Fridays With Felber – June 30

Dear CW Families and Friends,

As we head into Shabbat, I am once again reminded of what makes the camp community a uniquely special place. 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. Moments where a veteran, 15-year old camper seeks ways to engage a first-time, 9-year old camper in all of the excitement and moments where teamwork is important but more important is reaching across team lines to help another camper finish their station in the “Great Race”.

It’s fitting that the Camp Wise Core Value that our Ohalim campers are connecting to the Torah portion this week is Kavanah which we understand at camp as the concept of Spirituality. At camp we teach that to have Kavanah is to be in a place where Judaism comes alive through creativity, celebration, and ruach. All of which the CW community practiced during Maccabiah. The parsha (Torah Portion) we read this Shabbat is the retelling of a time when God instructed Moses to build a copper snake, not as an idol but as a manifestation of that little voice in our head often called the “evil inclination,” which leads us down the wrong road by instilling thoughts of fear and doubt in our hearts. Sometimes, we’re on the correct road, a good path, on a journey to great things. But sometimes, if we don’t see immediate results that we can quantify, we start to doubt ourselves. We get scared, and that little voice in our head starts to say, “Hey, maybe we’re doing this all wrong. Let’s just give up, and try something else, something easier.” The Ohalim campers talked about how a strong sense of spirituality can help us face our fears and feel more successful.

This week we also practiced the Core Value of Hachnassat Orchim (welcoming guests). On Monday we welcomed over 40 campers into our community from the Michael Ann Russell JCC’s day camp (Miami) as well as the Anisfield Day Camp (Mandel JCC – Cleveland). I had so much fun getting to know the campers in these groups. While we have already said goodbye to our Anisfield friends, I am excited to share Shabbat with our friends from Florida and I hope to see everyone back at Camp Wise, The Home of Happiness, for summer 2018.

As we head into the final stretch of the session I am looking forward to more special moments with our camp community. I look forward to sharing with you next week the excitement of July 4th, our performing arts productions, and CW night.

Shabbat Shalom,





C1 – The campers couldn’t believe that Peter Pan Maccabiah started on Wednesday and were so excited to get into their teams!  Earlier in the week they learned how to shoot arrows at archery and practiced their basketball skills.


C2 – The campers faced their fear of heights and climbed the rock wall this week.  On Tuesday night they went for a night hike to find their cabin mascot, the orange chicken.


C3 – The campers hiked into the woods for their overnight on Sunday where they competed to find out which mythical creature is truly the best.  They had a song session and sang some camp classics and then made s’mores by the fire.


C4 & C5- We were incredibly lucky to have a group from Anisfield Day Camp spending the week with us. They had an amazing time jet skiing, horseback riding, going to tower and giant swing. They showed incredible spirit and sportsmanship during Peter Pan Maccabiah. We loved having them here and are sad to see them go, but hopefully we will see them all back at Wise next summer!

Anisfield Girls - C5 Anisfield Boys - C4


C6 – C6 had an incredible week!  They started it off with being able to tie-dye their brand new Camp Wise t-shirts. Maccabiah kicked off this week and C6 is stoked about it!  They can’t wait to show off all their new cheers.  C6 can’t wait to see what else is in store for the rest of camp.


C7 – C7 has had the opportunity to participate in so many activities this week. They got to show off their beautiful singing voices at song session, and had the opportunity to ride the Jet Ski and go tubing down at the lake.  What a great week they have been having!


C8 – C8 took a trip to the art shack for the arts and crafts chug and got to decorate branches with beads to hang in their cabin.  C8 also had a huge dance party with C3 to celebrate the amazing time they have had at camp.



O1 – Mercury had an awesome week at camp! They raided the kitchen on Sunday night and enjoyed ice cream sundaes – they bonded over agreeing that marshmallows are the BEST ice cream sundae topping! Later in the week, they cracked open a SpongeBob piñata before heading to the ropes course, where they celebrated each other as they overcame their fear of heights!


O2 – O2 rallied together and bonded as a cabin in the magical woods this week! They began their week by singing birthday chants on their walk into the 15 Year Forest to celebrate their SIT Matthew’s birthday. O2 ended their week by joining the Brotherhood of Ohalim at Creed Night. During Creed Night, they showcased their brotherhood as they cheered each other on while conquering the Leap of Faith!


