This year at Camp Simcha Special I had the privilege of writing a newsletter for the camp.
While I was able to enjoy my time there, my main focus was making sure that the newsletter looked great. After the campers got to see the newsletter, I was approached by one of the counselors and she told me the following:
My camper only likes reading or listening to things that she is interested in, but then she puts it down. If she doesn’t like something then she won’t look at it. Something caught her eye about the newsletter. She got to see the pictures and graphics. Once she was listening to me read it to her she wanted to hear more. She made me read her the entire thing and she loved it!
Hearing this story from the counselor, I was so moved. I would stay up late at night or get up early in the morning, trying to put the newsletter together, making sure I got everything done. From writing the correct details and information, proofreading, editing, pictures, formatting and printing. It was very time consuming but worth it.
There’s a lot that goes on in camp, from the meals, to all of the activities. The days are long (really long) but the weeks are so (very, very) short. What a regular, standard sleepaway camp does in a month, Camp Simcha and Camp Simcha Special do in about a week. It is very intense, but it is all worth it because as a staff member I know I am doing my job for the campers. Everything we do is to better the lives of the campers each day we are in camp, not just in camp but outside camp as well.
There are a few extra special activities that the camp plans for the campers to enjoy. It could be anything from a shooting range, helicopter rides, motorcycle rides, riding in Lamborghinis (and other stylish cars) and great Jewish music concerts (yes more then one and typically a surprise).
The concerts are always something that not only the campers enjoy but the staff as well. Being able to bring joy and smiles to the camper’s faces while also enjoying the concerts was a blast. This year we had a fashion show and I got to feature in the camp newsletter, showcasing the unique styles of the campers.
One of the many fundraiser projects (in addition to camp) that Chai Lifeline has is Tour De Simcha (a bike-a-thon for women). The women ride 35 or 60 miles (or run either a 5K or 10K course), ending up at the world’s greatest finish line, Camp Simcha Special. Having the opportunity to witness the campers interact with the riders at this amazing event was a highlight in the newsletter.
Chai Lifeline is an organization that supports families with a child (and in some cases more than one child) who is sick with a chronic illness or cancer. Camp Simcha and Camp Simcha Special help close to 880 children go to camp or have a camp experience by attending Camp Simcha Without Borders. The experience of going to camp or participating in a camp-like setting is one that every young person should have.
For more information about Chai Lifeline and its programs visit chailifeline.org