Milestones are a big deal at camp. There’s nothing more exciting than seeing a camper get up on water skis for the first time, pass a swim level or reach the top of the rock wall. When these achievements are reached, you can always count on your cabinmates and staff to be there with their high-fives and cheers ready! However throughout covid, many milestones were celebrated differently; Birthdays, weddings, b’nei mitzvot and graduations looked different than pre-covid days, and often the high-fives and cheers were felt virtually through zoom. We wanted to make sure that these celebrations got the party they deserved, and commemorate these exciting moments with our camp community in our first ever Yom Milestone!
Yom Milestone was an exciting new initiative to celebrate and recognize important achievements and events. Each unit got to celebrate a variety of milestones such as birthdays, weddings, B'nei Mitzvot (Bar/Bat Mitzvahs), and Bris/Baby Namings.
One standout moment from the week was having Ezra B. from K5 read Torah during our Shabbat morning service. Ezra had his bar mitzvah in April 2021, and this past Shabbat had the opportunity and honour to read Torah in front of our entire camp community. We wanted to ask him a few questions about his experience with reading Torah and his Bar Mitzvah journey.
How was it to read Torah at camp for the first time?
Ezra: It was really nice with the whole camp supporting me and all of my cabin supporting me.
How did you prepare for your special Bar Mitzvah day back in April?
Ezra: A lot of practice and rehearsals
How has camp shaped your Jewish identity as you prepared for your day and going forward?
Ezra: It definitely helps, especially learning a lot about Judaism. And being around others like me that are Jewish [as well]”
Yasher Koach, Ezra! The celebration continued for our Kochavim unit as they held a party for all of our campers who became B’nei Mitzvah this past year (which of course included a limbo stick and dance party in the Ulam)!
We are so grateful for all of the camp milestones that we continue to witness everyday up here on Maple Lake, and we can’t wait to continue celebrating many more in the years to come!