The closing of summer 2019!

Wow, what an incredible summer! And tonight we look forward with great excitement and anticipation for tonight’s Banquet and Closing Campfire. It feels like it was just yesterday that we welcomed summer 2019 at our Opening Campfire, but what a whirlwind these past 7 weeks have been.

When your kids return home, relish in the recounting and processing of their experiences this summer. Their voices may be hoarse from singing in the dining hall and cheering for Color War. They will be exhausted from long days and early mornings. They’ll be dirty and may refuse to clean (themselves – the lake is, after all, a shower). But most of all, they will be different. They will be resilient. They will be strong. They will be sad. And they will be hungry for non-kosher food. Camp has given them the opportunity to grow into wonderful people and you should be proud of sending them to Kingswood for the summer. 

We miss your kids already and we are counting the days to summer 2020 (317 days)!

As always,

Peace and love from 04009

Sophia, signing off.

Week Two – This is what we do!

Hi, extended Kingswood family!!! We have just said goodbye to our 5.5 and 2-week campers of session two and they have left a heart-shaped hole here at camp. That being said, we still have seven days left in our summer and we are absolutely making the most of them! This week was whirlwind! We started it off with Color War!!! The theme was Outer Space and our kids had so much fun creating, competing, running and cheering. In the end, it was the White team (the Moon) who we crowned the victor. Color War is indescribable and magical and it proves just how spirited, courageous, and innovative our campers are. And we have been spending the week waiting for our voices to come back. On Friday, we had Choose Your Own Adventure. This is a special day we have for our kids who haven’t had a chance to do certain electives and they can handpick their schedules for the day. Looking forward to this week we have camping trips going out, our camp play – Frozen, our very own episode of Saturday Night Live, and the closing campfire and Banquet!

Today we are featuring our Chalutzim unit. Chalutz campers are going into 10th grade and they are our oldest campers! These teens are Kingswood pros and are role models for all our younger campers. Their week was awesome! They had a huge role in Color War and they cooled down with Coffeehouse. Coffeehouse is a chill talent show that takes place in our dining hall with fairy lights and a relaxed ambiance. The kids sang, read original poems, vegged out, and enjoyed hot chocolate and popcorn. On Monday they left for a three-day camping trip to West Forks, Maine. The kids will be rock climbing over the ocean and learning to tie knots, belay, and rappel. It’s always nice to enjoy a change of scenery and explore vacationland and all it has to offer! But we do miss them and cannot wait for them to be back here in 04009.

Make sure to check back in next week as we say goodbye to summer 2019 and like and subscribe to this blog and our youtube channel!

Peace and love from 04009

 

Welcome to Second Session 2019!

Hello to our extended Kingswood family!

Welcome to session two!! Our first week together has been absolutely wonderful and fun-filled. We took our all camp outing to Funtown/Splashtown USA! Our campers soaked up the sun with countless rollercoaster rides, trips around the carousel, and splishing and splashing on waterslides. It was a super fun day full of smiles and cheer… Our Chalutzim campers took a trip to the Old Town of Portland and tested their wits while participating in a scavenger hunt around the city. The trip allowed them to bond with one another and enjoy some non-camp delicious foods. Our Chalutzim campers also met their Big/Little families this week. We have a great tradition here at camp where our youngest campers are paired up with the oldest campers and they create “families.” They participate in events together all summer and it fosters unexpected and adorable friendships. Our Tsofim campers held on to their hats for Rob’s team challenge, a Kingswood fan-favorite. Campers competed in minute-to-win-it games designed by our very own, Nature Rob, and they tested their wits and physical strength to win the game!

We were lucky to welcome Noam Katz to Kingswood this week. Noam is a musician, composer, Rabbi, storyteller, and Jewish educator and recently volunteered with the Abayudaya Jews of Uganda and has been sharing their powerful stories with audiences around the world. He was here leading Israeli Education, working with our Bogrim, Chalutzim, and CITs –– Teaching them to play guitar, and was our guest song leader at Shabbat services. He has been a wonderful addition to the camp community this.

We also welcomed another guest, Pamela Rae Schuller. Pamela is a professional stand -up comedian with Tourette Syndrome and uses her disability and talent to advocate for those with mental health issues and disabilities. She helps kids and teens to be proud of who they are and create inclusive communities. She held workshops all weekend with our kids. She told stories of her own life and taught them improv skills and encouraged them to always saying “yes” to new opportunities. We had a great time learning and laughing with her.

