Saturday, April 18, 2009

What is a Jewish camp?

So Sara got all offended the other day when I referred to the camp where she's spending the summer as head baker as a "Jewish-ish" camp. By which I mean, many if not most campers are Jewish, and there are some special Jewish-related programs offered, like a Friday-night "Shabbat" meal and "family-style" meals where siblings and friends from different bunks can sit together on Saturday.


In contrast, I think this website offers a helpful definition of what a camp should do to be considered a "Jewish camp"... and not just, by my reckoning, "Jewish-ish".

"...While there are many overnight summer camps that attract a large number of Jewish children, Jewish camp is different. Jewish camp provides all the unmatched formative experiences associated with overnight camp: they foster independence, build self esteem, enhance an appreciation of natural surroundings and develop important skills. However, they do all this in a context in which Judaism is celebrated, compelling communities are built, and leadership and a commitment to the Land and People of Israel is developed. "

Not all the camps listed at their site are "Orthodox", but all have a committment to actively build Jewish values and committment to Judaism itself. Not just archery, fishing, canoeing, organic bread-baking... and maybe a nice meal with Hebrew singing (and, I'm sure, luscious challahs by Sara!) every Friday night.

Urgh. I've already told her that I think spending the summer at her camp would probably be my worst nightmare: all the JAP girls who made my life miserable because I never had the right clothes, shoes, hair, whatever to suit their ever-changing tastes. If I was head baker, I'd probably poison them all the first night.

Oooh, forget I said that, okay???

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