Camp Slapshots, a religious sports day camp founded in 2003, is moving its base of operations to Yavneh Academy this year. Run by a staff dedicated to teaching life skills and the importance of sportsmanship, the camp is open to elementary and middle school boys entering third through eighth grade. With hockey, basketball and flag football being the camp’s primary sports, Camp Slapshots is eagerly awaiting its upcoming summer sessions.
According to the website, Camp Slapshots is “the premier sports day camp in New Jersey. Camp Slapshots has provided hundreds of campers with the opportunity to improve their hockey and basketball skills, learn proper sportsmanship and play competitive games, all while having a blast!” In addition to sports, the camp places an emphasis on davening and learning groups. Throughout the day campers will enjoy a variety of activities, such as skills workshops, league games, competitions and Torah learning.
Rabbi Sariel Malitzky, a JEC High School teacher and the camp’s founder and director, said he had just finished college and was getting ready to start semicha at Yeshiva University when he decided to open a summer camp. “I had spent time in sleepaway camps when I was younger, in college and in high school,” Rabbi Malitzky shared in an interview with The Jewish Link. “All the local [summer camp] options for the second month were not religious programs. I have teaching and camp experience. So I decided, why not?”
For Rabbi Malitzky, along with it being a fun opportunity, he saw Camp Slapshots as a chance to use sports as a way to teach kids important life lessons and sportsmanship.
“I rolled the dice and opened the camp,” Rabbi Malitzky explained. “We had 14 campers the first year. The goal from day one was to emphasize sportsmanship, playing the right way, and the many values that can be gained from sports. Additionally, skill building, competition and having fun are things that are high on our list of priorities.”
As for what Rabbi Malitzky feels makes Camp Slapshots so enjoyable for the campers, he attributes its success to having a strong staff.
“I think one of the hallmarks of the camp is that we spare no expense to bring in the best staff,” Rabbi Malitzky said. “It’s a combination of experienced adults, coaches who’ve worked in the yeshivas, and high school students who are great at sports and can serve as role models for the campers.”
A typical day starts at 8:30 a.m. with davening and ends at 4:15 p.m. In between there is a period dedicated to Torah learning, with the rest of the time spent in league games, clinics and tournaments. A kosher lunch is also provided.
Camp Slapshots is broken up into three week-long sessions that take place over the course of the last month of the summer. This year the first one will be from July 30 to August 3. The second will be from August 6 to August 10, and the third from August 13 to August 17. Savings will be applied to those who choose to sign up for more than one session.
Camp Slapshots is currently accepting applications for prospective campers. If you are interested in registering a child, you can do so on the website, http://www.campslapshots.com. Questions and concerns can be directed to Rabbi Malitzky at [email protected]
By Adam Samuel
Adam Samuel is a journalist from Teaneck. When he isn’t busy reading the daily news, he divides his time between managing his blog, adamssoapbox.blog, and gradually learning how to play piano.