The Canteen is a tribute to all things Jewish sleepaway camp. Hosted by the Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC), this blog is written by campers, alumni, parents, and camp professionals and is a place to talk about parenting, camp fun, projects, crafts, recipes, and more – all tied back to Jewish holidays, traditions and, of course, camp!
We are often asked what our favorite thing about camp is. The answers vary: leading Shabbat services, free swim, extra-long song sessions, first kisses, being Maccabiah (color war) general…
One of our secret answers though is canteen. We all have different names for it – “candy trunk,” “snack bar,” “hanutia,” – but no matter what you call it, it is always a place where everything evened out. There was no worrying about whether or not you were going to make that goal, or be on your best friend’s team, or wondering whether the lake would be cold that day. At canteen, you could just hang. It was a time to see friends in different camp groups, get mail, catch up with a sibling, and maybe catch a glimpse of someone you “liked.” For some, it was one of the places you first learned to make choices. What nine-year-old doesn’t want to follow a tomato soup and grilled cheese lunch with Razzles, squirt cheese, and a Sunkist orange soda? And where else in your life can you actually do that?
We hope The Canteen is everything to you today that canteens have been to us over the years. A few minutes to unwind, catch up, and enjoy a treat in an otherwise busy, structured day. And like a canteen, we hope it will have something for everyone: thought pieces, Jewish elements, craft projects, recipes, and of course, camp stories.
Pronounced: shuh-BAHT or shah-BAHT, Origin: Hebrew, the Sabbath, from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday.