It was a close Color War between the Blue Trolleys and White Monorails all the way until the end. Although White led all week until the Friday performances, the Blue Trolleys took home the win after their performances on Friday.
Videos and photos from Color War 2018 can be found on our Facebook page!
It was another great week at Hillcrest for the Tea cups. We are so proud of our little campers; as they have improved so much in their swimming skills. They have learned how to blow bubbles, put their heads under the water and float on their backs. In Jewish Culture they made cookies with rainbow sprinkles. They put their creative skills to work in arts and crafts and made a paper plate sun. Of course the day would not be complete without singing the Mr. Sun song as they made their creations. In gym the children played with different size balls. We went to the Long Island Aquarium; where we saw sharks, sting rays, small fish and their favorite was the sea lion show. On Wednesday we went to Valley Stream State Park for our bbq. We played in the playground and had hot dogs for lunch. It was color war week for the other groups at the camp and they got to see a water melon eating contest. Thursday was our last trip to Progressive gymnastics; and they were able to go in the rock wall tunnel and become experts at forward rolls. On Friday we went to bounce U where they had an awesome time going on the different inflatables. We are sad to see that camp is almost over; but we know the last week of camp will be just as fun as the others.
Camper of the week: The camper of the week is Asher. Asher was sitting next to a camper who had fallen asleep on the bus coming back from our trip; and helped to wake him up by calling his name and gently tapping him on his shoulder.
This week in art and crafts the Tea cups colored butterfly wings made out of a mesh material. It was great to see how each camper decorated their butterfly wings; they added dots, shapes, and lines. In Jewish culture we made hamantashen cookies with apricot jam. The campers loved to add the ingredients needed and shape the dough into a triangle. We took a trip to Chocolate Works where the children learned about chocolate, and made candy kabobs. They had a choice of dipping an oreo cookie, pretzel or graham cracker into chocolate and then added sprinkles or m & m's. The children really enjoyed this yummy treat. Wednesdays means bbq'a and the campers went on the swings, slides and played in the sand box. We also played with a big parachute. Each camper stood by a color; and when their color was called they had to run underneath the parachute to the other side. For lunch we ate hot dogs and potato chips. Gymnastics is always fun; as the children are getting better on the balance beam, trampoline and doing forward rolls. This Friday we celebrated the 60th anniversary of Hillcrest Jewish Center Day Camp. During Oneg the children were asked questions about camp and the Tea cups received a coupon for a free candy at the canteen.
The camper of the week is Jonathan. Jonathan loves being the line leader when we are lining up to go somewhere. Asher said that he wanted to be the line leader and Jonathan told him that he could be first.
The summer is going by so fast with week five coming to an end. We started our week with a classic trip to Luna Park in Coney Island. The kids loved going on the thrilling rides, especially because it was our first amusement park trip of the summer and our first late night trip! On Tuesday we stayed back at camp and made fairy wings in arts and crafts, played gaga, sang in music, and much more. Wednesday started out with cloudy skies, but that didn’t stop us as we went to the BBQ to play and came back to camp to enjoy hotdogs and chips. Thursday’s trip was very fun for our group because we got to play in the arcade together at @Play Amusements. We ended our day with a relaxing swim in the pool. On Friday we celebrated the 60th anniversary of camp, and went back to tradition by reciting an original prayer at oneg and having our own 8/9s counselors be the Shabbat king and queen! Overall, it was a great week.
Our camper of the week is Julia! Without being asked, she has stayed back with her counselors after activities numerous times in order to help out, including to clean up all of the Wii games and to help another camper put everything back into her bag after swim.
The Imagineers can’t wait to see what the next week of camp brings!
The best word to describe week 4 would be rainy. Everyone on Monday arrived to camp excited to go to Adventure Land. Unfortunately do to the inclement rain weather we were unable to go. However do to some quick and efficient rescheduling our trip that day was to the movies. We saw Incredibles 2, and somehow managed to get a theater with enough space to accommodate the entirety of upper camp. As good as the movie was, since most of the kids enjoyed it the highlight of the trip seemed to be the concessions stand for nearly every kid who chose to wait on line for popcorn. The next day was another in camp day with all the usual activities. On Wednesday for the second time this week, plans had to change do to the rain. Instead of going to Valley Stream State Park like all Wednesdays, we ended up spending the day in camp. There are definitely worse places to have to stay at, such as those without a pool, gym, lounge, and other activities. To everyone’s relief, we still got to eat hamburgers. The next day, we finally got to go outside. Our trip was the Bronx Zoo, which is so much better than the Central Park Zoo. There really isn’t really any need for an explanation as to what we did at the Bronx Zoo, but it was a lot of fun. On Friday was Family Day. A bunch of parents of the campers came to watch their kids perform a song that their group leaders had made for them and practiced with them. Our song was a parody of the 2018 version of John Denver’s Take, me Home Country Roads. After many days of practicing until the boys had gotten it perfect, it was finally time to show everyone what they learned. I can honestly say that they did not do nearly as good as they did during practice. A lot of the boys got stage fright, but they were all so relieved after it was over. Then it was as if nothing had even happened and they all went to their regularly scheduled activities.
