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NCSY Camp Sports never really ends..

Dear Parents,

I hope that this final note of the summer finds you and your son doing well. As you can imagine these last few days in camp were a flurry of activity during the most rain I have seen in my 23 years working in camp. We celebrated Shabbos, Tisha B’Av as well as all the closing activities in camp.  I am sure your son has shared with you some of what went on in camp, but here is a glimpse of all that occurred at the end of an amazing summer.

Although Shabbos was actually the Ninth of Av the fast was moved to Sunday since Shabbos takes precedence. This meant that we would have our usual spirited Shabbos with amazing singing and dancing during the davening, meals and oneg. The oneg was run by our counselors, Kollel program and led by Rabbi Avi Rosenbaum. The oneg featured some great food and even better inspiration with words of Torah from former campers that were in the Kollel this summer. Shabbos day was full of that same ruach at davening and the meal. As Shalosh Seudos approached we had an exciting shiur about how to keep the inspiration going post camp and then headed out for our last meal before the fast. Following the meal, we ebbed for one last time with singing and some great stories from Rabbi Fried.

We headed to the Beis Medrash for Maariv and Eicha. We had prepared the NCSYers that Tisha B’Av would be a meaningful day and we explained the meaning of each part of the day. Before we read Eicha I  set the tone for all of Tisha BA’v explaining that our mourning cannot be one of despair, but one of purpose.

For Tisha B’Av we spent the morning with our staff  explaining 10 kinos as well as some singing between kinos. This lasted from 10:00 am – 1:15 pm. In the afternoon we showed some meaningful videos, davened mincha, and had an amazing kumzitz as the sun set.  In the middle of the kumzitz we were joined by Camp Ohr Haner, another camp on campus run for boys from Central America. It was beautiful to have both camps come together, almost 200 people, ending the fast with achdus. We intended to stop the singing at the end so we could break the fast on time, but the NCSYers and Ohr Haner campers continued dancing in what I can only say was one of the most beautiful sights I have been a part of in camp.

Monday morning we had some great learning groups and headed out to the playoffs. We barely made it through the games with all the rain, but we managed to get the playoffs in, albeit with some mud. After the playoffs and supper, we went to the Four Seasons indoor sports facility. The boys had a great time playing sports and relaxing. It has been beautiful to see how the NCSYers came together as camp progressed to become more than friends. It really was the making of a small family this summer.

Tuesday was the last day of learning groups and many of the NCSYers who won prizes went to collect them at local restaurants and stores in the early afternoon. Heavy rains finally won out and we had to play indoor soccer for the championship games, the Toilet Bowl and Kiddush Kup. Following the games, we celebrated some great sports with steaks at camp (the barbecue was also rained out). The evening came to an end with some final speeches, a video, evaluations, t-shirt presentation and an inspirational “open mike” kumzitz.

Here is the link to the week 4 video. I hope you enjoy.  

This was truly an amazing summer. It was filled with some wonderful trips, intense and fun sports, some great learning and of course the inspiration and growth that NCSY specializes in. I wanted to thank all the members of my staff for making this happen as well as thank you for sharing your son with us for this month.

As we always tell the boys, Camp Sports never really ends because you are always part of our family and we try and stay in touch with every NCSYer. Please make sure to always be in touch if we could be a help to you or your son.  Hopefully, your son will join us or another NCSY summer program next summer.

Until then, keep flying high and have a great Shabbos,

Rabbi Jon Green

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