by Brian Mitchell, Camp Director
I successfully survived my first summer as Camp Director at URJ 6 Points Academy California. And in true 6 Points “Ruach” (Spirit) I believe I learned 6 things this summer:
1) Sports and Judaism Do Mix: We often say we don’t stop doing “Sports” to do “Jewish” and vice versa, and that was truly the case this summer. To see the creative methods how Judaism could be infused into our sports program was remarkable. The Jewish values that our community lived by within all of the sports we offered was extremely engaging and inspiring.
2) Small/Intimate = Powerful: Our camp community comprised of approximately 110 people each session throughout the summer. That allowed everyone the opportunity to really get to know one another. From our youngest campers to our oldest campers, everyone was able to spend time with one another, either in our sports majors, electives or all-camp programming, and built a very strong and inclusive camp community.
3) Israel Dancing is FUN, even at Sports Camp: The introduction of Israeli Dancing (Rikkud) into our daily program was a complete and total success! Every day after lunch, our community would gather to sing and dance in an exciting and energetic environment. The amount of crazy energy that was shown during this daily event was truly a site to see and be a part of!
4) ALL Sports ALL the time: It is possible for campers to want to play sports every second of the day. When given the opportunity, our campers would much rather play and compete in sports than do anything else.
5) It’s not the place, it’s the people: Prior to this summer, I had spent my camp career on camp properties that were owned by the camp and had been in existence for years and years. This was my first foray into camp being held on a rented facility. And, from this summer, I can honestly say that camp can happen anywhere, no matter where…because it’s the people that make it special and meaningful, not the place.
6) All In means Something Different for Everyone: We were ‘All In” this summer, but that meant something different for each of us. In order to be “All In” we each had to find a way to commit to being an active and engaged member of our camp community. Being “All In” was a GREAT way to live during this summer!
Thank you to everyone who made my first summer as Director such a great experience, and I cannot wait for summers to come. Already counting down the days until Summer 2019!