The 10/11 boys camper of the week is Luis. Luis is normally very polite and kind to everyone else including both staff and campers. He is very shy, but never a burden on anyone else. Luis has shown that he has an incredible memory. During a game of song quiz at music, he remembered the name of every song that was played, as well as the person or band who played the song.
Week four proceeded smoothly in camp. The 8/9 Boys enjoyed such activities as double swim, gym, music, arts and crafts, and Jewish culture. Pizza was served for lunch, along with salad and sandwiches, leaving us satisfied.
Wednesday was barbecue day once again - only this time it was rained out! Fortunately, all the time we would have had to spend traveling to Valley Stream and back was used for exciting in-camp activities. We swam, played sports in the gym, and practiced our Family Day song. At lunch, we partook of hamburgers, veggie burgers, chips, corn, and watermelon. All in all the rainy day turned out to be a fun twist on the traditional Wednesday outdoor barbecue!
On Thursday, we traveled to the Bronx Zoo. We packed bagged lunches consisting of items like bagels, sandwiches, and apple juice. We split into small groups upon arrival, a staff member or two accompanying a group of approximately five campers. This allowed each group to move quickly and efficiently through each attraction, while simultaneously learning as much as possible about animals and wildlife conservation. Campers’ favorites included tigers, giraffes, and elephants. The most popular part of the zoo seemed to be the monorail, where we could sit back, relax, and view and learn about animals from above. Arlo S enjoyed the butterfly home, while Josh S was intrigued by the lions. Back at camp, the campers concluded a long day first in the Wii room, and then at dismissal with fruit and ices.
Friday was the long-awaited Family Day! After spending part of the morning at our final rehearsal, each group, from the nursery-kindergarteners up to the Tweens, filed into the sanctuary. The CITs MC’d the event, wherein each group went up one-by-one to perform their group’s song for their families out in the audience. As soon as the 8/9 Boys were called, our campers, unable to contain their excitement, headed swiftly toward the stage and began to perform our group’s unique rendition of All Star by Smash Mouth. The performance was met with applause! Beaming with pride, we listened respectfully to the remaining performances. Afterwards, we headed to lunch. After participating in the weekly Sabbath blessings led by Rachel, our Jewish culture specialist, we partook of a delicious chicken nugget lunch, along with French fries, challah bread, salad, sandwiches, etc. After lunch, we practiced self defense drills with our Krav Maga instructor, Patrick, who helped us understand how best to avoid dangerous situations and how to best defend ourselves when necessary. We also practiced different stretches to warm up and improve our flexibility. Then, we headed down to double swim to cool off. The week concluded in the Moreida where our campers partook of ice pops and fresh fruit. We all looked forward to Monday’s trip to Luna Park.
Monday did not arrive quickly enough for our campers - it was our late night trip to Luna Park at Coney Island at last. We started the day slowly with swim, Wii room games, and a pizza lunch, but the day picked up when we boarded the buses and arrived at Coney Island. Upon arrival, we split up into small groups of about five campers according to the types of rides the campers were comfortable experiencing. Five hours later, we gathered at the front. Our campers were happy they got to go on all the rides they felt comfortable with - such rides as the pirate’s ship, the swings, and the Tickler. Back at camp, we refueled after a very long, fun day with spaghetti and meatballs, along with salad. We cannot wait for what the rest of the week has in store!
Our campers of the week is Daniel B. Like one of our previous campers of the week, Daniel maintains a strong, infectious smile that helps him - and others - stay positive even in moments of frustration. While a relatively quiet kid, he’s not afraid to speak up if he needs help. Daniel can be most commonly found quietly laughing with a group of friends at nearly all times of the day!
