by Raphaella Ruggiero, Photographer and Communications Specialist
As first session begins to come to an end, we reflect back on some of the amazing programs Chalutizim have participated in over the course of the summer.
If we take it back to the start of the session, one of the first Evening Programs was the “Welcome to Chalutzim” program. During this program, campers went through all the different units and explored each of their themes, discussing the meaning and importance behind each. This then led them on to exploring their own unit theme this summer, which is “Why does being Jewish matter?”. Following a discussion, Jessie, the Programmer, gave each camper a bracelet as a symbol for remembering their theme and their Jewish identity, and making this summer meaningful.
Another Evening Program the campers enjoyed was a program run by Natalie, one of the lifeguards at camp. The program revolved around privilege and how in our society some groups of people have privileges. The idea that we are all on the same path but each have a different journey was a theme used to spark a debate within the program. The campers were split into groups and everyone group had a category with a fun twist to them such as dog vs. cats, should toilet paper roll be rolled up or rolled down, etc.
The importance of the debate was to show how having opinion can really matter in certain situations and how to develop the skill of arguing to support a point. The idea of privilege wove in well with learning about the civil rights movement, which was a key theme in Chalutzim’s trip. The unit visited a number of historic places on the trip including walking across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, AL where Martin Luther King, Jr. led the march on Bloody Sunday after hearing from speakers who participated in the march. One of the campers said it was a hard day for everyone, but they could not imagine actually being in the place of those speakers fighting for their right to vote among many other things. The program and trip illustrated to the campers the meaning of privilege and that if you have a voice and a way to speak up for others you should not stand idly by.