February 28, 2024 -
Hugs, laughter, kids full of stories…it’s just another summer camp session ending! Many kids who attended first sessions of Jewish overnight camps have returned home recently bubbling with anecdotes about everything from their great cabin and amazing camp staff to new friendships and more. According to the Foundation for Jewish Camp,
“The impact of Jewish camp is immediate—campers return home connected to a community and friends that will last them a lifetime. And it doesn’t stop there. Children with pivotal Jewish camp experiences are more likely to become adults who value their Jewish heritage, support Jewish causes, and take on leadership roles in their communities.” http://www.jewishcamp.org/why-camp
We notice the impact of camp experiences as kids show us what they know back in Religious School. There are students who are learning to be song leaders at camp (we’re so lucky to have their talents!) It is always the summer camp alums who sing the Birkat HaMazon (blessings after meals) the loudest on our Shabbatonim or have great ideas for quick, fun games that build community. And, kids who worked on their Hebrew and prayers at camp bring their confidence into classrooms and t’filah (prayer) in the Fall. Students deepen their Jewish connection and come back to share with all of us how they have grown!
Many other Fairmount Temple kids have just started their summer camp experience in second sessions. We can’t wait to hear about how it goes for these kids as well.
How did camp go for those students who have returned? Did everything you send with your child return home? Did anything funny come home that no one recognizes? Is your child more likely to a) make their own bed; b) be first offering to help clear the table after dinner; or c) ask to sign up for next summer already? Did you get a great letter while they were away? Share your stories here!
Julianna Johnston Senturia. Coordinator of Lifelong Jewish Engagement