Camp Tevya 2022 Week 1 Update

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Dear Tevya families,

At the start of orientation, I told our counselors a story about the ripple effect of leadership. As counselors responsible for the well-being of other people’s children, every word, every action, every expression, and every sacrifice, causes a ripple. Not just for our campers and ourselves here at camp, but for our families and the greater Tevya community. Whether that ripple heals or damages, lifts up or tears down, ignites or extinguishes… is up to them. On the last night of orientation, as we stood arm-in-arm in a circle around the bonfire, I asked our counselors to visualize the ripples they wanted to make this summer. Visualize the impact of being kind to their campers and each other, leading with empathy, treating everyone with respect, and holding themselves accountable to Tevya’s values. So far, as a Tevya community, we’re not just making ripples, we’re making waves!

Opening Day was certainly long, and the patience and understanding displayed by our families at the offsite testing location was very much appreciated. Standing in the sun for 7.5 hours wouldn’t normally be my preference, but on Wednesday as I greeted each of our families and handed them the “golden ticket” into camp, there was no other place I would rather have been. As families entered camp and pulled up to the “Welcome Home!” sign, the wait was well worth it.

Since then, I am happy to report that we have had two, very full, classic Camp Tevya Days! Sunny and hot days sandwiched by cool mornings and nights have allowed campers to experience our full slate of activities. After not having electives last summer, it has been awesome to see everything up and running. Everything from the Seth Feldman Fitness Center to Waterskiing to Sailing to Ceramics to our new Water Park and the Michael Jeser Bog Field have been bursting with joy, laughs, and Tevya spirit. Even our Soccer Field sprinklers saw some action today as a fun way for campers to cool down during Athletics. Walking around and taking in all the sights and sounds of camp has never been more calming and more rewarding. We’ve seen nighttime dance parties in the Beit Shira, we’ve practiced a Fire Drill as a community, and we’ve heard music and laughter echoing from the bunks. Things have fallen into place like we never even left… and that’s the beauty of camp.

In a moment, I am going to head to our first Shabbat of the 2022 Tevya season. There’s a lot more of the summer ahead, and I can’t wait to see the extent of the positive ripples that our counselors and campers create.

Community Health Update
As of last night (about 24 hours later), the results are in from the Opening Day PCR tests: all negatives! We are moving forward with our plan to re-test our campers on Day +3, which is tomorrow. We’ll do another round of PCRs and pending those results, we are on track for moving to mixed tables for all campers and counselors, as well as moving to mask optional indoors. We are also continuing with twice weekly screening tests for our staff as the first counselor Days Off start Sunday. 

Camp Activities
On the opening night of camp, campers were treated to a fun variety of Department Skits where they learned all about the activity areas at camp. It was exciting to be together as a whole camp community, and you could feel the energy in the air. We closed the night out with our first singing of the Alma Mater and Rad Hayom.

It was a beautiful night last night at Thursday BBQ. This is a weekly event where campers and staff eat outside on the soccer field, enjoying hotdogs, hamburgers, chicken, and other traditional BBQ foods. The blondies are always a favorite! Last night’s Evening Activities were…

  • Oles: Cardio Pictionary! This was a traditional game of pictionary with an active twist in between the drawing and guessing.  
  • Tsofs: Glow Stick Scavenger Hunt! Our Tsofs were seen running all over camp last night, following clues to pick up glow sticks along the way. The winning team was the one with the most glow sticks at the end.
  • Bogs: Bonfire! Our oldest age group enjoyed a bonfire at the beach, complete with songs, stories, and s’mores.

Upcoming Events
Next week, we will be doing Big & Littles, pairing our oldest and youngest campers together.  They will have opportunities over the session to hang out both formally and informally. This is always such a sweet tradition and the campers remember their Bigs & Littles for years to come.

We also will be having Royalty this week. Royalty is a longstanding camp tradition dating back to 1960/1961 where the oldest campers choose a King or a Queen, and the youngest campers choose a Prince or a Princess. They are revealed to the whole camp in a fun ceremony in the dining hall. These Royalty are staff members who are chosen by the campers as individuals who would be fun to hang out with and get to know more. They will have some special time built into their schedules for King/Queen/Prince/Princess time. We can’t wait to see who is crowned in the coming days!

Until next week, Shabbat Shalom!

Ben and Lauren

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