Words for the Wise – Welcome to Camp!!

Shabbat Shalom!

What a week!! The 2024 camp season is upon us and Camp Wise is off to a fantastic start. During the 4 weeks of Trip I we will welcome over 280 campers to the Home of Happiness – each of them enjoying their favorite Camp activities, making new friends and getting closer as a community.

Each week we will post a Shabbat blog – and beginning next week, each cabin will share a sentence or two about what made their week most memorable. Even though we’ve been on site for just two days, each moment has been filled with programs, action packed activities and fun.

On Tuesday, the first night of camp, we began to build our cabin groups (Cabins are the heart and soul of Camp Wise). Each cabin made cabin a brit (contract), enjoyed bunk night, and we all assembled on the Noar Field for the first night campfire!  Just before sundown we extinguished our fire and made the transition into the holiday of Shavuot. On Wednesday Rabbi Shana and our staff led an amazing Shavuot program on the 10 Commandments – Rabbi Shana is truly our camp’s Shavuot expert!

In Jewish tradition, we celebrate Shavuot 50 days after Passover, counting “up” each day from 1 through 49 – this is called counting the Omer. I shared with campers the significance of counting up instead of counting down. Many of us naturally count down to something that we are excited to do, such as camp or the end of school, or a birthday.  But what would happen if we counted up instead?

Each day feels different when counting up – it gives a sense of building energy, rather than running out of time.  I challenged our campers: count up this session…up in gratitude, in new experiences, new friends, memorable moments, and in time with the people you love most. If we count down to the end of camp, it will simply fly by too fast.

In that effort – take a moment to check out the photos below and count up the amazing campers and staff who make this community shine! See the smiling faces, the look of friends reunited, and the experiences of learning and growth. Count up – for each person here is truly a blessing!

Insider hint: If you want to be a part of camp this summer, consider hosting some of our incredible staff members for their day off! Click here

Shabbat shalom!!

Rabbi Dan Utley