From the Camp Clipboard: B-i-k-k-u-r-i-m, Bikkurim!

Gary Kibort, Executive Director


The day has come: B-I-K-K-U-R-I-M, Bikkurim

Bikkurim is a love/hate thing.  Some staff love it, some staff hate it. Whether I love or hate it is irrelevant.  It is a camp tradition that I admire.  There’s the obvious good stuff – the shtick of the opening; the secrecy of when or if it is going to happen; the judges and their mysterious ways… All good camp stuff.

But there’s a deeper level that can be overlooked, especially from your homes far away from Webster. The thoughtful, strategic planning that focuses on how staff can craft the color wars to help leaders emerge, to give a lift to campers who may need a little moment to shine.  The creativity that goes into the events, making sure to set them up so that different kinds of campers can contribute to the team – the poetry slam, the rope burn, the song writing contest, Israeli dancing, shakshuka making, spelling bee, cake decorating… No team can win without the artsy kids, the brainy kids, the outdoorsy kids.

I also love the team aspect.  One moment you are somewhere in camp with your cabin or your favorite camp friends.  The next moment you are dressed all in orange with your brand-new teammates.  New and maybe unexpected friendships from when campers are broken up into new groups, striving to work together to win, including people right from the start because we are a team now.  Lessons we could all benefit from, I think.

Last, I love the careful, deliberate selection of the camper captains.  It’s a real honor and the hidden thought behind it is even more powerful.  Camper captains are selected because their staff see leadership potential in the camper.  They see a kid who could blossom if given the opportunity so they orchestrate the opportunity.  Camp creates leaders in many ways and this one is carefully planned.

So whether you love or hate Bikkurim, it is a tradition overflowing with camp’s magic.

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