Dear Mommy & Tatty | June 28, 2002
Hello! It’s almost Shabbos here and one of the rules in camp is to write a letter home, so you’ll get to hear what’s going on up here.
The truth is that as you know I was quite scared to come to here all by myself for the 1st time. But, I’m really having a pretty good time, it’s almost hard to remember why I was so nervous. Basically almost everything is going alright and the staff seems to be on top of things. Like our on time departure from Crown Heights to camp on Tuesday we left on time and arrived early. We had extra unpacking time but believe me it wasn’t wasted because my counselor needed all that time to help us fold our clothing with the crease on the outside, which definitely paid off, because on our first clean up mark we got an extra half-a-point then we were supposed to, with a “Very Nice” written on bottom.
Later that night we davened a little earlier and had to skip the night activity so that some other kids would have some more time to finish unpacking. I, though had already finished so I spent the time talking to the boy who sleeps underneath me. He’s pretty nice and we’re becoming close friends.
Let me tell you about something else really interesting that we’re doing. Every night before Maariv the head counselor asks us a question and the next night whoever answers the correct answer receives a prize. It’s really cool stuff, like that several days before the Yom Kippur War the Rebbe made a rally for kids just like me and told them to sing a song with the words מפי עוללים ויונקים יסדת עוז להשבית אויב ומתנקם “From the mouth of sucklings and babes you established strength and destroyed the enemy”. These words were sung to the tune of the popular niggun of וכל קרני רשעים. I never knew that before -did you? If you did, why didn’t you ever tell me, at least it’s a good thing they did, and if there’s anything else like that you better hurry up and tell me before they do! Then after Maariv they also show us a little clipping of the Rebbe.
The next day we had some weird weather. It started off in my counselors words “smashing hot”; it stayed that way all through the learning classes in the morning and the activities in the afternoon. Don’t worry the heat didn’t stop me from playing my hardest, we even won two games. Plus, I didn’t get too hot because there was a big can that they fill up with drinks sitting in the camp square available at all times and we constantly took breaks from the game to get drinks. After all the activities were done and we were finishing off our snacks, it began to rain. So we had to have a general learning class in the shul and Rabbi Baras told us a really neat story , but it’s too long to write here so I’ll tell it to you when I get home (but don’t forget to remind me).
My favorite activity so far is night activity, which is almost like the other activities, but instead of the dripping sweat we were dripping tears of laughter from the really hilarious night activity director Moshe Marckel. He had a really good entrance right through a big smiley face picture set up on the otherwise empty stage. He really surprised us!
Then Thursday was the same thing as Wednesday, it started off hot in the morning. That wasn’t really too good because something went wrong with the air-conditioning system in the shul and it started smelling up the entire shul (don’t worry it was fixed a couple of hours later). So davening had to be done outside in the shade of the flag, just where I was standing the flag didn’t really cover my bunks line, so it was really really distracting, but the head counselor understood so he was giving out a whole lot of pictures of the Rebbe to those who davened nicely. In fact a kid in my bunk won, I didn’t win yet, but I’m sure that I am going to get myself quite a few before the summer is over. Even the קריאה for the fast day was outside, (imagine- they just carried the bimah outside!) and we had to find how many times in each aliyah there is a certain letter for a cold drink.
After that we had learning class, which was really pretty interesting. My learning teacher is extremely nice- even though he punished one my friends today that they would miss the beginning of night activity. Towards the end of learning class it started raining so we went to the shul for another general learning class. This time it was led by H.C. Asher Deren who told us all about how the Frierdiker Rebbe came to America. Afterwards between Mincha and Maariv we watched different clippings of when the Frierdiker Rebbe came to America and when he got his citizenship. I’m telling you I’m really learning a lot of new stuff.
But let’s not get sidetracked, before we davened we had our annual camper counselor baseball, kickball and soccer games. Since I’m in the younger division, I was by the kickball and soccer games and we won by a mile. We campers, we’re the best! I heard that by the baseball game even though at the beginning the staff had the lead, but the campers came back real hard and beat the staff by a full four points. I’m sure the staff is all embarrassed, they probably wished the game would be rained out, but luck was on our side and the only rain we had was during learning class.
For me the best part of a fast day is not only the camper counselor games, but is also the pizza supper. I’m still too young to fast, and therefore the H.C.’s wouldn’t let anyone fast, so I wasn’t hungry- but I still got real pizza for supper! Yippee!
Anyway, today was pretty regular, and I really helped with cleaning the bunk for Shabbos and bedside inspection. Our bunk is really working hard to win bunk competition. Today we also had a camper supervision drill, meaning we had to stay within sight or sound of one of our counselors, which even though I don’t like so much, it’s not so bad, especially because I like hanging out with my counselors.
Alright, it’s my turn for the shower.
Keep in touch