“Hot Fun in the Summertime”

Summer arrives on Thursday, and it beckons for some good old-fashioned fun. When I think of summertime as a kid, what comes to mind is freedom from homework and studying, hours spent outdoors — often at the pool (and sometimes at the beach!), special times with friends, vacations with family, and going to camp.

Back then, summer break seemed endless, relaxing, and full of limitless possibilities with a very different kind of routine than the school year had. Camp offered sports, games, crafts, excursions, and making new friends over these activities. I have vivid memories from summer camp in the Catskills (a bungalow colony in Monticello) of morning meetings at the flagpole, winning a contest to list the names of all 7 dwarves from Snow White, my brother being carried (wrapped head to toe in tin foil) as the mascot for Color War! As a day camper and eventually a counselor, I remember spending rainy day indoors, free swim time, making lanyard key chains and doing arts & crafts, and ice cream Fridays where mint chocolate chip was the favorite flavor (though not for me — chocolate was mine).

As an adult, I know that summer break is only a mere 9 or 10 weeks long, and boy does it go by quickly. To evoke the nostalgia and sheer joy of those wonderful, carefree summer days of childhood, the J is offering a mini-camp experience for adults: Camp Gadol (camp for ‘big’ people/grownups) is coming August 5-9. It will be a one-week, half-day program, 9:30am-1:30pm with 3-4 activities each day; lunch will be provided. Enjoy fun themes and activities like color war, sling shot archery, singing & dancing, art, games, Shabbat, and more! See the schedule below. Registration information is coming very soon; save the dates now!


A one-week, half-day camp experience for active adults of all ages!
Monday-Friday, August 5-9, 9:30am-1:30pm

Come experience a bit of nostalgia from that era of carefree days of summer at the J’s Camp for ‘big’ people: Camp Gadol! Each day we will have a different theme and 4 activities; includes lunch.

Day 1: Welcome to Summer Camp!

Enjoy an icebreaker activity and share favorite camp memories with others. Make friendship bracelets, go on a scavenger hunt, and make s’mores over a fire after lunch.

Day 2: The Art of Living

Explore Jewish wisdom about the art of living, make a beautiful mixed media botanical print, play ping pong for prizes, and create a visually pleasing dairy charcuterie board for lunch!

Day 3: Color War

Use color throughout the day: build a Lego creation in your team color, pick up picture-taking skills to enhance your smart phone photos, play sling shot archery, learn about “eating the rainbow” for nutrition and enjoy healthy smoothies!

Day 4: I  Israel

Take a quick trip to Eretz Yisrael and experience Israeli culture with Shaliach Dean Bagdadi. Sip Turkish coffee while acquiring popular Hebrew expressions and cool trivia, learn Yemenite basketweaving, and participate in Israeli Dancing before enjoying a delicious Israeli-style buffet breakfast dish cooked by Dean!

Day 5: Shabbat Happens

Get in the mood for Shabbat! Make Havdalah candles from beeswax, participate in a hands-on service project to help repair the world (Tikkun Olam), sing traditional songs with song leader Shy Ashkenazi, while enjoying bagels and lox with “two cents plain” (seltzer)!

Attend the full week or individual days:
Early Bird Pricing until July 14: Weekly Rate: $180 | Daily Rate: $40                   
Regular Pricing after July 15: Weekly Rate: $220 | Daily Rate: $55
(Registration link to come.)

We hope you’ll spend all or part of the first week in August at Camp Gadol and enjoy some hot fun in the summertime in the airconditioned Pozez JCC!

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