Dear CW Families,
This past week has been full of amazing experiences! The week started off with Star Wars Maccabiah! Camp Wise was captured by the Empire and Luke Skywalker went missing, Luke’s closest friends were brought in to help the Jedi save Camp Wise. Maccabiah represents the everyday magic of Camp Wise. Camp was divided into five teams all competing for the title of winner through sports, arts and whole lot of cheering and singing. And what we are really seeing are opportunities for our oldest campers to rise as leaders and role models for our first time campers. We see incredible moments of sportsmanship, where campers regardless of team affiliation, are supporting each other to succeed both on the sports field and in the creative arts, and we see campers rise as stars in their performances on the camp stage!
This week was also special as our camp community welcomed and then said farewell to our teens in our Israel Leadership Summer (ILS) Program. In its inaugural summer, we have 27 rising 11th grade teens participating in this program which includes 4 weeks in Israel and a culminating week at Camp Wise at the end of second session. They teens joined us for an overnight at camp on Wednesday for a brief orientation and a special CW send-off poem. By the time you are reading this they will have already celebrated their first Shabbat in Modi’in (near Jerusalem)! To follow their journey across Israel you can read their blog at: https://aroundisraelin30days.weebly.com/. 85 teens from Camp Wise as well as Camp Livingston, Pinemere Camp, and Camp Interlaken will be traveling together and will be sharing their experiences and favorite moments for all of us.
Shabbat this week is led by the village of Ohalim. Together with Rabbi Shana they studied Balak, the parsha (Torah portion), that we read on Saturday morning. This portion is remembered as the time in the Torah where we have a talking donkey, but there is much more than talking farm animals in this story. Balak set out to summon the prophet Balaam to curse the Israelite people. While on his way, Balaam’s donkey sees an angel of God barring the way. Each time the donkey balks at moving forward Balaam beats her, until finally God gives her a voice with which to scold Balaam. Perhaps this scolding is really Balaam scolding himself because he knew he should not go on the journey.
Each time Balaam goes to curse the Israelites as Balak desires, only words of blessing come from his mouth. The most famous of these words are Ma tovu ohalecha Ya’akov, mishkenotecha Yisrael – How lovely are your tents oh Jacob, your dwelling places oh Israel.
In order to help the campers understand this week’s Torah portion, Rabbi Shana played “The Three-Headed Rabbi” with them. Three campers came to the front of the room and someone asked them a piece of advice. Going in order, each camper was tasked to offer their advice in one word and use only kind words. When Rabbi Shana asked the campers how this activity related to the portion, one camper pointed put that in the same way Balaam could not say all the words he wanted, those being the three-headed rabbi were limited in what they could say by what those who came before them said. Additionally, even one word can make a person feel good. We don’t have to say so much, or even say it all at once, but when we speak nicely and patiently and think about each word that we say, only then everything that comes out of our mouth can be positive and welcoming.
Our core value this week is Hachnasat Orchim – Welcoming Guests/Being Welcoming. We can be welcoming with our words as in the words of blessing from this week’s Torah portion, with our actions as in how we treat others, and by being open to the signs that we are on the right path. This week we are excited to be putting this core value to practice as we welcome campers from Anisfield Day Camp into our community!
C1 have just returned from their overnight, they enjoyed s’mores and songs around the campfire as they got a taste of outdoor living! They have created a cool cabin plaque to leave their mark on camp for years to come! Plus they worked with their counselors on a super secret kitchen raid, but shhh we can’t say any more about that! L’chaim to another amazing week at Camp Wise!
C2 have thrown themselves into everything this week, they had a very musical Wacky Wednesday wake up from their counselors, built their confidence with an improv activity and made some tasty treats in outdoor cooking. As well as all this they had an amazing time showing their ruach (spirit) at Star Wars Maccabiah! They dressed up in their team colors, played sports, took part in activities for the great race all over camp and to top it all off made a song, skit and cheer to impress the judges. My what a busy week it’s been, and there’s lots more fun in store over the next week too!
C3 has had a week full of laughs, rich man poor man games, and sports. The week started with a basketball cabin activity where the teams worked together to a tied score of 13-13 until one team hit the winning shot at the buzzer! Both teams celebrated with each other at the end of the game. At nighttime, the madlibs come out and the kids could not contain their laughter to even hear the entire story. The kids are getting closer and closer each day and new friendships are being made every day!
