Shabbat shalom from a sunnier and less hazy Camp Wise, today! It’s been quite a week – three days of rain and cool temps followed by three days of wildfire smoke inversion. In spite of the weather challenges this week, we recognize how lucky we are to live and operate in a region where generally we are free of natural hazards and extreme weather. We commend our energetic and creative staff for keeping our campers in full spirit and smiling even as we adjusted each day’s schedules for health and wellness reasons.
The third week of Trip I was full of joy and growth. Campers are fully comfortable in their cabin communities and now is when the real work of camp begins: navigating more complex relationships, overcoming interpersonal conflict, and building stronger bonds as a cabin and village – “Live Wise” and acting towards one another through blessing is our message. This is the goal.
This summer’s guiding value is hachnasat orchim – welcoming guests. As we explore this theme we learn from the example in Torah of Abraham and Sarah, who welcomed guests to their tent “in the heat of the day.” As you can imagine, this metaphor checks out. The desert region where they resided was brutally hot, and even Abraham, was recovering and in pain as the Torah story suggests. Who would want to serve tea under those conditions?? Yet, in spite of their struggles, they opened their tent to greet passersby, and in turn, welcomed God’s presence to dwell with them.
At first glance, we never know what gifts each person brings into a community, such as in a cabin group or a camp village. It takes time, openness, awareness of our own biases and judgement, and personal effort to lead to acceptance. It is not automatic that each individual feels included, welcomed, and honored in our community- each person must commit to this goal, even in heated moments, and even when we are tired and run down.
As we move into another Shabbat, our goal for the coming week as a camp is to lift up the acts of kindness, compassion, care, and concern for others around us. This approach of “chesed” (kindness) serves as the foundation of a community and makes it possible to create a sense of belonging that makes Camp Wise so strong.
Let’s check out how each cabin has grown this week….
SOLEL! Our Detroit trip was a huge highlight this week. We loved going to Cedar point and hanging out at Belle Isle Park. We stopped for surprise ice cream at Deb’s Soft Kreme, which has a funny name and delicious sundaes. In Belle Isle Park we did an activity, A Dyadic Encounter, where campers were paired off and got to know someone and themselves better.
ILS – A fun filled week moving back from the north toward Tel Aviv. We learned about social justice and participated in the activity of “Leket” where fallen fruit and produce is donated to people experiencing food insecurity. Tonight was Shabbat overlooking the water!SIT – Though not all of us are pictured here, we wanted to show off some of the amazing building we are doing around camp. Check out these comfy benches on our new “early bird deck” in the woods!!