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Daily Newsletter – July 11, 2019

Good Morning Friends of Capital Camps, 

Camp has experienced many changes since I first began working here in 2011 as a cabin counselor. I’ve seen the Health Center physically moved to a different location, new cabins built in each village, and the building of our Welcome Gazebo to embrace the opportunity to host guests. A mud obstacle course has been created, as well as several new games and sports, like Spikeball and 9 Square in the Air.

We even have new songs we sing, and new dances during Friday Night song session. But when I think about coming back each summer, I don’t think about what’s new. I think about the camp traditions that never change.

I always count on having Pizza Bagels for lunch and Chicken Nuggets for dinner on the first day of camp. I always know that each night will conclude with groups of campers and staff singing Hashkiveinu before going off to bed. I always count on the dinning hall erupting in song when the person on the microphone happens to say, “I have some announcements.” And I can always count on “Hebrew Man” teaching us a new Hebrew word each week. These moments of camp traditions remind me how special this place is, and how fortunate I am to be a part of it.

One of my favorite traditions is the way in which we come together, as a community, for our closing on Friday nights. Everyone gathers in Habima, sits in cabin circles,  and sings “The Wave Song” (ask your kids!).  It’s a very special moment which brings all of us together – no matter how busy or tired we were during the previous week.

Last week, during our Friday night closing, I took a few minutes to find the faces of my campers from eight or nine years ago. They are all staff members now, and they were in circles with their own campers. They were smiling, arms around their campers, enjoying this moment that I have always found so magical.  

Nearly a decade after I had the chance to share this moment with them as campers, they now have the opportunity to enjoy this moment with their campers.  Amazing.  Who knows, maybe one of them will be sending out a newsletter like this one eight years from now! 

Buildings may change, and some faces may change, but that feeling of being home while hearing “The Wave Song” Friday night will never change. These wonderful traditions are what make this community so very special, and the reason I cannot imagine being anywhere else during the summer.

Have a great day.

Sincerely,

Austin Theis

Reich and Kaufmann Counselor 2011-2013
Sports Coordinator 2014-2018
Staff Engagement Coordinator 2019

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