Machon 2011: Broadening Perspectives
One of the missions for Machon this summer is to take an active role in improving and contributing to our community through a series of community service projects at camp. Fitting in with our theme of re'iyah rechava, having a broad perspective, these projects will allow our hanichim (campers) to spend 2-3 hours every week engaged with the larger Camp Ramah in New England community. On Wednesday evening, the hanichim were introduced to our projects through a peulat erev (evening activity) modeled after a classic "choose-your-own-adventure" novel. Divided into groups, each group was challenged with a series of decisions concerning interpersonal relationships, environmental problems, and the choice to try new things outside ones comfort zone. As groups made critical – and difficult – decisions, many of which mimic real life scenarios they face, they were thrust into new situations that reinforced the ripple effect of all of our actions. After discussing the outcomes of their decisions and relating them to camp, the Machon hanichim were introduced to their own projects for the summer. One group, called Machon Helpers, will spend a few hours each week working with our Tikvah (special needs) campers; our Bonim B'Ramah group will spend the summer engaging in various refurbishing and beautification projects to put more honor into our physical camp space and to leave their legacy at camp; and our Mach Ach (ach means brother in Hebrew) program allows Machon hanichim to serve as big brothers / big sisters to some of our youngest hanichim in camp to help make their first experience at camp a positive one.
The Machon hanichim are eager to begin their volunteer projects in camp, and the staff is proud of the group's enthusiasm. We look forward to seeing the magic unfold.