Simcha at Liberty – Trip to NYC
WOW….where do I begin?!?
This morning, you were able to feel the excitement in the air. Our amazing staff worked seamlessly to assemble our day’s fare. By 8am, 2400 water bottles, 353 towels, 500+ deli sandwiches, among many other things, were carefully arranged by the staging area. After orderly packing and loading the busses, we were off on our adventure.
We made sure that our travel time didn’t go to waste. Our dance captains, Scott and Moshe, took the time out to make a Liberty dance tutorial video for us. We watched it a few times, and perfected any moves that we hadn’t already mastered. Before we knew it, we were at the Liberty ferry port.
Our campers got off the bus with exuberance, and they were greeted by 100 fresh piping-hot pies of pizza. You should have seen the look of bewilderment on the security guards, as we went through with the pies, the rest of our lunch, and all our musical instruments! When we were all checked onto the ferry, we unleashed our Simcha spirit. We chanted, sung camp songs, danced around the deck, and had a mighty fine time. The other passengers couldn’t resist our energy, and opted to join in. And people on other boats, and on the shore, all turned to witness our Simcha Epicness. After a quick stop on Ellis Island to drop off our spectators, we arrived at our destination, Liberty Island.
Camp Simcha stormed the island with gusto. We quickly made our way over to the lawn right in front of the statue and assembled in orderly rows. Dembi then gave us a short pep talk. He explained that Lady Liberty is the embodiment of freedom for the world. Her glowing torch burns even through the toughest of times. He went on to explain that today, Camp Simcha will show the world what true freedom is. Our torches and our camp are the true beacons in the darkness. He went on to fittingly name our song “Lighting up the Night – Simcha at Liberty.”
By the time he finished prepping us, a professional sound system had been set up, and a large crowd had begun to form. With the speakers blaring, Camp Simcha premiered Light up the Darkness for all our spectators. For our first rendition of the dance, we did the dance without our torches. You can see the smiles spreading across our campers faces as they performed the dance that they had worked so hard to master. By the time we finished our first rendition, almost every person on the island had gathered in front of the lawn to see the show. Dembi led us right into an Epic rendition of upROAR as we stomped, danced, screamed, sung, and showed the world what Camp Simcha is all about. With cameras flashing, and the crowds cheering us on, we performed Light up the Darkness one more time. This time, however, we used our Simcha torches! The effect of 350 Simchonians raising their torches up high, and waving them in unison, was unbelievable. And most importantly, the look of empowerment on our campers faces after showing the world what true freedom is, was a sight to behold.
After signing a few autographs for our fans, we headed to the side off the statue to eat lunch. Finally able to catch our breaths for a moment, we sat under the shade of the trees, munched on our pizzas and sides, and enjoyed the music of our live band. And then we received our next EPIC surprise. Yehuda Green showed up for a live concert! After recovering from the shock, we went wild. Yehuda wowed us with his classics and shared his usual enthusiasm with us. We responded with our usual insane amount of energy. We sang, danced, jumped, and stomped; there was fun for staff and campers alike. After observing just a few moments of our concert, many of our spectators opted to join in on the fun, and sing and dance with our awesome campers. They seemed to be having just a bit more fun than they’ve had in a while! Our campers also had a chance to ascend the statue at a scheduled slot during the concert.
After we were all danced out, we headed back to the ferry. However, our energy did not wane one bit. While waiting at the port, we singled out all the park employees that were there, and cheered them on by name. We then raised the roof with our psyching chants and cheers. Most of the people that were there said that we were the most energetic, impassioned, and inspiring group they’ve ever seen.
We finally made it back to the buses, and after a snack, headed to our next destination. We arrived at CoCo Key Indoor Water Park a short while later, rejuvenated and psyched for part two of our adventure. The park sure didn’t let us down. We had a blast on the Parrot’s Perch: an aquatic jungle gym which included slides, water cannons and 300 gallons of bucket dumping fun. We turned slam dunks, into splash dunks at the Coral Cove. And when we needed to relax, we waddled down nearly 300 ft of the resort’s lazy river.
It was quite a unanimous consensus on the ride back that today was amazing. Our campers came back with memories to last the year. The Lighting up the Night music video is below