This week K’ton Ton just had too much fun! We started off with a visit from the Israeli Caravan. They danced and sang their hearts out and the campers loved dancing and singing with them. We made boomerangs and koala bears as we traveled to Australia. On Friday we made and ate Fairy Bread! Ask your children how to make it. I’m sure they’ll be able to share the recipe (white bread, butter and rainbow sprinkles).
We have become such great swimmers, with many K’tonies moving up to the next levels. It makes me so happy to see how their confidence has increased and their fears of the pool have diminished. Next week is the last week of camp. We look forward to participating in the Maccabi games. Wear your colors proudly!
Week 7 was very exciting at camp as we traveled around Australia. On Monday we got to watch the wonderful Israeli Caravan, everyone had lots of fun singing and dancing along. On Tuesday we went to Bounce U for our last trip, everyone had lots of fun jumping around. During the week we learned about Boomerangs and made our own, we also got to make koalas and Australian fairy bread. On Friday at Shabbat everyone got to meet Lenny Krayzelburg, who is a gold medal Olympic swimmer. We are very excited to start color wars this week. Everyone should wear their colors proudly, have lots of fun and show great sportsmanship.
G’day from Chalutz! During week 7, Chalutz “traveled” to the continent of Australia. Campers celebrated the value of kind words. Chalutz campers participated in many activities that encompassed the Aussie lifestyle. We created an American take on Fairy Bread, made paper boomerangs, had a beach dance party and enjoyed our annual Israeli Caravan Show.
Campers enjoyed the leagues award ceremony at the building. Campers and counselors dressed to impress in this year’s league colors (red, white, and blue). Jeff handed out many awards, medals, and trophies to campers; rewarding them for their hard work and sportsmanship over the summer. Congratulations to our 1st place teams D and H!
This year campers earned over 130 trophies, 30 certificates, 8 prestige trophies, 2 MVP, 3 Chalutz legacy hats and 1 Nex Gen “athlete of the summer”! Campers are already anticipating the reveal of next year’s leagues program! Thank you to Jeff for creating our amazing Chalutz Leagues program that has continued to be a staple in the Chalutz culture!
Wow, we can’t believe we just finished the 7th week of camp. During the 7th week, we had some great events. On Tuesday, Cara and some Maccabiah campers participated in an improv performance on fairytales that blew everyone away. It’s amazing to see the acting talents that many of our campers have. On Wednesday, the leagues championship was Steven’s team versus Matt’s team. Matt’s team was favored to win and was the first seed going into the championship game, however Steven’s team came out on top winning 25-18. Additionally on Wednesday, we had Macc’s Got Talent, where many of our campers sang, danced, played piano, and did stand-up comedy. They all did an incredible job. On Thursday, we had our big trip to Hershey Park. The campers really enjoyed the rollercoasters and of course chocolate world! Then we had our overnight, leaving campers extremely tired on Friday and ending the camp week with a pizza party. We can’t believe that week 8 is already here and we look forward to color was!
On Monday, Teen Travel attended our biggest and best trip of the whole year! We traveled to Connecticut to attend Club Getaway, our three-day, two-night adventure. Campers took in this unique camping experience by staying in cabins with all of their friends. There were tons of activities, including trampolines, jumping off trees (with harnesses), and many ziplines. On Monday, we attended a game show with wild and wacky challenges, and we competed against four other camps with our camp coming out on top! We had a dance party on Monday and Tuesday night, with campers showing off the latest fashion trends! Campers were also able to use the lake, which allowed for swimming, jumping on trampolines, and campers rode a raft that was pulled by a speedboat. We ended our experience with s’mores, and campers will look back on this trip and now have these memories for life! On Thursday, we attended the movies to see Hobbs and Shaw. The campers were then treated to Carvel ice cream, which was a big hit! On Friday, we celebrated Shabbat, and our guest speaker was Lenny Krayzelburg. He is a four-time Olympic Gold medalist in swimming for Team USA and shared some real inspirational thoughts with the campers. We ended our day with bowling, which was a fun time as usual. We cannot wait for Week 8 of camp, which has Broadway and Color Wars in line for us!
This was a great week in Marvin’s Junior camp. We started off the week dancing the day away with the Israeli Caravan. Campers enjoyed many camp activities and loved our trip to Launch Trampoline. On Friday, we celebrated the near end of camp with our annual dance show! All groups danced amazingly. We are so proud of everyone who performed.
Week 7 has come and gone and we had so much fun! On Monday we enjoyed our show, while on Tuesday we had a fun day at camp. Wednesday we had our last trip to iPlay America where we had a blast playing games and going on rides! Thursday was another great day at camp and Friday we had Shabbat where we saw Teo and Mighty Mensch! What a great week! We can’t wait for color wars week 8!
Monday MORE took a trip to Chocolate Works where we created custom chocolate molds. Tuesday we went rock climbing at Rock Em Extreme. Wednesday we hit up the arcade at Dave and Busters and set the high score on multiple games! Thursday we trekked to the Bronx Zoo and participated in a scavenger hunt while hanging out with all of the cool animals. We wrapped the week up at Glassroots where we created mosaic coasters out of glass. Overall it was an exciting week! We can't wait to wrap up the summer next week with some exciting trips!
Value of the Week: Kind Words
“Speech has power. Words do not fade. What starts out as a sound, ends in a deed.” –Abraham Joshua Herschel
Kind words have the potential to make a person’s day and lift people up. They can inspire and heal. At the JCC Camp we encourage our campers to use their words to talk when they are angry at another person instead of hitting and using their hands. Every week a camp “alumni” gives a presentation about their lives and the impact the camp has had on them so that the campers can learn and hear the way the JCC Camp has changed their lives. Sharing kind words costs nothing but can still mean everything to the person who hears it.
“What did you do in school today?” I asked six year old Daniella.
