Campers and staff got off the bus amazed by the sight that met their eyes. A brand new shul and dining room, pristine grounds, stunning scenery, and a vast lake so crisp it can make one thirsty. They were soon to learn though, that the fine accommodations were only the beginning. A magnificent program was awaiting them, with fun filled activities and exciting trips.
As soon as the campers got off the bus, they were greeted by their staff that made them feel comfortable immediately. They eagerly headed to the Shul, where they were welcomed by the Head Counselors and given some pointers on how to best enjoy their summer. After being split into bunks and finding out who their counselors were, the campers then proceeded to their beautiful new bunk houses to unpack and settle in for the summer of a lifetime. After Davening Mincha, eating a delicious supper, and Maariv, it was on to sleep, dreaming what would be in store for them tomorrow.
It was pleasantly surprising to see how fast it took to get into the camp spirit, as by lineup the next morning the children were full of chayus; the 12 Pesukim reverberating throughout camp. A powerful Shacharis followed, and after breakfast it was back into the shul for splitting of the Learning Classes. Sports and activities came before we knew it, with all campers enjoying themselves immensely.
The first Shabbos in camp was truly uplifting and inspiring. It began with Kabolas Shabbos, and a Licha Dodi that could melt a heart of stone. It continued with a Seudas Shabbos and a Farbrengen, with stories and camp songs that provided a true spirit of love for Yiddishkeit and pride in being a Chossid. Throughout the day, whether learning class Farbrengens or Mishnayos baal peh, every minute was filled with excitement and enrichment for the soul.
Tisha B’av followed, as the camp changed from their leather shoes, simultaneously switching to a mode of solemnness and introspection. Eicha was led by the Camp Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Goldstien, with everyone following and saying along. After Shacharis the next day, with Kinus (and Alei Tziyon) led by camp director Rabbi Itchy Grossbaum, the bunks split up to prepare for a Kamtza – Bar Kamtza skits, in which they competed who can best bring out that story in a skit.
On Tuesday the entire camp went on the first trip of the summer, to a waterpark and to sportsland!! The campers enjoyed a full day of swimming, waterslides, go-karting, batting cages, miniature golf, and arcades, topped off by a delicious BBQ! After returning to camp and maariv, the exhausted campers went to sleep, imagining what amazing endeavors could possibly be next.
“So far camp is great!” exclaimed Dovid Schapiro, camper in bunk Kuf Yud Gimmel. “We won Shabbos competition this past week, and I’m meeting a lot of new friends. We’re having lots of fun.”
“I’m doing a lot of Mishnayos Baal Peh,” added Dov Shpalter, “and the go karting was amazing! My Learning Teacher is nice, and the grounds are beautiful - especially the lake. I love going swimming.”
“This is my first year in camp and it’s the best place in the world!” said camper Mendel Heidingsfeld. “My counselor is the best.”
While camp got off to a great start, both staff and campers a looking forward to the next week in camp, as the fun has just begun.