We can't believe it's the end of the first session already at Hillcrest. Tuesday we went to White Post Farms; where the children went on pony rides, and fed different animals such as goats and sheep. We also saw monkeys, rabbits, and beautiful birds in the bird aviary. Rain, rain go away! We didn't get to go to the barbecue on Wednesday because of the wet weather; but we still enjoyed activities at the camp. The Tea Cups are getting better at swimming; as some of them are swimming without their floaties. At story time we read the Very Hungry Caterpillar. The children really enjoyed the story and they were able to read what happens to the caterpillar with the help of the pictures. In Jewish Culture they were each given dreidels to spin, and they learned what each symbol on the dreidel meant. At art we made paper plate elephants. They glued the trunk to the face and then decorated their elephants by dipping cotton balls in paint. We also put a bow tie for the boys to add to their elephants, and a hair clip for the girl's elephants. In music the children danced with the maracas they made in art. Whenever we have some free time before going to the next activity the children have been playing a game called follow the leader. When it's their turn to be the leader he/she has to do movements; such as pat their head, clap their hands, touch their nose and the other children have to follow. We had time to play the game before we went into gymnastics; and the 6/7 girls group did it with us. It was nice to see both groups playing together. We are so proud of the children for the great job they did with their Tea Cup song at family day, and we are all looking forward to what the next session brings at Hillcrest.
The camper of the week is Lavi. Lavi likes to help out his fellow campers. This week he helped Asher get his book bag from his cubby when it was time to go home.
The Imagineers have finished off a great first half of the camp season! Although Adventureland was rained out, we had an early trip to the movies and got to see Incredibles 2 - in fact, Jack Jack was our favorite character in the film! On Tuesday, we painted our very own pictures of beautiful tulips in Arts and Crafts, and spent Wednesday back at camp playing Kickball and Ping Pong and ate yummy hamburgers for lunch. Thursday was all fun under the sun at the Bronx Zoo - we saw butterflies, flamingos, rhinos, and red pandas! And, of course, we can’t wait to show off our awesome group song at Family Day tomorrow!
This week, Tori, Brianna, Immaliah and Madison all stayed back to help pile up our Family Day song sheets nicely after collecting them during practice. Thanks for your help, girls!
Week three continued on Tuesday with exciting in-camp activities, like swim, gym, teen lounge, and the Wii room. We continued to prepare for Family Day, the campers excited to perform for their visitors on Friday, July 27th!
Dressed in their red camp shirts, our campers spent Wednesday at the weekly barbecue. We enjoyed activities like soccer, newcomb, and playground games. We fueled up on a lunch of consisting of hot dogs, sandwiches, watermelon, and the like. After cleaning up and enjoying some more play time, we returned to camp to cool off in the pool!
Thursday morning began with a refreshing swim, followed by a period spent playing games in the Wii room. Then, we boarded the buses for SkyZone. Upon arrival, we were greeted by an assortment of trampolines, slides, and games satisfying everyone’s craving for intense fun. Back at camp, the day came to a close with gym. At dismissal, we refueled for the trip home with ices and fresh fruit.
The week concluded with an assortment of in-camp activities, like swim, gym, and music with Ilan. At our Friday morning Oneg Shabbat service, we listened to Rachel’s unique stories about kindness and compassion. Then, we sang songs reflecting the Sabbath’s theme of peace and reflection. Upon the conclusion of the service, our campers walked into the lunchroom hand-in-hand, setting the mood for a tasty chicken nugget and French fry lunch (along with salad and other goodies). After lunch, the 8/9 Boys played an intense game of Gaga in our outdoor Gaga pit. Then, we met with the weekly Krav Maga instructor to practice self-defense drills and fitness exercises. Having spent the day - and the week - engaged in exciting and challenging activities, we all looked forward to a weekend of rest, albeit reluctant to leave our friends for a while two days!
While campers spent the weekend anticipating Monday’s trip to Adventureland, rainy weather meant that the trip would be postponed to a sunnier day. In lieu of rollercoasters, the entire Upper Camp spent the morning enjoying a thrilling Incredibles 2 at the movie theater. At camp, we feasted on a bagel lunch, followed by such activities as music, gym, swim, and continued preparation for Family Day.
Jamie F. is the camper of week three! Jamie is the calm in the center of the storm - when others lose their cool, Jamie is a beaming source of patience, perseverance, and optimism. Jamie is an integral part of our group, and we look forward to spending the rest of the summer with him!