Color War broke last night!!!!! To fill you in on some camp vocab: Color War is an intense two days of competition where the campers, CITs, and staff are divided into four teams and compete at sporting events, swimming relays, cheer-offs, and creativity night. If you don’t lose your voice, you aren’t doing it right. This summer’s theme is Space. The Blue team is Stars, Red is the Sun, White is the Moon, and Green is the planets! We can’t wait to see who will prevail and win big at Creativity Night on Thursday!

 

 

Week Three – Full of Glee

The last week of session one has arrived and we couldn’t feel more bittersweet about it. We hate saying: “see you later,” but I know we will cherish these memories of summer 2019 forever. Week three has been wonderful! All camp activities included an alluring performance by fantastical wizard, Peter Boie, who tricked, awed, and enchanted us with a magic show. We watched and cheered on our fellow campmates who performed in the Dance and Gym Show. They kicked, flipped, and wooed us with their ruach and tenacity and we are so proud of them! Yesterday, we had an all camp game of Counselor Hunt for Maccabiah. Counselors hid around camp and the four teams tried to rack up points by finding as many counselors as possible. But remember, some counselors were worth negative points… Stark and Lannister tied for first! We can’t wait to see who will sit on the Iron Throne this Friday at the closing of Maccabiah. Tomorrow we are looking forward to the  premiere of Kingswood’s rendition of Willy Wonka. Your kids have been working so hard and we can’t wait to see their efforts pay off! Hopefully I get a golden ticket. Coming up we will welcome our final Shabbat of the session, Banquet, and the closing campfire. Don’t pull out the tissues quite yet.

And now let us give a big, warm Kingswood welcome to our Bogrim Unit! Bog campers are going into the 8th and 9th grade and they are Kingswood experts. They had an awesome third week of camp and I am super jealous of all their activities. They enjoyed a night of raving at Club Bog: an exclusive dance party for Bog campers to enjoy top 40 hits and the company of their friends. They also went to a Hawaiian Luau! They dressed up with leis, Hawaiian shirts and enjoyed a night swim and fresh fruit; celebrating the session coming to a close. Our Bogs were all packed for an awesome camping trip to Lower Falls on Kancamangus Highway but Mother Nature had other plans and it was unfortunately cancelled. But a little rain didn’t stop their fun and they made the most out of their situation. They had a cook out, made shakshuka, and roasted chicken over a campfire right here on the waterfront.

This week, our Bogrim camper feature is Maya Shevelsky. Maya’s favorite part of the week was: “Making new friends and hanging out in the bunk with bunkmates and counselors. Also the luau and was so fun because we got to night swim and listen to music.”

Make sure to check back in next week for the start of Session Two and like and subscribe to the this blog and youtube channel.

Peace and love from 04009

Week Two in Review!

We can’t believe we said goodbye to our two-weekers yesterday. Crazy how the summer is just flying by. Fortunately, we have an incredible second week of camp to review for all of you. Funtown/Splashtown USA was amazing and all our camper’s showed their Chutzpah on the scary (fun) rides. We also had our annual July 4th Kingswood Carnival and celebrated with snow cones, red/white/blue cookies, dunk tanks, and fireworks. It’s always fun to dress up and honor independence. On Friday night we welcomed our second Shabbat of the session and it was magical. The air is always a bit warmer and the sun shines brighter on Friday and Saturdays here at camp –– You can really feel a sense of community and serenity. We said goodbye to Shabbat with an all-camp social and Havdalah on Saturday night. It was a wild and jam packed week, so we are chilling things out with a few camping trips to enjoy nature and reset. We just sent our Chalutzim (10th graders) to Acadia and our Bogrim will be venturing to Lower Falls tomorrow.

We had so much fun catching up with our Olim campers last week and today we want to check in with our Tsofim kids. These campers are between the ages of 11 and 12 and they have been loving their second week at camp. They started off their week with a fan-favorite: Cupcake Wars! Campers were divided by bunks and given cupcakes and frosting and they had to design their favorite flowers. Then in the final round they had to decorate an entire cake and in the end Boys 11 was crowned the victor. They also competed in Rob’s team challenge and played for Maccabiah points. Team Baratheon came in first place and the Lannister’s followed closely behind in second. We are still anxiously wondering who will sit on the Iron Throne… Some  of our Tsofs took a day trip and hiked at Step Falls and splashed around in the beautiful waterfalls. They ended their week with a Tsof Talent Show. The kids showed off their amazing skills and blew us all away. There was comedy, flute playing, a rock band, and singing and dancing. Your kids rock!

Today, we will be hearing from Anika Carlson, Girls 13, who had an awesome second week of camp! “My favorite thing that happened this week was camping and tubing. At camping we had to pair up and one of us was blindfolded and we had to walk through the woods together.”

