October Kingswood News
Welcome to The Kingswood News: October Edition! We hope your High Holidays were sweet and peaceful. Fall is in full swing, and we’ve got some exciting stories, updates, and announcements to keep you connected to our camp family as the leaves turn to the oranges and yellows of our Kingswood logo. Keep reading to see what you’ve missed…
The Votes Are In…
We take feedback seriously, so we collect it in lots of ways from our campers, parents, and staff. Campers fill out written surveys twice each session, so we can make changes in the moment, like changing elective sign ups or adding more berries to the salad bar.
In each upcoming issue of The Kingswood News, we’ll share a camper category from the 2023 Camper Surveys, like this question below, “What’s your favorite activity at Kingswood?”
Each week, campers choose their daily activities from over 45 different options! While every program area in camp from Art to Upper Fields has their die-hards, as you can see here, the Waterfront is universally beloved by campers and staff alike. Tubing, in particular, holds a special place in the hearts of all of us at Kingswood, even earning the activity a prime spot on our 110th Anniversary Mural this summer on the side of the New Rec! Maybe it’s the low barrier to entry – it doesn’t take much skill to tube well. Maybe it’s the rush of excitement – it looks so scary before you try it, but once you go you don’t want your turn to end! Or maybe it’s the fun of chilling on the boat for an hour with your friends, because, let’s be honest, wouldn’t we all love to hang out with our friends on a boat with some good tunes on a beautiful summer day in Maine?!
Whatever the reason, we know kids love tubing, so we find every moment possible for kids to go out on the boats. This summer, because of so much rain, we were rescheduling tubing sessions through meals, offering special bunk sunset tubing times, and even had rest hour tubing! Kudos to Alex Heaps, our 2023 Waterfront director, and her incredible team of lifeguards, who worked double and triple time to make sure campers could tube their hearts out, while not missing out on the other awesome Kingswood waterfront choices. As you can see, waterskiing, wakeboarding, kneeboarding and sailing also made the favorite activities list, and canoeing, swimming, kayaking, paddleboarding, fishing, and snorkeling weren’t far behind!
Staff who Walk the Walk
One of Kingswood’s longest traditions is ‘The Log,’ and it even has its own song that accompanies the Log Ceremony, held during Banquet. Any camper or staff person can nominate a potential log signee, and previous log-signers comprise the selection committee. Like camp traditions usually are, the Log Ceremony is one of the most sacred moments of a summer, along with the Values Board Signing, which is the similar award for campers, given to those who live and breathe our Kingswood values. Let’s join in a l’chaim (cheers) for our 2023 Log Signers, who showed up so incredibly this summer as positive role models, with contagious ruach, and sharing their all-around awesomeness everyday. Session I: Rachel Huggett (Tsofim Unit Head) and Seth Bradley (Media Team/Counselor). Session II: Joel Swirnoff (Counselor), and Isabelle Lensmire (Lifeguard/Counselor). See you four back in 2024, your first year as Log Committee members!
‘Haaaaannndssss up Camp Kingswood, That. Was. The. Bell!’ This is the way we start and end every meal at camp. This means each summer, we say this more than 300 times! Let’s discuss.
The Bell has been in or around the Dining Hall for as long as anyone can remember. While many alumni swear the bell used to be heard from the cabins, there’s a question as to whether that was through the old speaker system, or a much louder and bigger bell! (Any alumni with information here, please don’t be shy!)
Historically the bell was used to mark the beginnings and endings of activity periods, but now we use it just for meals. We wait outside the Dining Hall before each meal, and as soon as the bell rings, everyone heads to their tables, excited to see the board by the kitchen with the meals for the day. A camper from that day’s Kingswood Crew bunk will ring the bell one more time to indicate it’s time to start, and everyone’s hands go up for the room to go quiet.
“I started saying ‘Hands up Camp Kingswood, that was the bell’ as a way to get campers quiet during my first year on staff,” said Will Notelovitz, an alum of camp. A camper from 2008-12 and a staff member from 2013-19, Will says he was frequently up leading meals during his time on staff. He didn’t come up with the saying, but he made it a tradition by leading everyone to say it before every meal. As most traditions do, it took some time to stick. Will said there were complaints from people finding it annoying, but it eventually caught on.
Fast forward 10 years, and it’s hard to imagine a meal now without the “Heeeeeeyyyyyy Camp Kingswood…” starting us off. It’s even on a favorite camp t-shirt, and was the Closing Campfire fire sign in August! If any alumni have more details to help us fill in the story of The Bell, let us know
Kingswood Fall Tour
We’re hitting the road to hang out with camp families, staff, and alumni and we really hope to see you along the way! While we’re hitting Boston first, we’ll be coming to Florida and New York soon after, so stay tuned for additional dates and times.
Have a friend thinking about camp? Bring them along to come hear all about Kingswood, meet Jodi, Mitch, Ally, and Joelle or share their contact info with us and we’ll set up a different time to meet while we’re in town!
Hey Alumni, we can’t wait to see you too! You think the fun is just for the campers? No way! This year, we’ll be gathering Kingswood-lovers in cities across the country, and the first up is Boston! All 21+ alumni are invited to join us Saturday, October 14th, at 8pm for Happy Hour at a location TBD. Start planning a night with your Kingswood besties because you won’t want to miss this!
While it doesn’t officially count as part of our Fall Tour, all 2023 campers and staff should mark their calendars and start planning their road trips to head to Boston for MLK weekend! We’re so excited for the post-COVID return of the Annual Camp Kingswood Reunion, January 14th, from 5 -7 pm at Launch in Framingham, MA!
Welcome to the newest section of The Kingswood News – Mazel Tov! When you have a reason to celebrate, our whole camp community wants to stand up for you! Imagine we’re in the dining hall all standing on our benches cheering like crazy, full of Kingswood ruach!
Are you an alum who recently had a baby? Let us know, we’ll send you a super-cute Kingswood onesie, and share the picture here. Are you a camper who just did a really cool mitzvah project for your B’nei Mitzvah? Tell us about it and send us a pic, and we’ll share it!
Maybe you’re an alum who recently got married, like Max Fineman, who attended Kingswood from 2002-09. Mazel tov to Max, who was married in August, and met wife Talia while organizing Jewish social justice projects in college.
“Our wedding was filled with a love of Jewish tradition and spirituality, nature, and community. All values from my time at Kingswood,” said Max. Mazel Tov, Max and Talia!
Spread the Camp Love
Spread the joy of Camp Kingswood and save big! If you love Kingswood so much that you tell your friends and they register, you get the credit! As our way to give a giant thank you, we honor both the parents and campers who talk us up, and new for 2024, we extend a special referral credit to the new family. If the referral is on the registration form, both the returning and new family will receive a $500 credit. The campers who spread the love will receive a special exclusive referral gift, this year either a Nike windbreaker or hoodie!
That’s a wrap for the October Edition of The Kingswood News. We’ll have lots of exciting updates coming your way as we prepare for Summer ’24, so keep tuning in. We can’t wait to see some of you on the road this month!
Peace, love, and camp!