We’ve had another great week at CW and we are thrilled to be heading into our second Shabbat being led by the Ohalim village. This morning we said goodbye to our Rishon campers who ended their 2015 summer with an amazing final night campfire, awards, and song session (we call the final night CW Night). We know they enjoyed every second of camp and have already begun to countdown the days until the 2016 summer!!
As I walk around camp a central thought keeps popping up in my head – the Tabernacle. Yes, I’m talking about the Tabernacle of Moses during the time of the exodus from Egypt. The Tabernacle means “tent” or “sanctuary.” It was a mobile tent that the Israelites traveled with and set up wherever they stopped to “set up camp.” The Tabernacle was usually placed at the center of camp and the 12 tribes of Israel would gather around the tent. It was considered a holy and sacred place where God chose to meet the Israelites while they wandered the desert for 40 years. It was a place of comfort and a place of acceptance… have you caught on yet?
I believe that Camp is a tabernacle of sorts for our community. For many, CW is their sanctuary – a place they feel a connection to their religion, their Jewish identity, and to other community members. Our “tent” is created through thoughtful programming where we begin to understand our differences and yet realize how those differences make us a strong community. I’ve seen these programs in action. One is our Chalutzim and Solel buddies, a program designed for our Chalutzim campers to get a “big brother” or “big sister” and our Solel campers to pass on their camp experience to a new generation. Another is our Israel programming. This past week we celebrated Israel Day and our campers learned about Israeli culture. We learned about the original chalutzim (pioneers) who stood on an empty desert mound and began to build something special. We learned about current struggles that face Israel and how Israel provides disaster relief to other countries while never placing judgment.
There is not a doubt in my mind that these programs help us grow as a community and it takes each and every one of us to be a part of that growth. I once learned from a mentor that only those with hacham lev (wise of heart) were given the skills to help build the Tabernacle. I truly believe that everyone here is hacham lev. Whether it’s through our Shabbat-o-gram program where campers can write special notes to each or our Noar gender separated campfires this week where our staff facilitates meaningful discussions and campers can share their hopes and dreams in a calm setting; each day we help build a caring and supportive community for all of us to thrive.
C1- From a “secret” fifth grade s’mores night, to a full morning down by the lake, C1 has had a busy week filled with many special activities. We have started our second block of chugim and C1 has really enjoyed the ability to personally choose 3 full sets of activities throughout the session. We can’t wait to see what is in store for the leaders of the village over the upcoming weeks.
C3- With cabin C3, you never know what funny cabin program is going to be happening next. Costume parties, skits, and dances presented in front of the entire village have been a regular occurrence with this cabin, and the staff and campers of C3 have done an amazing job leaving a positive impact on Chalutzim so far this session.
C4- Though we are sad to see this incredible group of campers head home, we are very confident that we will be seeing everybody next summer. C4 had a blast during our day trip at Pioneer Waterland, and they bonded remarkably well in just a two week period. Our biggest hope is that these campers were able to get a taste of what a full session of camp has to offer, and we can’t wait to see them in 2016.
C5- The C5 beehive has been buzzing like crazy this week as the girls prepare for their final day at camp! They’ve become CW professionals this week during activities such as basketball, archery, and even some late night cabin bonding sessions!
C6- The C6 falafels have become one with nature this week as they’ve participated in teva, outdoor cooking, and giant swing cabin activities. The ladies had a blast swimming and sliding all day at Pioneer Waterland during our day trip!
C7- What a week it’s been for C7! With cabin activities like guitar and Jet Ski, the C7 butterflies have made their way all around camp this week and made major waves both at our lake and at the Waterpark!
C8- The ladies of C8 have had a week full of adventure by showing their skills during Israeli dance cabin activity, tearing up the field during soccer, and taking the lazy river by storm at Pioneer! They even had special snack bags in hand during our screening of Holes at Chalutzim/Ohalim movie night!
O1- The O1 boys have had a great week at camp, full of fun and ruach all around. They truly got the most out of our day trip to Wildwater Kingdom, enjoying everything from the lazy river to the toilet bowl ride to flying down the water slides!
O2- O2 has been having so much fun during this busy and fun week at camp! Many of the campers helped to make some delicious apple pie while others enjoyed sports and games on the rec field during the Ohalim boys overnight.
O3- O3 has been one of the loudest and proudest cabins at Camp Wise over the last few days. They truly showed their spirit throughout Israel day, showing off their blue and white clothing and enjoying the Ohalim army training at our evening program that night.
O4- O4 continues to enjoy all that camp has to offer, whether it’s hanging out in the village or exploring the different activities. They worked together to make a great product and a hilarious skit on Billy Mays Invention night on Monday!
O7- O7 are making the most of their Compliment Cup, writing kind secret notes to each other every day and hearing them read back to them before they go to sleep. They all loved learning Krav Maga on Israel Night and had an awesome time learning about the Holy Land.
O8- O8 Shark Bait (hoo ha ha) is by far one of the loudest cabins in Ohalim! They are having a great time at all their sporting cabin activities and they are mastering their card skills in the cabin and loving Ohalim village life!
N1- The campers of N1 became even more “UN1TED” during week two of camp. The cabin bonded over awesome activities such as high ropes and archery, and they’ve really enjoyed evening programs like Reverse Olympics and Noarcade. You’d be hard pressed to find an N1 camper not having a great time in the village or at chugs.
N2- N2 really stepped up as leaders this week, reflecting on their time at camp and what they hoped to gain from this summer during Kumbaya Night. It’s clear that the boys of N2 love this session, and from basketball to day trip at Cedar Point they’ve enjoyed everything this week has had to offer.
N3- The second week of camp has already been a blast for N3! From conquering the high ropes course at their cabin activity to taking on the Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point, there never seems to be a dull moment for n-3!
N4- Look out for N4 in pictures this week where they will be sporting their new Camp Wise tie-dye shirts that they made in their cabin activity! They also had a screaming good time at Cedar Point and brought the same ruach with them back to camp!
N5- The campers of N5 have had an amazing past week at camp. It’s been incredible to watch them grow closer as a cabin, and they’ve formed awesome connections both within their bunk and in the village. N5 has excelled at activities ranging from dance to tower, and it was awesome seeing the smiles on everyone’s faces after high ropes this morning.
N6- N6 has had a phenomenal week two. Between riding rides at Cedar Point, tackling the trails during mountain biking, and creating awesome t shirts in tie dye, there’s never been a dull moment. The girls of N6 are incredibly mature, and they persevered through a rainy lake afternoon to have an amazing cookout back at camp.
N7- TheN-7 girls showed their best side this week and even earned a surprise fondue party around the camp fire. They also proved their bravery when they faced Millennium Force for the first time at Cedar Point!
N8- From horseback riding at cabin activity to making their cabin plaque, the N8 girls always seem to find new ways to grow close! The energy and camaraderie they radiate at camp also came to light at Cedar Point.
Solel has had an all-star week of events, and we couldn’t be more excited. After returning from Hershey, Solel spent time relaxing on the deck! From conversations about current events in society, to Haunted Halloween in June, it’s safe to say we had quite an exciting past few days, and leaving for Detroit made it even better! We’re looking forward to volunteering here in Motor City, and getting back in time for a sure to be fantastic second Shabbat at Camp! Who knows what next week has in store!