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What’s on Your Socks?

by Shaina Wasserman

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At last month’s gathering of the Camp Connect group (see the original post here), representatives from Jewish Camps and congregations alike gathered to talk about many things – among them, their hopes, and questions, for the kids in their programs.  In the true spirit of Jewish camp, each group took a moment to write on paper socks what they would like to see for their campers/learners in the time they were not engaged in their space (i.e. the congregations’ hopes for kids during the summer, and the camps’ hopes for the kids during the school year).  Below is a list of what each group came up with – what would you add? 

Camp Directors’ Socks:

+ Sense of belonging year ‘round
+ New skill-set that will be engaged and valued by the congregation when the teen returns home
+ Connection to Israel and hunger for more experiences, info/knowledge
+ Partner organizations we can count on
+ Stay autonomous/an individual
+ Stay connected
+ Be the best version of themselves at home!
+ Leverage camp kids differently @ Hebrew School
+ Intense Jewish relationships – being  Jewish is not just something you have in common with others, but something you do together, choose experience.
+ Healthier risk taking through guidance and support when they return home
+ Love being Jewish
+ Proud to be Jewish
+ Cultural mentoring – that our kids come home and continue being mentored, continue living in values-based community
+ Openness to challenge – desire to grow Jewishly
+ A child should do something differently or more different –choice about something because of what s/he learned @ camp


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Photo Credit: Genevive_Too

Congregational Teams Socks:

+ Know that your family @ home & @ synagogue wants to share in your joy of camp – your love of participating in Jewish life @ home will enhance the fun of being Jewish @ camp
+ Live Jewishly – Shabbat part of the week – part of their lives all year long. 
+ Relationship – being on a journey with your family – provide tools and resources for families over the summer. And into the homes, hear from kids’ perspectives how to share experiences with Jewish families; can’t take families along. I want to start keeping kosher… kid's really alone – communicating between camp & synagogue this week during the heat wave; representatives from camps, before camp, during camp & after camp sessions with parents.
+ Brainstorming with parents – how they bring the camp home – welcome back in fall – camp Shabbat dinner – not only kids but families – camp is a place where, also bring in perspectives from camp  families – private dinner out, to be invited
+ Bring youth group to camp – t-shirts from youth group to camp, skills that developed at camp would be valued. Need for communication – appreciation of gifts from both sides
+ Sessions with camp directors and parents 3-4 times a year
+ To feel as though being Jewish and being part of the Jewish community is something they cannot live without
+ How do we encourage our teens – especially to constantly ask: how will I take all of this home?
+ How are you going to create a personally meaningful experience? What do you like most about camp? What can we do at home during the off /season? What will you miss most about the temple? How can you make that part of your life this summer?
+ An awareness that they can bring ideas back to us and we will welcome them and give them opportunities to share them
+ Camp Shabbat dinner @ temple after the summer
+ How to share your experiences with your family?

How are these responses related?  Where are there differences?  What would you add to this list?


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