by J.J. Greenstein, Counselor/Communications Specialist
One of the challenges we have had to overcome as a Jewish sports academy is balancing sports with a tradition that most URJ camps hold dearly: an incredibly rich music culture.
Now in our third summer, we have 2 brand new song leaders, Daniel Reichenbach and Jason Buckman, who have energized our community and taken our musical efforts to a new level. This year, a music elective has even been added to the list of options for campers to choose from.
Our song leaders also play an important role in reinforcing our camp’s Jewish values. Each morning when a value is introduced, it is accompanied by a song which displays the same theme. For example, shmirat haguf (wellness) was accompanied by B’tzelem Elohim by Dan Nichols
We sat down with Daniel Reichenbach to discuss his experience as a song leader at 6 Points.
What is your favorite part of being a song leader at 6 Points?
DR: “Being able to insert some extra Judaism into the everyday routine is cool to me. It’s awesome to see the kids excited to sing prayers and traditional Jewish camp songs.”
How long have you been a song leader?
DR: “10 years. I picked up my guitar when I was nine and started song leading at 12. I had my first song leading job when I was 14.”
What was your expectation for song sessions at 6 Points?
DR: “I assumed that it would be a challenge to include everyone. Jason and I had to pick a repertoire of songs we though everyone would know. Over the last few weeks that list has grown a bit.”
How has the reality of a 6 Points song session compared to your expectations?
DR: “The challenges are there because it is a relatively new camp with new campers. As the camp gets older and traditions and favorites solidify, song leaders will have an easier job including everyone.”
What has been your favorite moment at camp so far this summer?
DR: “It was really cool to work with Dan Nichols and Alan Goodis when they came for Shabbat. They have paved the way for song leaders like me to be successful at URJ camps.”
Which of the camp’s Jewish values do you think most represents our song sessions?
DR: “We include all of them throughout the sessions. Certainly Kehilah (community) plays an important part. When everyone comes together and links arms for a song it shows a strong bond that can only be felt at camp. As a song leader, I get to display Manhigut, or leadership, for the rest of the camp to follow.”
Got a question for Dan about being a song leader? What are some of your favorite camp songs?