“We made warm fuzzies”
“Warm Fuzzies? What are warm fuzzies?”
“Well” she said slowly, trying to find words that even a grandfather could understand. “warm fuzzies are things that you say that make people feel good.” And then, reaching into her schoolbag, she added, “Here are some of the warm fuzzies I got.”
“You are my best friend”
“You are very pretty”
“You I like”
“I like the present you gave me”
Much later that evening I thought of the lesson Daniella’s teacher had taught her class. How much easier life would be for all of us if we concentrated on handing out warm fuzzies to the people whose lives intersects our own in the course of any day. Mark Twain once said that he could live on a good compliment for two months. How long has it been since we gave a warm fuzzy to our children, our mates, the people who serve us, our brothers and sisters?
Our 6th week started with the Wild & Wacky Show. Many of our campers got pied in the face and absolutely loved it!
We went on a trip to Antarctica. Tuesday was our Semi Formal. It was amazing and the kids and counselors danced the afternoon away. Then they relaxed and enjoyed some refreshing lemon ices.
We made puffy penguins. They were so cute.
We ended our week with a Day of Caring & Sharing. Everyone brought in pajamas to donate to kids in need. We showed respect by making cards for the first responders. We made friendship bracelets, bird feeders to show that we care for animals, and kindness rocks. We United the World by tasting different foods from different places.
We danced again at our pajama party to end our most amazing 6th week ever.
Shalom had a wonderful time traveling around Antarctica this week. On Monday we got to watch the Wild and Wacky Challenge, lots of our friends got very messy and everyone had a good laugh. Tuesday was super exciting! We went to Launch Trampoline Park and everyone had a blast jumping on different trampolines. In the evening we had our camper semi-formal, everyone got all dressed up and had lots of fun. On Wednesday, we had some rain at camp, but it did not bother us because we went to see Toy Story 4. On Thursday we had lots of fun making penguins. Friday was our day of caring and sharing and we had an awesome pajama party. We collected pajamas to donate to the Pajama Project; we made button snowflakes, pancakes and Challah. It's hard to believe that we only have two more weeks of camp; this week we are excited to travel around Australia!
The girls from Stella, Amina, Jessica, Madison, Sydney and Hanna from Shalom 10 made me a very cool Lego house to live in. They made me the beach, a fountain and an arch.
Greetings from Chalutz! During week 6, Chalutz “traveled” to the continent of Antarctica. Campers celebrated the value of repairing the world. Chalutz campers participated in many activities that encompassed the wildlife and beauty of this continent.
As our 6th week of Maccabiah ends, we reflected on a few of our favorite events of the week. On Tuesday, we made ice cream sundaes for Club Macc because our continent of the week was Antarctica where there is a lot of ice. On Tuesday night, we had our annual camper formal, which was a big success. On Wednesday, we went to Splish Splash, and while everyone else experienced bad weather in Staten Island, the weather luckily held out and we had a beautiful day! The campers really enjoyed the lazy river and the numerous water slides. Lines were short and the park wasn’t busy, therefore making it the perfect trip. On Thursday, Bricks 4 Kids, fencing, and painting with a twist came to us for Club Macc. For painting with a twist, the campers did a beautiful landscape painting, everyone loved it and agreed it was easier to paint than they thought it would be. On Friday, we participated in Day of Caring and Sharing where numerous campers gave generous donations. We cannot believe that week 7 is here! We are looking forward to Hershey Park and our overnight!
On Monday, we traveled to our neighboring borough of Brooklyn to attend Luna Park. Many campers took on The Cyclone, one of the oldest rollercoasters in the world. We played games throughout the day and had a great time on the Boardwalk. On Tuesday, we went to NYC and went to Madame Tussaud’s, the wax museum. Campers were delighted to take pictures with the celebrity figures. We saw many different presidents, Kim Kardashian, Derek Jeter, David Wright, Taylor Swift and many more. On Wednesday we attended Splish-Splash Waterpark. Campers went on many different slides, including the brand new drop slide. Many campers loved the lazy river as well! On Thursday we went to a trampoline park called Launch Trampoline. Campers were bouncing around all day. There was Extreme Dodgeball, an American Ninja Warrior Course, and basketball hoops to dunk on. On Friday, we ended the week with Shabbat. We sang, danced and had a lot of fun. We played a game of Deal or No Deal which had the crowd going. We ended the week with some rollerblading at RollerJam. We cannot wait to see what Week 7 has in store!
This week at Marvin’s Junior Camp we enjoyed many fun adventures. We started off the week with the Wild n Wacky show. Campers loved this show! They got to pie their counselors and compete in various competitions. On Thursday we went to Sesame Place! Campers enjoyed this long, adventurous day. They went on water slides and other theme park rides! We finished the week with our traditional Day of Caring and Sharing. Our service project included a Walk a Thon with benefits going to Autism Speaks! It was a wonderful end of the week celebrating our values!
Week 6 was so much fun! On Monday we had a good time at the show. On Tuesday we danced the night away at our semi-formal where we enjoyed ice cream sundaes. Wednesday was great because we got to watch the New York Mets beat the Florida Marlins at Citifield! That game was amazin! On Thursday we had ourselves a nice relaxing day at camp, followed by Shabbat and visiting our value booths on Friday! What a great week it was!
Week 6 was a blast for MORE! We started off by going to Gagasphere on Monday, where we played different versions of Gaga. We also learned about the physics of roller coasters, and how they work. We even got to build our own roller coasters! Tuesday we went to the National Geographic Ocean Odyssey in Time Square. We got to swim with underwater creatures, fight off a giant squid, and navigate through an underwater kelp forest! Wednesday we went to the Mets game to watch the Mets battle for a wildcard spot against the Miami Marlins. There were 3 home runs hit into our section! Thursday we battled one another at Fireball Mountain in a friendly game of laser tag! Friday we wrapped the week up by having Brickz for Kidz come to our campgrounds and build some cool cyclones with us. We're looking forward to Week 7!
