8 Things I’ll Always Remember about Camp Tel Noar 2012
We sit around the campfire to open our camp season…and then our oldest campers have a tradition to have a closing campfire on the last night of camp to reflect on their summers past. Now that Summer 2012 has officially closed, I have begun to reflect on the incredible summer that we had, and the bittersweet joy of its ending. My memories from this summer are priceless, so I thought I would share some of my favorites as you begin your “rest of the year” activities.
1. The “Call Me Maybe” flash mob
During dinner announcements the first day of camp, our staff surprised the campers with a flash mob dance to “Call Me Maybe.” It represents the community, spirit and love we have for our campers, and we LOVED planning it. If you haven’t had a moment to check it out on our facebook page please do so. The campers and staff all had a blast!
2. Hampstead annual 4th of July fireworks display as a rite of passage.
This year, we created a new tradition – viewing Hampstead’s early Fourth of July Fireworks. As I wrote in my blog post, while we have always enjoyed the somewhat obscured view of the fireworks from inside our little bubble, we had never ventured into our greater community to share in a truly American experience that bridges our cultural divide. CTN is a special community, and I could think of no better representatives of who we are than Bunks 8 & 18 2012 (Ein Harod and Nahariyah) to represent CTN in our greater community than to participate in the town fair and view the fireworks first hand, overhead, and surrounded by the town who keeps our traditions dear. A new camp tradition was born, and this rite of passage marks our oldest campers position as the leaders of our community ready to branch out into the world around them. I knew we’d found a new Rite of Passage camp tradition as we “oohed” and “ahhhed” as a group at the amazing display in the sky.
3. Alumni Shabbat
In mid-July we had such a treat — our camp family broadened to include alumni representing time at camp in the 50’s and 60’s. One of the alumni was a camper here in 1952 — the first year CTN opened as a Youth Camp. What an incredible treat to watch him enjoy our singing and dancing. As an alumnus myself, I can’t help but feel the connection back to the founding of the camp as a Youth Camp, and forward to today. It’s such a privilege to be part of this great Cohen family of camps with its rich camp traditions and alumni.
4. CTN’s heat wave remedy.
Late July was amongst the hottest and most humid days of the summer. The campers were positively wilting one Tuesday, with humidity and heat predicted to soar even higher. While we did our best to weather through our regular activities in the morning, I knew the campers needed some inspiration and support to beat the heat as a community. Inspired, my fabulous staff brought in three inflatable water slides on The Big Diamond and a visit from the Kona Ice truck for the campers. Everyone also enjoyed a free afternoon swim on the lake (complete with giant tubes!) It was a tremendous way to beat the heat and to have a great day in the sun. We filmed the surprise announcement to the campers, which was met with tremendous applause!
5. The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.
The cast blew me away with their performance, each one heartfelt and beautiful. The whole cast received a standing ovation! Our campers worked so hard all session long, both on stage and behind the curtain, and we are so proud of their accomplishments.
6. Shabbat at Camp Tel Noar
Each week, Shabbat is special and beautiful. From the dancing and singing after Friday night’s meal to the beautiful services led by our camp staff and campers, I love the community Shabbat. This year, we welcomed back an old CTN breakfast tradition of Saturday morning’s Shabbos Bread. I recently found the recipe for Shabbos Bread and our baker has taken on the task to make it. I smelled it baking in the kitchen on the first Shabbat of the summer, and memories of Shabbos morning in the old CTN Mess Hall came flooding back.
Camp Tel Noar has creative Shabbat Services every week. Each week we introduce a new and fun tune for Adon Olam. I really enjoyed this special rendition to the tune of “You Don’t Know You’re Beautiful.”
7. Hadar Orshalimy’s self-esteem program for 8th, 9th, and 10th grade campers.
The first week of August we welcomed a special guest to camp, Hadar Orshalimy. Hadar is an Israeli born singer and songwriter, who came to camp to run a special self esteem program for our 8th, 9th and 10th grade campers on gender stereotypes. Through her music, our campers took a closer look at how boys and girls really aren’t that different, and that we all have our special unique qualities to contribute. She treated us to a sing-a-long at lunch time with the whole camp, and then we had an incredible rock concert in the gym for our evening program! What a night. The campers absolutely adored Hadar, and we will all have great memories of her time here.
8. Color War!
As always, Color War is a highlight. It is both a competition and a time when the campers grow close to each other in spirit. The three days of Color War were a whirlwind! Monday included Running of the Key, Tug-o-war, Captains Volleyball, Team Meetings, Gold Rush and Thunderdome at night. On Tuesday we had Aquadome with lots of water sports, Team Meetings and Quiz Bowl, and Gladiators at night. On Wednesday we had Skydome, the Apache Relay and ended the evening with Songfest, Photofest and Dramafest. After all of the performances, something unprecedented occurred: the two Color War teams were tied! We gave the teams one more opportunity for a cheer off, and in the end, Galil won by three points. It was officially the closest Color War ever!
It has been an amazing two sessions at camp, and an incredible summer. You may of course continue to remember summer by viewing our camp videos on our YouTube channel, and continuing the conversations with us on our Facebook Page.
We are all so sad that the summer has to end! It is such a pleasure to have each and every one of your children at camp to share in all that CTN has to offer. My staff and I wish all of our camp families an incredible school year until we can join together again on the shores of Sunset Lake again next summer!