by Earl Ferguson
Chair, 6 Points Camp Committee
Vice Chair, North American Camp Committee (NAC)
Our 6 Points Sports Academy is the newest camp in the network of 13 URJ Camps throughout North America. We are privileged to be part of such a rich and diverse network of camps with tremendous staff, programs and facilities.
This August I had the privilege of joining a ‘Caravan’ of lay leaders and professional staff representing the NAC (North American Camp Committee) which is the governing body of the Union for Reform Judaism’s camping system. I am honored to serve as a Vice-Chair of the NAC in addition to my role as Chair of the 6 Points Camp Committee.
What a caravan it was! It has two distinct advantages. First, we got to see 4 of our camps in action. And secondly, we got to closely interact with other members of the NAC. Our large group only gets together twice a year in person, and occasionally more than that via conference call. So spending great time with our chaverim is most beneficial…..and….fun! I know we all do this sacred work because we love it, and we love helping our youth….but it should also be a bit of fun as well.
I have seen each of these camps before, but not during the summer season. Seeing the facilities and interacting with staff while the camp is in was a unique opportunity and my most significant observations were twofold:
First, and most important, the campers faces were truly bright and shining. It was obvious that they were having a blast. Friends were walking, sometimes hand in hand, boys and girls too! Activities were vigorous. And religious observances were significant, appropriate, and absolutely wonderful.
Second, I observed the quality of the staff. They are wonderful. It was obvious that they cared for the campers It was obvious that they were having a great time too. I recall back to my camping days when the watchword was “If the staff is having a great summer then the campers will have a great summer”. The four Directors whom we spent time with are absolutely outstanding! Their level of commitment, their love of Reform Judaism, their love of summer residential camping, all came together with there obviously high level of expertise. It was great to see and I look forward to the partnership they will form with our new Director Alan Friedman.
So, all in all…it was a fantastic four days. It left me excited by the possibilities for Reform Jewish camping and for our own 6 Points Sports Academy. The wealth of knowledge, experience and vision that we are afforded as part of the URJ camping system is a valuable asset to our future.