Daily Newsletter – Adventure & Community

Good morning Friends of Capital Camps,

For 11 months of the year, most of our campers live in urban or suburban areas of the country, their days filled with classroom-based learning, ever-available technology, and heavily programmed extra-curricular activities.  For many of these children, leaving their home environments and coming to camp is a big step outside of their comfort zones.  Each year, for the campers in Kaufmann village, we take this one step further.

At 5:00 am Sunday morning, after two weeks of experiencing the beauty that Capital Camps has to offer, Kaufmann village embarked on a journey to Ohiopyle, PA. There, in addition to having an action-packed couple of days, we came together as a village in new and unexpected ways.

As soon as we stepped off of the bus, the adventure began.  Half of the group went hiking, while the other half went mountain biking and rock climbing.  Later that afternoon, the whole group went white-water rafting.  Many of the campers were eager to take on these new challenges, but some needed the help and support of their community to conquer the seemingly daunting tasks.

While in camp, the individual cabin groups tend to support one another, but being in a new environment allowed for the campers to break out of their pre-formed social groups, lend a hand to others, and forge new connections.  At times, campers even stepped up to help support staff members, who were working to face their own fears.

The growth we experienced as a village showed itself not only in the scheduled activities, but also during downtime, when campers and counselors were able to be their creative, fun and silly selves.   One of the most memorable things that occurred on the trip was a spontaneous and heated debate about Disney movies.  We were also able to keep the magic of our day-to-day lives at camp going; one of our buses made sure to lead a B’yachad, our daily morning ritual, in its entirety, and then burst out into a spontaneous singalong for the rest of the ride.

It’s clear that Capital Camps provides a safe space for children to step outside of their comfort zones and try new things, but this trip proved that the beauty of camp is not confined to camp’s perimeters.  In just 36 hours, Kaufmann Village managed to forge new bonds, strengthen existing ones, conquer fears, and create memories that will surely last a lifetime.

Have a great day!


Jess Reiff
Kaufmann Village Leader