Tevanut, Yom Sport, Mt. Rainier, Odedim, Gimmel Session... So much to discuss!

Posted by on July 26, 2015

First off, I’d like to apologize for the long gap in camp updates on the blog. There has been so much going on around here lately that it has been impossible to find the time to write about all of the amazing activities we are running! So, in order to catch back up to where we are now, I’d like to share a few highlights from the last two weeks at camp. 

Our Teva and Arts Supervisors joined forces to create the first ever Yom Tevanut (Art/Nature Day). Campers painted flower pots, made lip balm from scratch, baked cookies in solar ovens, participated in a Tu B’shvat seder, and held an arts showcase. The camp band performed a mashup of Katy Perry’s “Roar” with “Twist and Shout” by the Beatles. For evening program campers attended a Tevanut carnival, filled with games and fresh fruits and vegetables from the Tumwater Farmer’s Market to snack on.

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Maccabiah Yom Sport (Sports Day) is always a huge deal at camp and this year was no exception! Sports Supervisor Molly Rubens planned a full day of relay races and competitions. The main event of Yom Sport is Zimryah (songfest), in which each team performs a skit along with a choreographed dance to a Hebrew song. The teams put a ton of effort into their skits, which tend to last about ten minutes and parody life at camp. In the end, only one team can win, and this year the Bet Session Maccabiah crown went to the Red team! 

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We were very sad to see our Odedim leave this morning. The Odedim are an integral part of life at camp and they tend to add a disproportionate amount of ruach (spirit) to everything they do. This year’s group was energetic, helpful and just plain wonderful to have around. We will miss them. As a reward for completing the Oded leadership training program, we sent the entire group to Mt. Rainier for a week of camping, hiking, cookouts and bonding. Many Schechter alumni look back and remember the Rainier trip as the highlight of their entire camp experience. 

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I was lucky enough to tag along for the last two days of the trip and get photos, sing songs, eat quesadillas and climb 5,485 feet up to the top of Gobblers Knob. When we got to the summit many of the Odedim began to pray and say the Jewish blessing over a beautiful sight. It was moving to see such a genuine expression of awe from each Oded as they peered out over Mt. Rainier, and amazing to hear that awe expressed through the Hebrew words Oseh Ma’aseh Bereshit (blessed are you, who makes the works of creation).  

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We headed back down for one more night of cooking, singing and sleeping under the stars. I was exhausted, sore and rejuvenated!

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Our Aleph Rishon, Bet, and Oded sessions have all wrapped up now and we are cruising through our first week of Gimmel. It’s wonderful to have a new batch of campers here to add fresh enthusiasm into camp. I can’t wait for them to see all of the exciting changes we’ve made to our daily schedule, hear the new songs we’ve introduced this summer, and experience the ever present magic of Camp Solomon Schechter! 

Josh Niehaus

Assistant Director