Week 1: It’s the First Day of Camp!

It’s the First Day of Camp!

All across the greater New York City area, the sun is just rising, alarm clocks are buzzing and parents and kids are waking up for the highly anticipated first day of camp.

As bus pick-up times gets closer, children and their families wait in front of their houses or on street corners for the buses that will take them on a short journey to a magical place where they begin the best summer of their lives. They are going to one of the exceptional day camps housed at the Henry Kaufmann Campgrounds in Long Island, Pearl River or Staten Island.

As the bus pulls up, some of the first time day campers, and their parents, are a bit nervous about what lies ahead. “Will I make a friend?” “Where do I go to the bathroom?” Will my counselors and the other kids be nice to me?” “Will I have fun?” are just some of the things running through their minds.  Returning campers are used to the routine. Though they may have some butterflies in their stomachs, they jump on the bus excited to see the friends they made the summer before.  Once on the bus, the kids are greeted by well-trained and caring counselors who put them immediately at ease. Camp has begun! Already on the bus, after a few introductions to start, the children are engaged in activities and any anxiety is put to rest.

The sun is shining as the buses begin arriving at their respective camps.. As the thousands of campers get off the buses and filter to their campsites, suddenly the Henry Kaufmann Campgrounds is alive with the sounds of children and staff laughing, talking and singing.

Before you know it, the kids have their sunscreen and bug spray on and are heading off to their activities!The beautiful pool complexes are filled with campers learning to swim. The sports fields, arts and crafts areas, and drama, Jewish culture, nature, cooking, and outdoor adventure areas, just to name a few, are filled with more children. After going through just one day filled with activities, snacks, lunch, and swim, the campers are already more at ease with their new friends and surroundings.  Out of nowhere it’s time to load the buses for the ride home.  Where has the day gone? They can’t believe it’s over.

As the ride home begins,the children sit next to new friends and talk animatedly about their first day at camp and what’s in store for the next day. Some kids have had such a busy day that they fall asleep. Parents are anxiously waiting at bus stops to greet their children and hear all about their first day at camp. The bus pulls up, parents greet their children, and they bubble over with enthusiasm talking about their first day at day camp.  And so the camp experience begins and the memories start accumulating.

And tomorrow is another camp day!

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