The year-round office is an active and busy place. The camp rhythm is already in full swing filled with conversations both about the summer that was and the summer that will be. Over the coming weeks, you’ll be hearing about summer staff, programming and all of the amazing things we will be doing to make Yavneh just as outstanding as it always has been.
Over the fall, we did a lot of listening – through face-to-face interactions and written feedback through a series of surveys that were administered at the end of the summer. We spent time analyzing both the quantitative results and the anecdotal information that our different community constituencies shared with us. We take to heart this feedback and see it as an opportunity to improve our camp.
As you can probably imagine, feedback can be a bit contradictory and what one person sees as an issue is another person’s favorite aspect of camp. We take this into consideration and value all of the thoughts that are conveyed to us.
This Sunday and Monday, our Hanhallah is meeting for a two-day retreat. This yearly retreat is where we take all that we have learned and continue to develop our camp program to be the best that it can be. Here are some of the questions that we are pondering this week.
Programming – What new chugim can we offer? Which ones work really well? Which could use a refresh? What kind of programs will engage 15 year olds and are they the same things that get 9 year olds excited?
Jewish practice – How do we engage all campers in meaningful tefillot experiences?
Chadar Ochel – It is a crowded place with lots going on. It is also the heart of our camp and a place that we gather three times a day as a community, how can we make sure that we are optimizing our time together?
Leadership – What leadership opportunities are we giving all of our campers? How are we building their toolboxes to be the best leaders they possible can be?
Counselor Training (Hadracha) – We now how fortunate we are that 100% of our American staff grew up at Yavneh, how do we make sure that they find Yavneh the most meaningful job experience they can have in the summer? How do we build leadership amongst our staff?
Some of these questions are lofty and need a lot of time to thicken. While others are opportunities that we are already thinking about and moving in strong directions. All of these conversations are also anchored in the fact that we are in the midst of a Strategic Plan that we are instituting over the coming 12 months.
I love hearing from parents, campers and staff about what makes Yavneh special for them and how we can continually improve who we are. If you have a big question like some of the ones I posed above, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I look forward to sharing with you more about summer 2019, as we get closer.