Yesterday was Bikkurim! It kicked off just after Havdallah on Saturday night when Voldemort showed up to battle Harry Potter and magically, Bikkurim was declared! Campers went to bed knowing their team color and divided into teams with many new faces.
Twenty-four hours later, those teams had solidified into organized units, working together to best the other teams in activities designed to highlight a wide variety of skills and talents. This Bikkurim included a slam poetry contest, a “Chopped” style competition in Mickey’s Kitchen, and for the first-time ever, a water skiing competition! (winner was the one to stay up on skis the longest). Selecting activities that give different kinds of kids a chance to contribute and shine is one of the keys to a good Bikkurim!
Selecting a captain is also a key part of Bikkurim. For some backstory, Bikkurim (commonly known at other camps as color wars or Maccabi games) is ultimately an extended, ruach-filled team work exercise. The program is designed to let an unexpected leader emerge. Staff aim to create competitions that allow campers to shine who might not get that recognition in their daily lives. Creativity and crazy shtick are usually much more important for success than athleticism. For captains, we look for campers who show signs that they are emerging as leaders but haven’t quite had that opportunity to be in the lead. For all campers, one of the major goals of the day is to learn to cheer each other on, our own teammates and our opposing team players. Recognizing each other’s accomplishments and honoring a job well done is what Bikkurim is all about.
So with that, the Yellow Team won! As much as it is celebrated or lamented, winning is not usually the point, but this time, the team had quite a few members who had never won so that added to the celebration!