Keeping the energy into second session:
As we settle into the second session, camp feels quieter. This is no surprise. A full summer at camp is quite long, with only a small session break. As a staff member, it’s nice to have a day off every week, but we can’t forget that camp is busy for campers as well. When I was a camper, I only ever stayed for one session. It felt short, yet still satisfying, each day filled with fun activities that left me exhausted. Camp’s 25th summer is my tenth, the “Backpack” summer, yet it’s only my twelfth session. This means that most of our full summer campers have been at camp for a lot longer than I have. Together, we acknowledge the ever-present potential for burnout, a sentiment not unfamiliar to us. The vibrant pulse of Camp George sustains through sunrises and sunsets, through laughter and camaraderie—it is a continuum, an unceasing celebration. In this spirit, we seek out moments of rejuvenation, nurturing our mental well-being to ensure a summer brimming with merriment, relaxation, and a sense of ease. Here are some ways we strive to accomplish these goals:
The Zen Den: The Zen Den is a great place to wind-down. Open to campers any time they need it, the Zen Den is a chill (it’s air conditioned!), comfortable room to relax in, featuring a massive bean bag chair, and expressive, yet quiet and serene activities like drawing and reading. This inviting space is more than just a room; it’s a sanctuary open to our campers whenever they seek solace.
Shabbat Programming: Shabbat is the day of rest. This is widely respected at Camp George. Saturdays are a great time to relax while also participating in camp programming. The morning block between services and lunch is a great time for learning. Shabbat Limmud teaches campers about Judaism and other topics close to the community, implementing activities like painting and team-building. The afternoon begins with an extended menucha, the post-lunch break time. We then move into Shabbat Chugim, three cycles of open activities featuring Basketball, Tennis, Arts and Crafts, and free swim. Once a session, the staff play in a saturday baseball classic, where the campers can cheer on their counselors and enjoy hotdogs.
Chugim!: Chugim is not just on Saturdays! Every day, campers in the Kochavim and Barak units get to participate in an activity area of their choice, of which they signed up at the beginning of the summer. Chugim is a great time for campers to express their passions through activity, and for most is regarded as their favorite period of the day.
As we navigate the rhythm of the second session, these elements coalesce to maintain the vibrancy of Camp George. They serve as gentle reminders that while the pace may shift, the spirit endures. With mindfulness and care, we continue to craft an environment that fosters joy, unity, and a deep sense of well-being. Together, staff and campers, we journey onward, embracing the boundless energy that defines our summer sanctuary.
Written by: Adam Krugel, Barak Assistant Unit Head