With the exception of the counselors who’ve spent every day this week together, it seems we CBAFers have rejoined regular society. I believe I speak for everyone when I say that while we appreciate reuniting with our families and the comforts of civilization, this camp season will be missed. All of the new campers, the truly remarkable cohesion and teamwork expressed by the staff, and a season of excellent programming and bonding have made CBF 2013 one of the best summers yet.
But while we may look (and smell) like we’ve returned to civilization, that does not mean that CBF has settled down. Already, plans are beginning to take shape for the next coming season. Not only is there new programming under consideration, but special events for the celebration of CBF’s 65th anniversary are in development. We hope to have quite a celebration for the big year, and you’ll of course remain updated on all special occasions.
One of the easiest ways to stay in the loop is to become friends with Camp Ben Frankel on Facebook. This is also the simplest way to see all of the pictures from this past year, and to tag all of the new friends made so that our new bonds can stay strong until next summer.
I’d also like to take a moment to thank the true backbone of CBF—the counselors. The senior staff does do important management, but the true experience, the beating heart, the love and the memories of camp are the responsibilities of our young staff. For all of the programs, the cabin activities, the classes and games, for the hugs and scoldings and stories and laughs, we thank you wonderful counselors.
And look at that—it looks like Shabbat is coming. We’ll enjoy these moments with our families, but if it’s not too much of a bother, maybe we could all sing a nice camp Shabbat tune tonight. If we all agree, we can sing comfortably, knowing our CBF family is with us always, and is waiting for our happy return next summer.
With love and thanks, until next year,
Acting Rabbi Tayto
P.S. There are more pictures and videos to come, surely from us, but I believe from you as well! Encourage your campers to post their photos so everyone can enjoy these mementos together.
Feelings are strange over here at camp Ben Frankel. While the last few days provides a few special experiences we don’t have in the rest of camp, everyone feels the creeping deadline at the end of the weekend that marks the end of an incredible summer.
Every day, a few more lasts are marked in our minds. Last night was our last friendship circle before bed, this morning was the last flag raising. Normal activities are done, and today we prepare for our last Kabbalat Shabbat service. There are some celebrations, including presentations at the talent show last night that showed off some of the skills our kids have been cultivating, as well as the end of the year across-the-lake swim challenge, (not for the faint of heart, trust me).
As we wind down, we’ll keep you updated with our final events. For now, enjoy these reflections written in our creative writing group, both by girls of Shituf Peulah, fifth grade:
“Sunday was an adventurus day of fun and exitement. There was ruach and battle in the 2013 Maccabia games. We started out with compititions team against team, camper aainst camper. Then a game of kick ball acompanied by chearing. Then we all raced in a relay finished off by a pie eating contest. Our stomachs blew up, (what was in that, veggies and sweets?). After menucha we go dow to the water-front for more competition. The afternoon games started with a limbo sticl and some kids. then we biuld our sandcastels. Then its a perfect time for making a super boat and seeing how long we can last in it. We end with tug of war. A little later we met again to discuss presentations. After dinner we presented our presentations. Yellow lost. Blue second place and Red won.
“My cabin, Shituf Peulah, is the biggest. I really like it when we spend time as a cabin and do fun things. We made a bucket list of stuff we wanted to do. We already pied people, made pet ricks, raided, and went to castle park. Tommorrow we are going to watch a movie, the next day have a triple birthday party, after that s’mores! This afternoon we are going to give Tadpole a makeover, we still need to tye-dye t-shirts, oh the last thing on our bucket list is Have fun!! Everything on our bucket list will get done. In between that we have fun games we play. I love spending time with my cabin!
Shabbat Shalom everyone, and get ready for Sunday– we’re sending some pooped out, tie-dyed, lake-watery, soccer-scraped, gaga-dusty, bug-juiced up campers your way!
Hi everyone! Here’s some reflections the writing club wrote last week about their time at camp:
Hi, I’m Kaia from the 4th and 5th grade girls. On monday my cabin got to pie Chief, Tayto, and Poptart in the face. It was so much fun! But that’s not all that happened. For the evening program we made food sculptures. My team made the flag pole. This is how we made it: we used oreos for the flag poe, jelly beans and m&ms for the ground, and gram crackers and marshmallow fluff for the flags. We also use m&ms. Then we got the eat our creations. Even if it rained, I had lots of fun.
Food sculptures were so much fun! We had gram crackers and m&ms and jelly beans and more! My team made the Beit Knesset. The Beit Knesset is where we pray. I made the path with oreos and vanilla wafers. The Torah was hard to make. But we made it with twirlers and pretzels. Camp is awesome! Food sculptures was one of my favorite activity.
