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Jeremy Morantz


By: Jeremy Morantz, age 13, Gray Academy, September 28, 2010

B’nai Brith Camp is a summer sleep away camp that educates their campers in both wilderness skills and Judaism. BB Camp is located on Town Island in Lake of the Woods, which is just south of Kenora, Ontario. At camp, there are two sessions each summer. The first Session consists of four age groups. Habonim (age 7-8), Taste of BB (age 8-9), Kifrim (age 9-10) and Colchot (age 10-11). The second session consists of three age groups Ruach (age 11-12), Chavurah (age 12-13) and Abirut (age 13-14). There are other programs for older campers.

This summer I was in Chavurah. My counsellors were Braiden Bernstein and Josh Donen. There were 12 boys in my cabin. Our cabin was the only boy cabin in our age group. An average day at camp consists of a morning prayer service and rotations e.x. canoeing, kayaking, arts and crafts, discovery, sports, etc. One of my favorite rotations is called “Waterfront”. At Waterfront campers swim out to big water toys that float on the lake. The most popular toy is a giant inflated iceberg in which you climb to the top and then slide down the back into the water. Also, everyday for about 30-45 minutes all campers go to “General Swim” which takes place on a miniature beach.  Campers have the choice of swimming or just relaxing on the beach.

The older the age group the longer the overnights are. The overnight for my age group was eight days long. On the overnight we travel by canoes to different campsites on the lake. Once we get to the site, we immediately start setting up our tent, and unpacking our food and finding wood for the fire. The best part is relaxing and hanging out at the site. Once we wake up in the morning we start taking down our tents and packing everything up. Then we head out to our next site. Sure it can be hard work, but it builds character and helps you appreciate nature. Not only does it help you appreciate nature but it also helps you appreciate the little every day things we take for granted like, running water, toilets, mattresses and real plates, etc.

My favorite part of camp is an activity called “Maccabia” which takes place after the overnight. Maccabia is a two day long competition. The entire camp is split up into two teams. This year the teams were Imagination vs History. The two teams compete in different challenges. The indoor games, the outdoor games and the silent lunch. It all leads up to the “Final Night (of Maccabia)”. During the final night each team presents a song, a skit and a dance. The teams each present the banner that they make. Each team makes a gift for the camp out of wood such as a life jacket rack and a paddle holder. This year Team Imagination won. I was on Imagination!!

On the last night of camp each cabin performs a song they wrote. Then we all go down to the canoe slip and the staff light two giant letter B’s on fire. It’s called “The Burning B’s”. When I look up at the night sky while the B’s are burning I am amazed at the beauty of the stars. It is indescribable, unlike anything you can see in the city. Thanks to BB Camp I have now created friendships and bonds that will last forever.

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Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

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