Imagine a room filled with nearly 500 individuals – the group ranges in age from 6 years old through adulthood. You walk in to the room and are instantly enveloped by your surroundings. Everyone is up on their feet silently waiting; the atmosphere is that of nervous excitement. And then in an instant the room erupts in celebration. There are shouts of joy united with tears of happiness! This is what I experienced this week as I joined with our camp family to commemorate the Cleveland Cavaliers Victory. This truly will be a memory that everyone will hold for a lifetime and I thank you for allowing your campers to experience this moment at Camp Wise.
This is one example of how you can find kehilla (community) around camp but there are many more opportunities for community building at Camp Wise. Our campers are part of several communities or families each summer. They start with their inner circle of bunkmates and camp staff, and the circle expands to their village, and to all of camp. Over the course of the summer, unique communities are formed through chugim (elective activities), special programs like Israel Night, and through programs like Solel and Chalutzim buddies where our youngest campers are paired with our oldest campers in a mentoring program.
So it’s fitting that this week when our youngest campers began preparing for their roles in Shabbat that they focused on our core value of kehilla. Our Torah portion for this week, B’ha’alotcha, is about community. When asked to define what community is for them, one Chalutzim camper put it beautifully when he said that community is not about one person, but it is about everyone – everyone is together making everyone better. In our new “Live Wise” chug, after learning about how and why we hang mezzuzot on our doorposts, they created some amazingly beautiful ones that will be hung on the doorposts of their cabins. It is a project we plan to continue throughout the summer so that all of our buildings will have one of these unique creations that help to beautify and mark our camp community as a sacred and special place.
As Shabbat comes to close this weekend, we will be saying goodbye to our Rishon I campers. Saturday night our Rishon cabins will gather for CW Night. Our campers will learn the words to our closing camp song, “Bless this House” and I know that as they leave on Sunday morning words from that song will ring true for them: “Bless this house for we are all together, bless us all we may not meet again. Think of all the happiness you’ve found here, take it home and share it with a friend…” We can’t wait to see these 29 campers back at the Home of Happiness in summer 2017!
Camp dates for summer 2017 will be available soon – so mark your calendars now!
PS – We do still have limited space available for second session. In addition there are spaces available in the collaborative overnight programs with the Anisfield Day Camp, Columbus JCC, and Akron JCC. There are also several programs in August designed just for you and your families – Family Camp: August 5-7, Women’s Weekend: August 26-28, and Alumni Camp: September 2-4. For more information visit our website or call the CW office!
C1: We had a packed week, including climbing the tower, riding horses around camp, and relaxing at yoga. We also enjoyed getting into some harmless trouble by pranking the C3 Lava Lamps.
C2: This week we showed off our moves in Israeli dance and made our own radio show during radio. At Pioneer Waterland we tried out all the rides and back at camp we’ve had a lot of fun with late night ga-ga and cheering at lunchtime song sessions.
C3: The Lava Lamps have been making decorations, practicing readings, and even doing a bit of our own creative writings in preparation for Shabbat. We also made our 2016 CW tie-dyes and went on a special teva adventure with our counselor Alex.
C4: The Ottomans worked together as a cabin their giant swing activity and have been busy swimming up at the pool. They’ve made their own cabin cheers and made sure everyone in the dining hall can hear them!
C6: We have been doing a Rishon opposite day with another boy’s cabin, having a ball doing things backwards. We also surprised them with a special adventure that ended in yummy cupcakes!
C7: This week we spent an entire morning down at lake riding around on Jet Skis and tubing across the water. They also had an amazing chat at our Live Wise activity about we can be strong, independent girls and live with Jewish values.
C8: We had an amazing time on the Chalutzim day trip to Pioneer Waterland. We’ve also been really into the Chalutzim evening programs. Our favorites this week were Chalutzim goes to the retirement home and Israel night.
