Dear Second Session Parents,
Tonight was definitely bitter sweet, as 2016 has been an amazing summer and saying goodbye to my campers is always very difficult for me. The gift of camp is so precious and I value every moment of being with your children. I truly wish that you could all be flies on a wall so you could watch when your child learns to waterski for the first time, tastes something new, learns to say the Birkat Ha’mazon or just be a good person and help their fellow camper who feels homesick. You would be so proud!
Our oldest campers, the SIT’s, have been at camp for 6 weeks, learning, laughing, and having the summer they will never forget. What an amazing group of children they are. Each and every one of them played a role in the success of their summer. I wanted to share with you the speeches that were given from the Valedictorian and Historian. The campers were given the honour to address their fellow campers. As well, there were other awards given, such as the Leadership Award: Rachel C. and David F. AND Fellowship (awarded by their peers) Noah C.
Valedictorian: Jack A.
It is needless to say that SITs 2k16 has been the best summer of our lives. From five-hour hikes to chilling down at the docks, we have experienced it all. But the sights we’ve seen, and the activities we’ve done are equally as important as the growth we’ve achieved individually and collectively.
Like every year, at the beginning of camp everyone arrived with their mind set on one group of friends, people who you were comfortable around and had already spent tons of time with. But Camp Hatikvah isn’t a place where multiple friend groups can co exist, rather where one big family resides. Throughout the summer we have became irresistibly close to the point I consider everyone in SITs my brothers and sisters. We talk so much, that not even Nat or quite frankly Liza can stop us, and to me, that shows how much we love being together. Collectively we have learned how to be better people and be empathetic to one another. I think it is fair to say that we’ve all come across a problem this summer but the endless support from our friends made everything disappear. We have all matured in a way that is only possible by being at camp surrounded by your favorite people. Individually, that gave us the confidence to speak for ourselves and talk freely. Through Hadracha we gained leadership skills and put them to work around camp and while volunteering. During the year, we were able to go beyond our comfort zone and explore ‘foreign concepts’ such as doing laundry for ourselves and keeping our own areas clean. Honestly, these are things that probably the majority of the SITs couldn’t do independently. Being without parents forced us to be more reliant on our selves and develop life lessons that will be important in our future lives.
Everything that has happened this year has been indescribable and impossible to voice in a quick speech, but the main point that I’m trying to get across is that camp is truly magical. I had always been told, but never understood until this year, the large impact camp has on our identity and personality. I can’t believe that camp has came to an end but there is no other group of people I would have liked to spend this summer with. Seriously, every SIT, thank you for being the best you could have been.
On another note, to all the smaller campers, Camp Hatikvah is the best place on earth and if you ask any SIT, I am confident that they would want to live here. Almost every one that comes here is tied to this camp in one way or another, for me my parents came here and being at camp has always played a part in my summers.
I would also like to thank all the staff, specifically Liza and Nat, we all love you guys so much and the things you do for us.
Now everyone raise your glass, make every minute here as memorable as you can and cherish these times where everything is good.
Don’t be sad that it’s over but happy that happened.
Historian: Hanah RD and Leo P.
Leo: Hi guys. My name is Leo and I have been a camper at camp for 9 years now
Hanah: I am Hanah and I have been a camper for 10 years.
Leo: We are privileged to be able to except this year’s award for sit historians
Hanah: The sit historian award is given to certain sit campers who have ventured on a long journey through the exciting moments at camp
Leo: For both of us camp has been running through our veins, as both of our families have been campers and staff here
Hanah: Our main motivation to come back every year to camp is to grow as a person as well as create long lasting memories and bonds.
Hanah: Every campers experience must start somewhere (at some time). My first year at camp was definitely not the easiest. I was the youngest camper at camp. Most of the kids in my cabin were at least two years older than me and usually never spoke to me. It was very hard to create a relationship with the girls as most had already been to camp or they had known each other for a while. As days passed the girls opened up and I started to enjoy the different activities. That year was truly memorable and I could not have asked for anything more.
Leo: My first taste as a camper at camp was with my dear friend Hannah. Hannah was the only person I knew, this is because that Hannah and I were both born and raised in Calgary. Like many of us sitting here tonight my camp voyage started on the long five-hour bus ride from Vancouver to camp. I did not know a single person and I was very timid and small. During that anxious ride Hanah the sat with me and I reassured me that camp would be the best experience ever! Just as I stepped off the bus I was welcomed with open arms and I instantly knew this was where I was suppose to be.
Hanah: As the years went by our love for camp blossomed. New activities, friends and personality traits were uncovered.
Hanah: The different units on camp gave us many individualized life lessons.
Hanah: The first unit on camp is hatikvah. We usually would go swimming, play with our friends and just have a blast. Some of our fondest memories include: having a date to the dance, cabin hoping, night maneuvers, bunk parties and ping pong tournaments. The hatikvah unit taught us to be good problem solvers and include others.
Leo: Next unit is kochot, this was a big year for my friends and I. This is because we were given more freedom to move around and we could have our own cabin. The K1 year was one of the most chaotic years as a collective unit. We were trying to find who we all are as a camper at camp, what role we wanted to play and what our reputation was going to be. K1 is also the first year of canoe trips this was a very important bonding experience for the unit and made us even closer friends. K2 was a whole different story…. The K2 year that was a relaxed year compared to previous years. We had time to stop and look what we have accomplished through our camp life so far and get ready for the greatest year of our life, sits.
Hanah: Last but not least, Sits! It’s been a crazy fun summer.
Leo: We have truly enjoyed every single moment of it.
Hanah: This summer is indescribable.. it means so much to us
Leo: Throughout this summer we have gotten so close, these people are our family.
Hanah: some of our most cherished memories included the 5 day canoe trip, out of camp trips, unit time, chadracha, buddies, yom chan, and so much more.
Leo: We are grateful for sits and the summer we have had.
Leo: Camp is truly an amazing thing. The experiences you have at camp allow you to gain independence.
Hanah: Camp is a place you can run away to and have no responsibilities. It is a place within this world where you can get away from all your troubles and pains that you face in your daily life.
Hanah: Even though we must leave tomorrow morning we know we left behind a legacy.
Leo: Camp is the best thing that happened to us
Hanah: We both do not know who or where we would be if we had never attended camp
Hanah: Thank you to all the staff and all the campers that made our years at camp amazing
Leo: Leaving camp is hard to do, as we know that we will never be campers again
Hanah: Lets not say goodbye but see you later.. May camp continue to be the best place on earth
Together: see you in 2019
Tomorrow you will all get to see your campers. We are expecting the bus to arrive at the McArthur Glen Outlet Mall at around noon. Please be sure to pick up all of the bags that belong to you from the luggage truck.
Counting down the days till next summer!!!