by Emily Newman, Jewish Press Intern
The time of year has come – no more snow, no more cold (hopefully…) and no more school! No more homework, no more grades, and no more teachers for the next two months – it’s time for a break and time for fun! And there is definitely fun to be had at the JCC this summer.
During the week, as you exit from the Omaha Jewish Community Center building and walk outside to the pool between 1 and 3 p.m., the first thing you will hear are the joyous screams of the JCC Campers. You might have even heard them before you opened the door. Either way, it is soon obvious to see that there is a reason why this summer has been titled the “Summer of Awesomeness” for the 2015 campers. Whether they are in Kindergarten or entering the 7th grade, there is true awesomeness to be had.
This summer, the JCC camp takes place in the eight weeks between June 8th and Aug, 7th. Each week has a different theme for both age groups, whether it is “Nature, Nature Everywhere”, “Slime and Grime”, or “Food Frenzy”. The campers are into groups based on grade level; one group for Kindergarten through 3rd grade and the second for 4th grade through 7th. A recent theme for the 4th-7th graders was “J Camp Game Day”. The campers were having a blast as they ran, cheered, played both team and individual sports, made pompoms and signs, and even dressed as their favorite sports team.
When asked what their favorite part of camp JCC 2015 was, almost every camper interviewed had a difficult time answering. According to the cheerful group of friends Alethia, Anna and Gracelyn, all of whom will be entering the 4th grade this fall, there is not just one answer to this hard question. They all had different answers. 9 year old Alethia loves playing Capture the Flag, 8 year old Anna loves Gaga Ball, and 8 year old Gracelyn loves the afternoon swimming. The only thing they could all agree upon is that they love getting to see and spend time with each other every day!
However, According to 12 year old camper Julien, who will be entering the 7th grade this upcoming fall, the best part about camp JCC is just having fun! He could not choose between Capture the Flag, Gaga Ball, or War Ball (the latter two, as he explained, are varying versions of the game Dodge Ball.) 11 year old Phoenix, who will be entering the 6th grade, answered similarly, stating that his favorite activity is War Ball.
There is also one thing that all the campers had in common – they LOVED their camp counselors! They spoke of all the fun they were getting to have with Will, Kurtis, Katie, and the rest of their awesome camp counselors.
Although the weather has not been the best throughout the past couple weeks, something that all Nebraskans are accustomed to, the campers’ ability to have fun has not been hindered. Every camper, whether they are being dropped off in rain or sunshine, has a bright smile on her or his face and is ready to enjoy the day ahead. They are excited to be here, for everything is made fun, even the weekly community project for the 4th through 7th grade group. Every week they either work on a project or perform a task that will benefit others in both the Jewish and larger Omaha community. They are learning that helping others, and working as a team in order to do so, can be just as fun as swimming and playing games!
It is clear to see that this summer at the Omaha JCC is truly the “Summer of Awesomeness”, and we are only a few weeks in. The JCC will be filled with young, smiling faces all the way up until school is ready to start again in August (but shhh – don’t tell them that!)