Yeshivas Kayitz Kingston, a summer overnight camp geared for 8th grade and Mesivta age bochurim, is run under the auspices of Educational Institute Oholei Torah, has made a great positive impact, both on the campers, as well as the broader Chabad summer programs for anash talmidim.
As the largest and most successful season yet, this summer truly raised the bar in many aspects. A total of over 220 staff and bochurim, filled the current space in the camp buildings. The high level of learning and special campaigns to grow in chassdishkeit, many outstanding trips and outings, the guest mashpi’im who came to learn and farbreng with the bochurim. Well over $200,000 in building and grounds improvements were added this season, which culminated with the inauguration of the campus a few weeks ago. Most noteworthy was the outstanding camp administration and staff, who gave so much for the bochurim, many of the head staff returned from the previous year.
This year’s camp administration was led under the leadership of Rabbi Yisroel Levertov, Director, Rabbi Moshe Silman, Mashpia and Menahel Ruchni, Leivik Fogelman, Assistant Director, and Chezkie Robbins, Office Manager.
Head Staff included Yossi Lasker and Yigal Begun, Head Counselors, and Mendy Marinovsky, Learning Director.
Reb Yisroel Freidman, Rosh yeshiva of the Oholei Torah Zal, spent his summer with the bochurim, even though he did not carry a specific title, his being there for farbrengens and learning one on one with many bochurim added greatly to the atmosphere and growth of the young talmidim.
As the summer season drew to a close in Yeshivas Kayitz Kingston, the bochurim had a whirlwind of many programs and activities.
An important guest, Rabi Shea Hecht, of NCFJE, met with the bochurim and explained many dangers that one can easily fall prey to, including addictions to the internet, drugs, alcohol and other dangers. After the session many bochurim had a chance to ask one on one questions. They all walked away with a feeling of awareness and the importance of being careful, not only themselves, but to look out for their friends and classmates.
For the grand trips, the bochurim went on a two day overnight, packed with outings and exciting activities.
After a “visiken” minyan in camp, the campers headed out to Hove Caverns, where they saw underground caves formed from water drops. After being down under in caves – the campers went on to ATV’ing through the woods and practiced golfing on a driving range. The campers then went to Norwich Archery Club, where everyone had a turn on shooting a real bow and arrow. The day ended with a supper of club deli sandwiches, and a bonfire kumzitz.
The Mesivta program stayed in a royal accommodations, the Crown Royal Hotel in Warwick, Rhode Island. Special snack and welcome baskets were waiting in the rooms. After breakfast and shacharis in Chabad of Warwick, hosted by Rabbi Yossi Laufer, the campers toured Newport, Rhode Island, where they saw the great mansions, as well as the Touro Synagogue, the oldest shul in the US, and a railroad scenic tour of the coast. And if that wasn’t enough, to end the 2 day trip, they visited Pioneer Extreme go-carting. No question that the campers had a fun-filled, action-packed trip.
In addition to many of the above outings, Grade 8 program also went white water tubing and on an adventure course. Grade 8 Davened shacharis in Chabad of Hartford, CT, hosted by Rabbi Yoske Gopin.
Towards the end of camp, the head staff prepared for its grand finale Banquet. Speakers, music and a full meal was served at the traditional banquet. Prizes were given out to bochurim who were found to be outstanding in the realm of davening, learning and Ba’al peh projects.
The Board of Directors of Oholei Torah have been hearing again and again from parents and also staff members how the young bochurim are spending a productive summer, the good name the camp has acquired in relatively such a short time and positive impact it is making, as well as members of the Oholei Torah hanhola see that how much the bochurim have grown b’ruchnius and matured over the summer season.