Last night was and epic night. We kicked off the fun with a rainy Chalutizim swim! Barley anyone went in the water. Some brave swimmers swam. It didn’t thunder of lightning so it was SAFE! After some nice cabin time big antics started up. It was time for the 4-5th grade girls to pie Tayto, Chief, and Poptart. Eleven girls, twenty-two pies. We had a dinner with ANNOUNTSMENTS! I had a chicken no with eggs it would lay. Sorry, I couldn’t help myself. That’s the song we ding during announcements. So we have proclamations. Back the point, a delicious pizza was served. We ended the day with a food sculpture contest. With candy we had to build places in camp. From the Waterfront to the sunken cabin. The top threes (drumroll) 3. Mad Mertles Cave. 2. Tayto (our rabbi) 1. The flagpole area. Our snack was our sculptures. Eight sculptures, a bunch of kids gone in a wink. And no, wink didn’t eat it all. We were all on sugar highs at friendship circle. And yes, pieing Poptart and Chief was awesome.
I think the best activity so far was Drama. In my experience we learned lots of things such as.. stage directions, listening. parfiece and much more! I think my favorite game we played was “Honey, I Love You” In this everyone sits in circle with one person in the middle. The person in the middle must go the another person sitting in the circle. Then they will say “Honey I love you, will you please, please smile” in anyway that they like. They can dance, sing, make funny faces as long as they don’t touch the other person. The person on the outside of the circle must try not to laugh and say “Honey, I love you but I just can’t smile”. Overall drama was a wonderful experience. I hope to do it again.
My team made the waterfront we used the gram crackers for the sand and we sued the oreos for the path. We used blue m&ms for the lake. We used the twirlers for the rope. At the end we got to eat it.
My favorite activity might be food sculptures. It is when you make something that the judges tell you. We had to make the Beit Kanesst we had to make it out of candy. We got split into group. Some people got to do the flag poe and the waterfront and the chaddar and the sunken cabin. After you got to eat the candy.
I was sleep talking last week! I like food sculptures. I was team threes and we made the waterfront. We made the canoe out of oreo halves and use the twirlers for the rope. We made the path out of oreos and we used bananas for the people and we put counselors ion the counselors dock and we put two kids on the floating dock.
P.S. We’ve found that uploading pictures to Facebook has been much faster and more convenient for our limited internet situation at camp. We will continue uploading pictures here on the blog, but today, we were only able to post on our Facebook page. Stay tuned though– there are plenty more pictures to come!
And this years winners are… RED ROYALTY!
Congratulations to this year’s champions of Maccabia, the soon-to-be-legendary Red Royalty. The day was long and full of craziness, and from a staff end it was a challenge as always—we give a small team of counselors responsibility for a full day of scheduling and logistics, and the sacred duty of making one of the most important events of the year as memorable as it could be.
They did not disappoint. This year’s theme was superheroes, and each of the counselor judges was dressed fully in a super-costume (that the counselors bought and made themselves). Superman, Wonder Woman, Batgirl, Iron Man, the Hulk, Elektra, Catwoman, and Spiderman were all present. As the day went on, it was revealed that a supervillain menace from outer space was coming and only the worthiest team could join their super squad to defeat him. At the end of the day, the campers found themselves on the beach, illuminated by tiki torches and a bon fire, and witnessed the horror of Lord Crouton holding the superheroes hostage and threatening to feed them to the monster, the Sourdough Dinosaur. A red, yellow, and blue hero came to save the day, and it was the red team that slew the beast, announcing that red was the day’s victorious hue.
Between all that silliness, there was a genuinely impressive display from the campers. Teams made of both genders and all ages manage to work together for an entire day, writing songs, working together, building castles and boats, racing around camp at top speed, and supporting each other when morale got low. A special congratulations is in order for the five CITs who led these teams—for their first test as leaders, they all performed admirably.
Pictures from this glorious day will be coming soon, but the week presses on. As the final week of camp descends upon us, counselors have kicked themselves into high-gear. They know their window to create camp memories is shrinking, so special activity orders have been pouring in. Requests for tie dyes, trips to Castle Park, scary stories, movie nights, s’mores orders for cabin camp outs and more are barraging the senior staff. It’ll be an extra-busy week, but that’s exactly what we want.
Look forward to pictures from rock climbing and the talent show later this week, along with a collection from this year’s Maccabia. For now, enjoy these pictures donated from CIT counselor Soup’s camera, which includes a little bit of everything as a summary of the summer so far!
P.S. Check out our Facebook page today– we just added another six hundred of the blog pictures there to go with the thousand we added yesterday.
