The Kochavim unit has been having so much fun this summer, all while continuing to learn and explore our Jewish identities. This week has been full of fun programs, educational experiences, reconnecting with old friends and meeting new ones.

We started off the week by having our service, in which the kids prepared for in many different ways. The theme of our unit this year is Kahol Yisrael, meaning we are one Jewish community. With the help of Rabbis and faculty members, we successfully weaved this theme into the service. Our service focused around ideas of unity and togetherness. To participate in the service, some wrote a short piece about a certain prayer that had value to them. Those more artistically inclined made posters and banners that represented the theme of Kahol Yisrael. And finally, those who enjoy music helped with singing throughout the service. Our unit did a wonderful job teaching other units in camp what it means to be part of one Jewish community.

One of the best things about Kochavim is they get to try every activity offered at camp. Some of the highlights in Omanut include Jewish cooking, arts and crafts, and ceramics. Last week in Jewish cooking, the kids enjoyed making Israeli chocolate balls. In Tarbut, campers enjoy Sci-Ventures, where they have been learning how to make their own slime. In Etgar, we have been rotating through Israeli Scouts, Nature, Ropes course, and campscape. In campscape, they have been making soap, dream pillows, and limonana, a lemonade-like slushee.  A popular Tarbut activity is Archery. One of the best parts about Coleman is that you can try something you might have never tried before. Coleman provides campers with a safe, supportive environment to grow and find what they love to do.

At camp, there are many classic programs and activities that returning campers look forward to. One of our very first evening programs we did this session was “Grandparents for Gaga”, a twist on the classic “Gaga for Gaga” program. The kids had a blast dressing up like old people, and playing Gaga all throughout the night.

Another fun program we’ve had is Mini-Mac. We joined together with Solelim for this night, as we split into 2 teams and participated in various games and activities. The kids really enjoyed this night, and we are very excited for the real Maccabiah.

Since the theme of our unit is Kahol Yisrael, becoming one Jewish community, we did a program learning about each others identities. The program focused on what makes us different, and how we contribute to our own community back home. Campers each got a paper plate, and drew many circles on the plate, in the shape of a bullseye. In each circle, they wrote about where they are from, where their ancestors are from, what languages they speak, and different things that contribute to their own personal identity. Then, as a unit we shared with each other our background and history. This program allowed the campers to see what they have in common, and what is different about them. At the end, we came to the conclusion that even though we are different, we are all apart of the same Jewish community.

Recently, most of camp took a trip to Six Flags White Water Park. The campers had a blast exploring the park all day. After the park, everyone came back to camp exhausted! That night, we did a program with just our bunks. These bunk programs help strengthen the bonds between campers, and help them get to know each other better.

One of the most unique parts of Coleman is all the Israelis that are here at camp. In our unit, we have many Israeli counselors and specialists that are living and forming bonds with the kids. Campers get to learn about Israeli culture, and learn new words in Hebrew!

In Kochavim, we are the stars. We are constantly growing, learning, and exploring our different strengths and weaknesses. This week has been amazing. From trying new activities, fostering new relationships, and learning about our Jewish community, Kochavim is ready to take on the rest of camp!