Camp is in full swing and we are loving every minute of it. Check back in next week to hear about our Bogrim Unit and as always, like, subscribe, and watch our weekly videos.

Peace and love from 04009

 

Week One – So Much Fun!

Hello to our extended Kingswood family! Hope all your summers have been as much fun as Session One here in 04009. Camp is in full swing and we are all so so happy to be here and reunited with our second family.

We have been blessed with blue skies and lots of sunshine luckily, so week one has been easy, breezy, and full of fun electives. Our campers have been partaking in fan favorites like tubing, zip-lining, and outdoor cooking. We have just finished up auditions for the first session play, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Our awesome cast members are already busy learning their lines and preparing for the big show. Also woodworking, a brand new, exciting elective we are now offering has become very popular and may just be the best area on camp.

Tomorrow we head out to Funtown Splashtown USA, the best amusement park ever!!!! But shhhhh…. it’s a surprise and the campers don’t know! Coming up we have an awesome fourth of July carnival and a whole session of Maccabiah to look forward to. Maccabiah is a session long competition where the camp is divided into four teams and they compete in weekly events of strength, ingenuity and creativity. This summer’s theme is Game of Thrones and only time will tell who shall prevail and and sit upon the iron throne.

Each week I will be shining the spotlight on a different unit at camp and today we will be starting with our adorable and curious OLIM UNIT! These campers are going into 3rd and 4th grade and spread sunshine wherever they go. Their first week was jam packed with so much fun and friendship. It started off with a classic camp-favorite, Rob’s team challenge, which is an evening of minute-to-win-it games and challenges that require strength, balance, intelligence, wit, and a positive attitude. They then slowed things down with a fun and chill evening with their “camp family.” Here at camp we have a tradition where our youngest campers are paired up with our oldest campers and they form a camp family. This big/little program helps to foster unlikely friendships and unites the camp community. IMG_2931.JPG

Today the Olim cooled things off and went on a day trip to Cascade Falls to explore and splash around in the beautiful waterfalls of Saco, Maine. It’s always nice to get off camp and take advantage of this beautiful state and it’s incredible natural wonders. But isn’t it wonderful that the fun has just begun and the Olim have so much more to look forward to this summer?

Finally, I’d like to feature two Olim campers, Sam Newell and Noga Shemesh, who both had an awesome first week at camp. Sam said: “My favorite thing I did this week would be… the musical. We had practice for it and working on it was really fun.” Noga’s favorite part was “Cascade Falls because we got to climb up the waterfall and went 30 feet into the water and it was really deep and big and it was very fun. I also love tubing and I love dance.”

Check back in with us next week and make sure to follow, like and subscribe to the blog and youtube channel.

Peace and love from 04009

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bring on Summer 2019!

And we are BACK! Sophia here, again, reporting to you live from the 04009!

It’s officially T-Minus 19 hours and 46 minutes till we open the front gates and finally welcome summer 2019!

No words can express how excited we all are to get session one up and running. Our incredible staff and admin team have been hard at work preparing for this new season and we are all in agreement this summer will be the best one yet.

We will be posting weekly blogs and videos every Wednesday so subscribe here and on our youtube channel so you never miss any of the magic here at camp.

Here’s a quick glimpse of Staff Week 2019:

peace and love from 04009

That’s a wrap!

I am sad to say it folks, but today is our final day of camp. Day one of the summer feels lightyears away, and yet, it was only just a mere 7 weeks ago! So much has happened since then, so thank you for staying updated with us here. You will always hold a piece of summer 2018 in your hearts. And once the tan (sunburn) lines fade, all we will have are those cherished memories and the countdown to summer 2019. 318 days away, but who is counting?

We may have come with the bags we packed, but we all will bring home something new. Some of us came as strangers and are now leaving as best friends. Some have discovered a new favorite food. Some successfully wakeboarded for the first time, and some took one step closer to figuring out who they are. We will be leaving with the clothes we came with, but we will never be the same in those garments again.

Camp is love. Camp is love for the trees and the oxygen they supply us. Camp is love for the calming lake that never ceases to sparkle. Camp is love for the stars that light the way in the dark and the crickets that soothe us to sleep. Camp is love for the thunderstorms that keep us cozy and the sticky s’mores that keep us quiet and entertained around the campfire. Camp is love for the counselors who counsel and Chaco Tacos that somehow taste better here than anywhere else. But most of all, Camp is love for the smiling children who make it all worthwhile. Thank you for lending us your most prized possessions. They are brave, bewildered, clumsy, and powerful. And most importantly each and every one is their own distinct self. And we have loved getting the chance to know them.

Thank you, Kingswood for all the love you have given me these past 12 summers and for the love you will continue to gracefully keep on giving for generations to come.

