First time camp advice from Sneezy

Dear First Time Camper,

Camp is less than two weeks away. Right now, you might be feeling anxious. Maybe you’re overwhelmed by how much you have to pack (check out my previous post called “What to Pack!”) or by meeting new people. Maybe you’re scared to be away from home. Or maybe you’re so excited that you can’t even handle waiting one more day! Wherever you’re at, I want you to know that I am praying for you. All the staff are praying for you. We are so excited to spend two weeks with you. We want to help you learn more about Jesus. We want you to make new friends. And through it all, we want you to have fun!

My first year of camp was almost ten years ago (wow!) and I have grown to love camp more and more each year. Your first year is a time to sit back and enjoy the ride and learn the ropes of Camp Gilgal. By your second year, you’ll be a pro!

A few things we always do at camp are a big craft project that you’ll get to take home, a memory verse, Tabernacle, a camp out, theme meals, campfires, talent night, and so much more. One of my favourite activities is counselor hunt. The counselors all pretend to be a certain animal and the campers have to go find them and bring them back to home base. It’s so much fun! Meals are a great time to bond with your tribe over delicious food. Events like this shape camp. The activities are so much fun and there are so many choices that you are sure to find something you enjoy. Some of the activities include field sports, artsy fun, karate and drama games. Trust me, there will never be a dull moment during camp!

The campers and staff will all greet you with open arms. We love you, and we want to show Jesus’ great love to you. Know that you are not alone. Every camper has been where you are right now. Your first year at camp is the most special and the most memorable.

Looking back to ten years ago, I was a shy camper. I live in Canada, so camp was a really far trip for me and I was super scared to be away from home. Even though I was timid and unsure, I still had the best time at camp. I made great friends, and the staff were incredibly kind and understanding. Returning to camp year after year is a benchmark in my year and is one of the best decisions I have ever made.

I promise, you are going to have a great time. Camp is a place where we build each other up in God. It is a place to be who we truly are. It is a place to worship our Creator. It is a place to learn. It is a place to have fun.

I am so excited to see you!!! I can’t wait to talk to you and hang out with you, and make memories with you.

With Love and In Y’shua,

Sneezy

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What to Pack: Sneezy Advice

What to Pack

Hi Camp Gilgal! Sneezy here… and can we just talk about how soon camp is!? It’s blowing my mind, but I could not be more excited! Staff training starts in less than a week, so packing is on my mind. I know it can be overwhelming, but I’m here today to hopefully make your packing experience slightly easier. Before we get into it… I want you to know that all the staff are praying for you and we are SO excited to see you! Okay… let’s jump into it!

The Essentials – Clothing:

Do not bring your fanciest, nicest clothes to camp. Trust me, your clothes are going to get dirty (all in good fun, of course). Bring clothes that you are comfortable in and can move around easily in. The weather can really vary at camp. I would recommend bringing a few pairs of long pants (leggings, sweatpants, jeans… whatever you prefer) and a few pairs of shorter pants (capris, athletic shorts, jean shorts). For shirts, bring items that you can easily layer. A few t-shirts, a few tank tops, a few long sleeve shirts, a couple sweaters, and a light jacket or vest. Again, pack casually, camp is certainly no fashion show (although you will want to pack a set of good clothes for Shabbat). In terms of undergarments… bring extra. They don’t take up much room in your suitcase and you’ll be thankful for extra clean socks and underwear! Bring a few pairs of pajamas, a pair for warmer weather and a pair for cooler weather. Lastly, bring a pair of flip flops for the shower, a couple pairs of running shoes or sneakers, and rain boots are a good idea too.

Remember we do laundry once at junior camp, so don’t forget a laundry bag to put your dirty clothes in!

