Posted July 24, 2015 by Jamie Lake
At Camp Chi, we have three core values: chesed/kindness, kavod/respect and kehilla/community. Throughout the summer, we do many programs to weave these values and the Jewish foundation of these values into the camp program. Staff are quick to recognize and highlight when campers represent these values. This is particularly true within the first week of a session when our summer community is formed, cabin groups establish rules, new campers are warmly welcomed and friends begin to form. They permeate our first Shabbat from gathering at Shuk all the way through to Ruach Awards at Havdalah.
Through a series of seemingly small acts within the frenzied environment of camp, I have seen chesed in action this week. I could recount countless moments of kindness, but there are three that rise to the top of this week’s list:
- In the beginning of June on a hike during supervisory staff orientation,
Posted July 21, 2015 by Guest Blogger
It’s been fun over this summer to read what parents think of camp – a place where children gain self-confidence, independence, develop friendships! But let’s be honest, parents (or at least parents who weren’t campers themselves) don’t totally “get” the whole camp “thing.” And, as campers return home, parents are getting a full dose of the in-jokes, goofy rituals and the cherished memories that make up “camp.”
Camp is magical — Disneyland without Mickey, Goofy and Donald. Camp is a place removed from the stresses and distractions of the real world, where staff members and campers alike discover a new set of life skills and character development. Camp is a place of positive transformation — where you dance to fun music between bites of cereal in the morning, clean up your dishes and make your bed with little to no complaints, and meet the coolest people in the world,
Posted July 16, 2015 by Jamie Lake
A few years ago on the last morning of a session, a Shoreshim camper approached me in the dining hall with a sense of urgency. She asked me if I could please take her to the stables so she could say goodbye to her favorite horse, Oreo. Before I could even answer her, she looked at me with her big, brown, imploring eyes and then the tears began to fall. I knew that making sure hair was brushed, reviewing bus rosters, reminding counselors to check that campers had their belongings, and eating breakfast was going to have to wait. This camper needed to see Oreo.
We walked together to the stables. I learned a lot about Oreo – he got his name from the black and white spots on his back, he liked to be in the front of the line and not the back during trail rides,
Building a Stronger Community at Chi
Posted July 14, 2015 by Brad Finkel
It’s hard to believe that we are in the final days of first session. Summer is quickly flying by and it has been a great first session. Smiling campers and staff who are making new friends and building on their existing relationships are two of the most important things that campers and staff take from their experience. Lifelong friendships are one of the greatest joys. When you see an old camp friend you can pick up the conversation as if you were at camp yesterday. Over the course of this session, 3 of my friends from my SIT summer came to visit camp and show their families the place they call home.
It is hard to believe that I was an SIT at Camp Chi 23 years ago. Where did the time go? As I walked through camp with them, they kept reminiscing on how camp feels and smells the same and that while we have continued to add new facilities and upgrade the program,
Wait, Camp Chi is a Jewish Camp?!
Posted July 10, 2015 by Guest Blogger
It was a typical, sunny, early June afternoon, I was pulling into Camp Chi for my very first summer on staff. Being a local Wisconsinite, I didn’t have to travel far and arrived early to an empty camp. I figured I would get the lay of the land and walk around. As I began my exploration, the first thing I noticed was a large mural outside the dining hall. The mural included the Star of David.
My heart instantly sank as I thought I was going to lose my job before I even started. Somehow between the application process and the interview, I had missed the small detail that Camp Chi is a Jewish summer camp. (To make it fair, my aunt had sent me a link for the job application and said “Fill this out. You will get paid to teach athletics all summer and they will feed you.”) So many thoughts raced through my mind “I wonder if they know I’m not Jewish?