Words for the Wise – A Joyful Beginning!

And just like that, camp is here!! What a joyful beginning…

It never ceases to amaze me how quickly we transition from a stressful end of the school year to the joy, independence and “chill vibes” of camp! As we approach the first Shabbat of summer 2023 we are grateful to be here at the Home of Happiness.

Our cabin groups jumped right into action this week, beginning with programs in sports, arts, horseback riding, mountain biking, nature, and Jewish values. Everyone has been engaged in cabin activities for Thursday and Friday as we head into Shabbat, the goal of these programs with cabin groups is to develop positive peer-peer relationships and counselor/camper connections.

At lunch, campers were very excited to learn about the new chugim this summer – STEAM, Music Production, and Graphic Design –Sam Berkowitz and the music production team made their own track of “sick beats” to debut this exciting new part of the program. Judaism will be integrated into this area of camp, too, as older campers explore Israeli musical artists, including Mizrachi pop stars, and campers will create recordings of popular camp songs to share at the end of the session. We’re grateful to former director, Scott Brown and his wife Jane for the generous gift to help us launch this new initiative!

This Shabbat in the Torah we read the story of the 12 “spies” who first journeyed into the Promised Land, as told in the book of Numbers. This Torah portion offers many lessons about lashon hara (avoiding gossip), personal integrity, and how to be an upstander for shared values.

On Shabbat we will debut our summer theme of Hachnasat Orchim – a welcoming and inclusive community that honors individual differences. We’ll use the story of the spies and their struggles to illustrate the personal choice each of us can make to further inclusion. It will be amazing to witness the acts of kindness grow between campers and staff as we go through this session.

Parents and families, listen up! We don’t want you to miss out on photos of your camper while they’re here! Take five minutes and download the Campanion app at campanionapp.com. Sign in, upload a photo of your camper, and you’ll be set for summer. Thank you!!

Let’s check out what’s going on in each cabin/village!!


C 4- We had some spare time after we unpacked for the kids to play and get to know one another, and later an icebreaker circle where we all introduced ourselves, where we were from, and our favorite ice cream flavor. They’ve had a blast getting to know each other and generally playing, with the tether-ball seeming to be a favorite! 

C-5 We had some get to know you questions at bunk night that asked favorite activities and ice cream flavors.             The cabin really enjoyed playing volleyball together outside the pool.                                            


C1 – Our theme is Swedish fish Vikings! – we learned each other’s name through the dead chicken game and our new cheer is the “eat the horses” chant! We loved the camp tour and Dodgeball!

C2 – We got to know one another while Unpacking, and spending time playing Gaga in the village.       Horse Back Riding was the highlight activity of the first two days!

C7  – The C7 tootsie pops all got to connect and dance during chalutzim’s battle of the bands where they performed to “shut up and dance!” They absolutely loved playing wax museum in various yoga poses at our yoga cabin activity.                                 

C-8       Our cabin got to know each other through collaborative teamwork building exercises at low ropes course. C-8 had so much fun playing kickball in general sports!            

O-1   – We had fun seeing old friends again and greeting new ones! Some of them already met before and that was fun! The Mafia Game was a big hit on Bunk night.

O2 – At bunk night we got to know each other through our favorite ice cream flavors and we played roofball.  Such chill vibes in Ohalim! We enjoyed low ropes, archery and tie dye.           

O5 – We shared names, likes and dislikes, ice cream favs.  Our cabin loved the low ropes course! 

O8 – during bunk night we did the cabin contract and introduced ourselves but we put a little twist to it and also introduced our stuffed animals to the cabin as well! Some activities we’ve done are dance, yoga, low ropes, archery, tennis, and tie dye! Everyone is getting along great!

O9 – bunk night was awesome! We played get to know me games, and learned how to cheer with our theme, the geico geckos! We already have so many inside jokes and laughs.

O10 – Our cabin played basic ice breakers, memory box making, and blasted taylor swift music!  The cabin had a lot of fun at dance!  


N3       Our cabin got to know each other at bunk night where we played the age game (my name is …., I’m …. years old and I ….). Our cabin has had a really good time hanging out in the village while playing spike ball, football, and card games!

N4       We introduced our theme big bang theory, and our countoff for attendance is lizzo Lyrics!      We got to play basketball as a cabin. Everyone was involved in a game of 6v6.    

N5       Bunk night name games were a blast and, even thought it was chilly – everyone really loved Free swim!

N6       Many of the girls in our cabin know each other from before and are good friends. Some of them are first timers at Camp Wise and we love that they are getting to know the group. We already see them becoming better friends. Also in bunk night we played a game where all the girls in the group shared facts about themselves. They loved Horse Back Riding, free swim and they got very excited for the tie dye!

N7        Our cabin already knows each other pretty well but hopes to learn about each other at a deeper level.  We assigned a question to a color and they had to pick their favorite color and then answer the question. Each person loves spending time with the cabin!

N8       We played a get to know you game by saying which Modern Family character they identify with and why. Our cabin’s favorite moment this week was creating a pirate ship and battling it out at Pirate Warfare night!        


During bunk night we split up into pairs and each got to know someone we didn’t know well, and then came together to discuss how to have a great summer together as Solel. Although we got rained out of our first evening program, we instead got to all paint our own personal canvases with the soothing storm sounds.