It was a great day here in Webster!
Kadimah arrived yesterday! This is an important year when kids who have been attending “first session” and “second session” come together as one program for the first time. As always, the first day ends with Open Bonfire at Ner Howie. This is where we begin to write our own story of camp. We write out our hopes for the summer and throw our wishes for the summer into the fire. As they burn they create ashes that are a foundation for future fires and they create heat and energy that fills the air and creates the ruach of this summer!
Many camper wishes are ones you’d imagine – “I wish we make new friends” “I wish we grow closer” “I hope we try new things.” Our Rosh K’vutza (Group Leader)’s wish last night was specific for this group of 9th graders coming together for the first time: “My wish is that each of you feels a little uncomfortable as we try new things, include new people, and grow into one program.” A first-time camper (yes, that does happen even at Kadimah age!) had a really memorable wish that I also wish for her, “I wish that I will become part of a community that is really special.” Amein.
After Opening Bonfire, I was thrilled to be invited by Tzrif 4 to be part of their Lights Out program. These Ha’atider have been doing activities focused on getting to know their way around camp by looking high and low for their fairy godmother. In the evening, they went on a scavenger hunt through camp. After following all the clues, they ended up back at their tzrif only to discover their fairy godmother waiting for them in their cabin (Me! In my fairy wings!).
Once they found me, we shared stories about the moments when they were happiest at camp. As we shared, we passed a ball of yarn and wrapped it around our wrist, creating a “close knit circle.” At the end, Fairy Godmother gifted a piece of the yarn to each camper to carry with them until they choose to give it to someone who has made them happy or who they see making someone else happy. It was beautiful and I was so happy to be invited in! One camper shared their happy moment from this summer, “I’ve been in a cabin with most of you before and I thought that camp was all about spending time with my friends, but this year, I realized that the best part of camp is finding a new friend!” That made my day, week, summer!!