Nivonim Interns Get Early Start on Leadership Training

The Nivonim experience is the culmination of one’s journey as a camper through the edot (divisions) here at Machaneh Ramah. It is also the beginning of a new journey toward coming back one day as a member of our summer tzevet (staff). Through the summer-long Hadracha (Leadership Training) Program, all Nivonimers will spend time with younger edot to learn how to work with younger children, manage group dynamics, and plan peulot (activities) for campers.

Ten Nivonimers jump-started their Hadracha with an internship that began this past November. Called Chakirah (exploration), these campers met monthly with Sarah Rosenfeld, a Nivonim 2021 counselor who served as a Ramah New England intern over the last year.

This internship was designed to encourage a “Bring Back Ramah” mindset for campers who had missed out on their 2020 camp experience and teach the interns the skills they will need to plan and run peulot in their roles as counselors-in-training and eventually as counselors.

Interns Jonah Adler and Avi Wiederhorn signed up for the program to spend time hanging out with camp friends (via Zoom, of course) and to stay in touch with camp. Intern Elie Hart viewed the internship as a good opportunity to learn to create the peulot that she looks forward to running as a tzevet member in two years.

The interns spent the initial sessions talking about what had been meaningful and impactful for each of them during their summers as campers: from Shabbat at camp to hanging out with friends; from chuggim (elective activities) to Z’man Roo, the daily hour to train with their sports teams. At later sessions, staff members Andy Weissfeld, Rosh Edah Nivonim 2021, and Simon Luxemburg, a long-time member of Camp Ramah’s program team, met with the interns to teach them how to develop and run peulot.

The interns tried out their newly developed skills on their own edah by planning and running the first peulat erev (evening activity) of the summer. Their creative take on the well-known “Guess Who?” game introduced less well-known Jewish historical figures (as well as some famous camp people!). Using facts about each person that the interns had researched, game participants had to guess each person’s identity. According to Jonah, this program gave the interns – and, ultimately, the members of the edah – the opportunity to learn more about Jewish leaders in history, while at the same time having fun! Later in the summer, the interns will plan and run a “decades party” for their edah.

Next week, all Nivonimers will jump into their new roles, working directly with campers in Kochavim through Bogrim. They are excited to begin the next chapters in their Ramah journeys!

Categories: Nivonim