Dog days of summer: Baking pupcakes with Kulanu kids


Last summer, I was offered the wonderful opportunity to volunteer at Kulanu’s summer program, Camp Discovery. I was nervous at first, as I never taught cake, cookie and cupcake decorating to children.

The first day I rushed in with all my supplies and within five minutes my first group of kids bounded in. I was greeted with shouts of glee, high fives and offers of help ranging from helping to distribute the items needed, to help eating all the leftovers. It was love at first sight. They were all different ages and sexes with different disabilities but they were all eager to have fun with the activity as well as each other. Suddenly I wasn’t nervous anymore.

As the summer progressed, I looked forward to coming up with different food decorating ideas and hearing all about the adventures the campers had since the last time I saw them.

Unfortunately, I had to miss one class when I was in Florida for a close friend’s wedding. Upon returning to my group the following week, one of the campers came rushing up to me and said “Judy, Judy, I really missed you last week, I’m so glad you’re back!” To which I responded “And I missed you, too!” He quickly shouted back, “But I REALLY missed you!” To say my heart melted was an understatement. I have catered parties upward of 400 people that I have worked on for weeks in advance. I have dealt with sleep deprivation, and the desire to have everything just perfect. Not until the end of the event, when the client tells me how happy they are, do I breathe a sigh of relief and that wonderful feeling comes over me knowing I made another person happy. But I will tell you in all honesty when my buddy said that to me that day, it trumped all those other compliments.

Needless to say when I was asked if I would return this summer, I said, “Did you even have to ask?”

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