by Ben Lebit, Head Athletics Coach
A letter to all the amazing Crane Lake campers who put their heart and soul into each and every tournament and sporting event that took place throughout the summer of 2018…
Watching some of you amazing kids grow up summer after summer has been nothing short of a blessing, and watching you all learn different kinds of sports, skills and values throughout these summers has been great as well. Here at Crane Lake, you all know that we go way higher than just playing sports and having fun. We work on ourselves, and living out loud. We give back, we live in a culture of kindness. Most importantly, everything we do, everything we put our minds to, we give 110%, and all I have to say is that this past summer was definitely a 110% summer. From Upper Bonim taking back the Kiddush Cup from Ramah, to Olim triumphing against Lenox in baseball, to the hardest fought Color War that I have ever seen, my expectations were blown away, and I am so very proud.
A huge focus this summer was sportsmanship during competitions with ourselves and other camps. During these events, whether it was someone using the wrong frisbee, or a collision at home plate, you all kept your heads on straight, and that made me so happy. All summer long I was impressed over and over and over again with how amazing every single one of you were, and some of the most surprising and impressive acts of composure and sportsmanship came from some of my own campers who I’ve gotten to see grow up. It warms my heart to have watched how some of you have gone from wide-eyed Nitzanim campers, to Olim role models who have the ability to walk away from a situation with their eyes forward and chin up.
Another big emphasis this summer was teamwork. Being on a team isn’t just simply wearing the same colors as each other and playing in the same game. Being on a team is winning as a team, it is losing as a team, and it’s being part of a family. Watching the tournaments, I could tell that the bond was strong with all of our teams, you all looked like brothers and sisters out on the fields and courts. (…and fields and courts.) If your team was losing in soccer and one of your teammates was upset about it, I would always see someone right there to hype them up. If someone was struggling batting at the plate, a teammate would always be super quick to help them out. If a foul in basketball didn’t go your way and you got angry about it, one or more of your teammates would get right on top of that to help you get your head back in the game. Tournaments can sometimes get heated or take an unexpected turn, but something we definitely learn here at camp is that no matter what, there is always someone there to pick you up and dust you off.
I am immensely proud of the hard work and dedication every single one of you put in this summer, from our youngest campers to our graduating Olim. You put all of the skills you learned in activity periods throughout the summer to use in the tournaments, learning from your coaches and playing your best. Sportsmanship and teamwork– these are the values we learn through fierce competition. I am so impressed at how each of you grew and progressed this summer, not only as athletes, but as human beings.
Ben Lebit is a third year counselor from Long Island, New York. He studies Physical Education at SUNY Brockport and plays on the college’s track & field team. Ben served this past summer as a Head Athletics Coach. He is grateful for the opportunity to have interacted with campers from every unit for the whole summer, forming bonds with all ages. He wants to thank the campers for the summer of a lifetime, on and off the court. Whelp, see ya ’round!