C6 got the opportunity to express themselves with tie dye this week, using lots of different colors to make their very own tie dye t-shirt! I’m sure they’ll be excited to show it off when they get home! They also enjoyed time with their buddies from the oldest village at camp, Solel, making memory books and special handshakes with them! The girls were treated to some cupcakes by their counsellors. Evening programs are always fun at camp but this weeks program with just the girls cabins was really special, they had a relaxing evening with a bit of Chalutzim sparkle and plenty of magical bonding moments. I’m sure it has got them ready for all the exciting things to come over the next week.
This week C-7 rode around on the horses after long awaiting the horseback riding chug and had so much fun. They participated in podcasting and learned how to make a real podcast and interview their fellow campers. As well, we had some rainy day bonding time with counselors and campers and got to play fun games in the cabin! We also had some rainy day song sessions to remember our favorite camp songs. The girls also had a blast on their overnight and enjoyed sleeping in tents with friends from different cabins. This week of camp was the most eventful one yet!
C8 had a fantastic week! Our cabin had a blast celebrating Charlottes’s birthday with a themed lunch, a kitchen raid, and a campfire!! Additionally we got the opportunity to help lead Chalutzim Shabbat through participating in Shabbat countdown skits, reading torah, and choosing songs for the havadallah service that fit this week’s theme of kavanah. The girls also got to go horseback riding for a cabin activity which was a camper favorite. Most recently, the girls participated in a girls only slumber party themed evening program. We spent the night treating ourselves by making slime, putting on face mask and being led in a rejuvenating meditation. This left the girls relaxed and excited for the coming week!
We are O1 fart noise, silent but deadly. This week, we crept around camp, attempting to steal food from the kitchen. After overcoming several roadblocks, we located our plunder and feasted on deep fried Oreos in secret. We are masters of stealth, raiders of the snacks.
This week O2 has started planning a top-secret raid, while also having an awesome time bonding as a cabin! Despite the rainy weather, they all had a great time playing monopoly and other card games all week!
This week O5 worked together to fortify themselves against the rain by digging a moat around the cabin. We all got our hands dirty transforming our cabin in to “Fort Kachow”! Everyone contributed a piece and in the end our cabin was a fortress fit for a king.
The amazing girls in O-7 had a blast bonding over late night root beer floats in the village with the other girls in their grade. They were doubled over in laughter as they told silly stories and got to know each other better.
This week O8 kicked back on the swings and relaxed as we listened to music and bonded while painting each other’s nails during our free cabin activity. It was a true OGAVA (Ohalim Girls Are Very Awesome) moment and you could feel the good vibes in the air as we all talked and laughed. Friendship was thriving.
O9 spent time together doing a bunch of special activities this week to build cabin bonds but one that stands out the most is rest hour zip lining. The girls faced their fears by climbing high then soaring to the sounds of their cabin cheering them on.
This week N1 had a great time bonding with their counselors, starting with learning Hebrew with Amit and ending with the cabin celebrating mountain bike specialist Josh’s birthday!
N2 conquered the vertical playground with their cabin’s ropes specialist, Haran! They’ve also been having a spooky good time listening to spooky stories every night.
This week N3 have battled in an all-camp epic color war, had a twenty-five second pool party which quickly turned into a music dance-off (Ohio weather for ya!). They even created their own record label during the podcasting cabin activity.
N4 had an incredible presence throughout camp this week, with every one of the campers and staff seen helping lead their teams as some of the loudest and most spirited in Maccabiah! They have transformed themselves into a real team, and are always excited to spend time and share stories with each other in the cabin.
As N5 expanded upon their sisterhood, the girls faced the cold weather and had a blast while jet skiing with smiles all round. Although they’ve had their fair share of rain this past week, they’ve loved spending time playing cards and making friendship bracelets in the cabin.
This week in N6, everyone began learning Polish with our drama specialist, Jo! With this new knowledge, the cabin has started to use it in their daily lives around camp. Did you know the Polish word for milk is mleko?
N7 started the week off with a chipwich-letter-writing-pool-party. Then, during a counselor led nature walk, mother nature opened up and turned the walk into a rain-dance party. You couldn’t get them out of the rain for having so much fun!
The N8 cabin bonded this week over chipwiches for Alyssa Piunno’s birthday and celebrated the arrival of their new cabin baby doll “Gilly Goo Goo”, which is helping them learn all about responsibility and caring for others. They also tubed in the rain and danced in the chadar.
This week Solel did not go on a trip and had the opportunity to relax and bond as a village at camp! This week Solel got the chance to step up and cheer their hearts out at Star Wars Maccabiah! Solel truly was the spirit of Maccabiah and never stopped one minute from cheering their teams on! Last night, Solel participated in an evening program called Lucha Libre where they all painted their faces according to their team and had epic battles against each other, it was quite a night! We can’t wait to see where our next trip will take us and what’s left in store for us this summer at the home of happiness!