July 13, 2024
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July 13, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Ice Skating at Camp 613

“It’s time for ice skating/ice hockey!” Squeals of delight and cheers of excitement are heard throughout camp when the time comes to put on hats and gloves. Each week, the campers get a reprieve from the hot outdoor tempera­tures as they cool down with friends and coun­selors. As they glide on the fresh ice that the Zamboni leaves glistening for them, they can’t help but smile.

There are three wonderful benefits of Ice Skating:

Physical Benefits: If you’ve lived your life only on flat shoes, you should give ice skates a try. Skating helps you strengthen your core, lower back, and leg muscles to keep your bal­ance on the ice. From a cardiovascular point, ice skating is one of the best aerobic activities and the campers don’t even realize they are getting exercise because of all the fun being had.

Self-Confidence: When a camper is scared to go on the ice, it isn’t only because of fear. The camper may show signs that s/he is afraid of what other campers may think. The camp­ers skate alongside their counselors to help al­leviate this fear. They also may use walkers to guide them. Once a camper is feeling more confident, it is evident when they say “no, thank you” to a counselor offering help. Instead of asking for help, they ask to be watched and photographed while skating on their own. Campers who already know the skating ba­sics feel a constant burst of pride as they learn to skate backwards, do spins, or glide with one foot raised. It is remarkable to witness campers’ self-esteem flourish as they learn more of these amazing skills. Twice a week, they have the op­portunity to shine as they skate their way up in instruction levels. We love watching them then offer help to other campers who may still be “afraid.”

Achdus and Ruach: Age and bunk don’t seem to matter as all of the campers are mixed based on instruction level. New friendships are made as they skate with one another. As the music plays through the speakers, the campers join in the center of the ice to D-A-N-C-E! The Girls Camp dances on their ice skates to the dances they learned in Zumba! Young camp­ers with the older campers, the achdus is beau­tiful as they all dance and skate together.

The Boys Camp, all geared up in helmets, knee and elbow pads, play ice hockey; the younger boys are mesmerized by the old­er boys’ abilities. The older boys cheer on the younger boys as they score goals!

While the Girls Camp figure skates and the boys camp plays ice hockey, our young­est division of preschoolers also have the op­portunity to skate. They skate with the help of the Girls Camp’s oldest division, the CITs. Once the smallest skates are laced up, they make their way to the smooth ice. Their fac­es beam with the brightest smiles as they know they really are B-I-G kids and not just because they’re a little taller with skates on!

Once Skating is over and shoes are back on, the kids of Camp 613 look back on the ice and can’t wait for the next time to re­turn. They make their way to their next ex­citing sports activities outside in the shin­ing sun! We are thrilled that the campers have the opportunity to experience so many unique sports at Camp 613!

By Tova Knecht & Tamar Sheffey

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