by Charlotte Passmore, Photographer and Communications Specialist
As we have gone through the summer, I have posted blogs regarding which each Unit has been doing for evening program, and how this has linked in with their Unit theme. Finally, we reach the eldest Unit of Chalutzim. I interviewed Amit, the Chalutzim Programmer, who has been on staff for 2 years at Camp Coleman to get information regarding the Unit’s evening program.
Chalutzim’s theme focuses on “Why does being Jewish matter?”. This theme places particular emphasis on Campers Jewish identities and personalities. Amit explained that this is technically their last year physically at camp as Campers and they come to Camp to evaluate their Jewish identity, who they are and who they want to be. Bearing this in mind, Amit talks about things with the Campers such as how to remain true to Judaism even when you go off to college for example. The unit theme doesn’t only focus on this: it also links together all the other unit’s themes into one, so that all values apply to Chalutzim. Amit also elaborated that their theme focuses a lot on human rights with particular emphasis on who you are in the world and impacting the world as a Jew, role model or leader.
I asked Amit to give me an example of two programs that she has done with Chalutzim campers, and what the point of them was. These two programs were:
Lollipop Moments: Chalutzim campers learned about the lollipop moments by watching a video on it. The concept is that people can impact others in a major way without even knowing it. We think that being a leader requires big gestures and being in charge, but real leaders can make a huge impact in even the smallest ways The point of this program was to show them that they are meant to be there for each other, and to do that they needed to give them a space where they were able to talk to each other and notice these moments. In the Jewish Nation, she explained, even if people are doing good or bad things, telling them they are doing this good/bad thing in a positive way helps them build as a community.
Kavannah Service: This activity was focused on Campers finding their own dream, how they can fulfill this dream, and how their friends can help them fulfill this dream. It was all focused on finding themselves in the world. Campers had to pop each other’s balloons which held slips of papers with campers’ dreams written on them. They then had to find people who had written down similar dreams to theirs. The moral behind this activity was for Campers to understand that even though there might be people in the world who pop their dreams, there are also people in the world who share similar dreams to theirs, and together they can help each other achieve these dreams.
Finally, I asked Amit what her goals for the end of Camp were for the Chalutzim campers. Amit told me that she wants the Campers to understand that Camp is not the only place they can be Jewish, and that she hopes they’re going to take their identity they found throughout the summer and at their time at Coleman out into the world with them. Amit also said that even though this may be their last summer at Camp as true campers, she wants them to understand that they still have a place to come back home to.