We sang them in, we sang them out. Camp Ideal came to an end last week, and the lack of singing voices and running campers is noticeable to say the least. With the largest camp turnout in recent memory, our Camp Ideal family continues to grow, allowing for bigger and grander programs and a growing Tsevet (camp staff). Speaking of grandeur, did anyone hear about our firework show to conclude our first Maccabia of the summer with a bang? What about our medieval themed Yom Gaga, with an entire day dedicated to a camp sport favorite? But none of this would be possible without the counselors we had these past 8 weeks, and they deserve much more praise than my words can offer.
The Camp Ideal staff worked long, strenuous hours to ensure this summer was one to remember. We had four new counselors from varied backgrounds, each with their own skillset that they brought with them. Together, we trained and prepared for whatever circumstances would come our way. We built a summer program that we could be proud of and executed the plan while navigating the unforeseen. All in all, these young people gave their entire summer, all their strength, and all their heart, in order to make this year’s Camp Ideal one to be proud of.
Though school begins again soon, our work with the youth of this community does not stop here. We will see everyone again for Camp reunions and programming that is already in the works. Last year’s Rosh Hashana apple picking trip brought around 30 campers back together for the holiday season, and we intend to keep our family close this year as well. Some of our counselors are also part of our SaBaBaH teen group and have been planning ways of raising money to help get our highschoolers to Israel in this upcoming year. Programs are picking up around here, and not just for the kids! The NEXTGen South Bend Cubs game is around the corner, our successful Kosher Date Night is back this month, there is something for everyone!
I cannot express how thankful I am for the team I get to work with at the Federation, whether it is over the summer or year-round. Thank you to everyone who makes our community better by giving from themselves to others. I am so proud to be a part of this family.