As camp walks across the kikar for another perek, campers grab fruit from the fruitbowl and take sips of water at drinking fountains. Solelim grabs their towels for swimming, Shoafim makes sure they’re wearing naalei sport (gym shoes) for sport, and many other campers head to mirpasot (multi-purpose porches) and Ohel Yitzchak (synagogue at camp) classrooms for Hebrew and Judaic Studies classes. In Perek Daled (1-1:45), camp is abuzz with chatter as everyone heads toward the next period of his or her day. DSC_1102

1:01, Atzmayim (Tikvah Vocational Program): Saying goodbye to their bosses and fellow-employees, Atzmayim packs up and heads out of work once the camp van pulls up next to their workplace. They get into the car and recount a highlight from the morning, listen to music, and guess at the day’s lunch. After a full morning on the job, the Atzmayim participants are ready for some downtime to eat and enjoy learning about their friends’ experiences from the morning.

1:05, Halutzim (entering 6th grade): For their first two days here, Halutzim has rotations between shirah (music) and rikud (dance), until they get to choose their own tarbut (art and cultural activities) for the summer. They’ll be learning songs like our new “Kol B’Ramah Nishmah” and “Ain Ani.” In rikud, campers will be learning and getting a refresher on our favorite kikar dances in preparation for tomorrow and for their first kikar dancing of the summer!

DSC_03491:11, Solelim (7th grade): In the agam, Solelim are divided into swimming classes during Perek Daled. Classes focus on developing skills like breathing under water and proper breaststroke. Some days, classes get to venture to the blob, our water trampoline. They swim to the far dock, then rotate swimming to the blob. Campers jump up and down on the trampoline, launch a friend into the water on the catapult blob, or run across the log.

DSC_03231:16, Shoafim (8th grade): On the opposite end of camp, Shoafim learns how to serve a tennis ball. Shoafot (girl campers) learn how to pick on the basketball courts, preparing for their games against Solelot and Bogrot this summer. And still others are boating on the agam.

DSC_03591:24, Bogrim (9th grade): Bogrim has Hebrew and Judaic studies during Perek Daled. In Educator Ariel Katz’s Judaic Studies class entitled, “Strange But True,” Bogrim is studying interesting and aspects of Judaism. Yesterday they looked at two passages from the Torah about Shabbat, Yom Kippur, Pesach, and Sukkot, and practiced interpreting the passages themselves without using any rabbinic interpretation. Ariel had just told her class about the Karaites, a Jewish sect that practices Judaism by looking only to Torah and not to any rabbinic authority—so campers did the same with these Torah texts. The class thought about how they would celebrate these holidays if it weren’t for the rabbinic interpretations and traditions that our families value at home. They will continue looking at the Karaites and other aspects of Judaism, while another Bogrim class creates and performs pieces of theater about the weekly Torah portion in Storahtelling.

DSC_84501:33, Machon (10th grade): Machon can be found in Hebrew or Judaic studies class during this perek, as well. With choices from comparative religion, to studying shir hashirim, to Yiddish, to Jewish movements, Machon campers are learning a variety of things about present-day and historical Jewish ideas. In Merav Porten’s class on Jewish movements, campers sit in a circle and discuss the different movements currently represented in Israel. Tackling big topics like what it means to be a Jewish state, how Israel decides marriage and divorce laws, and whether those laws should be dictated by the state, are questions the class will be grappling with for the remainder of the summer.

DSC_03271:35, Tikvah (Special Needs program): In the Moadon Tikvah or around camp in various classrooms, Tikvah can be found during Perek Daled either studying text class with Bogrim or Machon or in social skills group. In social skills group, topics address recent issues or questions relevant to the Tikvah campers.

DSC_03111:42, Nivonim (11th grade): Sitting together in Moadon Atzmayim, Nivonim campers involved with Tikvah—including counselors-in-training, interns, and former chaverim—come together for their weekly Tikvah enrichment. Once or twice they learn how to be counselors and recognize the responsibilities that they may have if they come back in two years as Tikvah staff members.

When Perek Daled concludes, campers flock to the kikar to sit with friends, catch up, and talk about everything they did that morning. After looking at the lunch menu situated beside chadar gimmel (Dining Room C), campers sit on the soft grass beneath the sun, waiting to be called in for lunch.