While I was there, I got to spend time with Devon and our campers (some of whom didn't make it into the group photo) while they were working in their tracks - robotics, video game design, forensics, and more. It took a while to find the forensics track - they were out in the woods examining a murder scene. I'm 99% sure it was staged by the staff, but you'd never know by how seriously the kids were taking it - see the pictures on our Facebook page! All of the campers I saw were deeply engaged in the programming, and were well taken care of by Sci-Tech's well-trained staff and phenomenal camper care team, whose mission is to make sure that every camper feels supported throughout the summer and is able to succeed at camp.
Camp Young Judaea
My morning at CYJ started with a tour, where I got to see the brand new girls' area bunks (which are a "MAJOR upgrade," according to one of our 7th graders) and walked around to see the different activities that campers can choose to do with their age group during their six "periods" throughout the day. As they get older they get more choice, but a basic schedule would include Judaics, sports, arts and crafts, and activities on the waterfront. I spent some time on the waterfront, including a boat tour to experience scenic Lake Amherst, where campers can learn to swim, kayak, waterski, sail and more. I happened to be there for a picnic lunch, so I got to eat with some of my BM3T (now B'Yachad) students from last year and hear all about how much they're enjoying camp, including a rising 8th grader who hadn't attended overnight camp before.
In 1963, counselor Yoni Netanyahu echoed our campers' love for CYJ when wrote to his brother, Benjamin (yes, that Benjamin Netanyahu), "To tell you that I enjoy being here would be superfluous, since you've read about it in every letter I've written so far." They're clearly doing a lot right: CYJ boasts an impressive 90% camper return rate, and almost every person on their staff is a former CYJ camper, adding to and carrying on the rich tradition and culture of the camp.
You can view all of our pictures from these trips and the rest of our Summer Road Trip on Facebook here. Want more information about making Jewish Camp part of your family's Jewish Journey? Contact me or learn more about our Jewish Camping Initiative and how we can help you find the right camp for your child.
Until next time!
-Leah Finkelman, Youth Engagement Specialist