Maccabia is here! Our annual color-war day of challenges, Maccabia includes relay races, gaga tournaments, pie-eating contests, cheer competitions, sand sculpture building, and more. Kids of all grades are mixed together, spending their day side by side, led by CIT campers, who experience their first real test as leaders and counselors! The day is often cited as the best day of camp, and we want you all to be in on it too. Below are the team rosters, so you can cheer on at home the color you want to win!
CITs: Emily F. and Nathan R.
- Elliot T.
- Vera B.
- Hayley L.
- Celine M.
- Kaia J.
- Leah M.
- Cecilia T.
- Alia C.
- Rebecca Z.
- Evie H.
- Natalie B.
- Sheli C.
- Isaac S.
- Asher H.
- David B.
- Omer I.
- Zach O.
- Zach S.
- Maccabee R.
- Shakked A.
- Ben R.
- Josh F.
Counselors: Salsa, Scoop, Fiction, Tadpole and Squirrel
CITs: Hallie and Josh
- Paiton P.
- Shoshana R.
- Ella M.
- Sela R.
- Ella S.
- Juliana O.
- Edie B.
- Alayna H.
- Arianna H.
- Morgan M.
- Adina L.
- Chelsea M.
- Ella G.
- Zach Z.
- Ari S.
- Ryan M.
- Will B.
- Jarrod S.
- Tomas R.
- Josh C.
- Adam M.
- Josh P.
Counselors: Chewy, Frito, Tank, Doc
- Abby G.
- Aliya O.
- Zoe J.
- Lily S.
- Jessica B.
- Emily R.
- Ilya H.
- Elizabeth L.
- Bella S.
- Jillian F.
- Molly S.
- Dara H.
- Noga M.
- Binyomin H.
- Dylan P.
- Sam R.
- Adam S.
- Liam S.
- David P.
- Zane D.
- Jacob C.
- Josiah S.
Counselors: Chip, Lego, Baba, Kiwi, Clover
From the ninth grade boys:
“The camp season is going great. Sure we may have lost a few limbs along the way, but we of tribe Koach continue to have a fantastic time.
We just returned from our one-night-camping-and-canoeing trip, “Angry Puppy”. Despite a tremendous number of bugs and rain, the night went swimmingly. Some face-painting and s’mores were enough to give every camper something to fondly remember from the trip. Together, many of the campers and camping guides listened to our discussion of the philosophies behind several verses of Perkei Avot. As expected, we returned dirtier and smellier than ever, but, most importantly, we were more bonded together than before.
Since then, life and activities have proceeded regularly, or at least as regular as anything can get at camp. We were a little surprised to find our cabin “yarn-bombed” by the CIT girls. We returned to our cabin from a rather sentimental cabin activity to find that from bed to bed and post to post our cabin had been webbed with yarn. But we have no fear because an exceptionally silly revenge is on the way.
Today, however, was the best. The Fourth of July is not a national holiday that Camp Ben Frankel takes lightly. Per usual, the counselors crushed their camper counterparts in the annual game All-Star Games, a softball game we hold annually with staff against campers. Their score was half the staff’s score, but they have fun anyway, trouncing their counselors on certain plays and starting water fights between innings. The music was loud, the face-paint colorful, and the burgers delicious. We capped off a fantastic afternoon with some time at the waterfront. It wasn’t long before we prepped for the all camp picture. Some old friends of the camp dropped by and then we were off to the Carbondale fireworks show. Whether the show itself or the sing-off competition in the bus was more beloved, I do not know.
We menfolk of ninth grade have really found something special here this year. The guys have bonded with each other and we’ve established a good relationship with the eighth and ninth grade girls as well. We have completed our journey from a random assemblage of misfits campers to a team of disciplined gentlemen, who are still able to hit me with a water balloon from sixty feet away. We’ve been going strong all camp season and we plan on finishing even stronger.
Until next time,
~Lego, Koach Cabin”
P.S. We here at CBF wish you a wonderful Shabbat, and leave you these pictures from the last few days to enjoy:
Here’s a couple songs and a story from our young campers in the creative writing activity:
“Caroline was a simple young girl. Everything was nice and good. One day she got a package. It said to go to the cave at the cove at 10:30. She was scared. Her day continued normally. That night she left. Caroline didn’t know what she was doing, but she did it. She was very careful Caroline didn’t want anybody to know she was gone. In her package she received an Idol to wear. Caroline ut it on when she walked out the door. She ran as fast as she could. Once she got to the cove it was dark, then she got pushed into a door. It was white. Then she felt a sting. Her idol was glowing. She fell to the ground. Caroline couldn’t move. Suddenly she herd a voice. “You we have chosen out of all the people in the world for this test. You have no wish. What I choose will be your life. Caroline thought this was bad. Suddenly the room changed. She was a girl in the big immagration. Working her butt off for barley any pay. Get back to work! shouted a voice. No breakes here, he said again. She noticed her idol. She thought smashing it would bring her back, it did. Suddenly she grew wings back in that white room. You must learn the powers you need, dream fairly. What? Coraline was confused. Your imagination is hidden you must find it to give some good dreams. This day was totally random. Look in the walls, what do you see? Nothing. Color the walls. Caroline tried. She couldn’t again the voice cried. She figured out what he is telling here, imagination is endless.”
