I know that many of our campers might say it would be a dream come true to be able to live at camp, all year long.   For some of us, we have made that dream a reality!  Did you know that there are four members of the Greene Family Camp staff who do live right here at camp all year?

Have you ever wondered what happens at camp in the winter?   Well, one thing that changes is that when camp becomes quieter after our summer season ends, and as the weather starts to change, many more animals come out into the center of camp.  You might see up to 20 deer at a time grazing in the Kikar, right in front of the Chadar Ochel (dining hall); or a beaver down at the lake, a family of skunks sniffing around the campfire site; or raccoons on the ropes course!

Even while our animal friends have more opportunities to explore camp, that doesn’t mean camp is empty of people.  Of course, you probably know about our Fall and Spring Camp programs, or maybe you have attended one of our fantastic JFAM Family Camp weekends, but what about the rest of the time?  In addition to those awesome camp programs for all of you, camp also has a rentals and events business with all kinds of different groups coming to experience what our camp is like almost every week all year long.  In just one month, we might host a meditation retreat, a middle school science outdoor school program, a corporate team building event, a basketball game for local highschoolers, and a study weekend for a church group. The next month might bring a completely different array of guests.  In each case, our guests come to us with a vision of what they want for their program, and we work with them to figure out how their ideas can map onto the resources here at camp.  For some groups, that might mean a cozy gathering in our Beit Eish (fireplace lounge), and for others it could be a picnic with hundreds of people in the Kikar.  Some groups might want to go canoeing, or an opportunity to climb the alpine tower, and others look forward to getting together at camp to play mahjong or crochet.  As I write this blog entry, we have a group of adults on site who will spend an entire nine-hour day on the ropes course!

Dressed up guide dogs for a Guide Dogs for the Blind event at GFC.

We also host a number of simchah  (special) events here at camp.  Often those are the Quinceanera parties of teens whose families live in our local Bruceville-Eddy community; occasionally we have the honor of hosting weddings at campalways beautiful; and several times a year we host B’nai Mitzvah ceremonies and celebrations for some of our campers!  

The Beit Knesset, our outdoor chapel, set up for a wedding ceremony.


An outdoor wedding reception set up at GFC.

When I first started coming to GFC as a Veemer (Niviim camper), more than 30 years ago, I did use to fantasize about someday owning a house on Smith Lane… but I don’t think I had a wild enough imagination to think that I might ever find myself living here at camp!  Certainly, I couldn’t have imagined hosting folk dance festivals or corporate seminars.  Like many campers, for me, camp was about seeing my friends each year, signing up for a chug being taught by a favorite counselor, wearing lots of sunscreen, drinking bug juice, and spending time at the pool on Shabbat afternoon.  And of course, those kinds of experiences are STILL the heart of what makes our camp program so special.  During the rest of the year, though, it is wonderful to be able to share our camp and its resources with other guests, whether they are visiting us from the local Waco area, from around Texas, or from all over the United States!

We’d like to extend the invitation to you, too!  Are you a member of a club, or on the board of a school, or the leader of a business that might want to host an event at camp?  Do you have a family member looking for a fun and different place to celebrate their simcha? If so, you, too, can experience how awesome it is to spend time at camp in the middle of the year! Learn more about our retreat services here.

Shabbat Shalom,
Sharon Ross
Assistant Director for Retreat Services and Site Operations