverns of western North Carolina, and Bogrim walked across the mile-high bridge at Grandfather mountain. These groups then met in Briar Bottom campgrounds where they built tents, collected firewood, cooked over a fire, and slept all night before returning to camp Tuesday morning.
Tuesday night, the staff pulled the ultimate prank on the campers by announcing Bikkurim (color war) at evening flagpole. (Everyone looks forward to Bikkurim, but its date is usually a big secret to the campers.) After short team meetings with the stand-in captains, we let the kids know that it was not actually Bikkurim and that it was still coming later in the session. After the confusion subsided, the campers came around and admitted that it was a funny joke. They are still very much excited and looking forward to the real Bikkurim! (But no, we won’t tell you when it is!)
Marnie and the omanut (art) staff arranged for a glass-blower to come to CJ for three days both sessions. Devan Cole came up from Georgia to set up his glass-blowing station and lead workshops for interested campers in Tsofim, Kesher, and Bogrim. Each group had 8 campers and the workshops lasted 3 hours.
Thursday evening, our Tzofim, Emma and Amit, transformed Camp into an Israeli Scout festival! There were different activity stations around CJ, and the edot moved from station to station to learn about the fundamental teachings of the Scouts movement in Israel. As part of the program, Yoni Kaplan, from StandWithUs, led discussions with our staff and campers about Israel and how to teach and support Israel advocacy.
Friday morning, the family of George and Eva Stern, the very first directors of Camp Judaea, joined us for the dedication ceremony of the brand new softball dugouts! All of our campers sat on the field as Tom, Ralph Kurland, another former CJ director, and the Stern family shared a few words about George and Eva. Bogrim had the honor of playing the first inning of a softball game in Eva and George’s memory.
This afternoon, we are excitedly awaiting the arrival of the Israel Scouts Friendship Caravan. They are going to help ring in Shabbat by performing for the whole camp in the Beit Ha’am. We are so looking forward to their show!
Tonight is BO Shabbat, so Bogrim and Offarim have been working all day to decorate the Chadar Ochel (dining hall) and prepare a song and dance to help welcome in Shabbat.
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