What a fantastic week at camp it has been! Thank you for sending your talented and smart campers to Camp Solomon Schechter this summer! They are great athletes, musicians, and schmoozers.
This past week we enjoyed plenty of physical activity. For example, during our exciting Cabin Basketball Tournament, the 10th grade girls were inspirational against some very skilled boys teams. The ruach was off the charts during Maccabiah with sports, cheers, and zimriya(song and performances by the teams). This was topped off with the Double Dare evening program.
Early in the week we had Backwards Day, which meant we ate dinner in the morning and breakfast at lunch, and did our ever-popular Top Chef evening program at the start of the day. As sunset marked the end of the day, we went back to normal with our usual with degel(flag) gathering and our great and beloved Lip Sync evening program.
Tonight is Shabbat, and we are all so excited not only for our great food, our rousing shira(song) sessions, and all the free time afforded on this important day of rest, but also because of some very special guests!
As you have probably heard, starting yesterday and for the next couple of weeks, we are hosting the Sephardic Adventure Camp (SAC), which had to quickly move out of their original campsite due to nearby fires. (You can read more about this elsewhere on our blog .) The campers were so excited when I told them that SAC was coming to our facility to run their camp alongside our Gimmel session this summer. I am truly impressed by our staff, who have been fantastic at accommodating SAC and going the extra mile to prep for them. I also appreciate the many parents who have written to us and expressed how thankful they are that CSS truly lives its Jewish values. This will certainly be a special Shabbat with two special Northwest Jewish camps celebrating our shared heritage together!
Shabbat Shalom -
A Shabbat of peace to all of us,
|On Monday, August 1, the Sephardic Adventure Camp (SAC), an Orthodox camp from Washington State, was evacuated from their campsite in eastern Washington due to a forest fire. Consistent with our Jewish value of hachnasat orchim (welcoming guests), we will be hosting SAC at Camp Solomon Schechter August 5 - 17; and our staff will embrace Schechter's theme for the summer of "Lo Lefached Clal (Have No Fear at All)" as we deal with double the number of people we had planned! It is bashert (meant to be) that we have enough beds to accommodate them. The logistics are complicated, but we are certainly up to the challenge. They will run their programs concurrently and separate from ours. Food service is one of the greatest challenges; we will eat in shifts, and SAC will prepare all of their nut-free and strictly-kosher food offsite and bring it in to camp each day.
SAC has about 90 campers and 30 staff for a total of 120 people, so our camp will be filled with Jewish children enjoying their summer. Our staff is prepared to work extra hard to ensure that the Schechter Gimmel experience is not impacted but is enhanced by this unexpected change. SAC staff know that the Schechter campers must have their fun in the Schechter way and that we will not change our halakha, kashrut, dress code, dancing, swimming, or programming; nothing will change for the Schechter campers other than they may meet more Jewish teens. Since SAC will be here with 3rd - 10th grade campers, we have a very clear plan to make sure that our Gimmel campers still have their usual dances and fun without impact from having younger campers on site. This is exciting and challenging for Schechter, but I believe in my heart that this is the right thing to do, and that our campers and staff will understand and live up to our Jewish values to help other Jews in need. We wish SAC a great summer session and look forward to our Schechter campers continuing to have an amazing summer!
Please contact me with any questions, comments, concerns or feedback at email@example.com.
Camp Solomon Schechter
Toda Raba (thank you) and Yasher Koach (congratulations) for sending your children to Camp Solomon Schechter! By entrusting us with your children this summer, you are ensuring that they have a very meaningful and exciting Jewish experience, and that we, together, are strengthening our greater Jewish community.
I can't believe our first week is already wrapping up! Our days are jam-packed with fun outdoor activities, such as our zip-line and challenge course, and the campers love our evening programs. Our 4th of July celebration on Monday night was a great way to start off these first two sessions of the summer. (Take a look at the video on our Facebook page!)
Our limmud (Jewish learning) period has been reconceived as yachat z'man yacht (together time), our t'fillot (prayers) have been reenergized, and we have been introducing lots of new rituals at camp. We started off this session with a program that takes the campers through the Jewish year; many campers said that coming to camp was the most important Jewish experience of their year! As always, we are working extra hard to infuse all of our programming with Jewish content and values. (You can read more about this, and our Derech Schechter program, on our blog.) Here at CSS we are proud of the fact that our camp community (over 325 of us are currently here!) is bringing together Conservative Judaism and creating innovative identity-forming experiences for kids in our region.
Tonight we celebrate camp's first Shabbat of the summer, which is a time when we see the magic of camp happen in its purest form. Campers spend Saturday resting, playing, singing and dancing with their friends; then wrap up the day with Havdallah to say goodbye to Shabbat and welcome the coming week. And next week is going to be just as special as this past one!