Dear Tevya families,
There are many places in camp to soak in the view. The Waterski Docks overlooking the boats and the lake. Walking by the Bog and Tsof field at “golden hour”. The steps of the Dining Hall overlooking the Flagpole, Dance Mats, Pavilion, and Soccer Field. The chairs at Mindee’s Community Crossroads as people pass by. The picnic table between Bunks 10 and 11 in front of the tetherball (a new view I discovered earlier this week). And of course, the beach as the sun sets over Potanipo. While all of these views are awesome and often leave me speechless, none of them are my favorite. My favorite view only occurs a handful of times during the summer, and I am blown away every time I get to experience it… Standing on the Elbess stage after an all-camp evening activity as the camp sings our Alma Mater and Rod Hyom. From this vantage point, you get to see the whole camp swaying and singing in unison with arms around each other for the Alma Mater, and then with “right hands over left hands” for Rod Hyom. Camp days are so busy and everyone is moving in different directions with different agendas. In this moment, however, we all move together as one. It’s a really beautiful way to end Shabbat and start the week ahead. Tomorrow morning, we’ll go back to regular daily activities with campers and counselors scattered around camp. I’ll take in the views throughout the week, but nothing will compare to the view from the Elbess stage.
Community Health Update
This past week, we had our first COVID hiccup of the summer as one test from drop off resulted positive. We followed our protocol and the camper was picked up within 2 hours, while the two bunks of their age group were removed from activities. The campers and counselors responded to the news with a great amount of empathy for the camper in their age group that tested positive, and with an impressive amount of positivity for the situation they were in. Their counselors brainstormed a whole list of activities and shared it with Debbie Dylan, our Program Director. Debbie immediately got to work adjusting their daily schedule and coordinating special activities. With subsequent serial testing, both for the camper at home and here at camp, we were able to safely determine that the initial result was a false positive. Both bunks of the age group were back in full action as of Shabbat last night.
As of today, I am happy to report that all of our Day +3 tests have come back negative! We are back to mask optional and looking forward to moving to mixed tables tomorrow morning.
We were so excited to welcome our Second Session campers to camp on Monday. Our first evening activity as a camp community was our Counselor No Talent Show. Campers enjoyed cheering on our staff as they sang, danced, and acted silly on stage. Other than a brief afternoon rainstorm midweek, we had a full week of daily programming with sunny and warm days. Thursday afternoon, after an amazing trip in Israel, we welcomed our Kadima CITs to camp. It is so great to have this group back at camp! They are filled with positive energy and excitement for learning what it means to be a Tevya counselor. Some Evening Activities included a counselor hunt for our Oles, Duct Tape Fashion Show for our Younger Tsofs, Trivia Night for our Older Tsofs, and an Egg Drop Challenge for our Bogs.
The value of this past week, which was introduced last Shabbat, was Integrity. Campers and counselors were asked to keep their eyes open throughout the week and nominate people around camp who were demonstrating the value of Integrity. Counselors read the nomination sheets aloud with their bunks during Shabbat Prep and rewarded individuals or groups with a bracelet that states the week’s value in English and Hebrew. Integrity is all about doing the right thing when no one is looking. Nominations included campers picking up trash around camp, counselors staying after the meal to help clean up, and friends supporting each other with honesty.
Tomorrow we will welcome prospective campers to our Try Tevya for a Day event. We are excited to share the Tevya magic with future campers and their families. Visitors will be following our same COVID-19 protocols as families did on Visiting Day. Sunday night our Birya and Tel Chai campers will lead the annual Four Square Tournament. On Monday we will be hosting our Tevya Tennis Invitation Singles Tournament. Tevya always brings skill and we can’t wait to see some great matches. Still to come at some point this session… Color War! Chants of “1, 2, 3, 4, We Want Color War!” have filled the Dining Hall almost everyday since the Second Session started. Soon enough, the chant will be met with “5, 6, 7, 8, You Don’t Have to Wait!” But for now, the camp will need to wait…