Look What’s New in Palmer!
Every year we strive to enhance our Palmer home to provide the best possible living and programming experiences for our chanichim (campers) and trainees in our Vocational Education Program.
This spring, we are completing three wonderful new projects that will greet our campers and trainees this summer:
Expansion of Pinat Teva (Nature Corner):
Every summer, our Pinat Teva – made up of an animal farm, a vegetable garden, and areas for outdoor cooking – has been a hub of activity. This area encourages campers to develop an understanding of their responsibility, as Jews, toward nature. From teaching the value of kindness toward animals to understanding where our food comes from, the Pinat Teva is a place where chanichim can deepen their understanding of nature and have fun!
In 2023, we’ve expanded the barn. Now, mini donkeys and mini cows, along with goats, sheep, chickens and ducks, will make their summer homes in Palmer! Take a look at some of our amazingly cute new residents! We’ve also gotten the garden started so that chanichim will have more opportunities to nourish the plants and harvest them for some great meals cooked outdoors.
Expansion of the Voc Ed Building:
For several decades, the Vocational Education Building – part of our Tikvah Village – has served as a “home base” for this program for young adults with disabilities. The building provides housing for trainees and staff, a living room for meetings and socializing, and a kitchen that serves as the Voc Ed Bakery, an important worksite for teaching vocational skills.
This spring, we completed work on a 1,615 square-foot expansion of the building, comprised of four sleeping rooms: three large sleeping rooms for up to twelve trainees and a staff room. Each room has an ADA-compliant bathroom. With these additional rooms, up to 24 Voc Ed participants will have housing with integrity and more opportunities to build independent living and social skills alongside their peers in this home-like setting.
Refurbishment of the Horshah (grove):
One of the most iconic areas of camp is the Horshah, where we gather on Friday nights to bring in Shabbat. However, as our camp community has grown, it has become challenging for everyone to watch the camper performances and to hear the shaliach tzibur (tefilah leader) during Kabbalat Shabbat.
Work is underway to reorient this large space in a more centralized fashion to enhance our sense of kehillah (community). We trust that this will allow everyone to participate in and appreciate our beautiful Friday night rituals more fully.