Value of the Week – Repairing the World
The most powerful statement of human value is not made by giving money or transferring goods from one person to another. The fundamental ongoing communication of human value takes place when one person spends a piece of his or her life – some unique and irreplaceable amount of time – in relation to and in service to the other. Yitz Greenberg
Healing the world, known in Hebrew known as Tikkun Olam, is a supreme value in the Jewish tradition. It is based on the idea that we are partners with God in making our world a better place. The world is not perfect. Some things are broken. Some things are not finished. People are hungry. People are homeless. It is our job to finish the work and someday make our world perfect.
Walking through the campsite on Friday one could sense a spirit of kindness and generosity among the campers. It was our annual Day of Caring and Sharing at which our children took time to help others in need and make our not yet perfect world a better place.
Campers brought in pajamas and food items for those in need. They prepared food packages for hungry Staten Islanders, and participated in a walk-a-thon and roller skating-a-thon for worthy causes. They also participated in a “values day” program at which they celebrated the values they learned at camp this summer.
This day was all about making the world a better place and imparting to our children the belief that we all can and should play our part in making a difference in the world.
Wow! What a week! This week we took a trip to Asia. We started by making Chinese lanterns. Then we enjoyed making and eating candy sushi. Our week ended with Israel Day. We went to Shuk and tasted delicious Israeli chocolate. We made mud, planted seeds, we made a wish on the Western Wall, we went fishing, made a Kabbalah bracelet, we had tea, and did juice tasting. We also ate Falafel and went to Boot Camp! What a day! What a week!
We had so much fun traveling around Asia this week. We got nice and sticky making candy sushi and got to practice using our chopsticks. It was a beautiful day at Keansburg, everyone had a blast running through the waterpark. We also got to try out our new challah baking oven this week. Lots of campers got to roll and braid dough to make their own challah. Israeli Day was themed around birthright; we learned so much. We also participated in boot camp, tried falafel and made chocolate balls. We are about to travel into Antarctica, we are looking forward to some chilly temperatures and our Day of Caring and Sharing. Please remember to wear your pajamas on Friday and bring a pair to donate.
Konnichiwa from Chalutz! During week five Chalutz traveled through “Asia”, learning the value of respect and customs from countries such as China, Japan, and India. Chalutz campers participated in many cultural activities. They learned about Chinese, Japanese, and Indian art. They painted Chinese characters, decorated paper fans, made Koi fish art, mandala sun catchers and made candy sushi.
Chalutz had fun in the sun on our trip to Luna Park in Coney Island! The campers enjoyed new rides, sweet treats and arcade games.
Our campers and counselors practiced the value of “respect” throughout the week. This weeks’ Mensch of the Week go to three campers that exhibited this value.
Hard to believe we just finished our 5th week in camp! This week in camp was a lot of fun. A special highlight was when Painting with aTwist came to camp for Club Macc and helped us paint toucans! With a very difficult painting at hand, we all did an incredible job. We are looking forward to them visiting us again very soon! Additionally, we went to Dorney Park. Although the weather did not cooperate with us, we were still able to get on quite a few rides and learned how to have fun in the rain! On Thursday, we tie dyed shirts, which came out very nice! On Friday, we were lucky to be a part of Israeli Day, where we participated in a lot of activities that represented the Israel culture. A favorite of the campers were dancing the Horah and eating falafels. We are really looking forward to what week 6 brings!
This past week, Teen Travel attended Mountain Creek on Monday. We took on the wave pool, followed by the craziest ride, Colorado River Rapids. Many campers also tried the new drop slide, where we were standing in the tube and then the floor released beneath us! On Tuesday, we went to Diamond Gymnastics. We went to their brand new facility to rock climb and do gymnastics. Many of us were doing flips, jumping into the foam pits, and completing somersaults! On Wednesday, we went to Dorney Park. Many of us went through the waterpark, then the amusement park. Many campers took on Steel Force, which has the biggest drop in the park and Hydra, which has the world's fastest corkscrew for a rollercoaster. On Thursday, we went to Manhattan for the first time all summer and went to the world's most famous arena, Madison Square Garden. Campers were shown where the media sits, where suites are located, and even were able to go on the actual floor where all the action happens. We were also taken to the New York Knicks and New York Rangers locker rooms, which were amazing! On Friday, we celebrated Israel Day. We walked around to different booths to simulate an Israeli experience. We even were able to eat lots of falafel, which is a popular food item in Israel. We then went on to see Lion King! We came back to Shabbat and had a special guest singer from the M.O.R.E. division of our camp, which was spectacular, and finally ended our day with challah, grape juice, and ice cream!
It was an amazing week at camp for our Marvin’s Juniors Campers. On Monday, campers enjoyed the ventriloquist show. We also made candy sushi and enjoyed many of our specialist activities. On Thursday, we went on a trip to Medieval Times. It was an unforgettable day as we enjoyed a medieval feast and watched a live action show. On Friday, we enjoyed our Israeli Day special events. Campers participated in an Israeli boot camp and took a tour of Israel!
Week 5 was so much fun! We started the week with our Monday show which was a great Ventriloquist! On Tuesday we had a lot of fun making candy sushi with our friends in our shelter. Fruit roll-ups wrapped around Rice Krispie treats and sour straws, so yummy! On Wednesday some of our groups had the opportunity to make Challah bread and bake it in our brand new oven! The campers said it was a lot of fun and they enjoyed eating their creations. On Wednesday we also endured in a chopstick challenge where the campers competed to see who could put the most mini marshmallow's on their plate only using chopsticks! They had a blast. On Thursday we had an incredible time at Medieval Times where our Blue Knight won! We ended the week on Friday with Shabbat, boot camp run by our ropes specialist, we made Falafel in our shelters, and we went around to different booths all for Israeli Day! Week 5 was so much fun and we can't wait for what week 6 will bring us!
