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Summer 2015 Final Thoughts

Thursday, 3 September, 2015

Summer 2015 Final Thoughts

Dear Friends,

If any parent, friend, or alumnus had the opportunity to watch our historic Color War finale live-stream, they would have felt something intrinsically real. Feedback from home was unanimous. Viewers understood that what they were watching was not only fun and entertaining, but incredibly powerful and fundamental. Our audience saw first-hand what summer camp is all about: Hundreds of children using creativity, skill, passion, heart, and soul. Counselors and campers, arm-in-arm, singing, dancing, and cheering. Artists presenting, solos performing, and captains leading. They saw children, of all ages, alive. No editing. No effects. Connecting to their Jewish identities, and to their camp family, in a sincerely real way.

There is simply no place in the world like summer camp. An ideal universe where children can grow and mature, be surrounded by role models with positive energy and spirit, all while having the time of their lives is not only important for our children’s development — it’s central to it. As the final lights are shut, bunks are locked, and boats are stored, I’d like to take this moment to thank you for your support and reflect on what was another historic and proud summer for Morasha.

While we’ve hosted our largest camper population in our 52-year history, with record numbers in our Morasha, Yagilu, Sulam, and Kollel programs, I have always believed that it is QUALITY – not quantity – that matters most. We worked day and night to ensure that we were properly set up on Day 1 for our growth. Our campers had the opportunity to pray, perform, and play in the new Mercazia Performing Arts Center, a transformative beautiful new air-conditioned building at the center of camp. We hired a caring and qualified staff from an astounding 584 staff applications for 232 positions. We took measures to create a safer environment with formal training in safety, health, and bullying prevention. We hired a full-time local officer to patrol the bordering roads at night and internal security guards to ensure our campers are safe throughout the day. We launched a brand new website (and app, coming soon!), streamlined our forms and systems, and continued to share thousands of photos, videos, and news so that our parents and friends at home can experience the “magic” first-hand. We created a program and daily schedule so that every moment of every day would offer a fun and positive experience for our children. And, most importantly, our steadfast commitment to Torat Yisrael, Am Yisrael and Eretz Yisrael was seamlessly integrated and delicately balanced through every aspect of camp. We couldn’t be prouder of our campers and staff.

We appreciate the positive e-mails and inquiries about next summer. Applications for Summer 2016 will be available online the day after Labor Day. Staff applications are released on Thanksgiving. Until then, please enjoy the photos and videos online (with many more videos to be uploaded over the next week!). A brand new “Week 8” PreShabbat video will be released for this Shabbat. As always, we are also open to constructive feedback to help us create an even better camping experience.

We like to say that campers may leave camp but camp will never leave them. We look forward to staying in touch throughout the year and can’t wait to see everyone at the reunion. Until then — let’s continue living 10 for 2.

Jeremy Joszef
Director, Camp Morasha

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