Thursday night was our 5th Anything Can Happen Thursday of the summer, and we decided to pull out all the stops. When we were all gathered at Assembly I announced that it was going to be a very special evening. It was going to be Jacki Mitchell's Bat Mitzvah!
Jacki is one of our Athletic Directors, and is celebrating her 47th summer at Kenwood and Evergreen. After so many years in our community we felt like it was time for her to have the same sort of coming-of-age party that all of her Camp friends -- and a generation later their children -- had back when she was a teenager.
On her behalf I announced the menu: bagels, lox, and a schmear. Pigs in a blanket, mini quiches and hors d'oeuvres typically found at a bat mitzvah. For the main meal hamburger sliders and other foods most often on the kids' menu at such an event, along with a make-your-own pasta bar. There were also special drinks on the tables. And then I paused to share one other important food included in the meal: CHALLAH. When I said this the entire Camp began jumping up and down and screaming with excitement. Kristie Archer, our unbelievable baker, had made 8 enormous, delicious loaves for us all to share.
When we entered the dining hall there was such a mad dash for the lox and appetizers that they almost missed the start of the video montage on the big movie screen. We wanted to celebrate all things Jacki, so I dug through photos from her 5 decades as a member of the K&E family and set them to Paul Anka's "Times Of Your Life" (which coincidentally was the song for the video montages at both Deena's and my b'nai mitzvot). The entire Camp paused to watch the life of this good friend of ours told in photographs. In particular, the kids seemed to revel in the many, many different hair styles.
Just as Kristie began wheeling out the homemade black and white cookies (which were on par with those you'd find at William Greenberg's in NYC) Courtney announced that it was time for the "reception" in the theater. As they walked in I began playing songs from the era when Jacki could have had her big event. "Celebration" by Kool and the Gang was first on the list, followed by Leo Sayer's "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing". Deena and I had laid out 400 sets of foam LED lights for dancing and turned on the disco ball and stage lights.
For the rest of Free Play we danced our hearts out. We all linked hands and did the horah, and then got silly and did the Chicken Dance. As the final event of the party we played Brian Adam's "Everything I Do (I Do It For You)", which was Jacki and her husband Bob's wedding song. Their nephew, who is a first time camper this summer, shared the spotlight with them.
All in all, it was a pretty hysterical, delicious, poignant, and wonderful night for our extended Camp family, and yet another example of how much fun we are having during our weekly #AnythingCanHappenThursdays.
And then it was Friday night and the start of our annual Homecoming Weekend. Almost 40 of our most recent alumni back to visit their longtime summer home. Deena and I took them all out for dinner, and had a chance to find out what they had all been doing this summer (since after graduating in 2017 they were required to take a "skip" summer before having the option to apply to be Junior Counselors next summer).
After returning to Camp it was time to hang with Camp friends. Our campers, counselors and alumni arrived with sleeping bags and lawn chairs, and we all settled in for a night of watching a movie together as a camp family. Before watching the main attraction we first watched this week's video wrap up, which I am posting below.
The night's other movie was the latest Jumanji, and it was a clearly adored by the audience. When it was over we all headed home for bed, excited for two enormous camp events happening over the weekend: Hollowpallooza, our annual music festival, and Carnival.
More on both of these as the weekend goes on!