Summer Program Highlights
Here is a snapshot of our summer program highlights. In addition to daily activities like avodah and chugim, we have a number of special activities that provide endless excitement and intrigue for our camp community! Special days throughout the session are an opportunity for us to focus in on one specific theme, to go on an adventure outside of camp, to engage in Tikkun Olam (repairing the world) or to just have a ridiculously good time! Read on for a teaser of some of the enriching programming at Camp Tavor throughout the summer!
Each session, chanichimot (campers) choose an avodah (work) group and work together on a project for the summer. Some chanichimot work in the chava (farm), weeding, planting, and taking care of our chickens and other animals. Others prefer to tend the trails around camp, trailblazing to keep the pathways through the forests clear and walkable. Chanichimot interested in bishul (kitchen work and food preparation)can help to peel and slice vegetables or assemble lasagna for Shabbat. Year after year, campers share that doing avodah helps them feel ownership over the camp, and contributes to their feeling connected to the land and the people with whom they work.
Peulat Shichva (Age Group Activity)
Activities divided by age group take up a large portion of the day at camp. They usually involve an educational component paired with a fun activity to stimulate both minds and bodies. Chanichimot (campers) may dress up like famous characters from Jewish history and act out a play, or harvest plants from the chava (farm) and have a sicha (discussion) about food justice in our country. These peulot (activities) are firmly rooted in Tavor’s values and seek to focus on social justice, environmentalism, and help foster a personal connection to Judaism.
Zman Chadash (New Time)
This time of the day is one devoted to learning new skills. Counselors (and often campers as well) plan and run activities that are centered around teaching new skills. A madrichol (counselor) who is a math whiz might run an activity teaching basic trigonometry. A chanichol (camper) who plays guitar might organize a guitar circle and teach other campers some basic chords. Zman Chadash is a time to really showcase our unique skills, abilities, and passions with each other and enrich the greater camp community.
Tikkun Olam (Repairing the World)
Tikkun Olam, “Repairing the World”, is an integral part of Camp Tavor’s values and programming. We believe it is our obligation to integrate the development of Jewish identity with an obligation to work towards justice. As a way of living our values, each session all of the Camp Tavor chanichimot (campers) engage with a different service-learning experience with our Southwest Michigan neighbors. Each shichva (age-group) travels together to visit and engage with a different community or program that is striving to improve the local community. Following the service-learning experience, each group reflects on the experience and makes connections between Tikkun Olam and Jewish identity. In the past, Camp Tavor has partnered with local farmers to help harvest crops, assist at a local food bank and work on park improvement and clean-up projects in the surrounding community. We hope that our Tikkun Olam tradition can be the beginning of the continuation of a life-time of working to improve our world!
Tiyul (Camping Trip)
Tiyul is the name of Camp Tavor’s camping trips. Each session, each shichva (age group) gathers together to experience a camping trip beyond the Camp Tavor property. We know that camping and hiking trips provide an unmatched opportunity for reflection, community building, and self-discovery, and we work to ensure that each camper has an opportunity to develop greater self-confidence while engaging with the great outdoors. Past tiyul activities have included hiking, biking trips, swimming, and (always) singing around a medura (camp fire).
Tochnit Erev (Evening Activity)
The tochnit erev (evening activity) is a time for all of camp to come together to participate in one large activity. It is a great time for campers to meet and bond with people throughout the greater camp community.
After the evening activity, all of the chanichimot (campers) join hands, stand together in a circle, and sing a beautiful and peaceful song called “Rad HaYom”. It’s a wonderful feeling to stand together as a community, wish each other goodnight, and head off to bed to rest up for another unforgettable day at Camp Tavor.
Shabbat at Camp!
Shabbat at Tavor is an opportunity for everyone at camp to take a step back, reflect on the week that has passed, and look forward to the week to come. Programming during Shabbat is more relaxed and introspective than a typical day at Tavor. There are chugim (choose-your-own activity groups) that focus on spirituality and learning, extra time to clean and order the spaces around camp, and shared relaxation and renewal time. On Friday evening everyone at camp comes together for a Shabbat meal with some of the most delicious food at camp! After the meal camp meets on the basketball courts for a oneg (Shabbat social gathering) and rikkudei am (Israeli dancing). All of camp gets to sleep in a little bit Saturday morning and bask in the reflective and relaxing atmosphere all day.