From The Blog

God’s Boxes 0

God’s Boxes

Posted on Sep 18, 2020 in From the Blog, Youth & Family

This week on the blog, Rabbi Erin invites us to reflect on the past year; to hold on to the things that bring us joy and let go of the things that cause us pain. God’s Boxes I have in my hands two boxes Which God gave me to hold. God said, “Put all your sorrows in the black box And all your joys in the gold.”   I heeded God’s words, and in the two boxes Both my joys and sorrows I stored. But though the gold became heavier each day The black was as light as before. With curiosity, I opened the black, I wanted to find out why, And I saw, in the base of the box, a hole Which my sorrows had fallen out by. I showed the hole to God, and mused, “I wonder where my sorrows could be.” God smiled a gentle smile and said, “My child, they’re all here with me.” I asked why God gave me the boxes, Why the gold and the black with the hole? “My child, the gold is for you to count your blessings. The black is for you to let go.” -Author Unknown As I look back on this year, there seem to be so many...

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A Letter From Loui Dobin 0

A Letter From Loui Dobin

Posted on Sep 15, 2020 in Camps & NFTY, From the Blog, Youth & Family

Dear Greene Camp Family, We are about to reach the High Holiday season. In a couple of days, the Jewish calendar will usher in a New Year. We pray that 5781 will bring health, safety, joy, happiness, patience and change for our families, friends, and ourselves. For me, there is a guaranteed change coming. Today, I will step back from the daily operation of the URJ Greene Family Camp. Rabbi Erin Mason and our staff will guide camp through the changing times ahead. I cannot think of any group of people more capable than Erin and her team. Together with Mark Levine, the Camp Committee chair, the camp could not be in better hands. Erin began her career as a GFC camper, as did Mark. Along with Larry Nathan, Director of Development, most of our full-time staff grew up here, and all have been instrumental in helping to carry us through the difficult days of this past Spring and Summer. While I will remain the Executive Director through the Fall and provide guidance where requested, the camp, its committee, and staff will now be guided by Erin. I am still reachable through my email,, but all inquiries for the Camp Director should go to Erin and the Camp...

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Back to School Blessings 0

Back to School Blessings

Posted on Aug 24, 2020 in Camps & NFTY, From the Blog, Youth & Family

As our campers begin a new year of classes and our camp community looks forward to the year ahead, GFC is gearing up for an amazing 2021 season! There is so much fun to look forward to this year, and we are excited to welcome celebrate everyone’s arrival back to Bruceville! Greene Family Camp is more than just fun events, and in the last few months, we have seen the importance of camp shine. We are a family and we are here to support each other, at home and beyond. As we look toward the year ahead, our full-time team has some advice to share with students beginning their school year.   Jared Pickett Operations Manager “My blessing is for all of our campers to sit under the Bruceville stars again and eat their milk and cookies.” Ethan Lane-Miller Assistant Director “Approach every challenge with a smile on your face.” Melissa Essler Assistant Director “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new. Try new things!” Michaela Rollins Assistant Director “If you can be anything in this world, be kind.” McKenzie Sigle Assistant Director “Just keep swimming” Linda Matthews Business Manager “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted” Larry Nathan Director of...

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What Is Jewish Geography Zoom Racing, Anyway? 0

What Is Jewish Geography Zoom Racing, Anyway?

Posted on Aug 21, 2020 in Camps & NFTY, From the Blog, Youth & Family

One of the most surprisingly positive things that has come out of this unusual time has been the connections people have sought out. Being home has given us the opportunity and platform to connect with friends and family regularly, and reconnect with people with whom we haven’t been in touch, sometimes for years. Our own GFC community has seen reunions of classes from all generations.   From these connections has been borne a game show that capitalizes on our connectedness – Jewish Geography Zoom Racing (JGZR). The brainchild of Micah Hart, who also hosts the podcast Campfires and Colorwars, JGZR pits two contestants against each other in search of “The Chosen One,” a random person chosen by Micah. Contestants must use their own personal networks to find The Chosen One, without using Facebook or Google. The result is a Zoom screen filled with excited people, connected in search of this one person.   JGZR doesn’t just focus on the contestants. They must text, call, or otherwise message their network to find The Chosen One. The Zoom screen ends up being filled with people from all parts of the contestants’ networks, who may or may not have even realized how connected they were to other people. It is an amazing feeling to be included in that network when called to participate in a contestant’s search. Stay...

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The Importance of Being Together 0

The Importance of Being Together

Posted on Jul 9, 2020 in 2020 Updates, Camps & NFTY, From the Blog, Youth & Family

This week on the blog, Rabbi Erin talks about our holy community, the importance of being together, and the priority we place on communication with all of you.   One of the most surprising elements of being physically distant from our community for so long has been the virtual connections that have formed. While they can in no way take the place of our in-person gatherings and activities, it reminds me that we, as humans, need that contact. We have been shown how special this kehillah kedosha – this holy community – really is. This week has brought two different gatherings that highlight the importance of gathering with each other.   Last Friday evening, July 3, we celebrated our Alumni Shabbat. During the summer in person at camp, different units at camp lead us in Shabbat services. We did not want to miss that this summer, so we invited, over 3 consecutive Shabbatot, for Kibbutz, Avodah, and our alumni to take part in our virtual Shabbat celebration. Including our community in our Shabbat celebration has been incredibly special. We asked our camp community ahead of time to share what makes camp special to them, and I was blown away by the response. Here’s a sampling:  Camp is where I feel most like myself.     Greene Family Camp is where I...

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What Makes GFC Special? 0

What Makes GFC Special?

Posted on Jul 6, 2020 in 2020 Updates, Camps & NFTY, From the Blog, Youth & Family

July 4th, 2020 was supposed to be GFC’s 45th Anniversary Reunion Celebration. Almost 1,000 people would have arrived in Bruceville, TX to reconnect with one another, reminisce on the good times spent at camp, and celebrate the magic we have all experienced. However, July 4th looked a little different than we had anticipated. We were not able to be together in person – but our alumni showed us, that just because we are apart physically, the strength in our connection is stronger than ever.  On July 3rd, we welcomed Shabbat together as a camp community. We hugged each other virtually, sang our favorite camp songs,  and shared memories about why GFC is so special to each of us. We are excited to share comments from our Alumni about what has made GFC such a special place for the last 45 years.    (Our Virtual Group Hug) What makes GFC special to YOU? The question of what makes camp special has about two million answers for me.  But when it comes down to it, there is really only one answer, and that is the people.  The people who make camp feel like home, accept you for who you are, teach you how to be Jewish in ways that matter, dance...

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