Summer camps provide welcome escape

Mandy Frantz (‘10)/ Eastside Community Editor

Camp kidsSchool’s out for the summer.

Throughout the year, those five words become every student’s dream. They will constantly think about what activities they will participate in or just the fun times they are going to have during the summer, when they should really be concentrating on their seemingly never-ending homework.

However, summer has finally arrived, and many East students can be found working at local summer camps for some extra cash, or attending different camps nearby to enjoy their time off from school with friends.

“Camps are really good because they give you something to do over the summer instead of just sitting at home,” said Shana Honig (‘09).

There are several day camps and overnight camps in the area that give students the opportunity to escape home. These camps provide a place for students to stay active during their two-month break from the school year by competing in different sports, creating their own arts and crafts projects and participating in many other exciting activities.

One of the popular camps East students choose to work at is the JCC Camps at Medford. It is a great option as a summer job for high school students because there is a position for students, and adults, of any age. The JCC Camps provide a great opportunity for high school students to interact with younger children, or teach campers a specific activity that they are interested in. The summer before a student enters high school, if they have chosen to attend the JCC Camps, students are put into the camp’s counselor-in-training program. After that summer, they move up in status and can act in a position that requires more responsibility than did their job there the summer before.

Similar to the JCC Camps, another common choice among East students to work at over the summer is Tall Pines Day Camp. Here, just like at the JCC Camps, high school aged students are given the opportunity to work closely with younger children in a bunk setting, or to specialize in a particular area of the camp. In each of these day camps, campers are able to participate in a variety of activities such as fishing, horseback riding, athletics and several different types of arts and crafts.

“Working at a camp over the summer is a great opportunity for high school students. They get paid, and they are still in a place where they can do things that will let them have a lot of fun,” said Elana Perilstein (‘10).

Not all students agree with Perilstein, as they try to take on as little responsibility as possible over the summer.

“I think the summer is an important time for students to get a chance to relax. They need to get out and have fun, but they shouldn’t have as many responsibilities as they have during the year with all of their schoolwork,” said Honig.

One with Honig’s mentality would probably not be best working at a summer camp, where one may have to have to look after the campers throughout the day. Instead, such a person could attend a different camp where he or she would be the camper instead of the counselor. Among East students, sleep-away camps such as Camp Harlem or Camp Saginaw are most popular in doing this.

These camps offer many of the same activities as day camps in the area, but high school aged students are still considered campers and are there strictly for fun, not to take on the role of the counselor. Of course, campers also sleep out at the camp for several weeks at sleep-away camps, while they go home after camp each afternoon at day camps.

No matter what students choose to do over the summer, the break gives them a chance to have a great time and catch up on their rest. Along the way, they may choose to look after younger campers, or go off as campers themselves.