Week of Wisdom

  • Dear Tevya Community,

    “Who is wise? One who learns from all people.  Who is honored?  One who honors everyone.”  Last Shabbat we introduced the value of the week, wisdom, through the Torah portion, Pinchus.  We learned that a person who is wise never stops learning. A person who is wise takes time to listen and learn from others before making decisions.  A person who is wise thinks about the results of their actions and how their actions impact others.

    Saturday night was our camper talent show.  I am always amazed at the talent of our campers.  Their beautiful voices, creative dances and impressive music got the whole camp up on their feet cheering for their friends.  I never get tired of hearing, “We love you _____!” as campers and staff yell out the names of their friends as a show of support.

    On Sunday, we welcomed camps Pembroke, Tel Noar, Ramah, Yavneh, and Young Judaea to our annual Tevya Volleyball Invitational tournament.  Not only did we come in first place in the Volleyball invies, we also came in first place in the annual doubles tennis tournament at Camp Young Judaea that same afternoon.  Our campers showed great spirit and sportsmanship as they congratulated the players on the other teams, many of them friends they knew from outside of camp.  The volleyball team even waited until the other camps left before doing their victorious jump in the lake after winning the tournament!  A true sign of wisdom as they demonstrated good sportsmanship and a wise decision because they knew I would not be pleased if they did it in front of the team they just beat.  After celebrating the Tevya victories, we had a fun night at camp. Olim and Olot enjoyed organized free play with four-square, sidewalk chalk, can jam and other fun field games.  Tsofim and Tsofot relaxed around a bonfire, sharing stories and eating smores.  Bogrim and Bogrot laughed through the improvisational game of Who’s Line is it Anyway?

    Monday morning brought another opportunity for Birya and Tel Chai (our 10th graders) to demonstrate their leadership skills as they led the entire camp in our annual game day morning pep rally. This pep rally involves waking up the whole camp, bunk by bunk, with chants and cheers. The final stop of the pep rally is at my house. While I anticipated this annual wakeup, Mookie, my dog, was a little surprised to be woken up by 500 people chanting “We’ve got sprit, yes we do, we’ve got spirit, how ‘bout you?”

    Our first game day was with Camp Young Judaea.  The Ole Newcomb, Tsof Softball and Bog Softball teams played at Tevya and the Tsof Volleyball, Bog Volleyball, Ole Softball and Archery teams played at Camp Young Judaea. While Monday’s game day was not quite as victorious as Sunday’s tournaments, campers had a great time representing Tevya.

    On Tuesday, Birya and Tel Chai woke up very early for their trip to Three Rivers, Maine for their annual white water rafting trip.  Upon arrival, they went for a challenging hike and then enjoyed a cookout at the campsite where they stayed.  On Wednesday they boarded their rafts for an exciting trip down the Kennebec River.  This was the 10th year that our campers participated in this trip, and the feedback is always fantastic.

    A few hours after Birya and Tel Chai left, Kinneret and Tel Yehuda (our 9th graders) left for their annual trip to the Appalachian Mountain Club-Highland Center, where they also enjoyed an afternoon of hiking and field games, followed by an after-dinner campfire.  On Wednesday, they went to Attitash alpine slides before heading back to camp.

    Each year, Kinneret and Tel Yehuda return from their overnight trip prior to Birya and Tel Chai.  Each year, they plan an approved creative prank on the bunks of those campers a year older than them.  Birya became a winter wonderland complete with a chair lift, while Tel Chai became dark with a total eclipse.

    With the Bogrim and Bogrot away on Tuesday, the rest of camp enjoyed a late wake up and an omelet breakfast with their counselors as their chefs. For the rest of the day, campers moved around to different camp activities including Arts and Crafts, Shira (singing), Rikud (dancing), and free swim.  The water slides that were set up on the Tsof field were also a big hit!  Campers were happy to hear that the water slide fun would continue Wednesday when the Oles and Tsofs traveled to Water Country for the day.

    Wednesday was a gorgeous day – perfect for Water Country. After the full day away from camp, the Oles and Tsofs appreciated a much needed relaxing night watching a movie in the Elbess Theatre.

    It was wonderful to have everyone back in camp for regular activities on Thursday.  I had the chance to watch our youngest boys play gaga, and then went on the ropes course with our youngest girls.  Thursday night BBQ is always a great dinner, and yesterday’s entertainment included our 3rd annual America vs International staff soccer game.  The international staff has won the previous two years, but I understand this year America won 2-1.  Although I also heard that it is being contested!  After the game, each age group participated in bunk night activities, coordinated by their bunk counselors.  It was fun to walk around camp and see activities in each direction.  There was spa night, a four square tournament, salsa dancing, watching the Red Sox game in my house, and a special Trivia Night with alum Barnet Cohen.

    Today we delivered the Wisdom bracelets to those nominated for demonstrating the value of the week.  With a focus on learning from others and making wise decisions, examples include making healthy food choices at the table, considering other people’s feelings and knowing when someone needed to be cheered up, and giving wise advice when a friend was confused.

    As I get ready for Shabbat, I think about how much I learn from your children every day at camp.

    Shabbat Shalom,


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