Feeling Like CAMP Again

90 campers and staff members of the oldest division of Camp Gan Yisroel – New York, reunited in Crown Heights this past Shabbos.

This past Shabbos campers of the oldest division of Camp Gan Israel in Parksville, New York, reunited in Crown Heights for a weekend long Shabbaton.

As Shabbos set in, over 90 campers and staff packed the hall of Beis Rivkah. Many of them had come from all over the Tri-State area, and some had even flown in from as far as Florida and Seattle. Seeing their bunkmates for the first time in many months, the excitement in the air was palpable.

As Kabbolas Shabbos began, the beautiful spirit of Friday night in camp was quickly brought back to life with non-stop singing and dancing. Maariv was followed by a much anticipated Seudas Shabbos-Farbrengen.

A four-course meal was served and campers quickly picked up right where they had left off a short six months ago. With arms over their friends shoulders, one and all were soon up on the benches singing camp favorites way into the night.

The next morning, the campers joined the Oholei Torah 7th grade for Shabbos Mevorchim Tehillim. It was beautiful to see the out-of-towners joining the locals to together say tehillim.

Soon after Havdala they were off to the home of one of the counselors for the Melava Malkah finale. Hot, fresh pizza was served and many laughs shared as they played a camp version of jeopardy, quizzing them on their Gan Yisroel knowledge. A beautiful slideshow of the summer gone by topped off the evening. Sad goodbyes were shared as everyone departed.

“It’s crazy, I feel like I just hugged you good-bye at the bus in the camp square yesterday!” said one camper. “so I guess you’ll be welcoming me back tomorrow,” the other joked.

A very special thanks goes to the staff who tirelessly arranged, prepared and organized this event.