As a result – “Eikev”
This week’s Torah portion begins with an unusual word, “Eikev” – which means “as a result.” As Moses retells the stories of the golden calf and the Israelites’ other sagas of communal growth and identity in the desert wilderness, we’re reminded – the lessons we learn in life are a result of our choices, and due to the care and concern from the teachers, mentors, and role models around us.
At Camp Wise we are so grateful for the 130+ talented staff members and 28 SITs who dedicated their time and energy this summer to the sacred work of youth development. It is as a result of their efforts that our 570+ campers have grown, tried new activities and challenges, gained independence, and have learned about their ability to make close connections and lifelong friends. As a result of their care, many campers overcame homesickness and the fear of staying away from home for the first time. As a result of their creativity, campers will return home with memories of late night star gazing, hikes in the woods, and group challenges that they solved. As a result of their attentiveness, campers had a safe space to explore, learn, and express their curiosity about the world. As a result, our youth return home kinder and more aware of the larger needs in our world.
We invest in the staff experience alongside the excellent camper experience each summer. Staff training sessions cover essential skills for the job of camper care and as counselors, but we also do our best to apply the important lessons of summer camp outside of the camp environment, too: communications, teamwork, professionalism, risk management, leadership development, and much more. These skills translate well beyond 13164 Taylor Wells Rd into the lives of our counselors, specialists, and supervisors who are developing young adults. Nothing pleases us more than a successful staff member who returns the next summer and shares how their experiences at camp helped their personal and professional growth at home/college too.
As we close out this summer, we could not be happier with the community we’ve seen develop at Camp Wise in 2023. Thank you to our staff members, supervisors – thank you to our lay leadership and our professional support network at the Mandel JCC. Here’s to a joyful concluding Shabbat for Trip II!
Check out this week in our villages!!