We have spent the past three weeks learning about the importance of being a philanthropist and the role that giving back can play in our lives. Through a generous grant from the Jewish Teen Funders Network, we have explored the importance of giving back and deciding what values are important to us as twelve and thirteen year olds. We gather every afternoon in small groups to discuss these values. My personal favorite session explored Rambam’s ladder of Tzedakah, discussing whether we agreed with his proposed order for giving charity and what our personal ladder would look like.
Recently we went into town to visit Trees for Tomorrow and the Vilas Food Pantry, two important not for profit organizations in Eagle River. At Trees for Tomorrow, we learned about their mission to conserve and sustain forests, animals and waterways. Maggie showed us how they give four day courses on managing the environment. At the Vilas Food Pantry, we saw all the food in the storeroom and learned about food donations and how it is given out. I realized that there are so many wonderful not for profit organizations so close to our camp. Every summer we come to this great place and I feel so lucky to be participating in this program to give back in our local camp community. The individuals we met with at both organizations were so eager to share with us their work and it made me excited to be a part of this project!
—Haidee Clauer, Shoafim