WHAT’S NEW AT CAMP FOR SUMMER 2022
NEW NATURE TRAIL
Tie up your hiking shoes and get ready to explore our new nature trail! This trail starts at the back of the ropes course, overlooking the little Seguin River. It meanders through a hilly forest, over a flowing stream, and connects to our existing trail on the field of dreams. Get ready to explore the nature trail with our Camp Craft staff this summer and learn about local ecology while playing fun trail games.
HEAD COUNSELOR POSITION
This summer we are introducing the new role of Head Counselor to our Leadership team! This role includes responsibilities of development, training, and supervision of Unit heads, Community care involvement, and administration.
“I am very excited to be the Head Counsellor for summer 2022. This will be my 11th summer at camp and my 7th summer as a staff. This summer I am really looking forward to establishing this new role at camp and having the opportunity to mentor the unit heads as they grow as leaders. I am also looking forward to creating meaningful connections with all of the staff and helping to support them when challenges arise. Overall, my greatest goal is the help foster a love for working at camp in as many staff as possible!”
THE AMITEI IVRIT (HEBREW FELLOWS) INITIATIVE
Camp George is excited to announce a new initiative, Amitei Ivrit (Hebrew Fellows). That we are participating in along with 37 other Jewish summer camps in North America and Europe. Representing a range of Jewish affiliations, Jewish summer camps host Israeli fellows (Amit/a Ivrit) who serve as in-residence Hebrew specialists during camp in the summer.
Designed to utilize the Hebrew language as a bridge to help Jewish youth connect to a living culture, Israel, and each other, the Amitei Ivrit initiative was developed by The Jewish Agency for Israel thanks to the generous support of the Patrick & Lina Drahi Foundation and powered by Hebrew at the Center (HATC). This initiative leverages Hebrew language learning and exposure to Israeli culture for campers and staff alike and establishes lasting ties to each other and their Jewish identity through relevant materials, advanced training, and engagement with the Hebrew Fellows (Amit/a Ivrit), enriching the summer camp experience.
The Amitei Ivrit initiative builds on one of the most powerful engines for community and identity building: summer camp. “Pairing camp with Hebrew language leverages our beloved old-new language with extraordinary tools to connect us to our rich culture, lasting values, and deepest selves,” says HATC CEO Rabbi Andrew Ergas. “Marrying these forces unleashes the unlimited potential of summer camp to build community, harness the legacy that unifies us across movements and denominations, and concretize lasting ties to Israel and the sacred tongue that has always connected the Jewish people worldwide.”
For this initiative, HATC designed an innovative approach to Hebrew language learning at summer camps based on infusing Hebrew throughout all aspects of camp. Working with each individual camp to further their goals and build on extant Hebrew in their communities, campers and staff are exposed to additional Hebrew through direct and indirect programming, signage, language, and ritual practice. Rather than focusing on second-language acquisition or traditional Hebrew classes, this approach allows participants to begin to use relevant Hebrew vocabulary and celebrate the symbolic and emotional role that the language plays in establishing a community with shared concepts and values.
Camp George will welcome an Amit/a Ivrit (Hebrew Fellow) who will work within the framework of the Jewish Agency’s mishlachat (group of emissaries). The fellows will be trained to identify opportunities to add Hebrew to the camp community, as well as run programming designed to connect and inspire campers and staff regardless of Hebrew level or skill. Amit/a Ivrit are selected based on a combination of prior experience at North American Jewish summer camps, passion for informal education, and talent in creating culture in partnership with camp leadership and staff. Priority goes to candidates returning to camp for a second year or are open to returning in the future.
Already in over 12% of North American Jewish mission camps as part of the pilot phase, Amitei Ivrit is envisioned to spread to many more camps as well as to year-round informal education programs at JCCs, youth organizations, and congregations. This summer provides new opportunities for Hebrew engagement to more than 12,000 campers and over 2,500 college-age staff.
YEDID NEFESH: NURTURING MENTAL, EMOTIONAL, SOCIAL, AND SPIRITUAL HEALTH AT CAMP
For many people, Jewish camp provides a place to feel safe and uniquely empowered to embrace their whole selves – mentally, emotionally, socially, and spiritually. The growing awareness and evolving complexity of mental health challenges in our society necessitates camps be equipped with enhanced staffing and training at all levels to ensure proactive support for the mental, emotional, social, and spiritual health (MESSH) needs of every community member. With a visionary gift from The Marcus Foundation, Foundation for Jewish Camp aspires to elevate the field to nurture all in our Jewish camp family. Through these efforts, we can build stronger, more inclusive, and resilient communities year round.
This initiative aims by the Foundation for Jewish Camps helps Camp George with financial and programmatic support for camps to address MESSH in holistic ways – supporting camps’ hiring qualified mental health professionals on their staff, enhancing counselor training, integrating wellness programming into activity areas, and developing other ways to create cultural change within their camp communities year-round. Funding will also include professional development, research, and evaluation. There will be two cohorts, each convening for three years and consisting of up to 30 camps who are at various stages of addressing MESSH needs but all interested in growth and expanding resources.
KESHET: For LGBTQ+ equality in Jewish life
Camp George is working with Keshet! Keshet envisions a world in which all LGBTQ Jews and our families can live with full equality, justice, and dignity. By strengthening Jewish communities and equipping Jewish organizations with the skills and knowledge they need to make all LGBTQ Jews feel welcome, we work to ensure the full equality of all LGBTQ Jews and our families in Jewish life. We also create spaces in which all queer Jewish youth feel seen and valued and advance LGBTQ rights nationwide.
We are working together for community learning, training and consultation and professional development. Keshet gives us the tools we need to take the next step forward for LGBTQ+ inclusion. They train and support Jewish educators, clergy, program staff, youth, and lay leaders to ensure that LGBTQ youth, families, and staff are affirmed in all Jewish educational and community settings.
ROCK CLIMBING WALL UPDATE
Our rock climbing wall has a brand new face. Come try the new wall and challenge yourself on the ropes course!