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Kids are finally back in camp, having fun with no masks. Mask mandates are only for school. They are safe in camp, having fun and doing what is know as activities.
Anything you do is more exciting when you call it an activity. Point shall be made: You can go shopping and run errands. Or you can go shopping as an activity. I ask, which one would you rather do? If errands was an activity this would get complicated. I would be fine with kids running errands at camp all summer. However, they don't take the kids in the bunk to pickup groceries. For now, that the point is made, we can all agree that activities are awesome.
Here are some of the general activities that split up your child's day at summer camp.
Floor Hockey- A sport that Jews are competitive at, because nobody else plays it. Flag football is another sport American Jews are excellent at, as they play it in Israel and Israelis don't know what it is.
There are more camp sports like newcomb, bottle cap football, Torah baseball and gaga. The key to the sports activities is to take a known sport and make it Jewish by taking out any specialized skill. You play hockey and take away the ice. You play volleyball by catching the ball. Newcomb is a sport everybody can be great at. Amazing activity.
Torah Baseball- A sport where you compete with your mind, so you too can be a champion. It costs the camp a lot less for you to answer questions about the Torah portion than having to manicure a baseball field.
Roof Ball- This is where you throw a ball on the roof, to wake up all the people in your bunk during rest hour. When I was younger, I knew this game as The Ball Got Stuck in the Gutter Ball.
Camp games are usually named after the objects used in them. You have wall ball and floor ball. If there was a stick, we might have played stick ball. I can't promise you that stick ball would've been the name. Our counselor didn't allow us to remove the stick from the broom, so I wouldn't know.
Oh. We had table ball. We used a table for that. We played that to bother people while they were eating lunch.
Arts and Crafts- When you are not artistically talented, they add on the word “crafts.” It's now a useful item. It's not a sculpture, it's an ashtray. The mug is an ashtray. The spoon rest is an ashtray. It actually is the same thing. If it wasn't for arts and crafts people would stop smoking.
Other than ceramics or ashtray making, there is also a Jewish component to the activity. Sometimes, the kids make a ritual washing cup that looks like an ashtray. The accepted arts and crafts tradition is to have the children make Jewish pieces that they will not be using for another half a year. You take a slab of wood and put nuts on it and that is your art; a candle holder for Chanukah, or an ashtray. Great activity.
Free Swim- When the lifeguard goes to sleep.
Shabbis Walk- There is not much you can do on Shabbat. They had to be creative when the campers asked them why there was nothing to do other than bottle cap football and Checkers, when their parents spent $9,500. That is when they came up with the activity known as the Shabbis Walk. In co-ed camps this is tantamount to romance. Almost as romantic as sitting in a tree.
Hike- Walking not on Shabbat.
Snack Time- When you get to drink milk out of an eight-ounce carton. Might be the most exciting activity in camp.
Letter Time- Jewish summer camp is the only place where letters are still written by hand. This is how you honor your parents. With paper. Emails don’t show care. Going green is very bad for relationships. If your children haven't written you with a cursive signature yet, they don't love you.
It’s about survival. Let’s say you are lost on a desert island, nobody around, and you want to contact your parents? The Post Office is all you have. They will pick up. Let’s say your computer can’t fake the personal letter that you wrote to three hundred people in cursive, all named “Shalom,” thanking them for coming to your party and donating money to your fund, and you have to sign by hand and you have poor penmanship? Think about that for a minute.
No romance ever happened with an email. It must be handwritten and handed give on a Shabbis Walk.
Shower Time- Anything with 'time' connected to it is an activity. Cleanup time. That's an activity. Cleanup is not an activity. Nobody wants to cleanup. If you hear 'It's cleanup time everybody,' you're jumping for joy and tucking in your blanket.
Face Painting- That's an activity that will definitely lead to Shower Time.
Excitement- Great activity. Screaming. Running and Screaming. Eating and screaming. Excitement is the number one activity. You have excitement at a 'time' and you have probably the best activity of the summer. $9,500.
Shiurim- You have class time here too, to remind you that you are not on vacation. They call it camp, but they have Jewish classes. Your parents are spending $9,500. Yes, they are behind this painful part of the day.
Davening- Prayers every day. You do more religious stuff in camp than in school. Camp is an extension of Jewish day school, because your parents are still complaining they paid way too much tuition.
Music- This really is school. It's music class. You sing. They try to get you to harmonize correctly. It's music class.
Night Activity- Anything done at night is exciting. Hence, that's the activity. Night.
Night Seder- At very religious camps, this is where you learn Torah at night. Done at night, makes it more awesome. That’s an activity. During the day it’s learning, at night it’s an activity. That is how Jewish camp programs the day.
Package Time- When parents send their child everything they love, so they don't feel like they're in camp. Usually done with Twizzlers, it's the parents way of apologizing for enjoying the absence of their child. A Twizzlers offering. It's a way to keep them at camp. Then, there are kids that don't get packages, and they hate this activity.
Flag Raising- Do they still allow that? Is that too patriotic?
Boating- Row boating. Maybe in a canoe. Sailing is not happening at the pool. The kids are not going into the lake. There's fish in there.
It is a camp, and there is a lake. You need a lake for it to be a camp. Around five years ago, kids refused to swim in a lake. It was around that same time that kids started being correct, and started becoming dumber.
If I was correct growing up, we wouldn't have swam and my bunk would've had air-conditioning.
Leagues- Teams are made. They could've just called your bunk a team, but they want to make sure your team is not good. After spending two days putting you on the bad team, it's now time to figure out what sports you play.
A chart is made by the sports staff as to what sports you're going to play, and against who. You finally have the teams and the leagues, and you explain to all the kids why they're not on a team with their bunkmates, and Color War starts; got to wait a week to start the leagues. You play floor hockey twice and camp is over.
We would've had a ropes course and team building as an activity, but we saw how bad the teams went with the 'Leagues.' We also don't trust the other kids in the bunk to save your child. If your kid closed their eyes and fell back, that would be a full-on fall.
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Skewers are dangerous, and should not be handled by children without parental supervision. Kids should eat schnitzel only... Even if skewers are called Shipuds in Israel, to make them sound more friendly, they are still dangerous. And with the volatile situation in Israel, people should be IDed before they're allowed a Shipud.