We started off our third week of camp with the Manhattan Circle line. We went on the boat with the 8/9s and got a good view of the Manhattan skyline and Statue of Liberty from the water. The boat itself was somewhat fast making the breeze in the front quite nice. Then afterwards we all took a picture next to the boat. On Tuesday we said our goodbyes to three 10/11 boys who would be enjoying the rest of the week at the New Jersey Y overnight while the rest of us had a wonderful time back at camp in the pool, at gym, baking cookies, eating pizza, etc. The boys also learned a little self-defense in the weekly Krav Maga class. Our second Wednesday barbeque was just as fun as the first, but with hot dogs instead of hamburgers this time. Thursday’s trip to Sky Zone was easily the highlight of the week. Sky Zone is an indoor trampoline center, where the kids jumped around for fun, played dodgeball, shot basketballs, or jumped into a foam pit. Friday was different from the norm because we had a lice inspection going on. The inspection was quick and didn’t hinder anyone from having fun for the rest time being. We still got to play gaga, play in the gym, and swim.
The camper of the week is David L. David is always polite and respectful towards other campers and his counselors. More importantly on Friday David had single handedly beat the 8/9 boys and their staff members in an 8/9 boys vs 10/11 boys gaga game.
The Goofies have enjoyed the past week of camp so much! On Wednesday, we headed to the park for our weekly barbecue, went on swings, ate hot dogs, and had fun in the playgrounds. The next day, the Goofies went to gymnastics. They learned to roll over, jumped on trampolines, and ran through obstacle courses. On Friday, our trip was to the Hall of Science where we went to the playground. The group were able to learn about science and technology through slides, seesaws, and climbing. We then had a nice lunch outside on the grass of the Hall of Science. Back at camp, the children made tasty Rice Krispie treats and graham cracker sandwiches in Jewish culture in addition to playing Gaga. We have also been making sure to practice our song in preparation for family day and can’t wait to show the parents on Friday. On Tuesday, our trip was to White Post Farms. We first rode ponies, and then we were able to see many animals such as birds, sheep, and camels. We were even able to pet and feed goats. Then, we walked around in a room with birds flying all around us which was really cool. The children the spent the rest of the trip in the playground, going inside small playhouses and large ships and cars.
The camper of the week is Michael. Michael always shows how excited he is to be in camp. This week a new camper joined our group, and Michael was the first to greet and welcome him to the group and he made sure that our new camper would immediately feel comfortable here.
So much is going on at Hillcrest for the Tea cups. This week we went to Pump It Up where they bounced around on different inflatables, went through mazes and rode on little bikes. On Wednesday we went to our barbecue. The barbecues are great because it gives them a chance to play with other children from the camp; and to spend time with their brothers or sisters that they may have in the camp. After we got back to camp we went for a swim at the pool; one of their favorite activities. At Progressive Gymnastics they went on the balance bean of various heights, did floor exercises and worked on their forward rolls. Our Friday mini trip was to the Hall Of Science where we went to the outdoor playground. With the use of slides, see saws, and fog machines the children explored the ideas of motion, balance, sound, and simple machines; as well as sun, wind and water.
When we are not on a trip or at a specialist the Tea Cups are playing in the N/K room. The children use the legos to build great structures, put together different kinds of puzzles and color in our coloring books. We have also been practicing our song for family day and are looking forward to singing it for their families on family day. The summer is going by so fast; but there is much more fun in store for the Tea Cups.
The camper of the week is Christopher. At the water fountain he helped push the button so one of his fellow campers can get a drink.
This week of camp was even better than last week for the Jumpin’ Jellyfish! We started out the week by making fun hats in arts and crafts for crazy hat day, spent time bouncing around on the inflatables at pump it up, and enjoyed the beautiful weather at our second barbecue of the summer. We learned about Tisha B’Av and the western wall in Jewish Culture on Thursday and looked forward to gymnastics after lunch, which was such a blast! To wrap up the week, we went to the New York Hall of Science’s outdoor playground, where we swung and jumped around while watching the science behind it all. We’ve also been hard at work practicing our group song for family day, and can’t wait to perform it next week!
Ilana is this week’s camper of the week. She always has an optimistic outlook, no matter where we go! Despite forgetting her bathing suit one day this week, she kept a positive attitude and looked forward to her next chance to go swimming!
Aiden is a camper who displays maturity beyond his age by keeping his hands to himself and using respectful words. Aiden participates in all camp activities and fills the room with positive energy by doing so. I have never seen Aiden express anger or disappointment when not winning a game or a sport; such behavior is remarkable for a person his age.