A Camp Ben Frankel song:
Camp Bren Frankel,
Is a lovely place,
You can make new friends,
And have a great time!
Sunshine, holding hands
Lots of fun and laughs,
Israeli Scouts and the lake,
Friendship circles when the day is done.
V-2: Having a great time,
Lots of mail and shabbat-o-grams.
Counselors or campers,
Camp makes you feel at home.
v-3: Tennis courts,
to the art shed,
the chadar and the Beity,
the food and evening programs.
Another Camp Ben Frankel song:
Oh at Camp Ben Frankel,
In the woods we tankel,
And I hurt my ankel,
Swimming to the dock
But I will never give up,
I will always have fun,
And when I look up into sun,
All my sorrow goes away,
Cause at Camp Ben Frankel, I will stay
If you go look up,
The word fun in the dictionary,
Fun would say
“Summer at Camp Ben Frankel”
If you ever feel down,
Just think about camp,
And that frown will turn upside down,
And you’ll be a champ
P.S. Enjoy this random assortment of pictures, contributed by our counselors!
Today and thursday, we have a special treat for the blog. Last week, some of our kids were in a creative writing activity, and now we get to take a look at some of the work they put together. They agreed they didn’t want their names on their works when they went up on the blog, so you’ll have to ask these talented kids when they come home about whether they wrote during camp.
Here’s a prose story from one of our girls:
“Once upon a time in new york city, there was a displaced princess. She was lost. She was tired. She was dirty. While walking around the people of the upper east-side one day she realized this. A force of habbit made her walk past all the department stores; with Beautiful window displays and wonderful colors. They were Bright Bought happiness to the concrete empire which encased her. Despite how Bright and wonderful she never saw them this way anymore. They seemed as dim as concrete and Bricks around her. She longed to leave, she dreamed of it durring every waking moment; it flooded her dreams.”
“I look at the sky
The sun burns in my eyes.
As the birds they fly.
I wish this sight never dies.
The tree reach up high. I wonder why.
Whys the grass green?
Why do flowers bloom.
Now I look to the moon and hear the graceful tune.
The tune that whispers-
The sounds of peace.
In my dreams.
For war there are no screams.”
And a story that doesn’t care for bells and whistles:
“A long time ago there was three aliens. They came to Earth for a science project. They wanted to figure out what a human was. They abducted and studied the human and human eskaped because the aliens were dumb. The End.”
P.S. Enjoy these pictures from Israel Day! Our counselors came together and shared their personal photos, so there’s a lot to look at here!
Good afternoon, and welcome to week three of the CBF season!
We’ve been radio silent for a bit, but we’re back, with all kinds of pictures from the dance, from cabin presentations, from our visit with the scouts and more.
Our time with the scouts was super fun. After our first day of dancing and Israeli activities, we were treated to a camp-favorite event, the scout concert! The next day, we got to have the scouts join us on our normal activities, riding along for horseback riding, swimming down and the waterfront, doing crafts and studying in Jewish learning. They stayed with us through the camp dance, (a reliably fun event, but one that annually promises high-running emotions, breaking up and getting together).
After the caravan returned to the road to visit other Jewish communities across the U.S., the rest of us found our way to the second Shabbat of camp. While the first one has a certain novelty of kicking off the summer, the second one has the advantage of having prepared campers. The whole camp knew the drill this week, which meant they could bring all their ruach and all their energy to the praying and the song sessions.
Then there was our Sunday program—Israel Day! Israel Day is one of the best days of the year, where the campers get a taste of Israel and Israeli culture. This year was especially well-executed, with some focus on fascinating minority communities in Israel. The kids got to have their hands painted in Moroccan henna, visited a pita making grill like the Druze make, hearing the stories and the music of the Ethiopian Jews in Operation Moses, and of course—visiting the Bedouin tent and writing a new camp song about the Bedouin culture. An afternoon of games and Israeli sports topped off the day down at the waterfront.
That’s it for now, but there’s plenty more to come. Independence Day, Maccabia, and a whole week of more activities and exciting programs to come! Enjoy all these pictures from the last week and look forward to the pictures from Israel Day!
Here’s some pictures from our camp dance!
« Previous entries Next Page » Next Page »