Camp YavnehCamp Yavneh
August 10, 2018

Macheneh Musings by Bil

Author - Camp Yavneh

As we close kayitz 2018…

It is hard to believe that 7 plus weeks (for staff 8 weeks) has flown by so quickly. Another Yavneh summer comes to a close. Tonight, we share our last Shabbat together as kehillah (community) and spend the day on Sunday packing up with a mixture of closing activities. This summer is no exception when it came to challenging our campers to try new activities, to develop new masoret (tradition) and to meet new people.

There are so many people to thank for putting together this outstanding summer. Our village called Yavneh takes so many folks coming together to ensure a quality experience is had. What our campers see as the end result has so many steps and without each piece falling into place, we would not be able to succeed.

One of our core tenets is to show gratitude and I’d like to take a moment to share with everyone my gratitude as both director and as a camp parent. I hope you’ll indulge me by reading on and that it will inspire you to connect with your children about their summer experience.

To our beloved madrichim (counselors) and roshei aydot (unit heads), there are so many words that I want to say to you about your work here at Yavneh. I had the fortunate position to watch you interact on a daily basis with every single camper at camp. There are so many examples that make me proud to be the director of camp. We asked you to be caregiver, nose blower, clown, shoe tier, juggler, entertainer, creator, child whisperer, teen manager, and so much more. I witnessed you doing all of these roles with true compassion and selflessness as you gently guided campers on their paths here at Yavneh.

Each camper is walking away from this experience with the gift of maturity. They took risks because they knew they could count on you. They made decisions because they knew you had their backs. You gave them the confidence to let loose and to be uninhibited for a few moments. The memories that they are walking away with are strongly ingrained in their memories. Your commitment to them and the role that camp plays in their lives is a force to be reckoned with.

As a parent, you replaced me for this brief time and I now realize that my children needed you to continue to form them. For my children, they received an experience of having to make decisions without “an adult” around. Please understand the power that you have in being role models that our children look up to. They cherish the memories that you give them. I couldn’t ask for anything more.

Madrichim are just one group of people that interact with our campers. There is a whole set of folks who work at camp to give our children the ultimate experience. Some are very front and central to the camper experience and others are not as apparent. Each position at camp is valued and critical in making this a successful summer. They are often less recognized at camp but provide incredible experiences for our campers. If you happen to see one of them over the year, I hope you will thank them for their hard work and dedication to the summer.

Our dedicated nursing and medical team for taking care of hundreds of campers over the summer. They make sure that every camper is feeling healthy.

Yavneh Food Service (YFS), there aren’t enough thank yous for all the hard work this group of employees puts in to ensure that we are well fed and nourished throughout the day

Numerous specialists, each with a specific skill set, they imparted lessons on to our campers and gave them both new skills and new confidence.

Our teaching staff, our raison d’etre as a camp, creatively crafts moments for our campers to engage with Jewish learning.

The office staff, triaging and managing the busy phones, the lists needed, and coordinating hundreds of people on a daily basis, they do it with grace.

Our facilities and maintenance teams, on call 24 hours, we would not have a camp without them.

Hanhallah (Leadership team), each member of our expanded team brought a value that was immeasurable. Managing multiple projects at the same time and pitching in wherever and whenever needed.

In the coming weeks, I look forward to sharing with you where we are with our strategic plan. I often get the question “what do you during the school year?” Rest assured, the entire year-round team is jammed with creating a summer experience for 2019 that will be unforgettable.

Kol tov,