From field trips to GaGa pits, Camp J had something for all

GaGa was one of many popular activities at this summer’s Camp J. (William Beasley photo)

As Camp J wrapped up its 2018 season the week of August 10, the staff reflected on the awesome adventures over the summer.
“It was a super summer of the superheroes,” Camp Director Mindye Mannel said. Looking back, she noted that many things came together to make summer 2018 both fun and successful.
“We had lots of new campers, extended enrollment, higher registration than in the past and a lot of enthusiasm from our campers and our staff,” Mannel said.
Cameron Tabler, the young leaders’ supervisor, gushed enthusiasm about the things his campers learned and achieved over the summer. The Young Leaders, rising seventh through ninth grade traditional campers, focused largely on community service.
“We did a lot of really good things,” Tabler said. “Last week we went to the Humane Society. We made toys throughout the week. And then we donated a bunch of dog and cat toys to the Humane Society, so that was really awesome.”
Other supervisory staff also expressed excitement about watching their campers grow and learn throughout the summer.
Keff First through Third Grade Supervisor Rachel Harris, Keff Kindergarten through First Grade Supervisor Daniel McCarthy and Yachad Coordinator Mary Potts all said they were proud watching as Yachad campers became more independent throughout the summer.
“Yachad was also all-inclusive this year,” McCarthy said. “The campers stayed with the group the whole time, which was awesome.”
The frequent rain did not keep Camp J from carrying on with fun activities. During rainy weather the camp staff played indoor staff games like basketball, soccer, and field hockey.
“All the kids would watch, and they would like cheer and make signs and stuff,” McCarthy said.
Trek Supervisor Connor Finke said muddy gaga and water balloon fights were a favorite among the rising fourth through sixth grade traditional campers. While Harris said Spotlight and dance performances were her favorite part of the summer.
“I enjoyed seeing the kids run all the way up and do their dances and their performances and just get smiles on their faces from other campers just watching them,” Harris said.
As camp came to a close, the fun did not slow down. During the final week of the summer, campers enjoyed visits from the Tzofim Friendship Caravan – Israeli scouts who travel the country giving performances at Jewish communities large and small – and the portable planetarium. Field trips also found a place in the final week of camp.
Keff experienced a time travel scavenger hunt at the Frasier Museum and made time machines out of recycled materials, while Trek explored the Parklands at Floyd’s Fork and enjoyed Mr. Gatti’s pizza.
On the last day of the summer, campers and staff celebrated with a camp slide show and Popsicle party, a super ending for a super summer.

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