Week five: Spreading kindness

  • This morning as we tucked into the breakfast berry bar, campers could be overhead discussing how much has changed in just seven days. A weekearlier we were enjoying the same breakfast with first session campers, and now we are joined by a whole new group of friends!

    That’s the beauty of CTN – things change, we wave goodbye to our bunk friends and wave hello to new ones, but one thing stays constant, the true spirit of camp. Camp is the place where we laugh until we cry, where we create new friendships, where we learn and grow, and where we long to return, year after year.

    The beginning of our week was full of emotion. To wave off our first session campers was incredibly hard, but knowing we’d see their smiley faces in a year’s time made it so much easier. Shortly after pickup, it was time for parents visiting day, and what a moment that was! Everywhere we turned we could see campers giggle with excitement and run into the arms of their parents, full of stories to tell and new friends to introduce.

    After a busy day of saying goodbye to loved ones, it was time for a relaxing evening at the cinema to watch The Lion King (we may be a little bit biased, but we think the Ol and Tsof’s version couldn’t be beaten!). After tucking into pizza and relaxing with friends, we headed back to camp for some well-deserved rest, ready for our second session campers arriving in the morning.

    While standing in our positions, waiting to welcome our new set of campers, the feeling of familiarity occurred. Just a few weeks earlier we were standing in the very same spots, ready to begin camp – how time flies! Just after 9am our second session campers began to arrive, and it wasn’t long until old friends were reunited, and campers dove into the arms of their much-loved friends. It always astounds us how quickly campers settle in. After a finger nail painting session with Zoe, a game of dodgeball and boogie at the dance party, it felt as though our second session campers had been with us for weeks.

    Getting campers involved with camp activity has been very easy with the many events that have taken place this week. Activities included a Party Excitement social, our weekly Bunk Night, a lip synch battle and last night’s trips to Canobie Lake, Launch Trampoline Park and The Escape Room.

    Party Excitement kept us dancing all night long, but the energy in the gym couldn’t be contained when a Color War fake break, led by Dani and Ari erupted! We’re pretty sure the chanting of “1,2,3,4… we want Color War” could be heard all around camp.

    Our trips to Canobie Lake, Launch Trampoline Park and The Escape Room were an absolute blast. Our favorite highlights included campers attempting to dual Kevin in the trampoline park’s Battle Pit, and the messy dessert faces of Eden and Sophie, who after conquering the Escape Room headed for ice cream and attempted to lick it off their noses and impressively succeeded!

    Bunk Night is always a highlight of our camper’s week, with each age group enjoying activities organized by their bunk counselors. This week’s activities includes a ‘guys night’ for bunk 2A and 2B, featuring drawn on muscles and mustaches, card games and root beers, all provided by Lee, Ari, Evan and Gil. Bunk 18 enjoyed a vibrant neon rave in the gym, while bunks 9 and 10 put on fashion show (we’re not sure that Sarah’s pink plastic flamingo or Devon’s head to toe sparkles will make it to Bloomingdales any time soon, but they sure had fun parading around!).

    Each week at camp we focus on one of CTN’s core values, which include trust, kindness, joy, creativity, diversity, courage and gratitude. This week our value of the week focused on kindness, and to promote thoughtful acts across camp, JLL ran their ‘postman’ activity which encouraged campers to write thoughtful notes to fellow campers and members of staff. Prompts such as “write to someone who inspires you” allowed campers to express gratitude and spread kindness to those around them.

    To end this blog post we will share a couple acts of kindness which were spotted over the course of the week. A lover of hearing stories but not a lover of reading, Jordan was spotted assisting his fellow table-mate Finn read his books after lunch. A fan of other people’s birthdays but not his own, Joel was taken aback by his bunk who kindly respected his wishes, and instead of making a fuss at breakfast, each took the time to individually wish him a happy birthday. Last but not least, the Culinary Arts MasterChef elective group created hand-made gluten free zucchini muffins for intolerant members of staff, which they admitted made their day!

    Wishing everyone a wonderful Shabbat,

    Camp Tel Noar.

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