O3 – 03 had a blast this week at yoga and drama, and really excelled on the ropes course!  They absolutely loved rest hour zip lining and soared at the Leap of Faith during their all-boys program Tuesday night!


O4 – 04 tried so many new things around camp this week!  From tennis to podcasting and mountain biking to painting an awesome cabin plaque, they had such a great week!  The boys truly displayed what it means to be a supportive cabin during the Leap of Faith.


O6 – When you walk by O6, you often hear them chanting their cabin cheer, “Soy vey! Soy vey! Soy vey!” follows by lots of giggles. This cabin had a blast at Vicktoria’s Giant Swing birthday party where they cheered each other on while up in the treetops. While at the all-girls village campfire program, O6 created their very own fire pit and belted out the lyrics to their favorite songs while making lasting memories in the Camp Wise woods.


O7 – The O7 Sweet and Sour Saturns had a week filled with sweetness and great moments. They all rallied together to make a silly dance during their cabin activity that left them all erupting in laughter. Another SWEET moment for O7 was having special spa treatment during rest hour to celebrate Livi’s birthday. The girls were dancing, singing, and laughing all together while applying their mud masks!


O8 – The ladies of 08 absolutely loved their time in the Art Shack this week! They made amazing Camp Wise tie-dyes and had so much fun at their arts and crafts activity.  The girls really enjoyed their cabin pool party this week!


O10 – 010 had an awesome week doing archery, drama, and so much more!  The girls absolutely LOVE Maccabiah and are so excited to help lead Shabbat this weekend.


MAR-JCC– While the temperatures have been a little chillier than Florida the kids have absolutely loved their first week at camp. They have participated in great activities including Horseback Riding, Jet Skiing, Tie Dye and our all camp Peter Pan Maccabiah program. We have absolutely loved having them here and will be so sad to see them go on Sunday! We are so glad they are loving camp as much as we do!

MAR JCC Boys - O5 MAR JCC Girls - O9


N1 – N1 learned to trust and support each other at the Leap of Faith ropes activity.  They also got to show off their talents to each other in podcasting.


N2 – This week was so fun for N2!  They had so much fun at the 8th grade overnight kayaking and rock-climbing all day!


N3 – This was such a great week in N3! They’re involving other kids in the village in their ever famous basketball games.  They’re so close and having so much fun together!


N4 – Wow!  N4 is having an amazing time!  They got even closer through the low ropes bonding exercises.


N5 – N5 had an incredible time at high ropes this week! They’ve really bonded through all their card games; they’ve been learning a new one every day!


N6 – N6 celebrates a birthday with cupcakes and a party with singing and dancing.  Everyone can find them around camp wearing their amazing tie-dyes they made this week!


N7 – N7 splashed into this week with an awesome pool party with N3! They even got to make banana boats in outdoor cooking!


N8 – N8 had such a jam-packed week, from celebrating one of the girl’s birthdays through many parties to giving of letters of appreciation to each other every day.  This week has been a great one!


SOLEL-Solel rode the wave of high spirits back into camp from our enthralling three-day trip to Cincinnati and Kentucky! Week three has been a whirlwind of emotions and activities, as we learned how to forage in the woods to find edible plants with CW Alum Jeremy Umansky, worked out with Mandel JCC trainers at a fitness boot camp, and then discussed interesting social issues at our ice cream social evening program. The group has impressed their staff everyday with the ability to be goofy and silly in one moment, and then serious and mature for their age in the next. With our Solel hoodies ordered and on the way, it is safe to say that Solel is gearing up for an epic final week and a deeply meaningful final Solel Shabbat as campers. We can’t wait to see what surprises lie ahead! Click here to learn more about Jeremy and his projects and click here to learn more about fitness training at the Mandel JCC.


SIT-The annual SIT Fourth of July carnival is coming up soon!  The SIT’s have been hard at work planning a carnival that will be out of this world.  This week during SIT hour our SIT’s met with Becky Sebo to discuss the different identities of the people living in Israel.  Our SIT’s have flawlessly integrated into their role at camp.  They are building the most wonderf7ul relationships with their cabins and have loved seeing the different roles played at camp.