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Camp Shalom!

We have had some super exciting days here recently at camp!

Last Wednesday our seniors boarded busses that whisked them off to Camp Solelim. As most of you probably already know, this will be our seniors final summer at Camp Shalom. The next stop on their camp journey will be through CYJ (Canadian Young Judea), which will take them a little further north to Sudbury Ontario, and Camp Solelim. Our seniors spent two days getting a little taste of what camp life is like up there. They all came back with smiles and nothing but positive things to say about their time  and are all excited about their future camp home.

But don’t fret, camp didn’t slow down just because the seniors were gone. Instead, we had JLUPPERS DAY!! This was a day specifically designed for each of our three remaining units at camp – Juniors, Lowers, and Uppers – put that all together and you get “JLUPPERS”.  The day turned out to be a hit, filled with exciting programming and a great time for all!

The juniors got off to a rocking start with their air bands program. Each cabin, along with one staff member was challenged to come up with a dance routine, to a song of their choice. We were amazed with the incredible routines each and every cabin put together, but in the end, it was cabin 18 who came out on top, as decided by judge and juniors unit head Matthew.

After lunch, the juniors got to do some serious cabin bonding. The staff of each cabin planned a special program for their very own campers. We got to see some creativity flowing and some interesting programs like a cabin football game, boat riding, and a beading circle. It was so nice to see all of the cabins sharing special bonding time and having fun together!

Following bonding time however, came the highlight of the day for all of the juniors campers. The amazing Matthew (unit head), worked very hard to bring “Hands on Exotics” to camp – a company that brings exotic and interesting animals to put on shows for kids. Our campers had the opportunity to look at and pet animals such as: a hedgehog, a chinchilla, a parrot, lizard, snakes, and even a very cute baby fox!! After the great animal show, most of our campers thought the day was coming to an end, but we had one more surprise up our sleeves for them. Right after dinner the entire juniors unit went down to the waterfront for a giant tubing party! Judging by the smiles on their faces all day, I’d say that the JLUPPERS day for the juniors was a success!

Next, let’s move on to the lowers, who kicked things off strong with breakfast on the beach, and a tubing party! As you can see from the picture above, the lowers were already giving JLUPPERS day a big thumbs up!

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After lunch, it almost felt like it was Halloween in July for this crew. Of course it wasn’t actually Halloween at camp Shalom, but the goodies were flowing. Lowers staff Kyra headed up this program, where our campers went around to different stations completing challenges to receive candy. You could say that this program was ‘SWEET’ indeed!!

With all that candy, we wanted to get our lowers active and moving, so right after dinner we had the busses waiting at camp to take them to an amazing pool at a community centre in Bracebridge! All of the campers were so excited when they walked in and saw the beautiful pool, hot tub, and water slide! There was a lot of slip sliding, splashing, and playing with water toys by both campers and staff.  After they were done at the pool, they headed back to camp to wrap up their fun filled day.

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And last, but certainly not least, we have the uppers, who had an action packed day.  A scavenger hunt turning them all into little chefs starting things off for this group.  This program had our uppers reading and solving clues in order to find ingredients to make their own ice cream sundaes. Once they collected all of the ingredients needed, they put on their chef’s hats and got to make some ice cream. Not only did they decorate the ice cream, the ice cream themselves, with ingredients like, milk, sugar, and ice. I was lucky enough to get to try one of the sundaes, and it was de-licous!

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In the afternoon, the uppers had their chance to go tubing! This group had a blast ripping through the water on the tube.  You may have even gotten an glimpse of it if you happened to watch us on our Instagram feed, as Camp Shalom went live to share it with you. And if you missed it, be sure to check the feed often, for a great look at what takes place on the ‘inside’ at camp Shalom.

The big surprise for the uppers was still to come… we just had to make sure they were well fed first with a great camp dinner.  The busses were waiting for this gang, with a trip to Sportland – a mini amusement park in Muskoka filled with activities. Our campers got the chance to participate in things like bungee jumping, hitting in batting cages, laser tag, soccer, mini bowling, and the biggest attraction of them all…go karting! Some of our campers were daredevil drivers, as they whipped around the race track with great speed! By the time the uppers boarded the busses to return to camp, they were ready for a good night’s rest from all of the energy and excitement they exerted at Sportland.  What a super fun day!

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I have to tell you, JLUPPERS is always a highlight day at camp, year after year, with this one being no exception.  All of our campers had a blast with fun filled activities all day long for each of our units.  After a good sleep, we were all very happy to welcome back our seniors and share our second Shabbat together with our entire camp family!

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