Shutaf Camp Day 3 – From Joelle Lang

I have truly discovered what it means to learn from teaching.  

When I decided to join Camp Shutaf, I assumed that during my time here I would be as a mentor and role model for its campers.  Instead, engaging in conversation and playing with the campers at Shutaf has taught me more than I could ever have imparted to any camper.


The campers at Shutaf see no difference between themselves and their fellow campers, with special needs or without special needs.  They speak and play and interact with each other all the same; it is like they were born with a sixth sense allowing them to see beyond any difference, or conversely, with a blessed blindness to the differences.  I have learned much more from the campers at Shutaf than I could have ever taught them.  Inside every child is a beautiful neshama, or “soul.” The campers here at Shutaf have taught me to look at a person and see just that.

The Chokrim, or Explorers, Shutaf’s Teen Group:

The Chokrim had a fantastic day at Ein Yael, where they climbed trees, walked across a ropes course, and made and ate pita bread. The Chokrim operated as a team, helping each other navigate up the mountain to the ropes and assisting one another with buckling bungee cords and helmets.  There was an endless cheering of “kol hakavod!” by the Chokrim while their brave friends took turns walking along the high rope.  The Chokrim were not shy in posing for the camera while up on the ropes, which made for amazing pictures!

It was so enjoyable joining the Chokrim for their trip.  All the campers were willing to help me; they tried to assist me in learning everyone’s names, and a few even offered to help me take pictures for the camp.  One camper insisted on explaining everything the other campers said to me in English so it would be easier for me to understand, even though I assured her I understood Hebrew.  I felt so welcomed by the Chokrim, I felt as if I had been with them every day of camp thus far, and I am so thankful I was able to spend the beautiful day with them in Ein Yael.

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