By Jamie Klein
2014 Camp Stein Goodman Fellow
This week, Alli Golisch, Megan Roth, Hadar Pe’er-Raviv, and I ventured to Capital Camps in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania to participate in the Goodman Camping Initiative Spring Workshop. The goal of the Goodman Camping Initiative is to bring Israel to Jewish summer camps in ways that allow campers to form and strengthen their connection to Israel. Fellows from Jewish camps all across North America and Israel united at this workshop and attended programs led by qualified educators that were designed to teach us how exactly to create this connection to Israel. These programs focused on Israeli people, places, events, and components of society.
The Goodman Camping Initiative taught us that Israeli education and culture can be implemented all over our camp, from the Art Shack to the ropes courses, and even inside the cabins. Furthermore, there is a wide variety of ways to bring Israel to camp including fun, engaging games and activities, waking up in the morning to popular Israeli music, exposing campers to Israeli current events, and attaching signs with the corresponding Hebrew word on objects and buildings all around camp such as bath houses, the flagpole, and the swimming pool. As Goodman Fellows, we were able to organize activities and collaborate with Fellows from other camps to practice our ideas and learn from each other. Aside from gaining experience in planning meaningful programs, we also learned how to facilitate these programs so that campers are able to form their own personal connections to Israel rather than being told what information to know.
After attending the Goodman Camping Initiative, the Camp Stein Goodman Fellows are ready to bring our new ideas, activities, and experiences back to camp and help campers find their personal connections to Israel just like we have. This Initiative will help us make the culture, history, and beauty of Israel accessible and tangible for campers of all ages in fun, exciting ways.