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August 13 Newsletter

Update from Camp Director - Jon Pivnick

Aug 13, 2012


Hi everyone.  For those of you whose children went home at the end of the first session and didn’t think that much happens in the 2nd session, I want to tell you quite a different story.  For those whose children stayed on, here’s what we’ve been up to. This newsletter might exhaust you.  It’s hard to believe that we can fit so much in, in just a short time period.

Start thinking about all 7 weeks next summer; you won’t want to miss any of it.  The countdown has already started on our web-site.

The theme of this newsletter is CBB RUACH. After reading about what we've been up to since visiting day you will know why. The ruach in camp is palpable, and has been growing every year for the past five years, it is the new camp culture(respect, caring and a vibrant spirit) and it is here to stay.


Second half is always a bit smaller, but no less busy. Wednesday, we sadly said good-bye to our five and a half week campers but we kept rolling with our second half activities and events. One of the highlights of second half is the 'All-Star Canoe Trip'. We send a mixed group of seniors, Pathfinders and CITs on a three-day canoe trip. This year the destination was Poissan Blanc Regional Park and they had a spectacular time with Nikko. One of the campers came up to me having returned from the trip and said "I'd never seen a shooting star before in my life, but I saw three in one night, it was amazing”! If you have ever been on a trip like this you'll know what a special experience it is, getting into the wilderness and living under the sky and the stars for a few days. These campers showed tremendous camaraderie and CBB 'tripping' ruach.


Our Pathfinders and CITs have been rewarded for their hard work all summer with some pretty wonderful excursions. The Pathfinders have returned from their 4 day, 3 night trip to Tremblant and Montreal where they participated in whitewater rafting, stayed at the CBB of Montreal and participated in the first ever Segal Centre for the Performing Arts Sing-Off with three other camps, stayed at residence at McGill U., took in LaRonde, went to the Holocaust Museum and saw the new Batman movie at the IMAX.  They were most appreciative of the opportunity to bond in a new environment and had lots of fun doing it. The CITs fit in a day trip to LaFleche, a challenging four hour high ropes and zip line course. With over 13 zip lines running through the course this group managed to work on their aerial maneuvers and challenge any fear of heights they may have had. I am very happy to be able to reward your children for showing their CBB 'team work' ruach while they help out around the camp.


We were able to take the entire camp to Calypso Waterpark on Friday last week, a reward to the whole camp for the great summer we are having. The skies were overcast with a little bit of drizzle from time to time.  This only meant that there were no line-ups at the rides and the gang took full advantage of the park that day.


We've also been active in the Ottawa Jewish Community. The CITs made a trip to Hillel Lodge where they were able to connect and provide some companionship with some of the elderly member's of our community. Maybe next year we'll be able to bring some of the residents of Hillel Lodge up to camp. Speaking of bringing people up to camp, Cantor Benlolo helped to organize a visit for a group of people from Tamir, some who just made a day trip, and the Keshet group (teenagers with developmental disabilities) that stayed for three days and two nights. It was wonderful to see this group totally integrated into camp life, eating in the mess hall, playing sports on the football field, and dancing with the whole camp. I believe that it’s important for our campers to interact and play with this group as they would any other unit. It allows them to fulfill community obligations and it what we do as members of a Jewish community. We look forward to enhancing this program over the next few years. Our camp is definitely showing the CBB 'community' ruach.


We had a first (at least for me)! Joshua Freedman had his bar mitzvah at CBB.  It was a beautiful outdoor ceremony, followed by a wonderful brunch and capped off by a dance that evening. Thank you to the Freedmans for putting new mezzuzot throughout camp in honour of Joshua's bar mitzvah. Mazal tov! Jewish life at camp is thriving, from Friday night dinner and dancing to Saturday morning services and Havdalah at the beach. Judaica is alive and well at CBB. We are lucky to have five Israeli staff and fifteen campers, all of them instrumental in the success of our: March of the Living, Israel Day and Hagganah Night  activities.


Our new video MY BIG FAT JEWISH FAMILY shows our true CBB 'Judaica' ruach.


Lastly, our all-camp programs have been a hit this half. Our second half play was Grease, and the kids were terrific. Dressed in poodle skirts and leather jackets they belted out the hit songs and introduced a whole new generation to Danny and Sandra Dee (with a “camp and Quyon twist”). Our second half dance-show was truly wonderful, the kids made great outfits and the choreography by our dance staff was first class. The dance show was on the night of our annual at camp board meeting, where the news was all good - stay overs are up, camper census is up year over year. Some campers in some units had to be turned away this year as there was no more space available. Start planning now for your future junior campers! We also made a re-commitment to ensure that we are fulfilling our mission of providing a Jewish camp experience for all members of our community regardless of their economic situation, look out for more on this in the near future.


Finally, we are now on day one of our biggest all camp program, COLOR WAR. The theme this year is Toy Story, it is amazing to think that when the first Toy Story movie came out, the young men and women that make up our supervisor staff were Junior's and A's. We are delighted to have a theme that everyone at camp can connect with, good luck to the blue team representing Buzz Lightyear and the white teams representing Woody.  As we know, the team that shows the most CBB ruach will come out on top.


On a final but very important note,

Customer Satisfaction Survey

In partnership with the Foundation for Jewish Camp, Camp B'nai Brith of Ottawa is administering a Customer Satisfaction Survey.  We need your help and we would appreciate everyone’s participation as this will increase the validity of the results.

Customer Feedback

This survey gives us an opportunity to learn what drives a successful camp experience based on the perception of you, our customers, and then challenges us to improve based on your feedback. We have used the information in all of the previous years to drive the changes that we make to our camp and operation. This survey is being conducted by a professional market research firm (Summation Research) that will be reporting the findings to us.

National Impact

Your participation in this survey also assists the larger field of Jewish camping in assessing parent satisfaction across the country. Currently, 72 Jewish camps throughout North America are participating in this survey.

Instructions for Parents

Survey Link and Availability

To take the 15 minute survey, just click on the link below.  Please try to participate as soon as possible, but no later than August 30, 2012


Please be assured that this survey will be used for research purposes only and all responses will be kept in strict confidence. By participating in the survey, you will not be added to any future mailing lists or solicitations.

Customer Satisfaction Survey

Thank you very much for your time and consideration.  We greatly appreciate it.


Jonathan Pivnick, Camp Director