While the fun and ruach of Camp Davis Summer 2022 is over, there is much to celebrate as we head into the Fall. The new Camp Davis Leadership -- Camp Director Andrew Fishman and Assistant Director Max O'Dell -- took camp in a new and exciting direction, much to the delight of the campers and their families.
While the traditional camp activities at Camp Davis did not change this summer - Art, Sports, Music, Israeli Culture, Performing Arts, and Nature - the specialists leading them brought a wealth of knowledge paired with an incredible spirit. One of the standout specialists was Noa, who came all the way from Neharia, Israel to teach Israeli Culture to campers. Noa educated campers about the Israeli military, the Western Wall, classic Israeli recipes, and much more. She also stayed with some incredible host families who all begged her to stay with them longer! Aside from these core activities, campers in Traditional Camp also participated in swimming at the JCC pool, climbing at the Adventure Park, Gaga ball (a camp classic), archery, water games, friendship bracelet making, and so much more.
Specialty Camps at Camp Davis also felt more special than ever before. Following the model of the beloved Project Runway Fashion Camp, spearheaded by the Gordon JCC's own Carrie Mills, most of the other specialty camps were run by professionals in the community of various crafts. For example, Maddy Turner, a local science teacher, oversaw all six weeks of the STEM track and mastered the delicate balance of fun and learning in Space Camp, two weeks of Cooking Camp, and many others. Because of these specialty leaders, Camp Davis' specialty offerings were extremely popular this summer and they plan to offer even more unique options next summer.
One of the major successes of the summer was a revamped staffing structure, designed to improve communication with camp families. Camp Davis also welcomed back Abby "AP" Pierron as the Inclusion Director this summer, and her presence and overall efforts made a tremendous impact on the well-being and success of all campers. Camp Davis has always been a welcoming community where campers can feel comfortable and safe being themselves, and our Inclusion program, whose start was supported by the Lori Ann Fishel Special Needs Fund housed at the Jewish Federation and Jewish Foundation of Nashville and Middle Tennessee, continues to play an important role on our campers’ successes.
Shabbat this year was extremely fun and reflective, led by Song Leader Tyler Spuzzillo, who attended the virtual Song Leader Boot Camp this winter - an incredible immersive Jewish leadership opportunity. With a balance of games, classic songs, and opportunities for self and group reflection, campers enjoyed themselves, while growing within their Jewish world each week at Camp Davis.
Led by Max's spirited energy and Andrew's thoughtful dedication, the ruach around the JCC this summer was palpable, of course because of the smiling and excited campers, but due in large
part as well to the amazing Camp Davis staff! Andrew and Max have already begun planning for next summer and cannot wait to implement feedback from the community into creating an even more successful Summer 2023!