By: Lowell Rose, alumnus
This past summer, I was asked if I would like to participate in the Camp George 20th Anniversary celebration and help lead a Super Spesh Song Sesh. I of course agreed. As a former camp songleader, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get to play with some of my past songleading colleagues and the current camp songleaders. The event was a ton of fun, and it was a great experience familiarizing myself again with the songs and recalling past summers working as a songleader.
In addition to the music itself, the experience also brought back memories of past song sessions, t’fillot, and Shabbat services at camp. These were always special times in the day or week where we could come together as a unit or whole camp community to participate in Jewish experiences together. Most days, these would be held at the Beit T’fillah, the Point, in the ulam, or even at the beach! The variety of spaces and experiences made for interesting, diverse, and meaningful services. On days that it rained though, it was often a different story.
On these days, we would have to hold daily services in covered places such as under the Ohel, which would eventually become muddy and damp, with campers (rightfully!) uncomfortable with sitting on the ground or standing. Or full camp Shabbat evening services were sometimes held in the Chadar Ohel, with space having to be left for the set Shabbat dinner tables, leading to a cramped space for campers and staff. While these services still had all the hallmarks of camp t’fillot, they don’t stick out in my mind as the most memorable, at least compared to those held on nicer days in the Beit T’fillah or at the point.
So at the CG@20 celebration, I was very excited to hear that camp is in the final stages of fundraising for a new, covered, outdoor Pavilion. This versatile space can provide a dry and comfortable setting for those Shabbat services where rain has prevented us from using Beit T’fillah in the past, and still provide a special, camp-like, outdoor atmosphere. It also gives songleaders another interesting space to hold daily services and song sessions, or faculty a space for “Choose your own T’fillah or Shabbat Limmud. This is all in addition to all the sports, arts, and evening programs that will also happen there. I’m confident this will only continue to improve the camp experience for all campers and staff and help to create even better memories.
Every contribution helps. Choose to name a stone in the pathway for $180. (A great, affordable option for us alumni). Or you can leave your mark by naming a seat for yourself or in honour of someone else for $540. Or Honour someone with a commemorative banner that will hang in the Pavilion for $1,800. This contribution can be made over 1, 2 or 3 years.
Looking forward to songleading in the completed Pavilion!