VIDEO & PHOTOS: Camp Simcha Lights Up Times Square With Incredible Performance

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[FULL ARTICLE & PHOTOS BELOW] This past Wednesday, 120 children from around the globe, who are battling cancer, visited New York City for their annual trip from their magnificent summer camp in Upstate NY. This was an extraordinary wish for these very brave and sick children.

To end their NYC trip, the children performed a 30 minute amateur camp performance in the bleacher/promenade area in Times Square.

The logistics involved in planning such an event is virtually impossible to put into writing.

Each child has at least one counselor, and some have two. Doctors, Paramedics, EMT’s, Nurses, and other medical personnel accompanied the group – along with private ambulances.

A permit was graciously granted to the camp by Mr. Thomas Harris, who is the Senior Vice President Of Security & Operations for the Times Square Alliance. Harris is no stranger to the needs of such a camp, as he served as the commanding officer of the NYPD’s 70 Pct – which serves most of Flatbush – for many years before retiring approximately two years ago. (See YWN article HERE).

The weather forecast was predicting severe storms, but Chai Lifeline’s Executive Vice President, Rabbi Simcha Scholar kept on saying “it never rains at Camp Simcha”. No one believed him, but Hashem held the storm clouds away as the show started.

The buses arrived like clockwork – one by one – at precisely 8:00PM.

The enthusiasm and spirit that the counselors displayed as they greeted each child as they exited the buses was incredible….

The entire group got into position – and a van from Misaskim with a generator and speaker system pulled up.

The head counselor started the music, and what followed is something which can not be described. The entire camp was  dancing with such simcha, excitement, and spunk, that the entire Times Square stopped and stared in disbelief – as hundreds of Yarmulka-wearing people made a tremendous Kiddush Hashem! 

Thousands of New Yorkers, and tourists all gathered around and watched these courageous and brave children put on a show with their counselors cheering and encouraging them on.

Just minutes after the show ended, and the buses pulled away, the skies turned black and grey, as ugly storm clouds rumbled into NYC.

Rabbi Scholar was right…..it never rains at Camp Simcha!

Since 1987, Chai Lifeline’s mission has been to restore the light of childhood to children whose innocence ended when life-threatening or lifelong illness was diagnosed.

Through programs that address the emotional, social, and financial needs of seriously ill children, their families, and communities, Chai Lifeline restores normalcy to family life, and better enables families to withstand the crises and challenges of serious pediatric illness.
 
ABOUT CAMP SIMCHA: Each summer, 430 seriously ill children are treated to unforgettable, medically supervised overnight camp experiences at Camp Simcha, for children battling cancer and other hematologic illnesses, and Camp Simcha Special, for children with debilitating chronic conditions.
 
THE CAMP: There is a place nestled in the beautiful hills of rural New York, where children and teens come to experience the wonders of summer camp in spite of being seriously ill with cancer or other debilitating chronic conditions – all tuition free. Even transportation to and from camp is provided by the sponsoring parent organization, Chai LifeLine. The medical accommodations and staff are amazing and include highly specialized doctors, nurses, therapists, and paramedics, all of whom donate their valuable time to this special place in behalf of the campers. Camp Simcha is a camp for children with cancer, a project of Chai Lifeline, Inc. an international 501(c)3 not-for-profit.
 
For more information please visit http://www.campsimcha.org/ and also http://chailifeline.org/

Click HERE for photos by Hillel Engel. Video footage taken by Dovy Glatzer for YWN.

(Yehuda Drudgestein – YWN)


9 COMMENTS

  1. At the end of the video (on over here on video part 2) they show the campers getting back on the bus so happy after their trip. As a boy is getting on the bus, he says”I cant wait till next Year” It is tremendously amazing and heartbreaking at the same time. This boy thanks to the wonderful work of camp Simcha feels as if he is in a regular normal camp and is looking forward to next year. Just like my son (who BH does not have these issues) looks forward to going to camp every year.
    This boy is having so much fun that he does not realize that saying that he wants to come back next year implies that he will Chas vishalom still be sick next year, it is amazing IF EVEN FOR A MINUTE these children forget about their disease and feel like they are just like all other kids going to camp. Hashem should help that Moshiach should come and this boy and all his friends, should not need the services of camp Simcha next year. May Hashem bless all the wonderful people involved in chai lifeline and may the merit of these special people be a zechus for Klal Yisrael. May we have only Simchas

  2. THIS WAS A MOST AMAZING FOOTAGE OF ONE OF THE MOST AMAZING AND PRESTIGIOUS CHESSED ORGANIZATIONS THAT AMERICA HAS TO OFFER. DEMBI IS SO FULL OF ENERGY. REALIZE THIS WAS DONE AT THE END OF A FULL DAY BEING IN THE HEAT OF NYC ETC. MAY RABBI SCHOLAR HAVE KOACH TO CONTINUE RUNNING THIS HEILIGE MOSSAD.

  3. There is honestly no pace in the world like Camp Simcha. The achdus and ruach, love and care, joy and happiness is palpable every second you walk through the camp. How luck for the world to see Camp Simcha’s true spirit on display in such an incredible and monumentally UBER way!
    Camp Simcha is truly magical!

  4. Beautiful event. They should all have a Refuah Shlaima! We should all be Zoche to dance at each of their Chasunahs I”H. What about the girls section of the camp? Where they included in this danceathon?

  5. its a great display of achdus and ahavas yisroel that these kids are treated to such events. i couldnt stop crying as i realised how much these kids are going through. the video is over and i go back to my job, but these kids take these feeling of joy (and unfortunatly the dreaded illnesses)
    back to camp with them. lets not forget them in our hearts and prayers. the devotion to the kids by all the staff from top to bottom is relentless with the kids as priority number one. its one thing to hear about camp simcha but another to be part of it for these few fleeting moments. wow!!!