For some, Chanukah 5783 is a distant memory. For the campers of CKids Gan Israel FL, Chanukah was a blast of camp that showed up at their door.
Chanuka is family time.
So what happens when your camp counselor from this past summer has become your family?
Naturally, the proper way to celebrate is together.
This past Chanuka counselors and staff members of CKids Gan Israel Florida traveled to their campers’ homes and surprised them for an unforgettable evening.
The Bochurim began their journey along the East Coast by visiting the campers in New Jersey and New York for the first few nights. They then traveled down to Florida where they visited both individual campers and special Hakhel gatherings were arranged in multiple cities where many camp families live.
Ecstatic hellos were exchanged (and some tears of excitement wiped away) and some time was spent catching up on all that had transpired in the months since camp.
They wasted no time in setting up the menorahs and Chanukah decorations that they had brought with them and then the celebration really began.
The sweet voices of generations blended together as the campers kindled their candles with their counselors, siblings, parents, and even grandparents in some cases! The lighting was always followed with enthusiastic dancing as they proudly sang the Jewish songs that they learned in camp just a few months ago and have been humming ever since!
CKids Gan Israel FL Directors, Rabbi Levi and Chaya Plotkin received a message from Mrs. Abramov – the mother of one of the campers that was visited over Chanukah. “I can’t believe you guys flew in the counselors to visit campers and drove 3 hours to see my son. It really means a lot, and shows what this camp is all about.”
Even those campers who were unable to receive a physical visit from their counselors were sent a Chanukah hug in the form of a package laden with dreidels and Chanukah treats.
As campers and counselors stood around the Menorah in dozens of locations throughout the East Coast singing the brachos and dancing to joyous Chanuka tunes, the flames, both internal and external, were ignited and nourished – ready to be a shining light in the darkness. The pictures below tell the story of happy campers, happy staff, and grateful parents. The spirit of Yiddishkeit and camp continues to live on and shine in the lives of the boys who were blessed to spend the summer at camp.
Register a camper for the upcoming summer of 2023 at ckidsganisrael.com