Written by Molly Levy:

My favorite thing to do is to watch the faces of our Bonim campers at during our first Shabbat of the session. Even our youngest campers know the magic that falls over Camp Coleman every Shabbat. The celebration begins with prepping in the cabin, changing into white clothes and cleaning up after a busy week. Then, our entire camp joins together in singing as we walk up the hill to the Chadar Ochel, led by our song leaders and Torah holders. We enjoy an amazing dinner of fried chicken and apple brown betty, laughing and trying not to spill grape juice (don’t worry, it’s white!).

Get a glimpse of what our first Shabbat will be like! Shabbat at Camp Coleman is led by campers from different units. They choose prayers and write about Shabbat at camp. Here are the readings from our first Shabbat of the first session:

Opening Remarks

Abby Hyken & Toby Zweig – Nachshonim

Bonjour, Hola, Hello & Shabbat Shalom!  Welcome to the 1st Shabbat of the session and some people’s first Shabbat at camp ever.  We hope this service shows you how meaningful Shabbat is.  Shabbat at camp is a time to embrace your Judaism with your camp family.  So relax and enjoy your Shabbat with your camp community.


Zara & Aiden – Kochavim

The Barchu gets us ready to pray as a community and as a unit.  For example, in the morning I pray that it will be a great day.  And that’s why you should always get ready to pray.  Tonight, we are all wearing white so we can pray together as you join us in the Barchu.


Eden & Jacob – Bonim

God is one, and Gods oneness is important because we are made in God’s image.  We should respect God as much as God respects us.  And we need to keep the love going with friends, family, and even strangers.  Please rise and join us in the Shema and V’Ahavta.

Mi Chamocha

Evyn & Benny – Tsofim

Freedom is the choice to do what you want to do.  God helped us escape from Egypt the same way God helps us every day.  The Mi Chamocha celebrates our choices of what we want to do in our own lives, allowing us to the freedom to make those choices.  Please join us in the Mi Chamocha.


Lauren & Noah – Solelim

We are all gathered here tonight as one whole, one community, one kehillah kedoshah.  As we come together to this wonderful camp, we know that God is protecting us and watching over to ensure safety and health.  The Hashkiveinu prayers ask God to keep us safe, especially at night.

(Noah) Lauren, why do you feel so safe at camp?

(Lauren) Because we are together and the people at Camp Coleman help me feel comfortable and safe here as one community.

(Noah) Please join us in the Hashkiveinu.

Silent Meditation

Adina & Ike – Kesher

Throughout camp, our actions are always guided but the Silent prayer allows us to think what is important for ourselves.  Whether that is saying your thanks or your hopes for the future, this prayer is truly dedicated to you.  So, close your eyes, feel the loving community around you, and join us in the silent prayer.


Ryan & Kelly – Chalutzim

As we conclude our service this evening, we look forward to all of the new experiences that Shabbat will bring.  From late wake up to a longer Birkat HaMazon to Havdallah at night, this is the start of a great summer, whether it be your first, your last or in between.