The Essentials – Clothing List:

  • Long pants
  • Short pants
  • Shirts (t shirts, tank tops, long sleeve, sweaters)
  • Light jacket or vest
  • Good clothes for Shabbat
  • Undergarments
  • Pajamas
  • Shoes (flip flops, running shoes/sneakers, rain boots)
  • A hat and sunglasses
  • Laundry bag

The Essentials – Toiletries:

Did I hear someone say dental inspection?! Even though we’re away from home and having way too much fun to even think about showering or brushing our teeth, basic hygiene is something that is important at camp. It means that our cabins won’t smell as bad, you run less of a risk of getting sick, and people would much rather talk to someone with minty fresh breath rather than pizza breath! As you’re thinking about toiletries you need to pack, think from head to toe. Everything you need to bring to take care of your hair all the way to your toes – and that will ensure you don’t forget anything! Bring your toothbrush, enough toothpaste for 2 weeks, floss, and any other dental care items you need (mouthwash, retainers, if you have braces pack what you need for that). For shower items, it is a good idea to bring a shower caddy with your shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and any other soap you need. Bring any face wash or lotion you use. Bring a hairbrush as well. Deodorant is a good idea as running around all day can make you sweaty and smelly! If you have any prescriptions, those go straight to the camp nurse and you will be able to take them as you need. Toiletries are personal… so bring what you use on a daily basis.

The Essentials – Toiletries List:

  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash, etc.
  • Shower items: shampoo, conditioner, soap
  • Face care items
  • Lotion
  • Deodorant
  • Hairbrush
  • Medicine/prescriptions

The Essentials – What you really really really must bring:

No fooling around with these ones, folks. Let’s get straight into the list –

  • Sleeping bag
  • Bed sheets
  • Pillow
  • Stuffed animal (if you want!)
  • Towel (bring 2 – one for the shower, and one for the pool)
  • Flashlight (bring backup batteries or extra flashlights)
  • Insect repellent and sunscreen
  • Water bottle (PLEASE bring a water bottle!)
  • Bible, notebook, and pens

Special Items:

Camp is definitely the funnest 2 weeks of the year (funnest is not a word… but there is no word to describe how fun camp is, so I will bend the rules of grammar to try to convey to you just how great these two weeks are!). There are some items you can pack that are not essential, but will make your time at camp that much more enjoyable. Postcards and writing materials are a great item to have during FOB (flat on bunk) time, and I’m sure your family would love to hear from you! A camera (disposable is a good choice) to capture the memories is also a fun item to have. If you’re a reader like I am, then bring your favourite book to read during FOB. Finally, there will be many opportunities to dress up in crazy clothes and have a blast (theme meals, tribe times, certain activities, etc.). Bring your craziest animal outfit, your best fashion disaster wear, and any other dress up clothes you want!

A brief note on what not to bring: NO ELECTRONICS PLEASE! This includes phones, iPods, iPads, computers or laptops, etc. Camp is a great time to be separated from the business of the world and focus on making new friends, and developing your relationship with Y’shua.

Good luck with packing and I can’t wait to see you!

In Him, Sneezy

Update from Hiccup

Hey Camp Gilgal family!!! It is I, HICCUP :D

 

I am SO EXCITED to tell you that I am the camp intern this summer!!!!! I arrived in NYC after roadtripping up from Florida with my dad (it took 2 days) and then took a greyhound bus to NYC with my sister, Scrabble. We spent the first week exploring the city, which involved going to Grand Central Park, a small café with a live jazz band, and going on a food tour.

Last week I got to see some campers and their families at the Camp Gilgal ShaBBQ and Brooklyn BBQ, which was a lot of fun and there was a SO MUCH food!!!! Being lazy young adults a handful of us played volleyball while sitting in chairs. I also rode a Hover Board for the first time . . . that is I rode it until I tried jumping off and fell on the floor.

Right now I am in the Jews for Jesus building trying to find the most fun camping sites, some really cool craft supplies, and trying to plan the best field trip possible! What’s really cool is I only went to camp once as a camper and the craft we’re doing this year is the same craft I did when I went to camp! I’m also looking for buses to bring us to camp and the field trip, but that part is not very fun :P I’m super excited to start working on the activity rotation and other scheduling parts of camp, because I’m a nerd like that.

It’s so weird that I’m in NYC working with Jews for Jesus, but what’s even weirder is that the staff will arrive at camp in less than 5 weeks! (No, we do not live at camp all year despite what the campers may think…or do we?)

So that’s what is going on in the life of Hiccup! I can’t wait to see you all at camp :D #RegisterNOW #CampGilgal2017

 

 

Hiccup