The bonds and friendships from camp don’t end when the buses and cars leave camp. Though campers have to say their goodbyes at the end of each session, when they say goodbye, it’s really more like l’hitraot (which means “see you later” in Hebrew). We heard about a couple instances of Colemanites getting together during some of the colder months of the year and bringing Coleman traditions and fun into their households:
“Why does camp have to end?” That is what my son said to me when he returned from his month-long stay at Camp Coleman last summer. My responses to him were attempts to comfort, to convince him to not feel so sad about the ending of camp and to reassure him that the friendships he made will be as strong as ever when he returns to camp next summer. He and his friends wanted nothing to do with that thought process- they had already begun talking about a mid-year gathering.
Being a camper and a (retired) counselor myself, I understand the drive campers have to keep their camp besties as close as possible. Although there are obstacles, there is no amount of time that will change the friendship bonds that are created at camp and there is no amount of distance that will make you feel removed from the friends you make at camp. So some parents and I helped the kids plan their reunion, which even involved a “meltzing chart” [Coleman’s meal time clean-up rotation] and a food menu for the weekend.”
-Wendy Alexander, Camp Coleman parent
“My 14-year-old daughter lives for Camp Coleman. This will be her 8th year, her first being a day camper when I was on faculty. A few months ago, she invited some of her camp friends to a sleepover and “Coleman Shabbat” at our house. The girls dressed in white. They did a Shabbat walk down our stairs. They lit candles and did all the blessings. They then ate fried chicken and we even made our own Apple Brown Betty. After dinner they went to the patio and had a song session, complete with guitars, a projector and lots of dancing. All of this planned by the girls!”
-Jeff Agron, Camp Coleman parent