Week 5 for MORE was an exciting week! Monday we hiked up the trails of Mountain Creek Water Park and went down all of the water slides. Tuesday we jumped and flipped on the trampolines at Diamond Gymnastics, and practiced our rock climbing skills. Wednesday we cheered at the top of our lungs as the Yankees defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks. Let's go Yankees! Thursday we drove to the Palisades Mall and participated in the rock climbing expedition inside the mall. Finally, on Friday we relaxed at the movies and watched Lion King. To wrap the week up, we were lucky enough to have one of our campers Robert Lombardi perform for us at Shabbat by singing, and playing his keyboard. Thanks Robert!
Specialist Spotlight - Cooking
Value of the Week: Respect
Judaism teaches us to treat others with respect. Respect is an attitude of regard for the rights, dignity, feelings, wishes and abilities of others. Similarly, the Torah (Bible) teaches us that we are all created in the image of God. This simple and profound idea should guide our interactions with all people. If we see each person as created in the image of God, then his or her humanity and dignity is paramount.
At the JCC Camp, we strive to create an environment where each person’s well-being is of supreme importance. We treat our peers with respect, teach campers to respect staff, train staff to respect campers and remind everyone to respect our campgrounds and environment We also respect campers and staff who demonstrate this quality by honoring them with the “Mensch of the Week” award.
A STORY FROM THE JEWISH TRADITION
A pious, well-known but poorly dressed rabbi took a lengthy train ride to a town far away. He was subject to insult and verbal abuse from a base fellow in his train car. When the train finally came to a halt, the rabbi came off the platform to thousands of excited disciples who waited for his arrival.
The fellow in his car looked mortified as he stood beside the rabbi. “I’m so ashamed. I had no idea who you were. Please accept my apologies.” The rabbi turned to him and said, “Don’t apologize to me. Apologize to everyone else. When you insulted me, you did so because I was everyone else.”
Week 4 took us to Africa! We began our safari by making jungle masks! Some of us were lions, elephants and others were monkeys. On Wednesday, we made lion pancakes! They were delicious!
All week we practiced our dances (thank you Kristi) and couldn’t wait for Parent Visiting Day. Finally, the day arrived. It was so nice to see the smiles on parents faces as they had the chance to visit so many of our camp specialists. They went to yoga, drama, cooking, Jiu Jitsu, science and got to see Brian and his awesome animals.
We hope everyone enjoyed camp and finally understand why your kids come home tired and dirty!
We’re looking forward to this week’s adventure as we head out to explore Asia.
Shalom had so much fun this week traveling around Africa. We watched the Extreme Magic of Eric, he was so talented and everyone was so impressed. We made African collar necklaces and spent lots of time practicing for our show. Shalom had a blast at the Crayola Factory. We made our own crayons, colored scribble scrubbie pets, did spin art, melted crayons into rings and made pictures with wax from melted crayons. We really enjoyed having our family and friends here to visit us at camp. All of our campers did great in our camp show. It's hard to believe that we are already half way through the summer! We are very excited to travel around Asia next week!
As we wrap up on our fourth week of camp, Jeff and I would like to reflect on some of the standout moments! During week four Chalutz traveled through “Africa”, learning fun facts as well as historical information about African countries and cultures. Chalutz campers also participated in collaborative art projects such as “Wacky Animals” and “Tribal Masks”! The campers and counselors enjoyed their trips to the movies and to FunPlex!
Chalutz practiced the value of “Caring of Nature” throughout the week by creating bird feeders with the Nature Specialist, learning about mammals in
This week was another fun week in Maccabiah. As our cooking project next week, we made Marshmallows on the Braai, an African treat. This treat was made by dipping marshmallows into a melted chocolate and decorated them with sprinkles. We also attended a Mets game, resulting in a 4-0 win against the San Diego Padres. We would like to think we were the Mets good luck charm. On Friday, we were happy to have parents join us for family visiting day so they could see the fun activities we participate in. We thank you for your continued support! We are looking forward to Dorney Park and Painting with a Twist for week 5!
This week, we went on our first overnight trip. We began our day by heading to Hershey Park. The weather held up as many campers took on some of the biggest and fastest roller coasters in the world. Campers then went to Chocolate World, to satisfy all of their chocolate needs and more. The night ended in our hotel, where the campers had fun hanging out with their friends. On Tuesday, the campers had breakfast, went for a morning swim, and camp back home to some delicious pizza! On Wednesday, we attended Dave and Buster’s, in the Staten Island Mall, where campers were treated to a great buffet, and then given game cards to take in to the arcade and accumulate tickets. Campers were then allowed to walk around the mall and shop. On Thursday, we attended a New York Mets game at Citi Field. It was awesome when our camp was shown on the Jumbotron, and the atmosphere was electric! The Mets won the game 4-0, and it was a lot of fun! Friday we attended Shabbat, played Minute to Win It, and had a blast. We ended this really fun week with bowling and some Marino Ices. We cannot wait to see what Week 5 has in store!
It was an amazing week at camp for our Marvin’s Juniors Campers. New and returning campers enjoyed many fun, exciting activities such as drama, science, arts/crafts and Jiu Jitsu. Campers enjoyed two trips this week to the Crayola Factory and Splashplex Water Park. At the Crayola Factory, campers were able to create their own crayons and work on many hands-on activities! It was a great time! At Splashplex Water Park we enjoyed water slides, swimming pools and much more! We ended our week with our amazing Shabbat celebration which truly shows our camp spirit and values!
Week 4 started off with a great magic show! We had so much fun watching! Our rainy day on Tuesday didn’t stop us from having so much fun at the movie theater watching The Lion King! On Wednesday we had a blast at Clementon Splash World and Park! So many fun rides and games. We made and decorated pancakes on Thursday, and Friday we loved having our parents visit camp!
