This week has been filled with laughter and fun! On Sunday, we were finally able to join as a full camp community for meals in our chadar (dining hall), it has been so wonderful to be together as one camp three times each day – you can feel the energy when you walk in the room! In between all the daily activities there have been a lot of moments to celebrate. There have been special parties for birthdays and the tooth fairy has been very busy visiting campers in Chalutzim and Ohalim, we’re lucky they can find us all the way in Chardon! The villages have also had some unique programs this week including a snow day in Chalutzim and a Silent Disco in Solel!
In between some competitive gaga games and bracelet making; I have seen campers learning new chords at guitar, performing dances on stage, and taking advantage of the nice weather while at the pool. Our teen campers have had the chance to leave camp this week as well. Tosafot traveled to a local park for some hiking and parkour adventures and later in the week went on a 7-mile canoe trip. The SITs took some much deserved time off and had an afternoon picnic and dinner over at Halle Park-Anisfield while the rest of camp had an all-camp cookout up at the covered gym. Shout out to our amazing kitchen team for putting together a great meal for all of camp!
Our staff this year has been amazing and are working incredibly hard! Looking for a way to shout out your camper’s staff? How about sponsoring a meal on their time off or making a donation in their honor? Check out all the ways you can support camp by following these links:
In this week’s portion Balak sends messengers to summon the prophet Balaam to curse the Israelites so that the Moabites can defeat them. God agrees to let Balaam return to Moab with the understanding that he will only be able to speak the words God puts in his mouth once there.
Once in Moab, 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.”
This week as the 8th and 9th grade village at camp prepared for Pride Shabbat, they spoke about the history of Pride as a response to the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan and its importance as we live our Jewish values of b’tzelem Elohim (honoring that every human being is created in God’s image and should be accepted and celebrated for exactly who they are) and tikkun olam (our responsibility to repair the world though act of social justice that ensure safety and equality for all). We also worked to answer the question of how we make all our spaces sacred and welcoming to everyone.
As part of our preparation for Shabbat, two campers wrote the following to be read at services:
Hi, my name is Ilu. My name is Zoey. Our pronouns are she/her. We’ve chosen creative writing to express our beliefs and ideals of Pride. The Notebook, Sixteen Candles, 50 First Dates, Titanic, and even Disney movies; these films all showcase the stereotypical male and female couples. Let me ask a question, how many romance movies normalize LGTBQ+ couples? Continuing on this idea, how many TV shows display the stereotypical funny “gay best friend?” We came here to [ask] all of you why is there a stereotype to love? When I think of love, I think of a passionate relationship between two people. When I think of love, I think of a caring and safe environment created by two people. When we think of love, we think of anyone of any gender, sexuality, or identity having a loyal, caring, true, passionate relationship that has no limits. That’s what love should be to everyone. That’s how love should be portrayed in the media. Because no matter your beliefs, background, or religion, love will always persevere.
Ma Tovu Ohalecha – How Lovely are Your Tents – they are gorgeous when they are filled with love.
Tomorrow our Shlichim (Israeli staff) will be leading us in some special Yom Yisrael (Israel Day) activities. We can’t wait to make our own shakshuka and pita over the campfire! On Sunday we say “see you next year” to our Rishon campers who just completed their first two weeks ever at the Home of Happiness. We can’t believe it’s already time for them to go home and that we have to wait an entire year to welcome they back to Wise in Chardon.
Wishing you all an amazing week of summer fun and hopefully good weather!
This week C1 got try so many new things! We started the week flying high in the sky on the giant swing, and ended the week finding out inner peace at yoga! WE had some fun at night competing in a lip sync battle where we won the most creative award! C1 is so excited to see what new adventures we will have in the coming weeks!
This week C2 had the most fun ever! They had a blast during free swim and then every camper relaxed during yoga. At the art shack, each camper was eager to contribute to their cabin plaque. C2 is overjoyed to for more time at soccer and swim, and is looking forward to more time at their chugim (choice activities) in the coming days.
This week, the C4 graham crackers did a bunch of new activities including the Giant Swing, jet skiing and basketball. We’ve had some competitive gaga games and tetherball too! The boys are also enjoyed more free swim and the all-camp cookout this week.
This week C7 got to try lots of new things between the giant swing, jet skis at the lake and activities at the art shack! We also got to celebrate another birthday in the cabin this week with a spa day! C7 is super excited to get to spend more time swimming and hanging out with their friends in the upcoming days.
O1 had a relaxing campfire as a cabin where they really bonded as a group and had a great time at arts and crafts. They also pranked O2 by moving their table to the basketball court for dinner!
