It is so good and wonderful to be here! It has been such a joy to have spent the past almost two weeks with our campers. It’s hard to believe that we are over the halfway mark of first session, the days are flying by! We have been having so much fun as a community, our campers have been making new friends every day, trying out new activities and making memories to last a lifetime. Our counselors are constantly shining in their roles across camp. They are truly the key to all of the successes at camp and their efforts to ensuring that each camper has the most memorable summer have been astonishing. Each day as I walk through camp, I see counselors crying in laughter with their campers, sharing stories, singing songs and getting stuck into many activities. I know that our counselors are changing the lives of our campers for the better and I couldn’t be prouder of them.
Over the last two days, our campers have been participating in Maccabiah and boy has it been a blast! Our four teams; Red, Green, Blue, and Purple, competed for the coveted titles of Maccabiah champions. On Wednesday afternoon we participated in a relay race across the entire camp. It was a close call but eventually it was Team Purple who were victorious. We also participated in different sports events, cheer competitions, water sports, and even a silent lunch, all to win more points for their teams. After an incredible two days competing, it was Team Red who won! Mazal Tov (congratulations) to the winning team and Kol Ha’Kavod (well done) to all of our campers for their hard work and enthusiasm during Maccabiah.
In addition to Maccabiah, our campers have participated in many other exciting programs. Our Theater Chug performed a wonderful play of The Sword in the Stone with over 40 campers acting in the show. It was incredible to see the abundance of talent that was shown, and I am so proud of each and every one of the. Elsewhere in camp we had a Lip Sync Battle for our Nitzanim and Anafim campers, and our Shorashim campers participated in Science Night with lots of exciting different experiments such as making volcanic eruptions and even a Cooking Night where they got to show off their best cooking skills and present their dishes to a panel of judges. The ruach (spirit) in camp has been electric and there is so much more to come!
As we enter our final week of the session, we say ‘see you soon’ to our combo campers and are already counting down the days until we see them back on the Machaneh next year! We miss you already! On Sunday we will be welcoming almost 90 new rookie campers who will be joining us for the last week of the session. I am so excited to meet all of them and for everything that lies ahead in their journeys here at camp. The saying goes that at Jewish summer camp “you get to be the best version of yourself” and it could not be truer here at CSS. I see campers becoming more confident in themselves every day, trying out new things, learning new skills, learning more about their Jewish identities and so much more. We have so much more to come this summer and I can’t wait for everything that lies ahead.
It’s almost time for Shabbat so I have to go and get myself ready for Kabbalat Shabbat services!
Love from Lake Stampfer,