Dear CW Families and Friends,
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. Maccabiah is one of the programs that exemplifies the ruach (spirit) of Camp Wise. With sports and arts competitions, cheering, singing, and dancing – there are so many ways to get in on the fun! Maccabiah is an opportunity for campers to step up and show leadership as our teen campers help our younger campers get involved. And while all of this was happening, our 14 SITs traveling in Israel were enjoying some fun of their own rafting on the Jordan River and visiting the mystic city of Tzfat!
With so many adventures and excitement both in camp and away from camp, everyone is looking forward to a relaxing Shabbat. As we approach our final Shabbat, I’d like to share with you some of the words written by staff member Andrew Feldman. “This week’s Torah portion is Devarim- the first portion of the final book of the Torah. This chapter begins Moses’s farewell to the people of Israel, but like any Jewish farewell it lasted about five weeks. Moses gathers the people of Israel at the edge of their new land, a sanctuary they have anticipated, a homeland they have sought after for forty years, and then he makes them wait. With the people of Israel at his footsteps, Moses begins to retell the story of their Exodus. This is the parsha (Torah portion) that begins the recounting of the Israelites struggles, their triumphs, and the powerful lessons that are still taught today.
At Camp Wise, we have the tradition of CW night. On this final night of the session, all campers and staff unite on the floor of the chadar (dining hall) as one community. We watch slideshows of our memories from throughout the session, we laugh at camper videos that remind us of jokes we shared, and we honor those campers who brightened their cabins and villages. We too recount our struggles, our triumphs and our own powerful lessons. When Moses retells the story of the Israelites exodus, it is not for the laughs or just for the memories, it is to imprint on his people the critical points from their journey and assure that what they have learned in the desert is not abandoned there. Similarly, our own CW night assures that the impact we make on our campers during the session does not remain isolated within it. We give our campers a final moment with their staff to cherish the guidance they were given, we give them a final moment with each other to cherish the friendships they have made.”
So it is fitting that on this final Shabbat of Second Session our oldest campers in Solel and our youngest campers in Chalutzim work together to plan, prepare, and facilitate our community Shabbat. This week following Shabbat will continue to be filled with special opportunities for our campers. It’s hard to believe we have less than a week left together. I know that I will be cherishing every moment we have left.
C1 – This week C1 got to make their Camp Wise tie dyes in the art shack, they can’t wait to wear them around camp and show them off! They also had outdoor cooking and made a delicious treat over the campfire.
C2 – C2 faced their fears and climbed the climbing tower on Monday morning. They spent an evening in the wood for the Chalutzim stops the zombies program. They built shelters and had a water balloon fight!
C3 – C3 got to ride jet skis at the lake to kick off their Camp Wise experience. Then they split into teams and played fun games around camp for a condiment themed program that ended with a yummy French fry evening snack!
C4 – C4 has been preparing for Shabbat this weekend which they will be running with the help of Solel. On Wednesday, they designed a cabin plaque that will hang in their cabin for years to come!
C5 – C5 has had an incredible first week here at camp! They jumped right into the fun and spirit there. They started off the week making their very own camp wise tie dyes and had bunk night to get to know all of their cabin mates! They can’t wait to see what else is in store for the rest of camp.
C6 – C6 had such a great week at camp this week. They have been preparing all week for Chalutzim and Solel Shabbat this weekend. They can’t wait to participate with the help of their Solel buddies. C6 also participated in many fun evening programs including Chalutzim goes to the zoo, and Chalutzim saves humanity!
C7 – C7 started off the week tie dyeing as a cabin to create an awesome camp wise colorful shirt. They are such pros at it now. C7 also had Israeli culture as a cabin activity and the giant swing which was one of their favorite ones to participate it!
C8 – C8 got very involved in avengers maccabiah this week. They were participating, cheering, and going crazy for their team. They also had the chance to play an intense soccer game as a cabin and create a c8 plaque that will be hung in their cabin for them to see year after year.
O1 – O1 had a blast this week making delicious food in outdoor cooking and spending time together as a cabin! They also really enjoyed their time with Rabbi Shana, where they learned about Jewish superstition and made necklaces with hamsas on them.
O2 – What a great week for O2! They had a blast making delicious treats at Outdoor Cooking, playing a cabin game of soccer, and relaxing at Yoga. They were so excited on Monday night when their counselors woke them up to play an exhilarating game of late-night basketball!
O3 – O3 had a crazy week filled with tons of fun things! From archery to basketball, or podcasting to jet skiing, they’ve really done it all! They also loved celebrating their counselor Alex’s graduation with cheese fries and cake!
O4 – O4 has had a great week at Camp! They absolutely loved splattering paint all over each other at our village paint party – they were covered head to toe by the end of the evening! O4 also loved getting sprayed in the face while riding the Jet Ski down at the Camp Wise Lake!
O5 – O5 has spent lots of time bonding as a cabin this week. The campers really enjoyed horseback riding and the leap of faith, and they had an amazing time on our overnight sleeping in the woods!
O6 – It has been an exciting week for O6! These girls have a late-night flashlight show where they each share funny stories, wacky ideas, and jokes with the cabin every night. They also loved the Giant Swing where they bonded as a cabin and built up trust with one another.
