The Perek Preview: Perek Vav

Posted on August 7, 2014

Perek Vav, the final structured period of the camp day, is often used for play practice for the various aidot. After each aidah has performed their play and wowed all of camp, they spend Perek Vav in different ways—as cabins, banim/banot (boys and girls programming), and as an aidah. Here are some of the things you would see around camp from 4:40-5:25 each day for Perek Vav.


4:42, Atzmayim (Tikvah Vocational Program): Twice a week, Atzmayim can be found with Deena Cowans doing fitness. In Yoga poses, running laps around the garbage trail, and stretching, Atzmayim learns valuable fitness skills that they can bring home with them at summer’s end. Today, Atzmayim had “bootcamp.” They held planks for thirty seconds, did sit ups and push ups, and stretched every part of their bodies. They broke a sweat gaining new fitness skills together.

4:46, Halutzim (Entering 6th Grade): During Perek Vav, Halutzim can usually be found in their cabins showering and relaxing after a great swim in the lake during Perek Hey. A few days this week, Halutzim has been using Perek Vav to practice for their “Cabaret,” the Hebrew musical songs they will be singing at this summer’s “No Smoking” end-of-summer slide show.


4:50, Solelim (Entering 7th Grade): From omanut (art), to nagarut (woodworking), to rikud (dance), Solelim can be found in tarbut (arts programming) during Perek Vav. With the Rikudiyah Dance Festival coming up this Saturday night, Solelim are practicing and perfecting their dance. They’re excited to show everyone what they’ve been working on for the past few weeks!

4:56, Shoafim (Entering  8th Grade): Down by the agam (lake), Shoafim swims. On an especially warm day like today, Shoafim is excited to jump into the water and develop their swimming skills. Best of all is jumping on the blob – a very popular waterfront attraction.


5:04, Bogrim (Entering  9th Grade): Now that their play is over, Bogrim has been doing a number of different activities during Perek Vav. Most days, cabins have peulot tzrif, cabin activities. This afternoon Cabin 10 enjoyed their ice cream party, something every cabin does each summer.  They loved visiting the ice cream parlor in the  Director’s house (it’s true!), then eating their ice cream together in a shady spot outside.

5:15, Machon and Tikvah (Entering 10th Grade and Special Needs Program): Every summer Machon and Tikvah perform their play together. During Perek Vav, Machon and Tikvah practice their play, Chanutiyah Shel Pachad, Little Shop of Horrors. With chorus signs, choreography, and solos ready, Machon and Tikvah are excited  for the big performance tomorrow night!


5:23, Nivonim (Entering 11th Grade): Nivonim enjoys free time during Perek Vav, and today they spent the latter part of the perek in the lake. They splashed each other, played catch with  a water basketball, and felt some sweet relief from the sweltering sun.

Perek Preview: Perek Hay

Posted on July 28, 2014

DSC_0156After lunch it’s time for shaat menucha, rest hour. Then at 3:45 campers start an afternoon full of activity. Although many of our aidot have unusual schedules this week–Machon and some members of Tikvah are on their trip around Wisconsin, Bogrim has Shavuah Bogrim–most weeks Perek Hay looks something like this:

Atzmayim (Tikvah Vocational Program), 3:45: Nine Atzmayim participants and three Tikvah pre-vocational campers sit together during Perek Hay for social skills group. Already this summer they’ve worked on conversational skills, what it means to be a friend, and what you can learn from others. This upcoming week, they will be talking about social media safety and etiquette. Led by Tikvah Special Projects Coordinator Allie Rosen, Atzmayim social skills group will be looking at a faux-Facebook on butcher-paper news feed. Using post-it notes, participants will be encouraged to “comment” and “like” posts and pictures on the feed. Together they will learn about what is appropriate to post on social media, and how to apply many of the social skills they’ve learned this summer to the world of the internet.


Halutzim (entering 6th grade), 3:49: During shaat menucha, Halutzim changes into their bathing suits, grabs their towels, and heads toward the agam (waterfront) for Perek Hay. Split into different classes, Halutzim learns swimming skills, everything from front crawl to diving. On a hot summer day, every single camper can’t wait to jump into the lake!


Solelim (entering 7th grade), 3:56: Now that their play is over, Solelim uses Perek Hay for peulot tzrif (cabin activities) or peulot banim and banot (boys and girls activities). Last Thursday, the boys spent Perek Hay playing a fun game of roofball, bouncing balls off of the roofs of cabins and trying to catch them. The banot spent the afternoon playing a game of touch football, enjoying the nice weather running across the soccer field.


Shoafim (entering 8th grade), 3:58: Like Solelim, Shoafim has peulat banim and banot now that Frozen is over. The banim have been working diligently on their soon-to-be English rendition of Hercules, what is sure to be a phenomenal and funny show. Each day is different, but last week the banot spent an hour with counselor Caroline Drefuss doing Zumba. They had a great time coming together as a banot and dancing Perek Hay away!


Bogrim (entering 9th grade). 4:05: When it isn’t Shavuah Bogrim, Bogrim spends Perek Hay in tarbut. From omanut (art), to nagarut (woodworking), to musical instrument practice, Bogrim can be found in every corner of camp for tarbut. With the Rikudiyah dance festival coming up next Saturday night, many of our Bogrim campers will begin to learn and practice their very own dance performance!


Machon (entering 10th grade). 4:11: Machon is spread out across the sports courts during Perek Hay. From basketball, to softball, to team sports, Machon is learning valuable skills and enjoying the outdoors.

