As we end week two of first month at camp (so hard to believe!), I continue to be impressed by the Yavneh ruach (spirit) that permeates camp no matter the weather, activity or time of day.
This week challenged even the most sun-loving camper. With temperatures soaring, Yavneh staff rearranged schedules to make sure that campers had a chance to spend more time in the Agam and eat cold nish nush in the afternoon. As I walked around camp and chatted with campers, I was surprised to find that instead of campers discussing the 90 degree plus weather, they were laughing, talking and having so much fun (rosh water spray bottles helped immensely). In fact, as I reflect on the week, and the many reasons that Yavneh is so special, I need to highlight the incredible spirit of our Yavneh community. From meltzing (waiting) in the Chedar Ochel to singing in the Beit Am on July 4th, Yavneh ruach is everywhere.
Meltzers easily have one of the most fun and hardest job in the Chedar Ochel. At each meal, they set up the dining room, bring food to the tables, clear away plates and leftovers and help clean up the dining after everyone has left. Working as a meltzer in this heat makes it much more challenging. I was happy to see and hear campers thanking their meltzers and making sure to make their jobs easier by cleaning up after themselves and stacking their plates so nicely. Kavod to the meltzers for helping with the meals with a smile!
Yesterday was another great example of Yavneh spirit. After a very fun July 4th parade, all campers met in the Beit Am to sing patriotic songs and dance to music. As the ceiling fans were whirling, the dancing and singing was a perfect example of Yavneh spirit. Campers had their arms around each other, included others in the festivities and smiled and laughed nonstop with their ayda (unit).
I think the most definitive example of Yavneh spirit is the Yavneh Talent Show. Campers have just a short amount of time to prepare a skit or song to perform in front of their bunk (Gurim) or entire Aydot (rest of camp). For many campers (and adults), performing in public is challenging and often stressful. Rest assured that each camper pulled off amazing talent! Whether it was playing the piano, singing or doing a short performance, the ruach was off the charts. But what is even more moving is the reaction of the other campers. If there was even a hint of nervousness, other campers stepped up and cheered, waved their arms or clapped for the performer. I have never been to another Talent Show that demonstrates the level of support and spirit for each other – again, a true example of Yavneh spirit.
I have only shown you three examples of the Yavneh ruach that is at the heart of Kayitz ‘18. It is such an honor to be with such a thoughtful and supportive community all summer. Kavod to the kids and staff who encourage everyone to be their best camper at Yavneh!