Not sure what etgar, mandatory optionals, or mashehu mean? Look no further! Below is a glossary of many of the terms used here at Camp Coleman:

Things in the Dining Hall (Chadar Ochel):

The Motzi: the blessing we say before the each meal.

Birkat HaMazon: the blessing we say after each meal to thank God for the food we just ate. Literally means “blessing over the food”. There is lots of ruach (spirit) in the room when singing this prayer!

Unit Cheers: Each unit has its own cheers that are sometimes sung after meals.

Breaks: During the announcements, units may “break” the evening program by performing a skit to announce the evening program or other special occasion at camp.

Song Session: The music team leads the camp in a few songs and dance after some meals. Additionally, after Friday night Shabbat services there is a longer Shabbat song session.

Meltzarim (waiters): Tsofim through Machon take turns being the “waiters” that clean up after the meal.

Letter Lotto: On letter writing days, letters are randomly picked from a box, and campers win a prize if their letters are picked. “When I say letter, you say lotto!”


Leadership Team: Made up of: Bobby Harris (Camp Director), Amy Smyler McFarland (Associate Director), Lindsey Davis(Assistant Director), Molly Levy (Program Director), Diana Bloom (Head Counselor), Hanoch Greenberg (Head of Specialists), a Camper Care Manager (Danielle Steinhart), an Assistant Program Director (Josh Simon), an Inclusion Coordinator (Kelly Kossar), Unit Heads, and Specialist Coordinators.

Unit Head: Oversees each unit. Responsible for the safety of the campers and staff, implementation of policies and procedures, and mentoring and helping to train staff members.

Specialist Coordinators: Oversees each specialty area. Responsible for the safety of the campers and staff in their areas, implementation of policies and procedures, and mentoring and helping to train staff members.

Programmers: There is one Programmer for each unit, and he/she is responsible for unit programming such as Mashehu (see definition under “Periods of the Day”), evening programs, and other unit programs.

Counselors: Oversee the campers in their bunk and unit at all times.

Specialists: Teach the campers their specialty area (see “Periods of the Day” for specialty areas).

Health Center Staff: Our Health Center staff are experienced and trained nurses and doctors. We have 4 day nurses, an overnight nurse, health center assistant, and doctor on our staff.

Support Staff: Security, Office, Kitchen, Housekeeping, and Maintenance Staff who are critical to camp’s operation.

Faculty: Rabbis, Cantors, and Jewish Educators from the Southeastern region, at camp on a rotating basis, one or two weeks at a time. They support t’fillahbar/bat mitzvah tutoring, and programming.

Periods of the Day:

MashehuMeans “something”. Each unit has Mashehu once a day, and it could be social, recreational, and/or content activity program. Each unit has its own theme:
Bonim: The stories of the Jewish people influence our lives and I am building my Coleman story.
Kochavim: We are part of K’lal Yisrael (the people of Israel)
Solelim: We strive to be part of a sacred community
Tsofim: We have an obligation and responsibility to take care of ourselves, our families and our communities.
Nachshonim: Throughout Jewish history and to this day, we have examples of amazing heroes who inspire and teach us.
Kesher: What’s broken, and how do we fix it? How do we pursue justice in our lives?
Chalutzim: Why does being Jewish matter?

NikayonCabin clean up time- each bunk spends a period cleaning up. Each cabin uses a “chore wheel” to assign tasks to campers and counselors.

Menucha: Rest hour- after lunch, campers and counselors return to their cabins. Campers are not required to sleep, but this is generally a quiet time; good time for reading writing letters, etc.

EtgarMeans “challenge”- different specialty areas provide campers with opportunities to challenge themselves. Includes Ropes Course, Campscape (camp craft and garden), Israeli Scouts, Drumming, Nature, and Archery.

Tarbut: Means “culture”- campers participate in performing arts activities. Includes Dance, Circus Arts, Drama, Krav Maga (self defense), Coleman Rocks (Tsofim-Chalutzim), Music (Bonim-Kochavim), Songleading (Tsofim-Chalutzim), Guitar (Tsofim-Chalutzim), and Theatre Tech.

Omanut: Means “art”- campers participate in visual arts activities. Includes Ceramics, Arts and Crafts, Video, Jewish Cooking, Podcasting, and Metals (Solelim-Chalutzim).

Sports: Sports choices include roller hockey, tennis, basketball, fitness, gaga, and more.

Swim: Each unit goes to either the pool or lake each day.

Chofesh: This is a daily free play period where campers can choose which activities they attend. The available activities vary, and staff are positioned around camp so that campers can go to their activities of choice.

Dinner Prep: Shower time right before dinner where everyone is in their cabins

Evening Program: Each unit each has a different program every night such as Israeli Defense Force Night, Super Sloppy, What’s in Your Pillowcase?, and other exciting programs.

Trip Days/Special Events at Camp:

Water Park: Bonim- Nachshonim spend a day at the water park! Kesher and Chalutzim participate in “Mitzvah Day” during this day.

Chalutzim Trip: The oldest unit goes on a 4-day trip filled with experiential education visits focused around civil and human rights as well as trips to amusement parks like Six Flags Over Georgia; the trip includes white water rafting.

Kesher Trip: Kesher goes on a 2-day, 1-night trip; the trip includes white water rafting and other outdoor adventures.

Intercamp Sports Day: Some Kesher and Chalutzim campers participate in Intercamp Sports Day with Camp Ramah Darom and another camp. This takes place at a neutral site between Ramah and Coleman.

White Water Rafting/ Yom Kef (Day of Fun): Campers in Bonim- Nachshonim who register go white water rafting go to either the Nantahala River or Ocoee River (depending on the campers’ ages).  Remaining campers stay at camp and participate in water/fun activities.

Mandatory Optionals: Saturdays after services, campers have several activity “options”, but it is “mandatory” that they participate in an activity. Activities vary each week, but most activity areas (EtgarTarbut, Swim, etc) are open. There are two Mandatory Optional periods (before and after lunch). Staff are positioned around camp so that campers can go where they want in at least a pair.

Maccabiah (MAC) (Color War): A 2 1/2 day camp-wide event centered around a theme (like Candyland the MAC) with a back story involving Jewish values. Campers and staff are broken into different teams. Each team is assigned a color and camper and staff captains.  The teams participate in a variety of activities including sports, rope burn, and a marathon.  Smaller groups within each team are responsible for the “Creative Presentations”, creating a plaque, alma mater and entrance (skit).  A winner is announced at the end of the event.