As a guest writer and mother of this blogger I felt obligated to report more on the world of summer camp from the perspective of the "outsider". We had the opportunity to go to summer camp on visitor's day to find our happy and exhausted daughter filled with glorious stories of learning, fun, bonding and leadership that happens at her camp in the normal course of events.
It is still true that being awakened in the middle of the night for mishchief and fun is partially why these campers are so exhausted. But in one such case, it was my daughter and her friends who planned the surprise activity to give the younger campers the thrill and sense of finding themselves in an unusual historical drama and then being asked to navigate their way through relying on skills and leaning from prior weeks. Younger campers were awakened in the middle of the night and told that they needed to illegally escape their home country where they were being persecuted to try to make their way to Palestine and freedom during the British blockade of Palestine. This blockade was in place from the 1930's and continued until after WWII. [Towards the end of this operation, many of these people would have been Holocaust survivors living in detention camps in Europe.] Though many campers were caught and "jailed" and had many close brushes with "British soldiers", they were able to escape and make it through to Palestine (the camp parking lot!!!) and could celebrate with delicious brownies and cookies (which my daughter helped bake) in their new safe Haven and home. It did impress upon the campers a sense of fear and "not knowingness" that accompanies so many peoples trying to leave their homes to find a better life in a new country. Whew!
Despite such intense experiences, there are lots of fun sports and crafts and singing that accompany the campers through their summer as well as the nurturing of sweet life-long friendships !! I look forward, as I am sure you do, dear readers, to your blogger's return next week!