Our Sacred Space

  • Every morning, when I step out of the HC and look around the horseshoe, I see so much more than a semi-circle of white-framed bunks – I see a circle of memories soaked in 85 years of summer sun and memories and hung on the rafters to dry. The Dining Hall isn’t just the place where we eat all of our meals – it’s where we build community, learn camp cheers and connect with campers of all ages. The gym stage is where our girls build a strong foundation of confidence and courage. Every inch of this place breeds connection and curiosity and around every corner we are constantly blown away by the kindness and compassion our campers demonstrate.

    I look around now and I don’t just see a basketball court, but I remember the pride our Junior and Senior basketball teams felt after the tournaments at CTN and YJ. I don’t just hear the noise of camp, but I listen for the joy of seven blissful weeks spent without the pressures of the school year. I don’t just see the gym stage, I tear up thinking about how proud I was watching some of our youngest campers get on stage to perform solo songs for Miss Israel, and the happiness that was evident on Jessica’s face as she beamed at her victory. The road isn’t just the way to the Horseshoe, it’s a path to friendship, independence and lifelong memories.  Your mixed table isn’t just where you eat, it’s the family we spend evening activities with. Arts and crafts is the perfect place to roll up your sleeves, put your hair back and get a little messy, working on a project or working on a friendship, camp builds connection. Every sunrise is a fresh start and each sunset over Lake Oldham is the end to another eventful day at camp. Every inch of this place, and every memory made here, is filled with passion, steeped in excitement and palpable in everything we do.

    Camp turns ordinary moments into extraordinary memories, and I cherish the opportunity to share those with you every day as we capture them in photos and in each Friday blog post. Sitting in my office as I write this, I was startled by the sound of screams, cheers and clapping in front of the lodge. Yellow shirts at Camp Pembroke are a badge of honor. They represent leadership, commitment to Jewish values and the return of our Dor L’ Dor participants from their five weeks in Israel. They weren’t just screams, they were

    the sound of our summer family finally being made complete. A paddle-boarding class turned yoga session brought an element of the unexpected to our waterfront. Chloe spending some of her trip day money at Water Wizz to purchase two tootsie rolls for an adult staff member was a moment of thoughtfulness that blew us all away. Our upper campers treated their Jewish Arts Festival performance on Monday as an opportunity to demonstrate their poise, talent, and Pembroke pride. Every bunk’s MTV night performance was fun, engaging and told a story of committed practice and teamwork. An afternoon nap for Eve on the way home from a field trip that provided us with a sweet kodak moment. Big and little sisters taking turns reading to one another during an afternoon of quality time reminded us of the importance of taking a breath and focusing on what really matters, our sisterhood. Bunk 7’s impromptu tie-dye party sponsored by their amazing counselors gave campers a tangible takeaway and a special memory they’ll always appreciate.

     

    Each opportunity to tour a potential future family gives me the chance to walk around camp and see this magical place through fresh eyes, and I always walk away having a renewed sense of appreciation for the place I get to spend my summer months.  I love answering questions about the facility, bunk life and how letter writing day works (or sometimes doesn’t), but what I love the most, is the small moments that visiting families often experience that embody what makes this place so special. Lily engaging a future camper in a conversation about the different options in canteen and making her case for what she feels the water trampoline qualifies as a boat was sweet and happened so organically. Every step I take at camp feels special, and every moment I get to share with campers and counselors are moments I savor. I end each day exhausted but filled with gratitude for this community that embodies Jewish values. Our space is intimate, and our time may be limited, but we take advantage of every moment, and every inch, here in Pembroke.

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