Take a look at the final week of Kingswood summer 2018!!

As always,

Peace and love from 04009

 

Some “see you laters” and a peek at Color War

Hi Kingswood family! This week has been very busy so I am sorry for this delayed post. All is well in 04009. This weekend we said goodbye to over a 100 campers, but we never really say goodbye, simply: “see you later,” because we know we’ll always be back. Though it’s been a lot quieter during meal time, this magical place is still buzzing with merriment.

This week we sent out all our units on respective camping trips. Our Tsofim unit camped out at Sebago Lake State Park. They swam and explored during the day and bonded over s’mores and stars into the night. Bogrim campers went to Lower falls, Diana’s Baths, and bounced away the afternoon at a trampoline park. Rain threatened to ruin the trip, but our resilient Bogs made the most of their situation and still managed to have a great time. The Chalutzim Unit rock climbed at Acadia National Park and soaked up the exquisite views this beautiful state has to offer. And finally, our Olim campers had their very own camp out under the stars here at Kingswood.

We are glad to have everyone back from their excursions and come together for what will be our final Shabbat of the summer. This week has been a whirlwind of fun and there is still so much to be had in these last 5 days. We will be sending our campers on a “Road Trip” where they will have the opportunity to travel around the country and explore what the States have to offer. Fidler On the Roof will be premiering this Sunday night in our very own Old Rec Hall. We can’t wait for camper vs. counselor sports tournaments, the Magic Draft, Art Appreciation Day, and everyone is dying to know the theme of Banquet.

As promised, here is our color war video. From the outside looking in, you may never understand, but I hope this helps!

Check back in next week as we say our final “see you laters” to camp and summer 2018.

Peace and love from 04009

CITS 2018 and life lessons camp taught us

Session two is well underway. We have just ended what has been a spiritful, exhilarating, and exhausting two days of intense competition. Blue, White, Red, and Green put it all on the line for the throne. In the end, the Blue team prevailed and was crowned victor. We would like to give congratulations to all four teams for their unwavering efforts! (Stay tuned for a color war video coming out this week).

After a fun few days of trips and competition, we are ready to get back into the swing of things with the second cycle of electives.

And now it is time to introduce our FINAL UNIT. Let’s say a big hello and thank you to our fabulous CITs (Counselors in Training). Our CITs work incredibly hard. Most of these kids have been campers for years and this coveted role is something they have looked forward to. Many of our CITS spent the first session of camp in Israel, touring around the country and soaking up its wonderful culture. The bond created on that trip is visible as they transition into the second session here at camp and their energy is contagious and inspiring.

Their session is quite busy. They were the captains of their Color War teams and them in song, cheer, and ruach. They absolutely deserve their day off tomorrow, which they will be spending in Ogunquit, Maine. When they aren’t cheering their hearts out, they are preparing for Banquet (a secret themed final dinner at camp the CITs plan), supporting the campers and staff in their assigned bunks, and creating and running evening activities for our Olim and Tsofim Units.

Forgive me but it’s time to get nostalgic. I wanted to share with you guys six important life lessons that camp has taught me.

  1. Camp friends will always be your best friends. There are always friends anywhere you go. But there is something about living in such close proximity to people for such an intense amount of time that creates bonds that will last forever. They know you more than you know yourself because they have been through it all.
  2. You learn to interact with people who aren’t necessarily just like you. Kingswood is home to many different walks of people. Campers get exposed to different opinions, ideas, cultures, and beliefs. It’s important to remember that we are all our own people, living complex lives, and we have a lot to teach others. Camp is a transitional environment where kids can learn and grow into the people they want to be.
  3. Sometimes we all just need a cool shower. Yes, we all stink. Yes, we are smothered in layers of bug spray and sunscreen. Yes, it is hot. But showering is the best way to relax and take some time to recharge. We are surrounded by people all day and all night. I have always appreciated the little moments of quiet where it can just be me.
  4. Breaking out in song is normal, and totally encouraged. The real world is not a musical. But at camp, everything is your stage. It’s incredibly exhilarating to sing along to Disney Channel theme songs while you’re scarfing down chicken fingers and french fries in the dining hall.
  5. You’re never alone. Camp is a community. You will never have to go through anything by yourself. Of course, there are ups and downs but because we are so tight-knit, we support one another no matter what.
  6. You will learn something new every day. Whether it’s about yourself or a new skill. Face some fears, learn to french-braid, try to even comprehend the game of Magic, taste a new food, and cut your bangs. This place is always going to surprise you, so let it.

Take a look at the first week of the second session!

Subscribe to our youtube channel and the blog!

Peace and love from 04009