October 2021

A Message from Lisa, the Camp Director:

What happens to the camp team when camp is over? This question is very similar to the age-old question, where do teachers go when school lets out. Young children sometimes believe that teachers live at school and seem surprised when they see them at the market. As much as Austin, Melissa, Penny and I would love to magically live at camp during an endless summer, we are all back at work in Rockville.  We have been using the early fall to take a short break, debrief the past summer and begin planning for summer 2022. 

With Rosh Hashanah, we welcomed in the Jewish year 5782, a Shmita or Sabbatical year. In the same way, the Torah calls for us to work six days and rest on the seventh, this year is a Sabbatical year. After seven cycles of seven years, or every 49 years, the Torah calls for a “year of release” where debts are forgiven, agricultural lands lie fallow, and private land holding becomes open to the public. In September, Capital Camps & Retreat Center joined many other Jewish non-profit organizations in recognizing this important time to recharge by giving our professional teams a mini-Shmita.  Many studies indicate that breaks can help improve performance, creativity, and overall mental health. We enjoyed this break between Yom Kippur and Simchat Torah by visiting family, completing home projects, and finding time to read a good book.

 We have also been spending dedicated time debriefing the summer with the goal of identifying strengths and areas of improvement. We met in small teams and also spent time at camp with our combined Rockville and Waynesboro staff. Thanks to all the parents who completed the Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC) Satisfaction Survey.  This in-depth survey helps us take a closer look at what parents and campers think of their camp experience.  We will be meeting with a representative from FJC to further analyze the results.  When taking the survey, parents were able to indicate if they wanted to talk with a member of the camp team and we are thankful to the parents who took the time to complete the survey and share more details by phone and zoom.  We continue to welcome feedback from our camp families.

And of course, we have already begun planning for summer 2022.  Over 618 campers have applied to be at camp next summer. We began our registration process by exclusively opening up to our 2021 families.  Over 75% of our 2021 campers are already signed up to be back in Waynesboro next summer.  We are currently extending an invitation to families and friends of our 2021 families and next week will open up registration to the general public.   

While a young child may be surprised when they see their teacher, we cannot wait to see many of you around town and online.  On Friday, we will be at Congregation B’nai Shalom of Olney for a camp-style Kabbalat Shabbat.  And on Saturday, join Nick May and many of your favorite Leadership Team members for a virtual Havdalah.  

What does the Camp Team do when camp is over?  We look for ways to keep that campy feeling going!