Summer Camp Day 1

UP Summer Camp 2012 is off to a roaring start. Tomer exclaimed half way through the day that the overall atmosphere felt like the third day of camp instead of just the first. Teams have been super active on all fronts. Cheers have rocked the dining hall and the fields. Kids are running hard. Laughing loud and often. All is well at the Manof!

The day began with our second 7:30am breakfast, a time slot that most of us are getting (kinda) used to. By 8am we were all back in the auditorium to go over the plan for the day and to work through a few more role-play situations starring David. It was a good time. David is quite the actor! By around 9:30 we spread out around campus to get ready for the camper invasion. Tables were setup for registration, welcome posters were brought to the entrance gate, and everyone got pumped up. The first kids arrived at around 11am and kept on coming in until around 12:45 when the last bus of kids from the West Bank arrived.

Upon arrival the kids were greeted by a fleet of cheering staff who formed a double line that all the kids had to pass through. Smiles were everywhere. Over in the center of Manof the kids registered and then moved their stuff into their rooms. Music spread out through the Manof and games were created all over campus, as well as pockets of dancing. It was particularly fun for me to greet kids who I knew from last session and from the Israeli National training camp that hadn’t come last week.

At around 12:40 all of the kids were moved into the auditorium to watch some Ultimate videos while waiting for the last bus to arrive. Shortly before 1pm the West Bank bus arrived! It was thrilling to see all the kids who were at last week’s clinics in Bet Sahur and Jericho. It was really awesome when a group of the Bethlehem kids came right up to me and exclaimed “Josh Seamon!”. They knew my full name. So cool, or as I’ve learned, “Sababa!”.

Over in the auditorium all the kicked packed in, David gave a general kick-off welcome, and then the teams were read off and moved into the dining hall one by one. I had fun doing by best to pronounce all of my girls’ names, and managed to do so with only a few laughable moments. In the dining hall we all sat as a team and started getting to know each other over our meal.

After lunch all of the teams spread out through the Manof for team bonding time. My group, team white, met up at our soon to be normal check in place around one of the trees in the central area of the Manof. We played many name games and we eventually got much better at remembering a slew of new names. We also played several fun goofy games, including a round of the most important camp games such as WA! and Ninja!

By a little after 4:30 we were out on the field moving through warmups led by Chelsea. Next, I moved the team through a series of catching drills including simple catch with a coach, the button-hook drill, It’s up!, and layouts from a knee sitting position. The girls were focused, determined, smiling, and they ran hard. I was really impressed with their skill and the joy they find in the game. I can’t wait to see them tomorrow!

At 5:30 we went back to the center of Manof to rest and play more social games. We played Mingle, another round of WA!, and some new clapping games. By 6:30 we were even closer and having tons of fun. The girls then had a little free time before meeting up for dinner at 7. By 20 minutes into dinner, the whole dining room was a riot of spirite cheering. It was quite impressive how quickly all the teams had come together!

After dinner the staff had a short meeting while the kids watched some high leve Ultimate in the auditorium. Everyone then spread out around campus for the team scavenger/challenge hunt. The kids had an hour to work through as many of the 15 challenge stations as they could as a team. The night was quickly filled with laughter and an enormous amount of energy. By a little after 9pm all the kids were out on the fields playing a massive number of games. With a DJ fueling the background, the kids had a blast creating a controlled chaotic field of fun.

At 10pm the kids were ushered back to their dorms for the night. With a large amount of staff circulating through the dorms, the kids were directed to calm down and start getting to sleep as soon as possible. Of course, when lights out was called at 11:00pm it was a little bit of a battle to get everyone settled. Here’s to hoping the kids get lots of sleep tonight!

Day 2 here we come!

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