Why USY Encampment? Click below for a video of USYers explaining why you should go to Encampment (works for Kadima too).
What is Encampment? Encampment is an exciting, end of summer positive Jewish experience. It provides Jewish teenagers entering grades 6-8 (Kadima side) 9-12 (USY side) an informal opportunity to make new friends and renew friendships that they have made at previous activities. At the same time, the participants will live in a completely Conservative Jewish setting.
Program: Encampment does in one week what most camps do in 8 weeks! Highlights of our program include:
· Talent Show
· Special Senior Programs
· Social Action Programs
· Arts & Crafts
· Chapter Programming Workshops
· Creative Services
· Intramural Sports
· Pool activities-
· Israel Programs
Staff: The staff is comprised of Rabbis, teachers, youth advisors, and a select group of young adults who make up our bunk counselors and specialty staff. Many are former USYers who return to give back something of themselves to the organization.
What participants have said…..
“Encampment was the best 7 (or so) days since Genesis. “
“I loved camp soooo much! I miss my new friends and I can’t wait to go
back next summer!”
“This was my first encampment, and I
came in as a senior, and I had so
much fun and made so many friends.
Everyone was so willing to get to
know me even though I was new, and
I felt very comfortable!”
“It was awesome!! One of the best experiences of my life!”
“It was so much fun. I made friends
that will last a lifetime.“
Facilities: Encampment takes place on the grounds of the well-known B’nai Brith Perlman Camp in the Poconos, located in Starlight, Pennsylvania. It is a certified Kosher camp.
After having attended an Orthodox yeshiva for the past ten years I was a little anxious about being in a Jewish Conservative setting in addition to not knowing any of the other people attending the camp. While I was nervous and wasn’t thrilled about spending the week with a bunch of strangers my mother told me I had no choice and told me I should just make the best of it. When I got to encampment I wasn’t immediately comfortable and the thoughts racing through my mind were, ‘will they like me and will I fit in?’ Slowly as the first night went on I realized I had more in common with some of the people than I thought I would have and I was thankful to my mother that she had wanted me to go because I had started to enjoy myself and this new way of experiencing Judaism.
In addition to making new friends one aspect of camp that excited me was Kitah, an hour or so everyday where a group of campers are assigned to learn together with a staff member. This year the theme of camp was Dr. Seuss so in every lesson we would read a different Dr. Suess book and then tie it to everyday life lessons and Torah. This hour everyday helped me to become a more insightful and thoughtful person by the end of my week in encampment. The second or third day of encampment there was a speaker named Scott Fried who truly was an influence in all aspects of life. He had experienced a tough life growing up gay and then a little later in his life he had been infected with H.I.V (which he still lives with today) and he still wakes up every morning with a smile on his face. He said all sorts of things about unsafe sex and different disorders but what I took to heart was when he started to talk about being ‘enough’. He taught me that everyone has to learn that they are enough and that they don’t have to change for anyone and everyone should just be themselves. I still think about his speech on a daily basis and how important it is to love ourselves for who we are.
Another thing I really enjoyed about encampment were Ruach sessions. During Ruach sessions the whole Hagalil region comes together to rejoice in song to Hashem and the catchy tunes and strong melodies made me feel a sense of belonging and a love for God and all his creations. Throughout the week we would take part in different ice breaker games at Kitah, morning services or night activity that I am now familiar with and find myself reminiscing about the funny memories that go along with those silly games. I also liked the fact that the kids are in charge of everything that takes place throughout the week and this makes encampment more fun and less like a traditional sleepaway camp. Although it was a totally different setting than what I was used to I adjusted quite fast and learned to love the Conservative Jewish customs and religion.