Author: Hirsch, Deborah
Date published: May 24, 2012
Journal code: JWEX
Dig up your old camp shirts and friendship bracelets: The National Museum of American Jewish History and the Collaborative are calling young professionals to reconnect with old bunkmates and reminisce about nights around the campfire during a nostalgic "Camp Reunion" on June 5.
The event will include such camping delicacies as s'mores and "adult bug juice," plus an improv comedy show and a Foundation for Jewish Camp presentation on applying summer camp lessons to the adult world. Attendees are also invited to bring personal photos to add to the museum's popular summer camp exhibit.
"And camp shirts are mandatory," said Collaborative program director Molly Wernick.
Representatives from six camps primarily serving the Philadelphia region will be on hand (Camp Galil Habonim Dror, Camp Harlam, Camp JRF, Golden Slipper Summer Camp, Pinemere Camp and Raman in the Poconos) - but alumni from any Jewish camps are invited.
Wernick said she figured that even young adults who didn't go to the same camp might be interested in swapping stories.
"Growing up at camp is like such a different way of connecting with people," said Wernick, a longtime attendee and former director at Galil. "The relationships are so intensified and it just bonds you for life."
Both Wernick and fellow organizer Cobi Weissbach, associate director of development and leader of the young friends group at the museum, said they can't wait for the chance to relive the energy of their camp days.
Weissbach spent 12 summers at Ramah in Wisconsin, even bringing his future wife to work there with him before they got married. Being in the idyllic "bubble" of camp, Weissbach said, gave him the chance to figure out who he was while connecting to his Jewishness at prayer services around the lake, surrounded by close friends.
For more information about the event, visit: www.nmajh. org/publicprograms/#campreunion.
Jewish Exponent Staff