Shavuah Tov: A Year-round Connection to the Magic of Camp
by Joseph Eskin and Ari Feldman
On Sunday evenings in fall, winter and spring, participants in our special needs programs can tap into a precious resource that is a source of excitement, comfort, and fun: their Camp Ramah community. Two video conference calls take place each week – one for junior high/high school-age Tikvah campers and another for our post-high school Atzmayim (vocational) participants. Called Shavua Tov, the calls are hosted by their counselors and other staff members.
The Tikvah call often focuses on a Jewish question, a social skills dilemma, or a camp memory. Campers share what they are enjoying about the year and any challenges they want to discuss. For example, one camper who is taking guitar lessons likes to play what he’s recently learned and get feedback from his friends.
Participants in the Atzmayim call talk about what’s new with their jobs, hobbies, and families. Ari Feldman, 2015 Atzmayim Rosh Aidah, leads this call and encourages participants to share successes and work through problems as a group. Ari signs off a few minutes early to give the participants a chance to chat on their own. It’s a valuable time each week for maintaining strong friendships and tracking one another’s progress in school, job programs, and life in general.
The opportunity to process their lives with their camp friends and mentors is a gift that participants treasure, a connection to the magic of camp that lasts all year long.