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.
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.
Week 4 Updates
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.
6/7 Boys Update
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.
N/K and 6/7 G Updates
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!
Week 3 Updates
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!
The Tea cups are having a great summer so far! We went to the park; and played on the swings and the slide down the slides. The children started their trip at the Bronx Zoo by seeing the Storks 4D movie; it was really funny. We then made our way to see all different kinds of animals; such as gorillas, monkeys, giraffes, flamingos and birds. Of course we couldn’t leave before getting some souvenirs from the gift shop; to remember our great day at the zoo.
Back at camp the children love going into the pool tp splash around and cool off. In Jewish culture we made sugar cookies. We put our artistic talents to work in arts and craft by gluing different color tissue paper to designs made by stencils. For our mini trip we went to Ralphs ices where the children ate yummy ices. At Progressive gymnastics the children went through obstacle courses. They didi various gymnastic exercises, went on the balance beam, and parallel bars.
The camper of the week is Elliot. The children were playing with the transportation vehicles we have in the n/k room and they wanted to put some toy people in the vehicles. Elliot shared the action figures he brought from home with his friends.
6/7 Girls and 8/9 Girls Updates
The 6/7 girls jumped like jellyfish into their second week at Hillcrest! Monday was a great start as we finger painted beautiful trees to add on to the camp’s Tree of Life in Arts and Crafts. Tuesday was even better as we adventured out to the Bronx Zoo! Though some girls were nervous, we all faced our fears and went into the mouse house, and it was great! The Jumping Jellyfish were in awe at how fluffy some animals could be! Wednesday brought upon the barbecue and some playground fun, with Thursday close behind at gymnastics! We ended off this hot week with a cool treat at Ralph’s Ices. Summer 2018 is off to a great start!
Camper of the Week: Jessica always puts manners at her forefront as she continuously says “Please” and “Thank you!” She also always makes sure that everyone is happy and will always share and offer her help! Happy to have you as a Jumping Jellyfish, Jessica!
With the addition of a great first Oneg Shabbat Service last Friday, the Imagineers had an amazing second week at camp! We kicked it off on Monday at Jones Beach Pool, where the weather played out beautifully in our favor. We relaxed back at camp on Tuesday, when we made our own songs in Music with Ilan and played Four Corners with Greg in the gym. On Wednesday, the Imagineers played Volleyball, ran about in the playground, and smiled for the camera for Picture Day! Finally, Thursday was a day well spent at Laser Bounce, full of arcade games and laser tag.
Our campers of the week are Isabelle and Jaslyn. When a cup of water spilled over onto the cards for one of our board games, they both stopped playing to wipe down all of the cards without even being asked. Thanks for helping out, girls!
The Imagineers can’t wait for what Week 3 has to offer!
8/9 Boys and 10/11 Boys Updates
The 8/9 boys have enjoyed an exciting first week at Hillcrest 2018! On the first day, campers reunited with their friends, and first-time campers were met with warm greetings. After gathering in our home base to agree on a set of rules unique to our group, and after the very first swim meeting of the summer, we boarded the bus and were on our way to the batting cages and mini-golf courses. Competition, albeit friendly, buzzed on the golf courses, marked by laughter and words of encouragement. This continued in the batting cages, where our campers cheered each other on as they swung their baseball bats. Upon arriving at camp, the fun only continued; we enjoyed playing games in the gym, like basketball, catch, and tag. Afterwards, we partook of ices and fruit to close off a definitive first day of camp.
Impressed by our first day of camp, we wondered what the second day might hold in store. Experienced campers knew all-too-well that Tuesday meant there would be no trip (and that there would be pizza!). We enjoyed both instructional and recreational swim, and returned once again to the gym with Greg. At lunch, our campers enjoyed pizza, salad, eggs, tuna, and sandwiches. In Jewish culture, we learned about the holiday of Chanukah and baked cookies. In music with Ilan, we learned about different instruments, brainstormed a unique band name, and even had a jam session! At day’s end, we wished a happy Fourth of July as we enjoyed our customary ices and fruit.
Upon arriving at camp on Thursday, we inquired about each other’s Fourth of July. Questions buzzed all around: Did you see fireworks? Did you have a barbecue? Did you travel anywhere? It was in this spirit of mutual care that we enjoyed our trip to Lazerland. We played dodgeball, gaga, and laser tag with sportsmanship and camaraderie. At dismissal, we reflected on another successful day of camp over ices and fruit.
To close off the week, Friday was spent in camp. We swam in swim, ran in gym, and engaged our creativity in arts and crafts. Before lunch, we attending our first weekly Oneg Shabbat service in the sanctuary, where we learned about gratitude, rest, and the weekly Jewish Sabbath. Naturally, we enjoyed our chicken nugget lunch (with salad, tuna, french fries, eggs, etc.) with greater appreciation than before. Afterwards, we practiced self-defense in Krav Maga, learning how best to stand up for ourselves, all the while getting an incredible workout. After a jam-packed day, and week, at camp, we looked forward to reuniting with our friends the following Monday.
