Yet another exhausting, but immeasurably rewarding day at Camp Shutaf has passed; the start of what can only be a beautiful week.
Camp Shutaf has perhaps discovered the absolute best way to start any day with happiness, meaning, and love. When all the camper groups are still in the “big room” after happily having greeted their counselors, the campers and counselors form a big circle and begin to sing and dance. While they sing, one camper or counselor skips around the inner circle until he chooses a different camper/counselor to join him and take his place. Meanwhile, the children and counselors on the side sing and clap. When a camper is chosen to dance inside the circle, the feeling of joy is palpable. His smile expands and his face lights up. It is a precious moment. It is going to be extremely hard to replace this morning ritual when camp comes to an end.
The Shoko Bananas, or “Chocolate Bananas Group”:
The Shoko Banana’s number one camper group rule is that the morning must be started with a smile. Those smiles do not leave the campers’ faces all day.
The Shoko Bananas began their day making large trains down the slides in the big playground with their counselors, followed by “sport,” where they dribbled soccer balls through poles and scored goals. Because of their group success in scoring goals, each camper began referring to his friend as “Renaldo,” after the famous soccer player.
The Shoko Bananas took their next activity, scrapbooking, very seriously. They worked so meticulously and purposefully, it was as if they had visions they were trying to put onto paper. They were so proud of their finished products, they spent the rest of the camp day showing them off to the other groups.
The Shoko Banana’s final activity was “the balls.” The campers took turns rolling big, blow-up balls carrying their friends down the hill and back up again. The Shoko Bananas had such a great time; they could not stop talking about their experiences inside the balls. After climbing out of the balls, their hair ruffled and clothing pulled, each Shoko Banana exclaimed, “aiza kef!,” “what fun!”
Yet another exhausting but rewarding day in the amazing Camp Shutaf has passed and no one can wait to see what fun tomorrow will bring.