Words for the Wise – Live Among the Trees

I love to walk through the 325 acres of forest here at the Mandel JCC’s amazing Camp Wise! Each time I do, or as I lead a hike for campers, I always notice something new – fresh leaves, the growth on the tips of branches, a tree that has recently fallen making way for new saplings, or rocks with fresh erosion around their edges. For generations, our campers and staff members have been walking these paths, and just as the forest around them evolves, the people grow a little and change a bit each time they pass by.

As we complete the third week of our session its unbelievable to conceive of how far we have come! From he first few days of the session when everyone was settling in, getting through mild homesickness… to now, int he center of the session, the forming of solid cabin groups where we witness the growth of interpersonal relationships and teamwork. You can feel the change in camp as you walk from place to place and observe the kids in action.

Campers of every age feel more comfortable and more at home each day – this always makes me smile and so proud of the good work they are doing and the guidance they continue to receive from counselors and specialists alike.

As a parent, I understand how it feels to be away from your child as they learn key lessons and grow in life-changing ways. We each do our best to help our children learn at home with us – but sometimes there are lessons where our children need some distance and independence in order to learn, too. This is both hard at times, but also so necessary for them to achieve thriving in life.

As the words of Proverbs 22 teaches us: hanoch l’na’ar af al pi darco… “Guide each child in the way they need to go….” Each of us as an individual, grows and changes in our own ways. Camp is such the sacred environment…the unique human forest to nurture all these trees as they reach high.

Check out our amazing cabins and learn more about what they did and how they grew this week!

C1: This week our favorite memory was the paint party on the Ohalim Rec field. Our campers have been working on communication and teamwork as a group!

C2: We loved getting a new sink installed in our bathroom – we had a party to celebrate it and name it!. We’ve been learning to share with one another and are doing great at taking turns.

C3: This week we got to ride horses at HBR and had a blast. We learned how to shoot arrows well at archery.

C4: This week we loved the paint party! We have been learning more about adapting to schedule changes and trying new things and activities for the first time!

C5: This week yoga and Jet Ski tubing were the absolute best! We’ve become so independent getting ready for activities on our own – have learned new yoga poses and stretches!

C6: We too loved the paint party in Chalutzim! Our campers have been learning how to bond with one another, share, and use respect at all times – we have been awesome!

C7: This week our favorite activity was Jet Ski! Our campers became comfortable with messy play at the paint party (after which we took amazing showers!)

C8: Our favorite memory this week was paint party, too! We have been great at taking turns to help out in cleaning the cabin.

O1: This week we had a blast at mission impossible, sneaking out of the cabin (with permission of course!). We’ve improved on solid friendships, card games, and strong respect in the cabin.

O2: We came up with a new game called banana tree which is becoming a new camp wise tradition (throwing banana peels and then picking them up!) . We’ve bested ourselves with deep friendships, respect, and good choices!

O3:Tubing at the lake with Luis was the best activity this week. We have been excelling in teamwork this week as a group.

O5: Being back on the tube rides at the lake was a special moment for us. We are learning how to live every camp moment to the fullest!

O8: We LOVED Horseback riding this week – it is our camp favorite. We’ve been doing great with listening to one another and being on time to activities.

O9: We made amazing memories at the lip sync battle this week. So much laughter! We are doing much better feeling comfortable and independent being away from home. We are proud of our growth!

O10: We loved our late night talks as a cabin – no one will forget these moments. We’ve been learning how to do better at patience, listening and caring for one another.

N1: Cedar point was unbelievable!!! We got to try new things and push our comfort with tall roller-coasters.

N3: We lost our voices at Greek Gods Maccabiah – we loved mixing our own songs in music production.

N4: We had a blast overnight camping. It has been so fun to lead the village in song on our trip.

N6: We had a blast when our rainy moments on the Noar trip led to a short diversion to the Sandusky mall! We learned hot to put up tends and cook over the fire for dinner!

N7: Our treat of Starbucks in the Sandusky mall will never be forgotten! We loved learning from each other on the high ropes course this week – it was awesome.

N8: We had a blast trying all the big rides at Cedar Point. Especially the Raptor! We grew as a cabin by making new friends and branching out to get to know other grades too.

Solel: We went white water rafting near Pittsburgh, explored the Museum of Illusions, rode the inclines downtown and also crawled through the Laurel Caverns. It was a blast visiting Liora’s house for dinner!!!