Meet Rosalee Kaminsky

“My favorite thing at camp is Shabbat. We all wear white and we have matzo ball soup and dance together.”

When I was seven years old, I went to Jewish Camp Day at Beth Israel. After that, I knew I wanted to go to sleep-away camp.

But I had never even been to day camp. So, first my mom made me prove that I could be on my own, by making my bed every day and going to Habimah Arts Camp at the JCC. After I did that she knew I was ready for Rookie Camp.

On my first day, I was waiting for the bus to take us to camp and I saw that everyone already had friends. I knew no one. But once I got to camp, I had a swim buddy and we made friends right away. I said, ‘This is good because I’ll have separate camp and school friends.’

Rookie Camp was only four days. It was a taste of camp and we got to try everything. We went through the mud obstacle course, ate lunch in the dining hall and lived in the bunk. When I came home, I knew I wanted to go back, so the next year I went for two weeks. That’s when I met Julia. She’s a lifelong friend. We met when we were at the carnival. She looked lonely so I wanted to hang out with her. We got really tight and made matching tie-dyed T-shirts.

My favorite thing at camp is Shabbat. We all wear white and we have matzo ball soup and dance together. At camp, I learned a lot of things, like how to share. There are 12 kids in a bunk and everyone is assigned a number. So, I had number five and that meant I always took my shower fifth. I also learned a lot of Hebrew songs, how to make a “Rosalee Salad” – it has craisins and croutons – and how to say the Birkat.

At the end of the summer, everyone lights candles and puts them on bricks and then floats them down the lake. You see all these floating candles.

I can’t wait to go back next year.

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