Submitted by: Wise Temple


In September, the Empty Nesters of Wise Temple will attend a weekend at Camp Livingston in southeastern Indiana for Summer Camp: Adult Take Over!

It’s a summer camp experience, adult style, where attendees will choose their own fun, and no one tells them “lights out!” 

“It’s going to be epic,” says Kari Fagin, Wise Temple director of Member Engagement and Communications. “If you went to summer camp as a kid, it’ll be your chance to relive your best memories. And if you never went to summer camp, you’ll get to experience everything you missed.”

The weekend kicks off at 9:15 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, and the adventure, fun, and community don’t stop until 11 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 8. In between, it’s All Things Camp (camp-style services, campfires, song sessions and surprises); All Things Ropes (ropes course challenges with varying levels of difficulty for varying levels of chutzpah); All Things Nature and Spiritual (hikes, yoga, meditation); All Things Water (waterfront relaxation, paddle boarding, inflatable aqua park, kayaking); and All Things Sports (archery, tennis, kickball, volleyball).

The planning team (Billy Bie, Dianne Benmayor, Teresa Deutsch, Dawn Paugh, and Bonnie Rabin) pulled out all the stops for this Empty Nesters’ experience. Billy Bie already knows what he’s looking forward to the most, “I’m really psyched about Mussar yoga, the Nature Hike and playing in the aqua park.” 

He also said that “We’re bringing in the ‘A Team’ for entertainment.” 

Rabbi Michael Danziger and the planning team will lead a participatory and lively evening program. Even though there are wall-to-wall activities planned, Bie explains that it’s up to each person how they spend their time. If someone wants to kick back with a book and relax on the water’s edge, they can. If they want a lot of activity, that works too. Two “Pick Your Fun” sessions on Saturday afternoon provide a lot of variety so campers can engage in the activities that appeal to them most.

It’s not all just fun and games, however. Bie adds that the activities are designed to be enriching as well. “There will be content and value beyond the activities. Rabbi Danziger and his guitar will lead an outdoor, camp-style morning Shabbat service filled with music, singing and prayer.” Attendees will be encouraged to get in touch with all five senses at a Havdalah service around the campfire later that night. Sunday morning will provide a peaceful beginning with a nature hike, meditation, or Mussar yoga to choose from.

There will plenty of time for socializing too, with happy hour before dinner on Saturday night, and a song session around the crackling bonfire after dinner. The campfire may be extinguished at midnight, but as promised, no one will say “lights out” and night owls can stay up kibitzing as long as they like.

If all that weren’t enough incentive, Bie also points out that the food will be excellent, with a traditional Israeli lunch on Saturday, a great menu for Saturday evening’s dinner, followed by a hearty breakfast on Sunday morning. 

“The connections that happen among people at camp are truly special,” Fagin says. “We think Empty Nesters and soon-to-be Empty Nesters will find this camp event to be a unique way to build relationships, have meaningful experiences, and spark ongoing conversations that begin with a smile and the words, ‘Remember at camp when we ...”

In addition, with give-aways, surprise treats, and a few surprise events to add a bit of mystery and keep everyone on their toes, it will be a weekend to remember, and a great way to make your kids jealous.

Summer Camp: Adult Take Over! is planned by Wise Temple Empty Nesters, for Empty Nesters, whose kids have recently/fairly recently left the nest, or those who didn’t have kids but are a similar age (49 - 69), and for soon-to-be Empty Nesters, whose kids are in high school, and are almost there. 

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