Melissa Soto was one of our Mensch’s for week 4 because she came into camp on her second or third day with lovely notes for her counselors and her directors! She is so sweet and caring and we love having her at camp!
Week 4 for MORE was so much fun! On Monday we teed off at Monster Mini Golf, and enjoyed the arcade afterwards. Tuesday we avoided the rain indoors and drove Go Karts and played Laser Tag at iPlay America. Wednesday we hit some roller coasters and slid down water slides at Dorney Park. The fourth trip of the week took us to Brooklyn where we toured the Prospect Park Zoo and enjoyed the beautiful weather. We wrapped up our week on Friday at Launch Trampoline Park where we bounced around, and climbed through obstacle courses!
What does Sensei Lou see in Ju Jutsu that has made him dedicate his life to it? One aspect of the art form that he appreciates is the benefit to one’s physical, mental, and emotional health. Practicing Ju Jutsu is a great outlet for exercise. The sport relies on a good physique and endurance, which one gets from being active. In Lou’s teachings, he not only explains how to perform the moves of Ju Jutsu, but he also explains why they work and the theory behind the art. In this way, Lou blends the science behind the art form with the art itself. Emotionally, Ju Jutsu offers a great outlet to relieve all feelings of stress in a safe and enriching way. One can learn how to defend themselves and experience all of their emotions, all while having a great time.
Ju Jutsu relies heavily on the Samurai’s Code of Bushido. In this code lie the values that are center to the art form. These values include Gi (making the right decision based on truth), Gu (bravery and courage), Jin (compassion), Melgo (glory without ego), Mokoto (Sincerity from the heart), and Chugo (Loyalty and devotion). Students of Ju jutsu learn these values which aid their training, as well as their regular lives. While one assumes that a samurai is brave and compassionate, Lou wants students to integrate these values into their own lives. He wants his students to be respectful of others, dedicated to their family, and true to themselves. When a student does all of these things, they are on the way to becoming a great Ju Jutsu artist, as well as a great person.
Many campers had positive things to say about their experiences learning Ju Jutsu. Matthew Rosen (Marvin’s) exclaimed “I LOVE IT!” Specifically he loved the opportunity to learn the skills that Sensei Lou teaches such as sparring and kicking. Camp veterans Matthew Benet, Mikey Kloke, and Michael Torres (Maccabiah) all affirmed what an effective teacher Lou is. They also made remarks about how exciting this new addition to camp is. Finally, Chalutz campers Jacob Razefsky enjoys learning how to perform special and unique moves each week, while Frankie Occhiogrosso enjoys learning how to defend himself if he ever needed to. The overall outlook seems clear, campers are excited about this new camp activity.
When God created the first person, God showed Adam the trees in the Garden of Eden, and said to Adam: “See My works, how fine they are; Now all that I have created, I created for your benefit. Think upon this and do not corrupt and destroy My world, For if you destroy it, there is no one to restore it after you.”
From the Jewish tradition
We are so fortunate to be located on the magnificent Henry Kaufmann Campgrounds with its majestic trees, beautiful pond and inviting hiking trails. Friends from the animal kingdom –deer, chipmunks, squirrels, rabbits, frogs, turtles - greet our campers every day in their natural habitat. Undoubtedly, the beautiful setting cultivates a sense of awe for, and an appreciation of, nature in our children. Under the direction of our nature specialist, the children have made bird feeders, explored our aquatic habitat, and learned about the metamorphosis of butterflies. In the process, the children are learning to protect the environment and internalize the message to not litter and pollute so that future generations will have the opportunity to enjoy the same trees, ponds, and hiking trails that they do.
A Story from the Jewish tradition about Nature
A long time ago, there lived in Israel a man named Honi the Circle Maker. He was a very wise man.
One spring day, Honi went for a walk. “What a lovely sunny day it is today,” he thought to himself. He noticed that there were people in the fields planting vegetables and fruit trees. As he passed by a little house, he saw an old man planting a tree.
“Why would such an old man be planting a tree?” he wondered. “It takes a very long time for fruit trees to grow, and planting is hard work. He might not even be around when the tree is big enough to give fruit.”
Then Honi said aloud, “Excuse me sir, but what kind of tree are you planting?” “This sapling is a carob tree,” said the man. “I love to eat carob. In about seventy years, this tree will produce carobs good enough for eating.”
“Do you think that you will live seventy more years and be able to eat the carob fruit,” asked Honi. The man looked surprised. “Oh no! But I remember seeing carob trees growing when I was a little boy. I ate some of those carobs and they were so delicious! Those carob trees were planted by those who wanted to leave a gift for younger people. I am planting this tree as a gift for the people who will be living seventy years from now. Then they can enjoy eating carob, too.
Just as my parents and grandparents planted trees for me, so I plant trees for my children and grandchildren.”
So week 3 brings us to South America! We made rain sticks and visited the rainforest. The Yo-Yo show was awesome.
I’m so glad that everyone packed their smiles on Wednesday for K’ton Ton picture day! We definitely have the cutest campers! Thank you to all that contributed to donate a dollar for a dog for caring for animals week. We are sending $75 to Memorial Sloan Kettering Caring Canines.
Friday was the Camp Carnival. The cotton candy and snow cones were yummy! The bouncy houses were so much fun and the water slide was cool!
Looking forward to week 4.
We had a great time traveling around South America. We painted the rain forest, made rain sticks and enjoyed the camp carnival. At the Turtleback Zoo we had so much fun learning about different animals. We also got to watch a very impressive Yo-yo Show, he was so talented! At Shabbat we met some camp alumni and had so much fun singing with Tao the moose. We are super excited for this week’s journey to Africa.
