This week was so busy and it all started when our Rishon campers arrived on Sunday afternoon! Camp warmly welcomed our 28 new campers and they all jumped into the excitement right away. As new campers arrived we also had groups leaving on trips. Our 9th grade Noar campers had their whitewater rafting trip this week and our 8th graders had their own special time down on the CW Lake. Meanwhile the Ohalim boys had a bit of their own fun with a special overnight in the Camp Wise woods. And all of this happened before our all-camp program of Avengers Maccabiah (color war) broke on Wednesday evening.
Campers have been raving about our new podcasting program. With the addition of brand new Apple computers, campers have been able to record their own podcasts with their friends in cabin activities and chugim (elective activities). Listen to our podcasts at Podcast Central: http://www.campwise.org/podcast-central/.
Last night, we gathered together to watch the camp play, Matilda. The story of Matilda teaches us that anyone can take a stand and make a change; that each person is in control of their destiny. This story is not so different than the story of the Camp Wise Magic. I know that when your child arrives home on Sunday they will be better versions of themselves. Each day at Camp Wise we see campers learn how to create new friendships, accept challenges, and master new skills. Throughout the session, campers learn to appreciate their Judaism, discover new talents within themselves, and grow to be more confident individuals.
Thursday night concluded our Peter Pan Maccabiah (color war) program. Maccabiah is a day and a half long program packed full with competitions in a variety of activities like arts, sports, music, and cheering. At Camp Wise it is equally important to win these competitions for your team as it is to have fun and participate by showing sportsmanship, comradery, and ruach (spirit). Amazing moments happen when there is the perfect balance of competition and ruach in camp.
As I walked through camp this week I was immersed in the experiences that contribute to what makes Camp Wise an incredible community for all. I saw campers grow with pride as they chose the horse they would ride, I heard some of our first recorded podcasts (more information coming shortly on how to listen in), and I saw campers reaching out and taking care of each other with kindness.
The first week of the summer just flew by! Already campers have had opportunities to experience all the best of Camp Wise. From cheer-offs and song sessions in the chadar (dining hall) to jet ski rides around the CW lake, tie dye, sports and more; it already feels like our community of 500 is just one big happy family. Solel even left camp for their first out of camp trip!
My children made friends for life at Camp Wise; they developed a new found independence and a sense of pride that they went out of their comfort zone. It mattered that they were surrounded by genuine campers and counselors who cared about them, counselors that they could laugh with and new friends to play games with, people who they learned to trust.