O1: We have had a crazy exciting week venturing the heights of the ropes course’s lily pads to the deepest trails on camp in horseback riding. Edo taught our cabin what it means to be Israeli and special campfire.
O2: Following the victory of the Cleveland Cavaliers, these boys showed off their basketball skills at the covered gym. They also really enjoyed their once-in-a-lifetime victory parade to Anisfield Day Camp where we celebrated the Cavs victory together.
O3: We had a thrill down at the lake for jet-skiing and tubing Monday morning. We took our fun of the water on the road this week when we spent the day at Wildwater Kingdom, going down huge waterslides and relaxing on the lazy river.
O4: We got to experience a bit of the Holy Land at our Israeli dance cabin activity. Our learning about Israel continued during our Israel night evening program where we learned about modern inventions and technology that were developed in Israel.
O5: The Overdrive went on their own safari ride in camp this week as they saw the wonders that Camp Wise has to offer on a special truck ride. They also really enjoyed the mustard night evening program where they successfully reclaimed all of the condiments!
O6: We bonded so much in the past week! We particularly enjoyed our outdoor cooking activity where we made treats over a campfire.
O7: We had a blast at Wildwater Kingdom. We all tried out the new rides and loved spending time together as a cabin.
O8: These ladies had a great week sampling all of the activities Camp Wise has to offer! They had so much fun at mountain biking and also made their cabin plaque that will be hung up in our cabin at the end of the session.
O9: Our bond is truly incredible; the girls are getting closer and closer each day. We loved our song session earlier in the week where we gathered to sing our favorite camp songs.
O10: This past week we had lots of fun at outdoor cooking, archery, radio and more! We also loved spending the day together at Wildwater Kingdom during day trip day.
N1: These guys are all about the game mini tanks! We had a great time playing it with our friends in N6. We also loved our trip to Lake Erie for jet-skiing and a cookout.
N3: We finally made our tie-dye t-shirts this week. In addition to a great day at Cedar Point, we conquered our fear of heights during our activity at the climbing tower.
N4: We hold the title for our lip-sync battle for the village when we performed to Rhapsody in Blue. We also bonded as a cabin when we did our lily pads activity at the ropes course!
N5: We take our time to relax and mellow out at night with breathing meditations. But during the day it’s all about the fun – we loved our drama cabin activity!
N6: This cabin showed the true spirit of teamwork as the mastered the high ropes course together! We also had a great birthday celebration for Bella during halftime at the Cavs game.
N7: These ladies are ready to take on master chef after the delicious brownies they made in outdoor cooking this week! They also made their cabin plaque featuring their mascot, “Shticky da mouse.”
N8: If you couldn’t find us it was because we building campfires and playing camouflage at our teva activity! We also have been really enjoying music at camp, especially closing campfires before bed.
Solel had an amazing second week! Solel left camp for their second trip and embarked on an amazing journey in Cincinnati, Kentucky, and even stopped in Columbus on the way back to the Home of Happiness! On Tuesday, everyone had an amazing time riding roller coasters and soaking in the sun at Kings Island. Early the next morning, Solel began an incredibly fun-filled day at the Kentucky Action Park where they zip lined, rode in bumper cars, played mini golf and more! The same day, Solel went on an epic historic tour of Mammoth Cave where they squeezed through tunnels, hiked up stairs, and enjoyed the cool temperature along the way! On Thursday, Solel learned about the world as they visited the Cosi Science center in Columbus! They are excited to be back at camp and get prepped for Shabbat tonight!
The SITs have been working hard over the first two weeks of camp, learning their roles as counselors and specialists in training. Additionally, we have helped with camp running smoothly by serving meals and cleaning afterward, along the way we have formed amazing friendships with our kitchen staff. During Day Trip Day, the SITs earned a day off at Fairport Harbor, enjoying a day of swimming in Lake Erie, playing beach volleyball, and having a delicious cookout. We topped off our relaxing day off with a movie night!