As week 3 came to a close, Chalutz had many memorable moments. This week we attended the Yo-Yo Show, where many of the Chalutz campers tried new tricks! Campers posed for group and sibling photos as well as our South America Photo Booth. They learned about South American culture and climate. The campers learned the significance of rain sticks and created their own colorful creations. We also studied animals found in this continent and created lama purses and foam reptiles. Some highlights of this week for many of the campers were the trip to Launch Trampoline Park, the Chalutz Pinata Party and the Camp Carnival! We are excited to keep the fun going into Africa week 4!
We had a great time in Maccabiah this week! As our cooking project of the week, we made no bake dulce de leche cheesecake. Dulce de leche tastes like caramel and is a common dessert that is made in Brazil which matched our continent of the week, South America. With a delicious Oreo bottom, whipped cream, dulce de leche, and fruit, this treat was a favorite for everyone. Between participating in regular camp activities, swimming, and our trip to Camel Beach, we had a great week! Many campers mentioned that their favorite parts of Camel Beach were the lazy river and the numerous water slides. We are looking forward to a fun time in week 4!
This week, Teen Travel started out at Seaside Heights and attended the waterpark. Campers had a blast being able to walk the boardwalk, eat, shop, and play games. On Tuesday, we attended Fireball Mountain, one of the campers' favorite trips of the year. We played laser tag while attempting to capture the other team's flags and attempted to make our opponent's surrender, a definite thrill. On Wednesday we attended Camel Beach, and want on all different slides and we went into the wave pool. Thursday was our picture day, followed by The Funplex. We played laser tag against our staff members, rode go-karts, and played arcade games. Finally, on Friday, we attended the camp carnival and had some delicious cotton candy and sno-cones. We then went rollerblading with Maccabiah and had fun! We ended the day with Shabbat and ice cream, another great week. We can't wait for Week 4!!
It was a great second week for our Marvin’s Juniors campers. We enjoyed many fun, new and interesting activities. The yo-yo show was a highlight of the week! The campers really enjoyed the show and even expressed that they can not wait to see his new tricks next summer. Campers also enjoyed activities like drama, archery and ropes. Although our trip was postponed this week it did not stop us from having fun at the movies watching toy story 4! We are all looking forward to what fun and excitement next week will bring!
Our second week together was so much fun! We started the week off with our Monday show. Wednesday we visited our favorite zoo.. Turtleback! There we saw giraffes, penguins, bison and more! We ended our week having a blast at our camp carnival! Snow cones, Citroen candy, water slides and lots of fun games!
The second week of the summer for MORE was an exciting one. Monday we took a trip to Keansburg Waterpark. Campers had a chance to slip down some water slides, and relax on the lazy river. They also walked around the amusement park, and enjoyed some of the carnival rides! Tuesday we took a trip down the road and Painted with a Twist! We painted a beautiful silhouette of a tree against the back drop of a sunset. Wednesday we sat in the amazing Imax theater at the Liberty Science Center, and learned about black holes. We also toured a cool exhibit about bacteria, and learned some interesting facts about microscopic organisms. Thursday we ran around Funplex, and competed in some intense games of laser tag, and Go Kart races. Friday we wrapped the week up down the shore. We took a trip to Asbury Park to the Silverball Museum where we learned about classic arcade and pinball games, and had a chance to play each and every one. Overall, this week was a blast! We can't wait for next week coming up!
“You must not eat your own meal until you have seen to it that all your animals have been fed.” Jewish Teaching
Caring for Animals
Kindness to others can be cultivated by exposing children to animals as it can bring out the nurturing side of a child. Such interactions provide an important opportunity for children to become more sensitive to the feelings of other creatures and can lead to a greater sensitivity and kindness for people.
One of the most popular activities at our camp is the weekly shows led by animal enthusiast Brian Wild. Week after week Brian brings a wide variety of animals to the campground, and, in a fun way, educates the campers about the animal kingdom. Brian’s shows sensitize our campers to animals and cultivates a sense of compassion for their well-being. Brian’s important message is that all living creatures are to be valued and respected and that we are responsible for their health and protection.
A Story from the Jewish tradition about caring for animals
When Moses was a young man, he spent his days as a shepherd taking care of his father-in- law’s flocks in the land in Midian.
One summer afternoon while Moses was taking the herd through a sweet green pasture, he counted the sheep and found one missing.
“This cannot be,” said Moses to himself. “Maybe I made a mistake when I counted the sheep.” So he counted the sheep again, but there was still one sheep missing. No matter how many times he counted, the total was always the same. One of the animals was really gone!
Moses looked up and saw the smallest lamb in the flock disappearing over a hill at the edge of the field.
Moses quickly decided to go after the little lamb. He threw down his staff and ran after the lamb, leaving his dog to watch the grazing herd.
For almost an hour, he chased the little lamb. He went through the tall, soft grass, through the thick woods, and across the slippery marshes. But the lamb was still nowhere in sight.
“Why did the lamb run away?” Moses wondered. “Did something frighten it?”
Finally, Moses spotted the little lamb. It had stopped on the banks of the stream and was busily drinking the water. It drank like it hadn’t had anything to drink in weeks.
“Now I see why you ran away,” said Moses. “Finish drinking all the water you want.”
Moses waited very patiently for the lamb to finish drinking. The sun had already begun to set by the time the little lamb finally finished drinking.
Moses quietly and gently picked up the little lamb and held it in his arms. He spoke softly and sang to the lamb so it wouldn’t be scared. Then he took the lamb back to the pasture and gently placed it near its mother’s side.
Just then, Moses heard God’s voice. “Moses, because you brought the lamb back from the water with such kindness and understanding, you have demonstrated to me that you are worthy of becoming a great leader of people.”
