The rhythm of Jewish life is unique for in it is the simultaneous action of forging ahead while building on past experiences. After this challenging year, we are in the process of creating a new summer at camp filled with our favorite camp traditions. In this week’s Torah parsha (Torah portion), the children of Israel are about to begin the second part of their journey out of Egypt. There is a shift in narrative from focusing on the past challenges associated with traveling through the Sinai desert, to look forward towards the Promised Land. Similarly, with positive excitement and joyful anticipation, we are looking forward to another amazing Capital Camps summer.
Noah Shapiro, our newest full-time hire, has experienced the journey to camp on many levels. Way back in 2008, nine-year- old Noah didn’t know much about camp, except that he wanted to be there. His friend Becca had told him how much fun she had the summer prior, splashing in the pool and running around the soccer field, but that was about all he knew. Likewise our new campers may not know exactly what to expect. Like Noah, they are packing up all that excitement, a few stuffed animals, and plenty of t-shirts (clearly labeled in black Sharpie), ready for the challenges and fun summer will bring.
Like many of our returning campers, Noah was hooked after his first summer and returned again and again. He started out in Benjamin Village and during his eight years as a camper was in every village. Along the way he formed lifelong bonds with a growing circle of camp friends. He continued on as a staff member for four summers, including being an Atzma’im (inclusion counselor) and assistant Atzma’im coordinator. And now, Noah joins our team as our new Communications & Marketing Coordinator. This summer, Noah brings with him a lifetime of camp experiences, a dual degree in Communications and Digital Media Production from Tulane University, and that same exact excitement he had 14 years ago.
Everyone packs a little bit differently for camp, some might already have started putting things physically in a bag, some might be out buying iron-on name labels, and some might not even think about packing until the week before. After this past year full of challenges and uncertainty, we may all be feeling a little bit like nine-year-old Noah, excited but not sure what to expect.
We are here to answer all your questions. We have been closely following the latest CDC updates in the news and the CCRC Medical Committee has met repeatedly to create and revise our guidelines for a safe summer experience. We will continue to update our COVID playbook and our Medical Committee is going to be advising us right through the summer to ensure that we have the best, science-based and practitioner-informed safety protocols possible for camp.
As we gear up for Opening Day, we will be hosting two Town Halls, one for parents and guardians on June 3rd and one for campers on June 8th. Please be on the lookout for specific emails containing information about Opening day and please check your mailbox for your camper’s luggage tags. Please check your CampInTouch dashboard to make sure that all of your forms have been completed, including our new form to let us know if campers 12 and older have been vaccinated. Additionally, we are asking parents to pre-register for COVID-19 testing that will take place during each of the summer sessions. The forms to submit your COVID testing and health screening will also be available on your dashboard.
We all come into camp with different packed bags and we all leave with different experiences and memories, but we all get to experience the summer as one big Capital Camps family. Whether it’s your 1st summer or your 15th, we are ready and thrilled to welcome everyone back to Capital Camps with open arms. We can’t wait to see so many smiling faces back in Waynesboro.