Thinking of the sh’mita year and mental health awareness month, the need for rest and taking care is striking to me. Millions of Americans struggle with mental illness and mental health needs every year. I’m not here to suggest that camp can solve mental health struggles. We do know that belonging to a community, being in fresh air, laughing, being with friends, and finding meaning in our lives can soothe us and foster creativity, hope, and feelings of fulfillment.
Ultimately, I would suggest that these important pieces, these small or big traditions that have evolved over our 75 years of being a camp, make up the special sauce of what it means to BE at camp. These little rituals put together make the experience of being at camp so unique, and beautiful that even the time passing feels so different than during the rest of the year.
Camp counselors are so much more than just college students working a summer job … they ensure safety, they create comfort and they are the unconditional-loving adult for the over 850 children and teens that will spend time at camp. They offer guidance and support, while encouraging campers to grow and stretch beyond what they think is possible.
We remember the six million Jews and the millions of lives cut short by the atrocities of the Holocaust. We also remember those who were not Jewish and risked everything to protect and save us.
This Shabbat, we hold on to both the triumph and heartache together. We rejoice in a new barrier broken and we pray for peace and comfort for the millions of people living through fear and uncertainty.
Camp is wonderful for so many reasons but as an educator, I love that campers get the opportunity to study texts and sources, think about how it might affect their lives, and then make informed decisions about celebrating Judaism. What a gift to give to our children!
The Little Ambassador, and ark created by beloved camp artist Helen Burke and many Swig campers and staff, has a rich history with Camp Newman and Camp Swig. When our camp moved officially to our Porter Creek site, The Little Ambassador, along with many other pieces of work that Helen crafted with generations of campers, found its new home.
My experience at that Leadership Institute at Camp Saratoga in the 1950’s, was the influence and the guide in my journey in the Reform Jewish world.
Caren Kline Camp Swig: Machon '84, CIT '85, Staff '86 Never would have thought that my 3-weeks of Machon at Camp Swig Saratoga in 1984 would pave the way for our two sons, Noah and Seth, to have the impact it has had. Noah was hooked right away first summer going into...
When I was 17, after the five-week session of CIT Class ’75, I stayed on at camp to work as the artist assistant to Helen Burke. This in itself was a dream come true for me because I loved being in Helen’s workshop, sculpting in welded copper and creating mosaics, and I loved being with Helen!