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Why Jewish Day Schools Are Trying To Be More Like Summer Camp: “What can we do to make school feel more like camp’ is very prevalent,” said Bil Zarch, director of Camp Yavneh, a Jewish overnight camp in New Hampshire. Having also served as head of school at Jewish day schools in Baltimore and Massachusetts, Zarch has seen both sides of the issue.

When his own child attended Lander-Grinspoon Academy, Zarch said, the school marked the Jewish harvest festival of Sukkot by having students harvest crops on the adjacent farm, learning about the biblical commandments of pe’ah and leket, and then delivering the harvest to a food pantry that helps low-income families and individuals.

“The kids got so much out of that lesson,” Zarch recalled.


Kiddie Kamp Finishes Successful Summer at Hill House: Kiddie Kamp wrapped up at Hill House on Aug. 19 after offering children ages 3 to 5 another self-described “summer full of games, crafts, stories, songs, age-appropriate athletics and outdoor fun.”

Tori Frappolli, Hill House’s program coordinator, said the 10-week camp was open to up to 36 children each week, and while enrollment was only about half full in the beginning, it increased as the summer went on as campers decided to stay on for additional weeks and as others learned of the program via word of mouth. Its 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. schedule also proved very accommodating for young children and their parents, too.


Potential Trump Visa Cuts Feared by Some at N.H. Summer Camps: At YMCA Camp Coniston, internationalism is part of the fabric. Each summer, the Croydon overnight camp’s contingency of foreign counselors – ranging from Mexico, Hungary, Ireland, Poland and Scotland – run the gamut of jobs.

Some lead children in cabins; others work shifts on the kitchen or maintenance crew. It’s an arrangement common to New Hampshire summer camps, which number more than 100 across the state.

But it’s an arrangement camp directors fear could be in peril. 


Maine Compass: Visiting Workers Benefit Maine: Camps, in particular, greatly benefit from the participation of J-1 students. As an integral part of the cultural fabric and heritage of Maine, we boast some of the most exceptional experiences for children and young adults. As integral as the camp experience is to Maine, the presence of international counselors at our camps is paramount to their success. Camps all across the country have been participating in cultural exchanges since the program’s inception. This brings an element that campers cannot find in their daily lives — one in which different cultures and languages are shared and celebrated.

Maine communities, campers and staff members benefit from the cultural exchange as much as, if not more so, than the J-1 counselors. These friendships and the corresponding camaraderie lasts lifetimes and leads to greater global understanding and increased awareness. 


Summer Season Wrap-Up: Three Camps Report Back: In Raymond, Camp Agawam has operated since 1919. This summer it welcomed about 165 boys.

“We had a great summer,” said Assistant Director Karen Malm. “We had a younger staff overall than other years and they were very energetic. It was great to see them grow so much in their roles as counselors.”

Malm said the camp’s 15-year-olds took on a leadership role that younger campers really appreciated.  A camp highlight is the “Tribute Ceremony” for those older campers. “It’s just the boys and staff, and the tributes are read to each boy individually,” Malm said.


Society Notebook: Camp Sunshine's Maine Suitcase Party Takes Off: Six hundred tickets were sold to the Sept. 22 event, breaking the Suitcase Party record and raising almost $94,000 for Camp Sunshine. That’s enough to send 37 families to the Sebago Lake camp for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.

“It’s such an awesome way to support the camp and everything they’re doing,” said Alicia Depatsy of Portland. She not only packed a bag but brought it in the hangar for easy access – just in case.

“Everyone pitches in and makes it a special event,” said Mike Katz, executive director of Camp Sunshine. He waved his hand around toward Circus Maine aerialists dangling from the rafters, Lady Red Claws dancers dressed as stewardesses and Migis Lodge staff volunteering as servers and bartenders.