O-2 has really started to come alive. It’s been a lot of fun to see them work together as a team and family through different activities like soccer, basketball, football, kickball, song session competitions or even just messing around in the lake. We are proud of them for having the cleanest cabin in the village and are excited to see them rewarded for that in the future. They are all starting to bond together and I’m glad to see the brotherhood we have created.
03 has had an amazing time trying activities such as tennis, archery, and many card games. O3 also has been doing nightly mad libs and enjoys laughing at them together before going to bed.
05 Aglio E Olios have enjoyed relaxing at the pool during free swim, boating at the lake, jumping on the aqua jump, and being risk-takers during high ropes. They also got three perfect scores in Nikayon (cabin cleanup) in a row, so they earned the chance to play card games with their village supervisor!
This week everyone in O7 was able to climb the tower and ring the bell on top! Everyone had so much fun and are excited to do more activities.
O8 had an awesome time starting up our chugim (choice activities) this week and we all loved yoga and free swim. O8 has also been learning a Hebrew word of the day from one of their staff, Ofer, and learned the names of some of the animals here at camp in Hebrew!
In 0-9 we started a cabin tradition of singing 100 bottles of milk on the wall during meal time. It has become something our cabin loves and it is something unique we have bonded over.
O-10 had a busy week! Together we did tie dye, learned how to play lacrosse, and performed a dance we made on stage in front of the whole camp. We had a blast celebrating our first birthday within the cabin. We can’t wait to spend more time together and continue making friendships within the village.
This past week we partook in an evening program called Prison Break Night. The campers dressed up the staff as inmates and gave them backstories that were hilarious. We then did challenges in order for us to move on and eventually break a lock to win! It was a blast. Everyone is still bonding and having a great time with one another.
This week we went down to the lake for jet skiing and tubing! Everyone had so much fun hanging out down there with each other. We also celebrated David’s birthday by going to the pool during menucha (rest hour). We had a great time swimming and playing basketball in the
This week N3 went to Tower was really fun, it was fun to climb and try the different walls. Some of the campers climbed to the top for the first time!! We’re also having a blast playing anomia at rest hour. We all laughed and had a really great time bonding as a cabin.
This week we had a visitor from Simon Brown who came down to our cabin and told us a bedtime story. The kids absolutely loved it and thought they were hilarious! We also got to eating breakfast in the cabin; having “breakfast in bed” was a fun, silly treat.
Some highlights from this week were all of us participating in the Leap of Faith and climbing the tower on the high ropes course. All of our girls were insanely brave and completed these ropes course items, even though we were scared at first. This week we also celebrated Charlotte’s birthday with a delicious cake, a beautifully decorated table, some fun birthday signs, and a late night pool party with chipwiches!
The N6 girls are super excited to lead Shabbat and prepare creative writings, dances, skits and more. We also celebrated a counselor birthday this week with chipwiches! The girls decorated signs to surprise her.
N7’s favorite cabin activity this week was horseback riding. We have so many pro equestrians and animal lovers in N7 so there was something for everybody!! Every night before the campers go to bed, they have time to talk to each other and bond. They have so many inside jokes and share so many laughs it’s so awesome to see. N7 and N8 campers have become really close over the past 10 days. You can always find them hanging out together on the hammocks or in the middle of the village. Because of their special 9th grade bond, they’ve created the cabin “N15”, the combination of N7 and N8.
Some of our favorite activities this week were tie dying and having a pool party with the rest of Noar! We had a fashion show in our cabin during menucha and we played runway music and danced around the cabin together! We are getting closer as a cabin and have bonded with the other 9th grade girl’s cabin as well!
This week S-3 has been having so much fun getting to know the other cabins. We have started mixed activities and have been really enjoying the village bonding. Nightly campfires are always a great time to do this and everyone loves a good song session. Everyone is also developing strong bonds outside the cabin, playing cards in the deck and grooving at the silent disco. A highlight from this week would definitely be how we scrambled up the groups for cabin activities. I’ve seen new connections and relationships form within the village and Solel is definitely starting to feel like a family! Everyone is stepping up and helping out the staff, and bringing the spirit in our new dining location- the chadar! We have gotten really close through spending bedtime and some rainy days together, where we told stories, played cards, and laughed together.
Tosafot had an eventful week with the first out-of-camp hike! We took a trip to a local metro park and hiked a trail with some parkour stops along the way- it was a blast! Later that night, we raged at the silent disco in Flavortown! One of our favorite evening programs so far was our paint party Wednesday night. First, we splatter painted our own canvases and then got to cover everyone in paint and played sharks and minnows across the Ohalim rec field. We ended our night with a campfire and homemade chipwiches. All is good in the land of Tosafot!