The second week began with another trip, this time to the Jones Beach pool. After socializing and getting to know each other better on the bus ride out to Long Island, we changed into our bathing suits and hopped into the pool. Some campers stayed in the shallow end; others dove off of the diving board. Similarly, while some chose to eat bagels at lunch, others opted for eggs or tuna. Despite our individual styles, we all came together as a group in the spirit of enjoyment and mutual respect. Upon returning to camp, we concluded a long day by sitting back, relaxing, playing a few games in the Wii room, and eating our ices and fruit at dismissal.
The camper of the week is Scott L. Scott is best known for his kind, respectful, positive attitude, reflected in the way he engages with his fellow campers and his counselors alike. He approaches everything with an infectious smile, from playing sports in the gym and swimming with his friends, to asking a counselor to help him at lunch. Scott is truly a pleasure to have in our group
The first week of camp was exciting for both the returning boys who got to see their friends after the long school year, and new ones eagerly waiting to find out what this camp is like. On Monday, the first day of camp after the group did some icebreakers and went over some rules we went to mini golf and batting cages. Although not the most exciting trip of the summer, it was one way to get outdoors and enjoy the hot summer day. I found it interesting though that although we were experiencing a heatwave at the time, that didn’t stop the boys from having fun. In fact the tremendous heat served as a way for the new campers to get involved with the rest of the group since they could all complain about how hot it was together, which they absolutely did. It also made going in the pool at the end of the day so much more rewarding for them. Tuesday was a day in camp, nothing out of the ordinary, the campers played pin down in gym, won some cool prizes during bingo, had arts and crafts, baked cookies in Jewish Culture, took their swim assessments, played in the Wii room, and in the teen lounge. I think all the boys were most excited about the pizza for lunch that day. On Thursday at Laser Land, everyone had the most fun they could possibly have. When we arrived, we immediately got into a game of laser tag, and the laser tag there is actually pretty good, because at some other places it isn’t. Then we played some gaga, dodgeball, and arcade games. I think this trip was very enjoyable for the kids because all the staff were involved in all the games with them, and what kid wouldn’t like throwing balls at their counselors without getting in trouble? Friday was another in camp day, but you could tell that this time all the kids had gotten extremely comfortable with each other and in the camp after just a few days.
Our camper of the week was Nicholas M. Nicholas was very respectful to both his counselors and his peers. He listened to what people had to say 100% of the time. He had also brought a lot of liveliness to the group because at times he would randomly break into dance. I learned he is a pretty good dancer and is a pretty funny kid.
N/K Week 1 Update
What an exciting first week of camp for the Tea Cups! On the first day we found out the many of the children know each other from outside of camp; and were happy to see one another. We started our morning by getting to know each other; and worked as a team to build great structures with different size legos. The week went fast with some many activities to do. We showed off our swimming skills and cooled off in the pool. In arts and crafts the children made fourth of July art work. First they dipped their hand in blue paint and made a hand print on the paper; then they used water color paints to paint red, white and blue stripes on top of their fingers to represent the american flag. In gym the campers had a choice of playing with balls, hula hoops and jump ropes. During music time we had an opportunity to play with different instruments. We also played musical chairs; a favorite of our campers.
Tuesday was our first trip and we went to to movies to see incredibles 2. The children enjoyed the movie; and afterwards we went to the park for lunch. The children had mini bagels and juice. After the fourth of July day off the campers were back for more fun at Hillcrest. At Jewish culture the children made cookies. They each got a turn to add an ingredient to the bowl and mix. Once we had the dough ready the children used cookie cutters in the shape of stars and a menorah. Later on in the day we ate our yummy creations. We are all looking forward to more camp fun!
The camper of the week is Adele. She was the queen at our oneg shabbat services and shared her crown with Lian.
Welcome to Hillcrest 2018!
Back when I was a camper at Hillcrest, today was the day I waited all year for. I was the type of kid to start counting down to “next summer” as soon as the last day of camp began—a countdown that usually lasted 310 or so days. It was an amazing feeling, then, when the countdown entered the hours instead of the days, and I started to pack my backpack for the first day of camp!
To be honest, 23 years since my first Hillcrest summer, not too much has changed. Sure, I don’t actively count down the days until summer anymore – that’s what the camp website is for. But I find myself waking up this morning as excited as ever about it being the first day of another Hillcrest summer!
Over the course of the summer, the Hillcrest Jewish Center Day Camp website will share the story of Summer 2018 with all of you. You should be sure to check the “Camp News” page for two-week updates, reminders, and digital versions of forms and flyers that get sent home with campers. Don’t forget to glance at the “Photos” page to view galleries of pictures from trips, BBQs, events, and more! And of course, keep your eye on this “Blog” page for and updates about everything that happens on your average day at Hillcrest! Links to all of these pages are right at the top of our homepage!
In addition, be sure to follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/hjcdaycamp) and Instagram @hjcdaycamp! Throughout the summer, we'll be posting photos, videos, and even live streaming during the camp day from these accounts.
I’m so excited to spend another amazing summer with all of the campers at Hillcrest and to share our experiences with all of you here, at www.hjcdaycamp.org.
Happy Hillcrest 2018,
Webmaster & Director of CITs
Hillcrest Jewish Center Day Camp
Learn more about what's happening at Hillcrest!