Posts Tagged ‘camps

Picnic at Camp Shalom by Jacqueline Jules. Illustrated by Deborah Melmon

Our family vacation was spent at a YMCA Family Camp for the first time this year and it was an amazing experience! Each of us regularly remembers and shares favourite memories from this wonderful summer week. So it is no wonder that we are drawn to books with the word ‘camp’ in the title. It was great to find Picnic at Camp Shalom because it also offered us some insight into Jewish traditions, about which we do not know much.

This book provides a powerful message about misunderstandings – which are a pretty common occurance in life. Hopefully when one happens, they become the kind that are remembered with a laugh by those involved, not the kind that cause a rift between family or friends.

Although we try to help our children become “emotionally intelligent” and to name their feelings as a means of dealing with life’s ups and downs (we are big fans of Raising Your Kids without Raising Your Voice, by Sarah Chana Radcliffe), any interaction could result in a misunderstanding. Picnic at Camp Shalom begins with Sara and Carly immediately connecting when they meet in line at camp. They share many common interests and seem destined to be friends until Carly unintentionally makes fun of Sara’s last name. Sara becomes so mad that she refuses to be near Carly. She needs some time, space and some strategic support from a smart camp counsellor to help her get back on track with her friend. Misunderstandings can only be corrected through the goodwill of both parties. It is important for children to understand that it is not about winning and losing. Rather, the strength and understanding that we invest in our relationships is something that will be a continuing benefit to all.

We hope you had a great summer too. Please feel free to leave a comment with any idea or theme that resonated with you this summer. We will be happy to try and follow up on any suggestions to continue to find and recommend books that you will enjoy reading with your children. Shalom!