|Amanda Front (left) at Camp Newman
with friend Jacqui Osborn
Amanda Front, a teenager at Congregation Or Ami, joined her father Seth Front for a trip to Orange County, CA to promote URJ Camp Newman to kids at Temple Beth David in Westminster, the temple where Seth’s father Henri Front served as Rabbi. Amanda reflected upon her first summer there. What she wrote was so beautiful, and delivered so eloquently, we had to share it with everyone who was such a big part of her first summer at Camp Newman.
The URJ Camp Newman Experience By Amanda Front
“URJ Camp Newman.”
Just hearing those words brings a smile to my face and precious memories into my head. The highlight of my summer was spending two weeks at Camp Newman. This was my first time ever going to sleep-away camp and I am already counting down the days until I go back to camp next summer: 234 days!!!
The staff is amazing! The counselors are the best! They are responsible, fun, friendly, and caring. They are always there to talk to and have fun with like a friend, and then when it comes time to do something important, they are very responsible and professional.
Being that this was my first time at camp, I was very nervous and not sure I wanted to go. I was going to have to go on a plane without my parents. I was scared I was going to land at the Oakland airport and not know where to go. But right when we got off the plane, we saw camp counselors awaiting our arrival, greeting us with smiling faces!!! I knew at that moment that this would be an amazing experience.
Shabbat at camp is one of the most beautiful things I have ever experienced in my whole life. The whole camp dresses in white and we have an amazing service. My favorite part is when the counselors bless us. They sing a blessing and hold tallit over our heads. This is so beautiful that it brought tears to my eyes, knowing I was in such a special place with amazing people.
Dan Nichols is a Jewish singer/songwriter. We sing his songs at camp and he comes to camp every summer to share his music with us. One of his songs perfectly describes the Camp Newman experience: “When I reach out to you and you to me, we become B’tzelem Elohim.” Camp is a Kehillah Kedosha, a holy community, where you feel like you are a part of something special…and you are. I encourage all of you to become part of the Camp Newman “holy community” with me this summer.