Aiden's maturity was on full display during the camp's trip to the Bronx Zoo. At the zoo, Aiden observed the animals, pointing out his observations and asking interesting questions. He listened to his counselors when instructed and made the trip more enjoyable for good counselors and fellow campers.
The week started out with the perfect weather to be outside and in the water. Which is exactly what we did by going to Jones Beach Pool. It wasn’t so hot that the ground would burn anyone’s feet but it was still warm enough that everyone wanted to go in the water. I think the majority of the 10/11 boys spent most of their time jumping from the diving board. Tuesday was an average day in camp with the pool, arts and crafts, gaga pit, etc. The next day was the first barbeque day of the summer. All the campers got new red hillcrest camp shirts celebrating the camp’s sixtieth anniversary and then took group pictures at Valley Stream State Park. Most of the boys played soccer with kids from other groups, while others played nukem volleyball, basketball, or played in the park. Thursday’s trip was Laser Bounce, but to everyone’s surprise it was not the same place that we had been going to as a camp for years. This place was much better. It had laser tag, a bouncy house play area, and a whole lot of arcade games. Everyone got a card so that they can play an unlimited amount of games while we were there. Friday was another ordinary day, except for the fact the group was introduced to their family day song, and to their disappointment they would have to start practicing it.
The camper of the week is Jonah R. Jonah is normally very polite when asking for things and gets along well with every other kid in the group. On Wednesday Jonah took the time to teach another camper how to play lacrosse even though he didn’t know them very well
The third week of camp was a blast for the Imagineers! We started off the week touring beautiful Lower Manhattan on the Circle Line Boat. On Tuesday, we put our musical knowledge to the test with Ilan and played a huge game of Pindown in the gym. We played Softball, Newcomb and at the playground during our Valley Stream barbecue, and finally spent Thursday bouncing around at SkyZone!
Our camper of the week is Abigail who, after losing her hat during the Circle Line Tour, tried to remain positive by remembering that she still has another hat at home that she loves!
The Imagineers can’t wait for Family Day next week!
We enjoyed activities like gym, double swim, music with Ilan, and going to the playground. Campers relished their pizza lunch, while mixing it up with salad, sandwiches, and jello. The 8/9 Boys continue to make friends among themselves and develop a sense of pride in their group.
Wednesday was Picture Day. Campers received their brand new red 60th anniversary camp shirts. We took a full camp picture on the steps of the building to commemorate the anniversary. Upon arrival to Valley Stream State Park, each group took a photo. Next, campers played Newcomb, playground games, and a popular sport for the first time of the summer - soccer. Ethan Y. played goalkeeper on one team, making an impressive number of saves! While campers were reluctant to leave these exciting activities in order to eat, campers enjoyed a lunch of hamburgers, corn, sandwiches, and watermelon. After a little clean-up and more play-time, we returned to camp sweaty and ready to hop into the pool!
Thursday’s trip was Laser Bounce. Instead of driving out to Long Island, we went to the Queens location, allowing us to enjoy more time playing games - this time, we received cards that allowed us to play unlimited games like air hockey and magic piano. At lunch, we ate bagels topped with cream cheese, tuna, and the like. Back at camp we got to swim and practice our brand new Family Day song. We can’t wait to perform our group’s song on Family Day, July 27th, at our weekly Oneg Shabbat service!
Friday was a pleasant, satisfying conclusion to a jam-packed week. While the Tweens and younger groups boarded the buses for another trip, the 8/9 Boys participated in music, swim, teen lounge, and Oneg Shabbat in camp. Rachel, our Jewish culture specialist, led the camp in a brand new version of the Oneg Shabbat service. She taught the campers songs from her childhood and spoke about being friendly, accepting, and welcoming. Our campers entered the lunchroom in joyous song with hands interlocked. After a few more group activities like going to the playground and recreational swim, we headed to dismissal. We wished each other lovely weekends over fruit and iced!
Monday was Crazy Hat Day. The 8/9 Boys used a wide assortment of colors and materials to create the most memorable hats for the photos! The fun continued with the long-awaited Circle Line tour of Lower Manhattan. Campers learned about the geography of NYC and the surrounding waters and regions of New Jersey.
The camper of the week is Adam Y. Adam goes with the flow - he maintains a pleasant smile through every activity. When he needs help, he asks politely. Adam is a blast to have in our group!
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