Sunday, August 5
Shavua Tov from Sugar Grove!
We had a beautiful shabbat at Camp Stone and an energizing and wonderful beginning of the week!
Shabbat at Camp Stone is hard to capture in words. Many campers (and their parents) share that they look forward to Camp Stone shabbat the entire year. Here is an attempt to capture some of the shabbat Stone spirit: As the camp welcomes shabbat, the bet knesset fills with song, dancing, connection, and intense ruach throughout tefilla. The campers are edu-tained about halacha (this week about netilayt yadayim) in spirited, funny, and informative halacha skits. They march and sing their way to the Chadar Ochel for Friday night dinner – which entails intense cheering, singing, and dancing (literally almost breaking the floorboards – which is an actual Edah Daled cheer 🙂 ). Shabbat morning tefillah also includes Parsha skits, singing, and divrei Torah. The campers enjoy special Kiddush treats (donuts) in their shabbat chaburot while they learn Parsha. Lunch is packed with more dancing, cheering, and singing (and some eating as well :-)). Then the camp is dotted with chavrutot as campers meet with their partner from tzevet (staff) and hadracha (counselors) for individualized learning, schmoozing, and sharing. The campers then have time for Menucha to chill and relax with their friends. After Mincha, is Seudah Shelisheet followed by “Stone Trivia”, singing, and the high point of *slow shira*. The chadar ochel literally filled with the intense and uplifting singing. The campers and staff sit in concentric circles, arms linked, voices raised and reflect on the learning, friendships, and growth from the past week. And then . . . the campers join for a very spirited Havdalah, excited for the week at Stone that awaits.
Today was a full day of activities in warm and sunny weather!! The campers began exploring Shmuel 1 and the reemergence of the mishkan. In shiur, they learned about the characters of Chana & Elkana and discussed how these characters demonstrated a strong commitment to family and to Hashem and emulated empathy towards others. The pre-lunch skit was staged at our soon to be debuted *Mishkan* replica – which included fully costumed kohanim, live animals (don’t worry – no actual sacrifices were made 🙂 ), and burning incense. Chofni and Pinchas demonstrated their greed and corruption in the mishkan service as they selfishly partook of people’s korbanot.
*Kaytana* spent the day at the super-fun Midway Amusement Park!
*Machal* joined the rest of camp for a wonderful shabbat! For their sicha, Rabbi Yehuda Sarna (Disclaimer: he is this writer’s husband :-)) shared an idea about the luchot, never being publicly displayed, embodying the selective modesty required of Jewish leaders. He related this idea to his experiences supporting the growing Jewish community in Dubai, where Jewish identity is often kept private. On motzei shabbat, last night, they left for their 5 day adventure to Algonquin Park, where they will push themselves to the limit as they hike, canoe, portage, and sleep outdoors. They carry all of their belongings and all of their food, camping material, etc. with them throughout the week. In the process, they reflect on building a community based on the values they have explored and cultivating in themselves the characteristics of genuine leadership.
Layla tov from Camp Stone!