Shalom Camp Wise!
This is Kyna Levi, your friendly Camp Wise Jewish Educator. I’m new to Camp Wise this summer, but had an amazing time first session, and second session has been incredible so far!
Each week at Camp Wise a different Village (age group) takes responsibility for “hosting” a Shabbat. This means that Nate, our Shabbat Specialist, and I meet with the village three times preceding Shabbat. The two of us and the village staff help the campers prepare a Friday night service, a Saturday morning service, and a Havdallah service. In addition campers split into committees who create performances and artwork to welcome the rest of camp to celebrate the week. The committees include a Choir, an Interpretive Dance Committee, a ShabbART Committee that makes decorations for our Chadar Ochel (dining hall)), a Creative Writing Committee, a Pageant Committee that comes up with a short play that explains the Torah portion, and a Countdown Committee that helps camp get excited for the upcoming Shabbat. All of the committees base their work on a theme that they pick after exploring the Parashat haShavua , the weekly Torah portion.
This week the Noar (8th and 9th grade) campers chose the theme of “Be accepting of change, even when things are strange.” The theme comes from the Parashat haShavua, Mattot and Ma’asei, when the Israelites deal with a few changes in leadership. A few weeks earlier Aaron and Miriam died, and the Torah explains that Moses will die after a war with the Midianites, and therefore Eleiazar is made high priest. Amidst constant warfare with surrounding communities Moses explains God’s commands about vows to the leaders of the tribes of Israel. Noar noticed that the Israelites were going through a lot of changes. The campers pointed out their difficulty transitioning to new leaders and playing nicely with those who did not share their beliefs (i.e. the Midianites). Noar saw this as a place where the Israelites could grow, and drew on these ideas in a modern context. It was from this beautiful perspective of growth that they came up with the theme, “Be accepting of change, even when things are strange.”
Then the work began! The Countdown committee kicked things off with a fabulous skit at lunch this past Wednesday that got the community in the mood for the upcoming Shabbat. The ShabbART committee made origami flowers and cranes to decorate the Chadar to create a festive space. The Song committee picked out a Havdallah location and practiced the three songs they selected for services on Friday and at Havdallah. The Pageant committee began to write their Dvar Torah play for Saturday, of course filled with hilarity and homemade costumes. The dance committee began to choreograph a fab performance for Friday before dinner that will get everyone moving and grooving. Last but not least, the Creative Writing Committee began diligently writing reflective pieces and poems to enhance all of our services.
All in all, I believe this will be a wonderful first Shabbat of Trip II, 2015 and I could not be more pleased with how excited Noar is about leading Shabbat! It will truly be a magical moment!