Shavua Hachana: Creating Something from Nothing

Shavua Hachana (staff week) is a magical time at camp. Madrichim (counselors) arrive excitedly to a mostly empty machaneh (camp). Tzrifim (bunks) are not yet set up or decorated. Sirot (boats) are not yet in the Agam. Siddurim are not yet distributed to moadonim. And yet, over the course of just a few days, we will create something from nothing and become the kehillah kedosha (holy community) of Camp Ramah in New England.

Shavua Hachana started on Wednesday afternoon, when madrichim met with their edot for the first time to get to know one another, build skills, and start planning amazing peulot (programs) for the kayitz (summer). Then, the new Tzevet Echad dance for this kayitz was unveiled and taught. Tzevet Echad is an initiative that started last year to make sure that our tzevet is as inclusive and welcoming as possible, and having all of our tzevet learn one dance that can be used throughout the kayitz is a great way to build our community.

Wednesday night, the tzevet participated in a perennial Shavua Hachana favorite: the opening Peulat Erev. This year’s peulah, which was preceded by two incredible parody videos from the Hanhallah (lead summer staff) (watch them here). The theme was Game of Thrones, and the Peulat Erev pitted edot against one another in fierce competition.

Thursday was a packed day full of more meetings by edah (unit), trainings in tzrif unity and programming, and a crucial training on sexual harassment policies, led by lawyer and Ramah New England Board President, Stuart Katz and his colleague Jordan Sala. Thursday night’s peulat erev unveiled our much-improved Moadon Tzevet (staff lounge), which contains all-new furniture, perfectly conducive to tzevet bonding and relaxation. After our auction peulat erev, run by Tzevet Nivonim, the whole tzevet loved hanging out in this beautifully refurbished space. Many thanks to our donors who have enabled us to make this Moadon Tzevet a much more comfortable and welcoming space for our valued tzevet!

Once Shabbat begins this evening, we’ll settle into 25 hours of intense community building, before getting back to work. We can’t wait for the chanichim to arrive on Tuesday – only then will our kehillah be truly complete.

L’hitraot B’Palmer!


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