January Kingswood News
Hello Kingswood families, alumni and friends,
We hope your holiday season was filled with lots of warmth and light. We are so grateful our holiday season involved time in person with so many of you at our winter camp events! It’s officially 2023, which means our 110th Anniversary year celebrations have begun! Read on for more about that, and other news and off-season updates.
It’s Our Birthday!
Now that it’s January, our anniversary year has kicked off! This summer’s celebrations at camp will be off-the-charts with special programs and events all summer long. A few highlights include: Creating a giant anniversary mural on the side of the New Rec that all first session campers will have a hand in, working with an incredible local Maine mural artist; an Alumni Shabbat for alumni to come back and relive their favorite moments of Ruach; and a huge Kingswood Birthday Carnival second session! You’ll also notice our logo has some added celebratory touches to it, and you’ll see a whole line of special 110th Anniversary camp gear launching this spring both in our online store and in Canteen at camp. We can’t wait for our 2023 campers and staff to be a part of such a monumental summer!
One of our favorite parts of winter camp work is connecting with our staff for their returning staff interviews. To ensure we have the very best staff team each summer, at Kingwood we conduct an individual interview with every single staff person, whether they’re new to camp or it’s their 18th summer (Hallie, that’s you!). We love having an excuse to chat with the most incredible humans we know – our staff! In addition to hearing about their year and how they’ve been living our camp values, we use our returning staff interviews as an opportunity to gather feedback from the last summer and solicit their input on the upcoming camp season. Drumroll please, as we highlight a few returning staff here! The famous “Nature” Rob Willis will be turning for summer number 17 at Kingswood as the Summer Assistant Director! Sammy Scampoli, who was a Counselor-In-Training last year, will be returning for her 9th summer at camp and her first on staff as a Waterfront Specialist! Barak Malachi is returning for his second summer at Kingswood as our Head Songleader, working with the incredible Lilah Sesling, returning for her 10th summer at camp as the Assistant Area Head of Music and as a Songleader! We can’t wait to welcome Barak, “Nature” Rob, Lilah and Sammy back to Kingswood!
It’s in the Family
When a camp has been around as long as Camp Kingswood, we are lucky enough to have families that have been a long part of our history, passing Kingswood down “l’dor v’dor,” from generation to generation. To be able to share camp memories with a parent – and even a grandparent – is such a unique gift! These campers have the opportunity to continue a family tradition and to make their own memories at camp, just like their parents did. Tsofim campers Gabby and Maya Berman return home each summer excited to share camp notes with their mom and Kingswood alum Shari Berman (née Hyzen). Shari, who attended Camp Kingswood in the ’70s, says that sharing Kingswood with her girls is particularly meaningful because, “I love my memories of Kingswood as a kid! It’s so wonderful to hear the stories of my kids’ friendships you can only make at camp.” Shari goes on to add, “Jewish overnight camp is such a gift to give kids because they get these amazing experiences away from home. They’re gaining confidence, close friendships, making choices about activities, freedom, growth, and I could go on. I remember the connections I had and relive memories through them.”
Gabby loves being a third generation camper because, “my mom and my grandmother both went to Kingswood, so it’s really cool that from both sides of my family, everyone is connected to each other through camp. It makes me feel more like I’m at home when I’m at camp because I know that my family went here too” and Maya added, “it means so much that my grandmother could have signed her name on the wall next to my bed at camp.”
If you or members of your family have attended Kingswood, please drop us a line to make sure we know!
Bringing Camp Shabbat Home
Who else is missing Shabbat at camp right now?! Shabbat dinner is a favorite meal at camp, and between the yummy matzoh ball soup and the delicious chicken and potatoes, it’s easy to understand why. But ask any Kingswood camper and they’ll agree, Efrat’s homemade challah is hands-down a highlight for all of us! In the summer, campers can sign up for the Challah-making elective where they learn how to make and braid their own challot. Here, for the first time ever, we’re sharing Efrat’s secret Kingswood challah recipe with you, so you can have a taste of Kingswood Shabbat at home! Efrat has assured us that this recipe is perfect for beginners and requires just a few simple ingredients. You can make the dough in a stand mixer or by hand, and it only needs to rise for about an hour before you braid and bake it. The result is a delicious, golden-brown challah that’s perfect for dipping in soup or making into french toast the next day!
The Kingswood Dictionary: The Black Pipe Trail
Black Pipe Trail [blak • pīp • trāl] noun, If you’ve ever wanted to get from Upper Fields, Ropes, or the Farm to Boys’ Side quickly, then odds are, you’ve taken the Black Pipe Trail. Hidden behind the New Rec, you could miss the entrance if you didn’t know it was there, and if you live on girls’ side, you’ve possibly never even walked it! The trail is home to a variety of plants and animals, so birds, squirrels, and rabbits are often sighted along the way. A giant oak tree struck by lightning years ago stands along the trail, creating a natural twisted sculpture that’s particularly cool to climb on!
If you love Kingswood so much you tell your friends about camp, we want to give you the credit! As our way to say a giant thank you, we honor both the parents and the campers who talked us up! Campers choose from exclusive referral gifts, only available to campers who have referred a friend, or receive a credit to select a gift of their choice from our online Canteen. Parents receive a $250 credit toward tuition for each new camper referred who attends camp! We can’t wait to welcome all our new friends joining us for Summer 2023!
Thanks for reading this edition of Kingswood News, and we hope your 2023 starts strong!
Peace, love, and camp,
The Kingswood Team