Much of the Jewish religion centers around tradition – some dating back thousands of years. Whether it’s observing Shabbat, dipping our Apples in Honey on Rosh Hashanah, or lighting the menorah on Hanukkah, tradition is a key element in keeping our faith alive.
At JCC Maccabi Sports Camp, we too have many traditions. Every first Saturday at camp is dubbed “Sports Movie Night.” Just ask your camper; chances are they will still remember what movie we watched this past summer at camp.
Thankfully the holiday season brings families together to experience some quality time. As we enter the holiday season, we encourage you to find some time to bring a camp tradition into your home by hosting a sports movie night. Pick your favorite sports classic OR we recommend watching the 2003 Disney movie Full Court Miracle (available to stream on Amazon). Full Court Miracle is based on the true story of two real life characters – the University of Virginia basketball star Lamont Carr and the story of Alex Barbag.
Much like the Maccabees, this movie tells the tale of a Jewish, youth basketball team in the face of insurmountable odds and celebrates the miracle of dedication and human courage.
Here are some things you’ll need to make your Camp Sports Movie Night complete:
- Everyone must wear their PJs and bring a blanket and pillow.
- Surprise your kids by inviting some of their best buddies without them knowing – maybe a local camp friend!
- Snacks are essential – popcorn and M&Ms are our typical go-to.
- Be sure to have a quick “Cabin-Time” after to discuss the movie. Ask things like which character they would want to be and why and talk about the morals within the movie.
We hope your family’s sports movie might is a success! From all of us at JCC Maccabi Sports Camp, we wish you and your family a Happy Hanukkah and a joyous Festival of Lights.
Lilly is a 4th grade soccer player from Mountain View, CA and last summer was her first time at a sleepaway camp. Months after her camp experience, Lilly created this list of her Top 10 Favorite Things about JCC Maccabi Sports Camp to share with other kids who are interested in coming to camp. Thanks, Lilly, for creating this awesome list and we can’t wait to see you this summer!
1. My top favorite thing at camp is having fun with everything and getting to know everyone who was there
2. My 2nd favorite thing is swimming every day. (You have to pass a test at the beginning to get into the water, also you don’t have to swim every day.)
3. My 3rd favorite thing at camp is trying out new sports/things everyday during elective time.
4. My 4th favorite thing at camp is getting to do your favorite sport everyday (my core sport was soccer) for 5 hours except for Saturdays which is Shabbat.
5. My 5th favorite thing is getting to meet new people that are different ages, from different places and different schools.
6. My 6th favorite thing is the color war [Maccabi Cup] which was team DAIRY (green) vs. team MEAT (blue) and DAIRY won (I was on DAIRY). Another session it was GATORADE (green) vs. WATER (blue) and again green won (which was GATORADE.) Color war is where you do challenges to earn points and at the end of the competition Josh and Mara count up all the points and that determines which team wins.
7. My 7th favorite part of camp is all the other girls because there is very few of them compared to the boys and that makes all the girls work together very nicely and get closer.
8. My 8th favorite thing at camp is the counselors. For example my main counselor usually jumped on my bed to wake me up and that was “fun”. Another thing is that another girl counselor during rest hour would offer to do our hair and do our nails.
9. My 9th favorite thing is the talent show where you and/or a group of people think of something and do it during a talent show, for example some girls in my group did the cup song but wrote a camp version.
10. My 10th favorite thing about camp is the food. I like it because you get to personally chose your food. They have pasta a lot and they always have a salad bar and you get to have one dessert per day.
People often ask us how our camp is different than a “regular” sports camp. There are a bunch of things that make us unique, but in this blog post we’ll address one simple (yet significant) difference: Evening Programs. Our campers enjoy an Evening Program each night, taking a break from the instruction and competition of Core Sports. Evening Programs allow campers to have fun, learn new games, be silly, interact with various groups at camp, and make friends with campers outside their cabin and Core Sport.
Evening Program highlights from this summer were Human Mario Kart, Pool Night, “Quapture” the Flag, Israel Night, Talent Show, and Sports Movie Night.
If you’re having a hard time picturing just what Human Mario Kart and other programs look like, here are some brief explanations:
Human Mario Kart took the beloved video game and turned it into real life. Campers and staff were divided into 4 teams based on Mario Kart characters (Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, and Donkey Kong) and competed in a series of challenges that took place on a “track”, designated by cones set up on grass. The challenges included individual, small group, and full team activities, and the kids had a blast helping each other and watching one another (and their counselors) participate.
Quapture the Flag (yes, we invented the word “Quapture”) is our version of Capture the Flag. It’s played on the Quad which was divided into quadrants (hence the “Qu” in Quapture). Four teams competed to retrieve the flags from the other teams without getting caught. While it may have looked a bit chaotic, any camper would tell you that there’s actually a lot of strategy that goes into this game.
Pool Night was for our older age groups, Varsity and Teen Leaders. The 8th-11th graders enjoyed a night away from the younger campers and got the pool to themselves. They organized games for themselves, socialized, ate snacks, and enjoyed some quality teen time.
Sports Movie Night is always a camper favorite, whether they’ve seen the movie before or not. Some of our favorites include The Sandlot, Space Jam, Million Dollar Arm, Rookie of the Year, and the Mighty Ducks trilogy. (Don’t fret, parents, we divide the camp between older and younger kids and always select age-appropriate movies. Email us if you have a sports movie to recommend!)
The Talent Show occurs on the last Thursday of each session, an anticipated program for campers of all ages. During the Talent Show our campers (and a few staff) perform talents of all kinds; we’ve had singers, dancers, piano players, magicians, entire cabins presenting a choreographed dance and rap, Kendama pros, joke-tellers, gymnasts, and more. It’s one of our favorite programs because we love seeing campers perform in front of their friends and show off their talents outside of sports.
Each summer we create new and exciting Evening Programs, so campers can always look forward to learning new games, meeting new people, and being silly after a day of working hard in their Core Sport. We can’t wait to find our what our creative Program Director and Counselors have in store for next summer!