O7 – From chipwhiches to stargazing, O7 has had so many fun surprises this week! The girls loved their dance activity, and were rock stars during maccabiah!
O8 – Splish, splash! O8 had a blast at their special Rest Hour pool party! These girls loved jumping in on a hot day to swim and dance to music. They also love figuring out the plot line that their counselors have created for them with Hannah starring as Mom, Kadia as Dad, Sophie as Crazy Aunt Sophie, and Elana as Nana Gloges!
O9 – O9 had two of their favorite cabin activities this week – jet skiing and horseback riding!! The girls know all the horses’ names by heart and have absolutely loved trying out their new chugim (electives) this past week!
O10 –O10 Bottled Water has had an exciting week! They loved the Giant Swing, Jet Ski, and Horseback riding around camp. These girls are always spending time together – both in the cabin and in the village. They truly are an O10 family!
OT – OT has had so much fun this week trying out podcasting, making some awesome tie dye shirts, jet skiing at the lake, and more! The campers’ spirit shined during maccabiah and they all had a truly amazing time!
N1 – N1 is so excited to see the tie-dyes they made this week so that they can wear them around camp. They are so excited to fill this last week incredible fun!
N2 – N2 really shined at their high ropes cabin activity when they conquered the zip line and course together! They played this week and are enjoying their time on the courts!
N3 – N3 got to bond singing camp songs together during song session. They also got closer this week when all the 9th graders rafting this week!
N4 –N4 is continuing to hold on strong to their cabin identity while working together to bond with the village. They had creating their pod cast in the new pod casting studio!
N5 – N5 really enjoyed their Dr. Seuss story which they shared with N6. While creating a special surprise thank you for their counselors, they became closer as a cabin.
N6 – N6 enjoyed their Dr. Seuss program with N5. They bonded during star gazing highlighted by a special cupcake treat.
N7 – N7 had such a great time this week. They enjoyed a French fries and milkshake treat with N3. They conquered their fears and were absolutely amazing during white water rafting at Ohio Pyle.
N8 – N8 keeps getting closer and had a fabulous birthday celebration where they enjoyed homemade chipwiches. They had a ball and practiced their skills at their soccer at their soccer cabin activity.
The Solel village has enjoyed a relaxing week spent in camp! From age-specific Solel special programming (including meditation and introspective Judaism), to mapping our path as campers and learning to pave the way to our future selves, the week has been full of unique activities. We respectfully discussed hot political and social topics at our Ice Cream Social evening program, and learned basic taekwondo on the deck with our sports supervisor, AJ Wright! Between finally ordering our Solel hoodies (they look amazing) and preparing for our final Solel Shabbat as campers, you could say we are more than ready for a final epic week at camp!
SIT – In Camp
The SITs had another enjoyable week of camp. This full week allowed them to enjoy a few “normal” days of camp – taking campers to chugs, helping out with cabin activities, free swim and swimming lessons. They have been able to take full advantage of these days, working on their skills to become stronger SITs and getting to know their campers better. Additionally, the group completed their second session building project – the assembling of 4 picnic benches that will be put to good use for years to come in all four villages throughout camp!
Like the rest of the camp population, our group is excited to be participating in Avengers Maccabiah! As SITs, however, they now get to be a part of helping to run activities, lead groups of campers in spirited cheering, etc. It has been fascinating for them to see “the other” side of this amazing program!
One goal of the SIT program is to learn how to turn the ordinary into extraordinary; the mundane into exciting. This is a tremendous skill for a staff member to have, and our group has had a chance to practice plenty of this. SITs collaborated to plan themed lunches. Recently, we enjoyed a “Reggae” themed lunch, as well as a “Bible Raps” themed lunch, based on their work in previous weeks with hip hop guru and Jewish educator, Matt Bar.
During SIT hour, which is typically used for educational purposes, two of our SITs, Zach Chylla and Josh Levy, planned an SIT only battle of the bands competition. Each group put together an entertaining performance. After the fun, we discussed some key themes of the program: creating fun is essential to camp; in order for a program to be successful, it is essential to be involved and shown enthusiasm for the task at hand, and last but not least, it is always important to cheer on your peers!
In the midst of all this – this group still manages to keep the Chadar clean and get the food on the tables – all in great stride!
SIT – Israel
The past week started with a beautiful Shabbat in Jerusalem led by our very own CW SITs! While in Jerusalem, they explored the Old City, prayed at the Western Wall and visited the underground Kotel Tunnels. They were challenged when visiting Yad Vashem and Mt. Herzl but developed a deeper understanding of what it means to be a Jew. They saw a unique show at the Na Laga’at Theater, a theater with only deaf and blind actors. They got their hands dirty and full of blisters on Monday when they volunteered with Hashomer Hachadash cleared a field for grazing farm animals. Wednesday they enjoyed a special Jeep ride through the Golan Heights followed by rafting down the Jordan River. They spent the morning exploring the mystical city of Tzfat (and buying lots of great gifts!) and are now headed to Beit Sh’ean for the weekend. Beit Sh’ean is Cleveland partnership city and they will be hosted at community homes.