Around Camp with Ben

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Hi There! My name is Ben. I’m one of the Assistant Directors on OSRUI. I think we all know that camp is a pretty amazing place. It has something for everyone: sports, art, learning, friends, the list goes on and on. There’s a lot of awesome things happening at OSRUI this summer and I am so excited to tell you all about them. So join me as we go on a tour of camp with some of the people who make it possible as they share how they make camp magic happen every single day!

Today, I am so happy to introduce you to a great friend and colleague of mine, Julianne Schwartz, OSRUI’s Program Director. She’s here to tell us about how at OSRUI, we extended Opening Day a little with a new thing called “Bunk Day!” Read Below to hear what she has to say:

 BEN: Who are you and what do you do at camp?

JULIANNE: My name is Julianne Schwartz (She/Her) and I am the year round Program Director at camp!

BEN: So we all know camp is a big deal, but the first day is especially so. Why is the first full day of camp an important day?

JULIANNE: The first day of camp is amazing! After waiting all year, we come together as a camp community for the first time. We get to reconnect with old friends, meet our new bunkmates, and get settled into our eidot (units). It can also be a lot, even if we are excited, to go from being at home with just a few people to living at camp with hundreds! Opening Day and the first full day of camp are so important because it sets the tone for the rest of the summer. We want to ease into all the great activities at camp and get to know the people we will be spending the summer with. Our bunk day will be a chance to see camp with just a few people at first, with a focus on getting to know camp and each other.

BEN: What typically happens on the first full day of camp? What information and procedures are delivered on that day? Where do campers go and who and what do they see?

JULIANNE: On Opening Day, campers see EVERYTHING! We spend time exploring every inch of camp, meeting the moomchim (specialists), and trying a lot of super fun activities and programs. We will also review bunk rules/norms and create the cultures we want to see in our small and big groups. It is a lot of information to take in. All of it is part of the camp program and Opening Day is the big intro to the whole summer for each kid.

BEN: How is the first full day of camp actually 36 hours? Isn’t that really the first 2 days?

JULIANNE: At most other camps, Opening Day starts around lunch time after all of the campers arrive and goes until they go to bed that day. We decided to extend the excitement of Opening Day into the first full day of camp, and we call that part “Bunk Day.” So you have 12 hours plus the next 24. It’s called “Math,” Ben!

BEN: So why did OSRUI make the decision to extend the first day? into 2 days? Will that really make a difference enhance the summer camp experience?

JULIANNE: Usually, camps use Opening Day for the campers to sign up for chugim (elective activities) along with swim tests, meeting their bunk mates, and moving all of their stuff in to their tzrif (cabin) or ohel (tent). Sometimes jumping straight into chugim sign ups and going through all of these pieces is tough because there’s so much to take in at once. This year everyone will get a taste of all the fun activities and rock star specialists at OSRUI so they can pick activities they really love or seem exciting to try! Also, spending a whole day bonding with your bunk up front will set the stage for even stronger friendships and plus campers can feel even more supported by their counselors!

Thanks, Julianne, for sharing your insight and expertise with us about the inner workings of camp. We thank you for everything that you do at camp and wish you the best summer ever. And for all of you reading this, thanks for checking out our blog, and come back next week as we feature more of the great parts of camp that make it the greatest place on Earth! See ya later!