Thursday, July 18, 2013

Yes your mom and dad were my campers at OSRUI too!

Captain Kehillah
I am on faculty at OSRUI in Kallah Gimmel with 72 campers and  over 15 staff members.  This session our limud or educational piece  is Kehillah Kedosha a holy community.  Our campers aged 9-12 are having a fun time with our limud as Captain Kehillah, in full costume and mustache has visited almost every day to make sure we are becoming a community.  In fact the campers have to summon Captain Kehillah by singing a special song and when she hears she comes and helps us out.

The campers know we have fun with limud and we have written a cabin brit or covenant for each cabin. We know by discussing and writing out rules for our cabins we will be able to grow and become a more caring community.  This week campers played cooperation games and realized they needed to communicate and talk to one another to accomplish the tasks we had set forth for them; even if the task was just trying to pass a hula hoop around the circle with everyone holding hands.

Cooperation games
Campers and Madrichim, counselors have been wonderful to work with as we do limud throughout the week.  I see evidence of community at every part in our day.  I see girls comforting another friend and making sure no one sits by themselves at meals.  I see boys hunting for swimming googles, water bottles, hats, Ok you name it with friends, counselors and faculty and I think we have done good job of keeping our lost and found down and everyone knows they can count on one another to help find misplaced items.

We are all a part of the web of camp
This is my 4th year in Kallah gimmel with Cantor Arik Luck, from Beth Emet in Evanston and we welcome Rabbi Lisa Bellows from Congregation Beth Am in Buffalo Grove to the team this year.  Cantor Luck and I have worked with some of the same madrichim for 4 years and we enjoy coming back year after year to have fun, teach, sing and live our Judaism.  To watch Kallah gimmel for the past 4 years become a community and reassemble with new staff is a fun and rewarding process.  New staff is inducted and we have continuity for the next generation.

I think the aspect of community which really hit me this year on opening day is how many campers in my unit whose parents were my campers in years past.  I feel not just the love and continuity in seeing the second generation coming to camp but it gives me even more incentive to work harder to make our limud, our Hebrew classes or just swimming in the pool a little more interesting, a little more fun a little more rememberable for our campers.  I work hard during my time at OSRUI every summer and I reap the benefits as I see Madrichim, campers and even the children of my old campers come back every summer. I am proud to have been on faculty long enough to see my campers' children come back and experience the whole summer just as they did.