DSC_0044Raising and lowering their hands, filling the space of the teatron (small theater), Tikvah followed visitor Marcel Rudnick as she led the aidah in the sensory-based movement and dance form called Nia. For fifty minutes, Tikvah stood watching and following Marcel with limited talking. Some followed her every move, letting “their limbs breathe,” and taking “deep breaths,”  while others performed their own movements once the music was on. There was a calm presence in the room and everyone was engaged, raising their hands up and kneeling to touch their toes. The Nia activity this morning began Tikvah’s Yom Meyuchad (every Wednesday is a special programming day), Yom Z’keynim (aging). Next, they played a game of Bingo; only instead of using numbers they used pictures of the other people in their aidah. Everyone knew each other’s names, and the resounding complaint was that the pictures, even though they knew who was in each one, weren’t a high enough quality!


To round off the morning before lunch, many of the campers spent time with their chaverim (Machon friends), playing sports, games, and hanging out on the Point.As Tikvah continued thinking about themselves and the other individuals in their aidah, they made their own self-portraits—one of them now, and one of what they envision themselves looking like in seventy years. They were both funny and artistic, and were each different and unique. Evan S. drew a portrait that used a lot of squiggles, and even though it wasn’t necessarily realistic, every one agreed it was him! It was really a great way to see how each camper imagines themselves now, and how they imagine their future selves.

Sitting in smaller groups, Tikvah discussed one of the Ten Commandments, “Honor thy mother and father.” They spent the afternoon talking about their perspectives on their homes, what it means to honor their parents, and what it means to think about growing up. In thinking about these topics, campers learned that part of growing up is setting and reaching goals—and to round off the discussion, they set their own goals to reach by the age of seventy, and to reach by the end of their time at camp this summer.


Not only do we grow up, but Tikvah learned what it means for other things to grow as they planted their own seeds. After decorating cups, campers received dirt, poked a hole in the dirt with their finger, and filled the hole with seeds. They sprinkled water on top, hoping to get to see their very own seeds grow as the summer continues.

Tonight, Tikvah played games around the idea of aging. There was a relay race that included dressing up in costume and a potato sack race. There was also a basketball game in which groups of campers had to play with ear plugs or shoot the basketball with just one hand. Everyone actively played along and, after a full day of activity learned a bit more about what it means to grow up and grow older, and how to treat others no matter their age or how different they are than you.