WEEK IN REVIEW
MORE kicked off it's inaugural week with a lot of exciting trips! The first day of camp we got to know each other before heading out to the movies where campers either watched Spiderman or Toy Story 4! The next day we went to Medieval Times and got to witness thrilling contests between knights, and an epic sword fight between our hometown hero Red Knight and the Green Knight. Thankfully, our hometown red knight came out of the sword fight victorious! We even had one of our campers knighted as the "Queen of Medieval Times", which was followed by a magnificent ceremony. Wednesday we took our campers to Six Flags Amusement Park, where we rode countless rollercoasters, runaway trains, and even took a trip through the African Jungles and Deserts on a safari! Thursday we took a trip to Top Golf, where we took to the driving range, and got our swings on! Friday we wrapped up the week at Luna Park on Coney Island. We got to ride the historic Cyclone rollercoaster, among other rides. Overall the first week of MORE was a success, and to say it was fun would be an understatement! We look forward to this week coming up!
Week 2 started off with our trip to Europe! Monday we spent time watching Jester Jim do some amazing Juggling and Balancing acts. We participated in Running With the Bulls (relay races) on Tuesday. On Wednesday we went to Italy and ate delicious pizza roll ups. On Thursday we made and decorated Belgium waffles. Friday we painted the Eiffel Tower. Throughout the children continued to make friends and develop relationships with their counselors. We are looking forward to week 3!
Shalom had a great week traveling around Europe. We met lots of new friends as many kids started camp this week. We made pizzas and Belgium waffles, they were so delicious. We learned about pointillism and George Seurat when we traveled to France. We even got to paint the Eiffel Tower. We had a fantastic time on our first trip of the summer. Everyone had a blast trying new thing at Diamond Gymnastics. We rock climbed, jumped on trampolines and swung from ropes. We can't forget how much fun we had watching Jester Jim perform his awesome show. He was so entertaining as he juggled, joked, and balanced on all kinds of objects. We also laughed really hard we watched our counselors "volunteer" to be in his show. We are so excited for next week when we will journey to South America.
As our second week ends, I’d like to look back on some of the fun from this week. During week 2 chalutz traveled across the Atlantic Ocean to Europe. Learning fun facts as well as making our very own French Crepes. Chalutz campers also participants painted using pointillism; just like George Seurat. Chalutz campers also displayed the value of the week - many preserved through our Leagues Games and the Tour de France relay races. Campers did not give up when they were against the odds and helped cheer on their teams to victory!
Week 2 Leagues Update:
Second week of Maccabiah was a thrill. This was many camper's first week of camp in 2019, and the counselors welcomed them with open arms. Our trip to Six Flags Great Adventure brought great joy to our division as campers experienced the different rides this park had to offer. Some campers even faced their fears and went on rides they said they were initially scared of. Our counselors made sure all campers were enjoying themselves at camp; Campers mentioned that they really enjoyed the Belgium waffles they made for this week's cooking activity. Other activities that campers enjoyed this week were yoga, swimming, the movie trip to see Spiderman, and many more! After seeing how excited the campers were this week, we can't wait for what week three!
This week, Teen Travel started at Palisades Mall Ropes Course Adventure. We had campers ziplining and conquering tough obstacles moving through one of the world's largest indoor ropes courses. On Tuesday we traveled to Metlife Stadium. The home of the Jets and Giants was definitely one of the highlights of the week. Campers were able to kick field goals, win trivia prizes, and play on the actual field. The campers had a blast being on a field that famous players perform on and were able to see the 82,5000 seats in the stands right around the field. Six Flags Great Adventure was on Wednesday, where campers were able to conquer fears and ride on some of the fastest and tallest rollercoasters in the world. Lines were surprisingly short allowing for an even more fun day, with many campers ending their day with a nice meal at Johnny Rockets. On Thursday, the campers begin the morning by going to different activities that included seeing different animals, cooking, archery, as well as arts and crafts. We then went to Painting with a Twist, where we painted a beautiful New York City skyline with buildings and the ocean. Although many of us were beginners, it was an extremely fun time. On Friday, we went to Shabbat, with a special guest speaker named Justin Birnbaum who was a sportscaster and he was really interesting to hear about. We then went to see Spiderman which was an awesome movie. We cannot wait for Week 3!
Our first week was an adventure! We met new friends and new counselors. We learned a lot about sea animals at the aquarium! We also had a lot of fun traveling to Italy to make our own pizzas and also to Belgium where we decorated our own waffles! We celebrated our mensch’s of the week with Rachel and James! We can’t wait for next week!
It was an amazing first week at camp for our Marvin’s Juniors Campers. New and returning campers enjoyed many fun, exciting activities such as drama, science, arts/crafts and Jiu Jitsu. Campers also had fun making pizza and Belgian waffles to celebrate our week 1 journey throughout Europe! Our first trip this week was to the Turtleback Zoo. Campers loved seeing all of the animals! They especially enjoyed the giraffe, monkey, and lion exhibits! They even took a tour throughout the zoo on the train! We ended our week with our amazing Shabbat celebration which truly shows our camp spirit and values!
Value of the Week: Perseverance
"A river cuts through rock, not because of its power, but because of its perseverance."
Perseverance is the ability to go on despite challenges and difficulties an individual may face. At our camp, there is nothing more inspiring than watching a camper overcome an obstacle or fear and achieve something they never thought possible. Whether it is mastering a new swimming skill, hitting the target in archery for the first time, or overcoming one's fears and acting out a scene in drama in front of one's peers, our JCC camp is a place where children are encouraged to persevere and persist in their efforts to attain a goal. At our camp, we strive to create the attitude amongst our children that with hard work, determination, and the support of counselors and friends, great things are possible. As someone once said: Perseverance is not something we need after we become good. Perseverance is what makes us good.
A story about perseverance:
An older shepherd was tending flock in the hills of Judah. He became thirsty and went to his favorite brook in the hills to take a drink. As he was drawing the crystal clear water in his palm and putting it to his mouth, something caught his eye. He saw drops of water falling on a huge stone – drip, drop – and directly where the drops were falling there was a deep hole in the stone. The shepherd was fascinated. He gazed at the drops and at the stone.
