by Susan Alexander, OSRUI Associate Director
It was a cold, grey and rainy weekend – not a weekend that one would think “camp fun.” For those of us who were at OSRUI’s Family Camp, the cold, rainy weekend turned into a weekend of warmth, friendship and major fun.
Families from the Chicago area, Wisconsin, downstate Illinois, Minnesota, and Iowa climbed our inside ropes course, played sports in the gym, learned to make an Israeli dessert and created beautiful matzah covers, afikomen bags and salt cups for Passover.
After t’filot on Saturday morning, led by our Champaign (IL) Rabbis Jody and Alan Cook, 8 groups of families went out to do the ABC scavenger hunt contest. They had to find different items in camp that started with each letter, or they could create something for each letter, take a photo of the entire group with each item and send them to my email.
Even in the “not sunshine,” everyone went out and delivered some great ideas and photos. Adults and children had a marvelous time. After Havdallah we presented the photos in a PowerPoint, put together by one of our great staff members, Becky Dolinko. Though all groups did great, Team OS2UI and Team 6 won the prize!! Kol HaKavod, families!!
Saturday night, all the children went to a Port Hall “drive-in” movie. Children young and older had such fun with each other. The adults gathered in the Rotunda to talk, snack and hear great music brought to us by several of our very talented dads. It was a truly lovely evening.
On Sunday, after our activities and a wonderful brunch, we gathered together for a friendship circle. Lots of great things were said, but one person said what I thought was most apparent throughout the weekend – “I know that some people here have been campers and OSRUI folks for most of their lives, and some, like me, are here for the very first time. It was impossible to tell who was new and was not, as the welcome, warmth, fun and friendship encompassed all of us. My family and I will be back.”
What the world could learn from OSRUI’s Family Camp…….