Dear campers, parents, friends, and supporters,
Wow! What an awesome inaugural summer for JCC Maccabi Sports Camp!
We had 113 campers and staff representing 11 states and 4 countries over the course of three fun-filled sessions.
More important than where everyone came from is the amazing and positive experience had by our campers and staff in our camp’s first year. It was truly remarkable to see camp transform from an idea described on a piece of paper to an actual program being experienced by our first wave of campers.
As a sports camp the appeal for most was the opportunity to work with professional coaches and receive high-level individualized training. This was certainly accomplished, but what soon became evident was the learning taking place on and off the field and meaningful friendships forming throughout our camp.
Campers learned what it meant to be part of a community.
A community that eats meals together, celebrates Shabbat together, watches sports movies together, lives together and sings Hinei Mah Tov together.
Each day before lunch we gathered as a community and in addition to hearing what each sport practiced that day, athletes and coaches also shared observations of Jewish values. Examples of Tikkun Middot, or strong character, such as helping a teammate in need or overcoming adversity by pushing oneself through a difficult drill became everyday occurrences. Campers helped each other observe Shmirat Haguf, holding one and other accountable to stretch, stay hydrated and apply sunscreen. Players of all grades, genders and skill levels played and competed together exemplifying our value of K’lal Yisrael.
What else happened at camp?
We created the game “Zombie Waterworld”, watched nations compete in our Futsal tournament, learned how to play lawn games like cornhole and ladderball, ate lots of Kind bars, met famous Jewish athletes like Hank Greenberg, Sue Bird and Aly Raisman (not really!), laughed and cheered during the camp Talent Show, watched the classic “The Sandlot”, held our breath during “Maccabi Minute” (our version of “Minute to Win It”), made paracord bracelets and constantly occupied the Gaga pit.
Did I mention we spent time with former MLB All-Star Shawn Green, who gave a hitting clinic to our baseball players and celebrated Shabbat with our whole camp? We did!
Naturally, camp isn’t camp without tie-dye, campfires and s’mores…all of which became integral pieces of our memorable experience.
The Maccabi Cup was contested for the first time this summer with the Blue Team dominating all summer. Let’s hope the Green Team can get their name etched on the cherished Cup for the first time next summer.
Combine all of this with amazing weather, beautiful athletic facilities and delicious food and you have a special place we call JCC Maccabi Sports Camp.
We are so excited we got to share it with our 1st Team All-Camp members and look forward to welcoming more young Jewish athletes to our camp next summer!
See you soon!
P.S. To see some of our best photos from this summer, visit us on Facebook.