Dear G.U.C.I. Parents:
As I indicated in last week’s newsletter, all campers and staff returned to camp from their various trips and we had an incredible Shabbat. T’fillot (worship services), Shabbat dinner blessings, and singing never were so sweet. Now we have sped into the final week of the session. It is always a whirlwind here as we build toward culmination. The end of the session is super important; final programs and ceremonies neatly “tie up the package,” of the session. Cabin bonds are very strong here. The last night of camp is the time for Unit final programs and final cabin programs, as well as an all-camp friendship circle.
It has been a wonderful session. All aspects of the camp program, the work of the counselors, and specialists programs have been wonderful. The only negative we faced this session came in the form of a virus. You may have been contacted by our infirmary staff notifying you that your child spent the night or several nights in the infirmary. Special thanks go out to our nurse and doctors who have worked tirelessly to attend to those who had fevers.
Last night we attended an amazing performance of Anaf Project. The Anaf unit (our 9th and 10th graders) worked all session preparing the show, “Mulan”. It was both opening and closing night for Anaf Project. What an exciting night it was for the entire camp. The music was great, the acting wonderful, and the spirit in the room, palpable. Thursday morning the unit traveled to Hooverwood, our Jewish nursing home to perform for the residents.
Tonight all of our performing Chugim (arts groups) will present samples of their work on stage before the entire camp. We will see Shoresh (4th – 6th graders), Gezah (7th and 8th graders), Anaf (9th and 10th graders) and Avodah (12th graders) sing, dance, act, play guitar, etc. This is an exciting evening for everyone, those who are onstage performing and the rest of us who make up the audience.
The 4th Shabbat is always mega at camp. Saturday afternoon is spent packing. All staff returns to the cabins with their campers to help them pack. Campers check out lost and found to see if any of their things are there. Later in the afternoon we have basketball tournaments, swimming, and softball games. Song session Saturday evening is “Top 10 G.U.C.I. songs of the session.” It is followed by final unit programs.
The evening ends with a final Havdalah service prepared by our Avodah unit, and then an exciting slide show that recaps the highlights of the month. We conclude the all- camp-program with a friendship circle. The friendship circle is a quiet (sometimes a little emotional) time where a few of us share our thoughts about the session, punctuated by songs. It is usually a mellow and moving experience even for the younger campers.
Campers return to their cabins with their counselors for their final cabin program which usually includes some autograph signing and perhaps an art project. This is an important time for the group which has lived and worked together all session.
That’s it in a nutshell. Expect your child to be happy to see you and return home, but also to be a little sad to leave camp. It has been a wonderful session.
Rabbi Ron Klotz