“What mighty power there is in a drop of water,” thought the shepherd. “Could my stony heart ever be softened up that way?”
“Hello, Akiva! What are you gazing at?” It was Rachel, his boss's daughter. She was wise and kind and fair.
“Look what the little drops of water did to the rock,” Akiva exclaimed. “Do you think there is hope for me? Suppose I began to study, little by little, drop by drop. Do you think my stony heart would soften up?”
“O yes! Akiva. If you persevere, if you keep it up as these drops of water.”
But I am forty years old! Is it not too late to start?”
“O no, Akiva. It is never too late. If you promise to learn, I know you will not be ignorant for long.”
The shepherd gazed at the drops of water for a long time, and then his mind was made up.
And this is how Akiva the shepherd became the great Rabbi Akiva, the greatest and wisest scholar and teacher of his day, who had 24 thousand pupils!
He often told them that it was a drop of water that changed his life.
WEEK IN REVIEW from our unit directors
The first week of K’ton Ton was so exciting!! So many campers, so cute! Some arrived for the first time, a bit hesitant but willing to give camp a try, and it turned out to be a great decision. Others returned and were so happy to see their friends from last summer! We went swimming, cooked, danced, sang songs, did arts & crafts, played volleyball, went boating and celebrated America’s birthday. Overall our first week of K’ton ton was terrific!
We had a great first week in Shalom. We made new friends and reconnected with old ones. We met some wonderful counselors that are going to help us all summer and encourage us to try new things. We got to make worry dolls, celebrate the 4th of July with a picnic and do some Mexican bark painting. We had many new experiences and are very excited for all the fun things to come. - Megan Adinolfi
“A Week in the Life of a Chalutz Camper: Volume 1”
As we wrap up on our first week of camp, I’d like to reflect on some of the highlights of this week! During week one Chalutz traveled through “North America”, learning fun facts as well as historical information about the United States and Canada. Chalutz campers also participated in many collaborative art projects (which are hanging beautifully in our shelter), showed sportsmanship during leagues, and cheered their friends on during lawn games at our 4th of July Celebration on Squeaky Field! The campers and counselors showed their patriotism as well as practiced the value of “Friendship” throughout the week. Campers and counselors alike reconnected with old friends while also making their new friends feel welcome! Jeff and I are excited to continue this journey with all of our campers and staff, but we felt that it was necessary to Menschen a few that truly encompassed the spirit of friendship this week! Senior Counselors Sam Suhr and Nick Veneziano, whom have been inseparable since they met at camp two years are just that!
Week 1 Leagues Postings:
First week in Maccabiah was full of creating friendships between campers and counselors. Although there was no Wednesday trip this week, everyone in the division had fun engaging in several activities with their groups on the campgrounds. Many campers said that their favorite things about the week included swimming, archery, cooking our apple pie parfaits, making friendship bracelets, basketball, bowling, and our shabbat celebration. You would never believe that it was some of the campers first time ever at camp, as we all already feel like we are one big happy family and it is only the first week! Speaking on behalf of the whole division, I know we are all excited to be welcoming even more campers into our family for week 2!
Teen Travel had a very fun first week. We began on Monday by rock climbing and challenging each other to climb difficult rock walls. Many were successful in conquering the 12-foot warped wall, a difficult task. Pizza made the day even better completing an overall fun trip. On Tuesday, we attended IPlay America, which made us feel like we had the indoor amusement park to ourselves. We had a blast on the bumper cars and laser tag. We played kids vs. counselors/directors in laser tag with both teams winning once, an awesome experience. Wednesday we went to Chocolate Works, to make our own chocolate and to buy lots of sugar. People made chocolate baseball bats, ballet slippers, phone cases, and many other cool things. We then all shared one humongous oreo cake, which was delicious. Finally, on Friday, we went to Shabbat and had bowling. The Challah bread was awesome as always, and we sang and danced at our culminating end of the week Shabbat show. Then at bowling, we bowled, ate, and played arcade games, and polished our day off with watermelon and ice cream. We cannot wait to see what's in store for Week 2!
Value of the Week: Friendship
“The greatest gift in life is friendship.” -- Jewish Proverb
The foundation of friendship is a willingness to help each other, loyalty, unselfishness, and love. It is these principles that the JCC Camp strives to teach our campers. Additionally, we seek to foster a community where our campers make life-long friendships. Friends are those people who help improve the parts that need improvement and strengthen the good parts. Friends are people who you can count on in the bad times and take pleasure in the good times.
There is a story of two brothers that lived and farmed next to each other. One was married and had a large family, while the other was single. They lived in close proximity to each other, and each worked his land growing wheat. When harvest time arrived, each was blessed with a bountiful crop and piled up his grain for long-term storage. The unmarried brother, observing his good fortune, thought to himself that God had blessed him with more than he needed, whereas his brother, who was blessed with a large family, could surely use more. He arose in the middle of the night and secretly took from his grain and put it in his brother’s pile. Similarly, the married brother thought to himself that he was fortunate to have children who will care for him in his old age, while his brother will depend on what he saved. He, too, arose in the middle of the night and quietly transferred grain from his pile to his brother’s. In the morning, each pondered why there was no noticeable decrease in his own pile, and so they repeated the transfer the next night. These nocturnal activities went on for several nights until one night the brothers bumped into each other in the field between their homes. In that instant, in the dark of night, the glow of brotherly love lit up the mountain sky; they each understood what the other had been doing and fell into each other’s arms in a loving embrace.
The field where the brother’s met is known as the “The Field of Brotherly Love,” and legend has it, that the field where the brothers embraced is the sight of our campground. For God felt that this was the perfect location for a summer camp for children, where so many friendships are born and nurtured.