Day in the Life: Camp Song Leader

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Our Song Leader Emily Groff—or “Music Coach” as the campers call her—plays an integral role in our camp community. Follow her through a day in the life at 6 Points!

Like every camper at 6 Points, Coach Emily’s day starts with morning stretch. She sings Modeh Ani, a Jewish morning blessing, and strums out the song’s upbeat tune on her guitar while campers stretch. Her contagious enthusiasm injects life into campers who had only woken up a half-hour beforehand.

After breakfast, Groff meets with other leaders of Jewish life at camp and finalizes her song sessions for the day. Since this is Groff’s first year at 6 Points, she spent the week before campers arrived researching potential songs choices. During staff week, she sat at a different table each day and asked returning staff which songs had been done in the past, which songs they missed, and which songs they were excited to hear this summer. Groff’s goal is to have a mix of well-loved, familiar songs as well as some new ones.

“[I] find what they know, find what’s familiar, and look at common traits,” Groff said. “Based on the common traits, [I] find new things that they may like.”

Even though Groff hasn’t played sports in a long time, she finds it important to participate in sports majors with the campers. Throughout the week, she visits and participates in different sports majors such as basketball, softball, and lacrosse.

“I’m going to have a good time in that field, and in turn when we’re in song session, that kid’s going to be like ‘oh, she was out on the field, she was playing with us, she gave it her all, and I’m going to give my all to the song session,’” Groff said.

In addition to leading song sessions, Groff also leads a music elective. She finds it important to involve campers in the song-writing process. There, she and campers who are passionate about music work on creating an original camp song. “The camp song is about their experience and their life at this place, and it becomes a source of camp pride,” she said.

After a full day, Groff leads Siyum. Through her music, she connects a camp divided into different sports and dorms. During this time, our 6 Points community comes together, arms around one another, to sing Sh’ma and Hashkiveinu. This evening ritual brings campers together to wrap up the day.

At the end of the day, she wants parents to understand that 6 Points isn’t just a sports camp. She said, “When they get home, realize that they didn’t just have a sports experience. They had a Jewish sports camp experience.”