We hope that your summer was as full of friends, family, sunshine and fun as ours was. With Camp’s 41st summer now in the books, we can reflect on some of the highlights.
Each summer at Camp brings new friendships, excitement, challenges and memories that will last a lifetime. In Camps 41st summer we had over 70 second-generation campers and quite a few second-generation staff members that followed in their parents’ footsteps. This is a very special experience not only for these campers and staff, but for our community and Alumni.
Our annual Alumni Shabbat was at full capacity, with over 60 in attendance! This weekend provided a chance for a group of Alumni to come back to Camp, walk down memory lane and share their most cherished Camp memories. We heard stories from the 1970’s through the present that all had the strong theme of community and lifelong friendships.
If you walk through our “Barn” “Rec Center” or “Oolam”, depending on when you went to Camp, you will see hundreds of brightly colored tiles marking a camper or staff member’s greatest memories from their summer. These tiles are a tradition that can bring you back to a special moment in time. Our campers and staff look forward to seeing their tiles hung up each summer when they return to Camp. This summer we gave our Alumni the opportunity to put their memories as Camp alumni onto tiles. These will be hung in a new location so Alumni can keep adding to their Camp memories. Have any ideas of where to hang them?? Let us know!
Our next Alumni opportunity to return to Camp is this spring! Get out your calendar and save the date for our Alumni Family Retreat. This retreat is going to be March 31st- April 2nd.
Each summer Camp Stein is growing and strengthening its programming and its community. For 41 summers camp has given its campers and staff a memorable experience and a chance to connect to Judaism. This summer Camp had the opportunity to provide this experience to 399 campers. These campers hailed from Arizona, California, New Mexico, Nevada, Texas, Colorado, and more. We had staff members join us from all over the world including: Mexico, Canada, the UK, Israel, New Zealand and Australia!
Each summer our campers and staff get to experience many activities at camp. Some they have tried before, and some that are completely new to them! Watching a camper climb the rock wall for their first time, or throw their first pot on the pottery wheel is an amazing sight to see. This summer the camp as a whole experienced a new activity, and a new space together. Summer 2016/5776 was the very first summer that camp could use our newly completed tennis courts. Not only did campers and staff learn about Tennis on these courts, they were an amazing evening program location! The space is big enough for all of camp to use with lights built in, making it a perfect space to use at night or during the day!
Camp participated in a multitude of programs this summer that helped to enhance Judaism, education and community. Camp participated in a new initiative through PJ Library, Hiddur through the Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC) and Cornerstone through FJC. The PJ Library initiative, called PJ Our Way at Camp, provided books for our 4th-7th graders and helped our staff to develop meaningful programming behind it. Hiddur was a program that Camp was accepted into, along with nine other camps across the country. This program’s main goal is to help Camp improve its Jewish programming and to help our community grow together. This summer was Camp’s 3rd year participating in Cornerstone. This program is geared towards our returning summer staff, and gives them the opportunity to grow, to learn and to become stronger camp leaders. They attend a seminar before Camp where they choose an aspect of Camp to create new and exciting programming for. This summer we took 5 returning staff, and one of our Shlichim to the seminar. They focused on ways to improve our music culture at Camp, and were very successful.
A LETTER FROM A CAMP ALUMNI PARENT:
It has been an amazing experience sending ‘the second generation’ to Camp Stein. As a CCP Alum, I have a deep affinity for the space and place we now call Camp Stein. Some of my fondest memories and where I gained confidence in myself happened “up at Camp.”
There is something truly magical that happens up in those woods: the cabins, the art shack, Shabbat among the pines… My parents gave me Jewish roots and nurtured me, but it was up at camp that my Jewish roots grew deeper and I stood taller, stronger and discovered I was truly proud to be a Jew. I didn’t even realize that was happening at the time and neither does my son. He LOVES being up there (even without the technology – which I secretly think he’s thankful for not having to “be connected 24/7”). He started lobbying me to go up for a month this year since the drive home after getting off the bus last summer.
Sitting next to my son at High Holiday services this year, listening and watching him read and recite the prayers and sing melodies I wasn’t familiar with such joy and self-assurance was slightly shocking – in a good way, as well as impressive. I asked him where he learn all of that. I got the classic thirteen-year-old side look, with the eyebrows raised, a hint of sarcasm in the tone as I’m sure you can imagine, coupled with, “Mom please…from Camp” as if it wasn’t self-evident.
My son asked me one how long Camp Stein had been up there. He was wondering if it would still be there for his kids to go to. I told him that was the plan!
A LETTER FROM 2ND GENERATION CAMP STAFF
My story at camp goes back over 35 years to when my parents fell in love as staff members. There was never a question whether or not I would go to then Pearlstein. Now a staff member at Camp Stein, I have deep roots. Everywhere I go I am reminded of these roots, from the treehouse my family built to the place where my parents first met. It seemed it was almost meant to be that I would be that counselor that my parents were and the counselors I had growing up, a big sister and protector to my campers. Every year when I get home from camp I love sharing my experiences with my family who all attended Pearlstein and seeing the similarities of camp throughout time. L’dor vador, from generation to generation, is a perfect way to describe Camp in my family. The torch is continually passed down my family tree strengthening the roots. Every year that I return to Camp I am continuing a legacy.
SAVE THE DATE
NEXT ALUMNI EVENT
Let us know if you are interested in attending HERE.