We're back in New Jersey and already miss Charlotte so much! The amazing Camp Mindy and Camp Katan at the JCC Charlotte were our incredible hosts for the entire week! The community in Charlotte had so much enthusiasm, love, and ruach, and we are so grateful that we were able to spend an entire week sharing our songs with you. Thank you so much to Anna, Phil, Mark, Mitch, Jessie and the rest of the staff!!
Day One (Mon July 14)
We began each day of the week performing at the camps opening ceremonies and started Monday off by sharing our brand new version of Heveinu Shalom Alecheim that we wrote only a day before our flight to Charlotte! After that we spent the rest of the day working with the teens! In the morning we led drum circles along with Scott Swimmer of Drumstrong and shared our acoustic versions of Modeh Ani, Hine Ma Tov, and Heveinu Shalom Alecheim. Eric and I sang with a little help from the banjo and guitar and the teens divided into groups, each playing their own part giving our songs a whole new life.
After Lunch Eric and I hung out in the teen lounge with different groups writing skits, while the remaining kids went to the kitchen to make my Uncle Milton's famous Mandel Bread recipe.. which turned out amazing. Thank you to all the teens for spending time with us with open hearts, minds, and voices!
Day Two (Tues July 15)
After performing at the opening ceremonies along with the awesome Mitch Ormand and his Spirit Sticks, we spent the morning working with the theatre group. We talked with them about being performers, life on the road, and about how to write a song.... which is precisely what they did! It took the kids only a half our to write their very own lyrics to one of our favorite songs "Will The Circle Be Unbroken" with special lyrics just for Camp Mindy!
After lunch we spent the remaining hours of the day spending time with the younger children and teaching them various songs and games in the music room. We turned "Duck, Duck, Goose" into "Esther, Esther, Haman," changed up "The Ants go Marching" to "The Ants go Schlepping," and sang "David Melech Israel," like every kind of barnyard animal!
Day Three (Wed July 16)
Our third day of opening ceremonies was immediately followed by three consecutive Mama Doni greatest hits concerts! Songs included "Challah Day", "Oseh Shalom", Cowgirl Jew, and a cover of everyone's favorite camp song, John Denver's "Country Roads!" By the end of the third concert and a broken guitar string, we had literally performed for the whole camp! Plus it was "Western Day" at Camp Mindy so what could be better!
Day Four (Thurs July 17)
We spend our fourth day with the littlest of campers in Camp Katan! Using the Banjo and Guitar we sang our new version of the morning prayer Modeh Ani, A rendition of "She'll be coming round the mountain" for Israel, and taught the youngsters our Camp Mindy "song of the summer" Heveinu Shalom Alecheim." Thank you to all the counselors and campers at camp Katan for showing us so much love!! We are so grateful!
Day Five (Fri July 18)
It just so happened that our last day at Camp Mindy also coincided with one of our favorite holidays.. Shabbat! At the opening ceremony the theatre group performed the song we wrote together for the camp, and we sang an impromptu Beatles medley while Mitch conducted a Freeze-dance!
Throughout the day we performed and led four Shabbat services for the camp. It was on this final day that everything came full circle. We sang our version of the "Shema" as a prayer for Isreal, had the whole camp jumping with our "Michamocha," and sang our "Heveinu Shalom Alecheim" which the whole camp knew by heart at that point. The campers, councilors, and staff were nothing short of amazing. Thank you so much Camp Mindy.