Dear Campers

  • To Our Campers,

    Just a little over a week remains in First Session – we can’t believe how quickly the time has flown! How are your new friends? Has the weather gotten any cooler? Drier? I saw some new pool floats, how fun! Fun in the Kitchen looks like a blast! Feels like just yesterday you arrived on that bright, sunny and HOT day and brought so much life and laughter with you to our most favorite place in the world…something has been missing and your presence and spirit made this place come alive. Some of you were a bit unsure as your trunk popped open and you nervously exited the back seat. Others barely looked back as you broke free from the embrace of your parents’ hugs, and now here we are, the one week left mark just around the corner, and there’s so much we want to say to you.

    We want to say thank you. Thank you for your kindness, and your questions, and for jumping back into camp right where we left off. We’ve had our bumps, and you’ve all handled each challenge and change with patience and grace and growth. Thank you to our Tsfat campers who stepped up during College Night in every way imaginable and for Bat Yam who gently guided them as they tackled their new leadership roles.  Thank you for your enthusiasm during our Northern Lights Dance Party.  Thank you Cora, for being a comforting, empathetic friend during swim class. Thank you Glucks for trying a new food and showing your campers there’s no age limit on a willingness to try new things. Thank you Y’Rush for bringing a ridiculous amount of spirit to your morning rally at breakfast. Thank you Bunk 9B for welcoming back Maya with open arms and lots of snacks! Thank you Sabrina for 13 summers at camp, we were so glad we could celebrate your camp Bat Mitzvah. And thank you to every camper who has offered a hug or a high five to us and for recognizing that even adults need a little support every once in a while.

    We are so proud of you. There are so many of you that we’ve had the chance to get to know over the last two weeks. We are proud of all you have accomplished in such a short period of time. Bunk 4, you’ve learned to master slime-making. College night captains, we’re proud of the leadership you demonstrated and to all of Tsfat, we are proud of the way you stepped up to support your friends and the entire camp community. We are proud of all of our first-timers. You have demonstrated tremendous courage in your first weeks away from home, you have made new friends, tried new activities and have done it all on your very own, that’s pretty special. You’ve learned to lean on friends and you’ve learned to feel comfort in the safety of your counselors loving arms. We’re proud of our Jewish Arts Festival performers who are rehearsing tirelessly so they can proudly represent our camp family, even with a virtual performance planned. It’s impossible for us to walk around camp and not stumble upon a moment that reminds us in some way why camp is the perfect place to grow, play and learn, and I’m proud of the simple fact that Pembroke nourishes that.

    We can’t wait to see you. Now we know, we are lucky because we get to see you every day. No need to hit the refresh button to find your smiling faces or run out to the mailbox to see if we got a letter. Each day we get to walk out of the Lodge and be greeted by your excitement, your bright eyes, and your joyfulness. But we still can’t wait to see you. We can’t wait to watch you master that perfect dive in the deep end, and we can’t wait to watch you beam as your big sister gets named a Color War captain, and we can’t wait to see you during next week’s Tournament Tuesday competitions.  We can’t wait to continue to watch you transform from a quiet 9 year-old into a bold, confident young woman, and we can’t wait to watch our counselors continue to transform simple moments into outstanding memories. We can’t wait to watch all you’ve learned here help you accomplish everything you want to out there.

    Now for a bit of advice. It’s been a wild ride, so far, but it’s not over yet. You’ve done amazing things, made memories that you’ll file away for the months to come. You’ve leaned on friends and let them lean on you. You now have a collection of moments, emotions and a vault of memories that will only grow as you grow up here. Things won’t always be perfect. We’ll have bumps in the road and days that seem to last too long. Savor every minute, squeeze your friends a little bit tighter as you link arm and arm in the Pinegrove tonight, and walk a little bit slower as you make your way to coffee cake breakfast tomorrow morning. Take it all in, the sight of waking up each morning with a view of the lake, the sound of screen doors slamming as we run back to apply bug spray before evening activity, and the smell of grilled cheese on a Monday afternoon. At camp, even the small moments can have the most significance. Get in as much tetherball and gaga as you can, watch every sunset over the lake, and have one more bowl of that sugary cereal you don’t get at home. Go to breakfast in your pajamas, get a popsicle from the nurse just for the fun of it, do handstands and cartwheels in the middle of the horseshoe during free play, and don’t forget to thank your counselors for the time, energy and unparalleled effort they put into making this the best summer, every summer. For so many, Camp Pembroke is a magical place: a horseshoe of white framed bunks overlooking the lake where so many people find their place and their people…a little piece of heaven on earth, and we are so glad that you love it here too.

    Enjoy every moment, and don’t forget to drink water, apply sunscreen (but not Neutrogena or Aveeno!) and smile for the camera!

    Shabbat shalom,

    Becca & Amy

2 responses to “Dear Campers”

  1. Erika says:

    I just love reading these every week. I’m so happy that the girls have been able to experience such a special place. Thank you for all that you each do to make this a home away from home.

  2. Jamie Rodriguez says:

    Becca you capture Pembroke in the most amazing ways.

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