The Lasts That Last
The build-up and excitement of an approaching summer gives me butterflies just thinking about it. We spend our whole year counting down for that first glimpse of Main Street, that first bite of grilled cheese on opening day and that first night settling into sleep to the creak of your camp bed and the sound of falling fans. It’s the firsts of a summer that we wish away the year for and the lasts that we pray will never come. This past week, we’ve spent our time savoring every last drop. Bunk “camp-ins” on the Dell (baby steps, right?), age group bon(d)fires, breakfasts on the beach and lunches on the lake have filled our days with fun and begun to give us closure to a summer well spent.
Saturday night was energizing and fun…and foamy! Siagel productions joined us at camp for a night of dance party-ing and foam fun. Our age groups took turns running and dancing in the suds before a quick rinse and costume change. They headed into the gym to dance the night away. For our Taam campers, it was their last evening activity…but what a way to go out!
The following morning friends helped their Taam bunkmates bring their luggage and belongings down to the front entrance as parents eagerly greeted their first-time campers with huge hugs and big kisses. The tearful and reluctant goodbyes always reinforce the positive experience camp, even for just a short two weeks, can have on a camper and we can’t wait to see them all again.
Sunday was filled with comings and goings and after our Taam friends left, our friends from Yavneh, Pembroke, Tevya, Ramah, and CYJ joined us for Senior Girls Basketball tournament that we host each summer. Our girls were spirited and supported, won their first game to CYJ and lost the next, but enjoyed the opportunity to host the other camps. Our Junior girls played at CYJ and our Tennis Invees headed to Tevya where we had a first place finish! Sunday nights our campers got to enjoy the CAT/CIT Carnival. It was messy and fun and beautifully done!
On Monday, forty of our finest swimmers shipped off to Pembroke to compete in the Swim Meet. A third place finish placed us in the middle of the pack but the singing on the bus to and from was definitely deserving of a trophy. I was fortunate enough to be able to accompany a mini-field trip with the Outdoor Cooking, Fun in the Kitchen and Pho tography electives to a local farm stand. We picked out fresh produce for the campers to use in the final classes, met baby cows and our young photographers captured it all on camera. It was a wonderful, hands-on experience for our kids. A little Kona Ice post-dinner to cool us down and once the swim team joined us back at camp, our amazing British staff ran an incredibly fun evening activity for us to give us a taste of Great Britain. We played rugby, competed in trivia and participated in a British Bake-Off. Campers were engaged, interested and had a blast!
Tuesday was another day of travel and competition, this time, for our boys! Junior Boys basketball went to Bauercrest and our Seniors to Yavneh were they finished second after a fiercely close final game. We are always so proud of our athletes and the sportsmanship they bring to every game they play, home and away. Their return was a welcomed one as it meant we could all gather in the gym for one of our most beloved evening activities, TNL. Our campers work all summer long on this hilarious spin-off of Saturday Night Live and this year’s performers certainly did not disappoint.
After six weeks at camp, our campers received their long awaited LAZY DAY (more like lazy morning)! We had a terribly rainy first three periods and saw it as the perfect opportunity to give our campers the R & R they had been craving. As the clouds cleared the afternoon gave way to another three periods of regular programming followed by another impressive performance by our drama department. The stage and set design for this particular performance we truly amazing and really “set the stage” for a fantastic performance.
Yesterday was hot, hot, hot so we thought we’d leave camp and have some fun, fun, fun…at Water Country! With a 95 degree forecast we loaded up the van with 600 gatorades and a whole lot of sunscreen and headed out. Campers kept cool all day on the slide and wave pool and I enjoyed waving to passing campers as I spent most of my day on the lazy river. Our last field trip was our best yet and the day was topped with a movie night in the gym.
Today we broke out the sno-cone machine for most of the morning, handed out popsicles like it was our job (it is our job!) and kept the kids in the water or the shade. Happy to report all of our campers are healthy, happy and now donning their blue and white for tonight.
Aaaaand, breathe…it’s our favorite time of week and the last one that we get to spend with our summer family. So as we stand together for one last Shabbat, we squeeze our friends a little bit tighter, we walk a little bit slower, and we tuck away those sacred memories and relish in our last moments of summer 2016. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again — thank you for sharing your perfect, precious, amazing children with us. It is because of them that Camp Tel Noar is the special place that it is.
Until next year, Tel Noar,