“Locked In” on fun

by | Dec 15, 2022 | Other News


The first “Middle School Lock-In” in many years was hosted at the Simon Family JCC on a Saturday evening in November with 24 teens and tweens from across Tidewater’s Jewish community. Camp JCC counselors, lifeguards, and Alma Ben Chorin, one of Tidewater’s ShinShinim, helped facilitate a memorable evening which included pizza, a bonfire, s’mores, glow-in-the-dark capture the flag, and swimming.

United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and the Simon Family JCC is prioritizing re-establishing programming for sixth through eighth graders. As a part of the energizing process, a small focus group of middle school students is meeting to brainstorm, share ideas, and plan for future programming and opportunities to get together. There is intentionality in bringing these youth together despite living in different areas, attending different schools, or belonging to various synagogues. Given the social and emotional challenges stemming from the pandemic, creating the space and facilitating the opportunity for youth to connect is especially important in the continuation and strengthening of Jewish life in Tidewater.

While times are different and the world is full of distractions, middle school students consistently retain their focus on having fun with friends. Although the larger intentionality may not yet be apparent to them, the opportunity for these youth to remain “locked-in” on having fun while building community is an exciting glimpse into the future.

To learn more about other ways that teens can get involved in Tidewater’s Jewish community, contact Dave Flagler, director of Camp and Teen Engagement at the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, at DFlagler@UJFT.org or 757-452-3182.

Dave Flagler