Tevya | Summer 2023 - Week 5

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Dear Tevya families,

At camp, time doesn’t seem to matter, until it really does matter. The end of last week was one of those moments where time at camp really matters and comes into focus. Saturday was our First Session Banquet, and on Sunday, we said goodbye to our First Session campers and welcomed in the families of our Season campers. It was a busy day with a lot of moving parts and complex emotions. For First Session campers, seeing your parents is bittersweet – it’s being reunited with the people who love you most in the world, but it also marks the end of a unique experience and saying goodbye to the people and the place that made your experience so special. For Season campers, Visiting Day is a true halfway point of the summer. Time at camp, which seems endless when you first arrive, now suddenly has an end point in sight. It’s a reminder that the thing that makes camp so impactful and meaningful is also the thing that can make it so sad – that our time at camp does, in fact, end.

While families were enjoying spending time with their Season campers, our staff was hard at work getting ready to welcome our Second Session campers. At our staff meeting, we played a game called Knee Tag. It’s a variation of tag where everyone is “it” and you can only be tagged or tag someone else from the knee down. If you get tagged, then you’re out for the first round, but in the second round, you can put your hand up and get tagged back in. Most importantly, if your hands are on your knees, you can’t move, tag anyone else, or be tagged. At the end of the game, we count down from 10 to 0. When the countdown begins, there is always a flurry of movement from people realizing that the game is almost over. It’s a very fun game that gets everyone moving and laughing. But like most things we do at camp, there is much a deeper meaning.

The message to our staff was simple: You can spend the rest of the summer with your hands on your knees just observing and waiting for the “right time” to join in, or you can seize the moment, take your hands off your knees, and play the game. In playing the game, there might be a setback or two, but those are important lessons and growth we experience along the way, and there are always people at camp to help you get back in. There is 3.5 weeks left in the summer. For our Second Session campers just arriving, this is the only 3.5 weeks they’ll get at camp – they’re just starting their time to play the game, so help them jump in and feel like they’ve been here playing with us all along. For most of us, the next 3.5 weeks will be the last time we get to play until next summer, but for some, this might be the last opportunity to play. Make the most of the time we have left. Make a new friend, have conversations, be present in the ordinary moments, and take opportunities to make ordinary moments special. By the time we get to the end of the countdown, feel like you’ve done everything you could to make this summer the best one yet for your campers and yourself. So, take your hands off your knees, and play.

Camp Activities

On Visiting Day, our Kadima CITs officially moved into their assigned bunks for Second Session. Our CITs have been a part of your children’s experience all summer long, but now they are fully integrated and living in bunks for extra support and guidance for the rest of the summer. We’re excited to share our CIT Bunk Roster here so you can get to know the CITs in your camper’s bunk.

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 Talent Show. Campers enjoyed cheering on our staff as they sang, danced, and acted silly on stage. We had a full week of daily programming with sunny and really hot days. We beat the heat by incorporating water fun like drip drip drop into our athletics periods, and some extra time on the waterfront.

On Wednesday, we sent some of our campers to Camp Pembroke to compete in Water Carnival and the Swim Meet. It was a great way to stay cool and have fun at the same time!  Some Evening Activities included a meaningful Tish B’Av service led by our Birya campers on Wednesday, and our Annual Four Square Tournament led by BTC on Thursday. On Friday we had another Game Day. Our Ole Newcomb Team, Tsof Volleyball Team, and Bog Softball Team competed here at Tevya, while our Tsof and Bog Soccer Team and Bog Volleyball traveled to Camp Tel Noar. We brought home some big wins and it was another great day of competition.  

Value of the Week / Midat Hashavuah

The value of this past week, which was introduced last Shabbat, was Leadership. Campers and counselors were asked to keep their eyes open throughout the week and nominate people around camp who were demonstrating the value of Leadership. 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. There are many opportunities to be a leader around camp including in one’s bunk, entire age group, in the dining hall, at an evening activity and during services. During an Olot Tarboot activity, we heard campers in Dalia sharing who their leaders were, and it was so heartwarming to hear many of them talking about their Big Sisters from Birya here at camp. We are lucky to witness so many acts of leadership each week from our campers and staff.

Upcoming Events

Tomorrow we will welcome over 40 prospective families to our Try Tevya for a Day event. We are excited to share the Tevya magic with future campers and their families. Sunday night our Oles are going on a trip night to Max’s Mini Golf to enjoy some mini golf, bumper boats, and ice cream.

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…

Shabbat Shalom,

Ben + Lauren

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