This week’s parsha is all about rituals and according to Google a ritual is a religious or solemn ceremony consisting of a series of actions performed in a prescribed order. Here at camp, there are many rituals, large and small, that make each day a special one. Today, as we enter our final Shabbat of first session, we wanted to share three of our Shabbat rituals that make Shabbat at camp even more magical:
- Shabbat Walk: Picture a sea of white and lots of hugging and singing. We love our Shabbat Walk; our Songleader serenades each floor of our dorm with fun Shabbat songs and gradually gathers all of our campers and staff together so we can walk together down to The Glen for Shabbat services. It’s a time where campers get to mix and mingle, maybe walk arm-in-arm, and check in with friends, old and new.
- Shira in our Jerseys: After dinner, we clear out a space in the SportsCenter and swap our “Shabbat-Whites” out for our favorite sports team’s jersey and launch into a raucous and spirted Song Session. There are two songs tied for favorites this summer: Shigaon and Tony Chestnut Knows. Check out the video of our most recent song session!
- Bracelet Ceremony: Perhaps one of the most powerful rituals at camp is our Friday night Value Bracelet Ceremony. The whole camp sits in a circle and both campers and staff award a value bracelet to someone in our community who has truly embodied one, or more, of our core values that week. From our youngest Jerusalem Lions to our oldest Haifa Apes, the passion and gratitude that passes from camper to camper, camper to staff member and back is a sight to behold.
There are many other rituals at camp and we’ve found, as a camp only in our 2nd year, that every intentional moment we have at camp has the potential of turning into a new ritual. We love that all of our campers and staff play an active role in creating and maintaining those rituals that make camp such a magical place.