Shabbat Shalom – Week 1, Session 1, 2021

July 3, 2021by Josh Niehaus

Shalom CSS Community,

What a great first week at camp we’ve had! Our chanichim (campers) have settled well into the exciting daily routine at CSS. The first days of intense heat and adjusted schedules are behind us, and we are now enjoying a full range of chuggim (activities). The aqua park and boating continue to see lots of action, but campers are also now participating in a wide range of experiences such as sports, cooking, and music. The challenge course and teva (nature) teams are taking advantage of the cooler weather to get the campers out into the stunning nature around camp.

The natural beauty at camp provides the perfect setting for thought-provoking conversations and programs centered around the theme of wonder and awe. We give campers the opportunity to deepen their appreciation for the natural world and find meaning in things they may have thought of as routine or mundane. Our tefillah (prayer) program teaches campers new prayers and songs and how to enhance their connection with the concept and content of the daily prayers. 

The Judaics team has been exploring the Exodus narrative with campers and leading programming that asks the campers to explore the narrative through the lens of miracles, wonder, and awe. The campers have been showing incredible curiosity and contributing to the sessions with someamazing questions such as “what if Moses had never found the burning bush?” and “why was darkness a plague if it gives you privacy?” The Judaics team had a great time answering these questions with the campers. Our Bet and Gimmel campers have been making Pesach (Passover)-themed Rube Goldberg courses to encourage interpretation of the narrative. And, of course, we are excitedly preparing to welcome in Shabbat with our Friday challah bake for the entire camp. 

The evening programs have provided campers with awesome bonding experiences. They have participated in varied entertainment such as a camper talent show, inter-cabin “Jewpardy” and filming music videos to songs of the cabin’s choice. Campers are forming close friendships, and the counselors are developing meaningful relationships with their campers. We are so proud of the yedidut (friendship) that is developing at session one of camp. We are excited for the opportunity to further strengthen our community during Shabbat. Shabbat at camp is a magical experience, and we can’t wait for our campers to share that with each other. 

Wishing a Shabbat Shalom to the entire Camp Solomon Schechter family!

~The CSS Team

Josh Niehaus

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