Our Jewish Camping Initiative road trip took us to Brookline, New Hampshire, where we spent the morning with our campers and staff at Camp Tevya. Many thanks to Tevya Director Mindee Meltzer and her team for showing us around and sharing a little bit of the Tevya spirit with us during our visit!. We had a great time with our campers and three of our graduating Havayah teens who are on staff at camp this summer!
Armed with sunscreen and our water bottles, our next stop was Camp Young Judaea in Amherst, New Hampshire! We have a growing community at CYJ, with many second generation TBE campers - and it was great to see many of them during the camp's picnic lunch. It was very special to see many of our graduating Havayah teens in action (there are four of them!) as they have climbed the ranks at camp and are now staff members and specialists. It was wonderful spending time with our friends (and CYJ Directors) Marcy Kornreich and Jamie Segill, and we had an opportunity to tour around camp and learn more about the special community that is CYJ.
The next stops on our Summer 2013 Jewish Camping Initiative Road Trip brought us out to the beautiful Berkshires to visit our regional URJ (Union for Reform Judaism) Camps, Crane Lake Camp and Eisner Camp. We are proud to share that this is the fourth consecutive year that Temple Beth Elohim has sent the most campers of the three URJ regions represented at our regional camps, and our congregation is being recognized for this achievement later this summer. We are extremely proud of that commitment and partnership, and this year is a very, VERY special year for us. As our numbers have continued to grow at all of the Jewish camps in our region, we now are beginning to see some significant new data emerge.
A quick breakdown of our numbers this summer in relation to participation at URJ Camps and Summer Programs:
More than 60 campers at URJ Eisner Camp (including 2 teens who are on NFTY in Israel with the Eisner group);
11 campers at URJ Crane Lake Camp (including 2 teens who are on NFTY in Israel with the Crane Lake Group);
1 camper at URJ 6 Points Sports Academy (our first camper there!);
1 current Havayah teen participating in the URJ Eisner Camp Machon (counselor-in-training) program;
5 Havayah alumni serving on staff at URJ Eisner Camp;
3 part-time members of the TBE Youth Team serving on staff at URJ Eisner Camp;
1 Havayah alumna and current HUC-JIR Rabbinical student serving on staff at URJ GUCI;
and 1 Havayah alumna serving as a Madrichah with NFTY in Israel.
We’re kvelling. In an amazing, tangable example of l’dor v’dor (generation to generation), this is the most staff that we’ve ever had from TBE working at URJ camps – and the majority of them having grown up at camp! These staff members were campers at the very beginning of our Jewish Camping Initative efforts, which hopefully means this summer is the first of many to come with a large amount of our TBE teens taking the next steps in their Jewish journeys and having a significant impact on the next generation. We are in the process of collecting this data from the other camps around our region, as we believe that this trend is happening across the board!
We had a blast gathering as a TBE community at both Crane Lake and Eisner, and look forward to returning during second session to do it all again! You can learn more about the special relationship that TBE has with URJ Camps and Summer Programs here.
We kicked-off our Summer 2013 Tour with a visit to Camp Tel Noar, located in Hampstead, New Hampshire. One of the three camps sponsored by the Cohen Foundation, Camp Tel Noar is a co-ed Jewish cultural camp for children ages 8-16, located one hour from Boston on Sunset Lake. Many thanks to Molly Lourie Butter, CTN Directory, for guiding us around camp and helping us experience a morning with the Camp Tel Noar community. It was wonderful to have lunch as a TBE community - check out our photos below!
On our way back from New Hampshire, we stopped by Camp Bauercrest on beautiful Lake Attitash in Amesbury, MA to spend some time with our Havayah teens who are at The Crest. There are a few younger TBE members who have participated in Bauercrest's two-week sessions this summer, and we have three Havayah teens and alumni who are serving on staff!
Fresh thoughts from and about