A Few of My Favorite Things

By Ellen Alexander

As I begin my 5th summer on staff at Jacobs Camp, I have had time to reflect on all of the amazing, awesome, spectacular favorite things about our camp and community.  I would like to share a few of them with you:

  1. Opening Days! There is nothing like an HSJ Tailgate on Morrison Road between the hours of 8:30 AM- 11:30 AM. Your faces are glowing, kids are excited, and I can feel the electricity in the air.
  2. Enthusiastic staff! Our staff comes from near and far with one goal to make this the most special summer possible for theEllen children of the Deep South. I am so proud of their work.
  3. Watching campers and staff become life-long friends.
  4. Alumni. HSJ has the most committed alums, hands down.
  5. Music! Music! Music! From the HSJ Radio 100.3 (check it out on opening day), Tefillah, and Song Session, I can always hear music just about everywhere I go.
  6. Maccabiah! Who will win this year??? I can’t wait until Derby!
  7. Swimming, swimming, in the swimming pool. While I don’t get to take a dip often, it is so much fun to watch the kids splash around, play with our water features and climb the Aqua Wall.
  8. The Tower. I am always amazed by the fearlessness of our campers making it to the top of the Tower!
  9. Crazy Costumes. It seems like each day there is a theme: LSU Day, Pink Day, Crazy Hair Day, ‘Merica Fest, Alabama Day, Big Hat Day, the list could go on and on. I never know what to wear to work!
  10. Our picturesque camp grounds. I see nearly 300 acres of green trees, blue skies, and smiling faces most days. My “office job” husband is always jealous of my view.
  11. Lake Gary, wow! There is canoeing, paddle boarding, blobbing, Wet Willieing, swimming, and fishing all summer. I often spend my Shabbat afternoon observing the kids on Lake Gary and listening to laughter floating through the air.
  12. Our Performing Arts Center is renovated and ready for new experiences this summer! I can’t wait for the talent show!
  13. Tefillah. I am always impressed by the quality and creativity of our services from Star Wars, Yoga, or traditional. There is always a way for a camper to connect to Judaisim.
  14. J.C., Gary and Sandy- I am so lucky to have such a supportive cast of co-workers. Each of them truly cares about your child and your family. I am glad to call them my friends.
  15. Last, but not least, YOU. So many of our parents and alumni have welcomed me into their families and share their lives. An unexpected perk of my job, but one I am most proud. Thank you for you kindness.


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