Tikvah. 4:22:  During Perek Hay, Tikvah has sports together with Machon. Campers are often paired up to rotate through a variety of sports options.  Machon/Tikvah chaverim (buddies) get to know each other better and have a great time playing softball, basketball, floor hockey, volleyball, ga-ga, etc.

DSC_0223Nivonim (entering 11th grade). 4:28: With their upcoming performance of the musical Hair on Thursday night, Nivonim is hard at work in play practice. They’ve been learning their songs, lines, choreography, and soon will be finalizing their stage direction. The play is sure to be a highlight of the summer!

When Perek Hay is over, campers transition to the final scheduled slot of the afternoon, Perek Vav.

The Perek Preview: Perek Daled

Posted on July 18, 2014

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.


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.

The Perek Preview: Perek Gimmel

Posted on July 11, 2014

After grabbing chatif (snack), campers spread out around camp for Perek Gimmel. With the sun shining, campers can be found in all corners of camp playing sports, swimming in the lake, and spending time learning with Nature Nick. From 12:05-12:50 every day, Perek Gimmel is in full swing.

L100022612:06, Atzmayim (Tikvah Vocational Program Participants): Many of the Atzmayim participants choose to take their fifteen or twenty minute break during this time. They tell their manager that they’re ready for a break, and go back to the break room or eat a snack they bring with them to their jobs. Ari A. who works at the Northwoods Children’s Museum can often be found in a tree cove within the museum reading a book during his break.

DSC_604112:10, Kochavim (entering 4th grade): On a sunny day, the lake feels especially cool and fun, and Kochavim campers worked to master their diving this week. Standing on the docks on the agam (waterfront), Kochavim started with a penguin dive, which begins by sitting on the dock. Next, they raised one leg to a kneeling position. Soon, they were able to stand and plunge head first into the water. They worked to successfully dive without too many belly flops!


DSC_607112:14, Garinim (5th grade): In Hebrew class, Garinim has been learning a new topic every week. They play, read, and answer questions to help learn about different groups of Hebrew words. This week, Garinim learned the Hebrew words for things in a cheder (room). After being split into teams, Garinim campers had to run, grab a card, say the word in Hebrew, and explain what it meant in English. Campers ran back and forth, practicing the Hebrew words for things you could find in a room, scoring points for their team along the way.

DSC_603612:18, Solelim (7th grade): On the tennis courts, Solelim can be seen learning how to serve and rally during Perek Gimmel. Sirot (boating) is a popular sport for many Solelim campers, and they’ve been learning what a hull is and how to effectively steer a sailboat. The softball field and basketball courts are also filled with campers improving their skills and preparing for their games against Shoafim.

DSC_035712:24, Shoafim (8th grade): In omanut (art), nagarut (woodworking), or musikah (music), Shoafim spends Perek Gimmel in one of our many tarbuyot (cultural activities). There are a total of seven Shoafim campers playing instruments this summer in musikah. Two brought their own instruments from home to practice, one is practicing ukulele, and four others are learning how to play guitar for the first time. Sitting on the grass outside the chadar medura (our music room), musikah staff member Edon Valdman teaches chords to four Shoafim. They practice them on their own and after some time, are given a song to play using those few chords. They’ve been developing their guitar repertoire, and by the end of the summer, should know a great deal about the guitar!

IMG_910612:29, Bogrim (9th grade): This summer, Bogrim has some really interesting choices for Judaic studies. During Perek Gimmel, Bogrim can be found learning about Israel, God, or Storahtelling. Every Shabbat Mincha, Bogrim campers in the Storahtelling class perform a skit describing that week’s Torah portion. This week, all of Bogrim will get to learn about Matot.

IMG_910812:36, Machon (10th grade): Like Bogrim, Machon enjoys a number of different Judaic study classes during Perek Bet. They can learn Yiddish—a new offering this summer!—shira hashirim, or biblical stories. In Yiddish class, teacher Eric Lawrence toured his class around camp to the office to learn some new Yiddish words. His students are enjoying learning the language and more about Yiddish culture and history.

DSC_738212:43, Tikvah (Special Needs Program): Tikvah can be found all around camp during Perek Gimmel. Some Tikvah campers have social skills group, others have their prevocational jobs like helping with Rishonim and in the Marp (infirmary), while still others attend Tikvah Text Class. Each week has been a little bit different in Tikvah Text Class—they started out the summer learning about Bikkur Cholim (visiting the sick), turned to conserving food, and are now moving toward Hebrew. They’ve played “Dag Maluach,” a game similar to red light green light, using and learning Hebrew words.

DSC_011012: 48, Nivonim (10th grade): While the girls were on their camping and canoe trip this week, the Nivonim boys got to plan their own unique activities.  During Perek Gimmel, they dressed up in golf-club clothing—sweaters around their necks, polos, and plaid shorts. They wore slip on shoes and played shoe-golf, lofting their shoes into the air on a set course around camp. It was a sight to see!

With only one perek left before lunch, campers spend the time between Perek Gimmel and Perek Daled catching up with friends before the next perek starts at one. The kikar is full of campers walking from one place to the next as they get ready for the last perek of the morning.

The Perek Preview: Perek Bet

Posted on July 3, 2014

During Perek Bet (second period) from 11-11:45, camp is filled with activity. Each aidah continues their schedule with something slightly different and exciting. Here’s a snapshot of what Perek Bet looks like for all of the aidot:

11:00, Atzmayim (Tikvah Vocational Program Participants): When Perek Bet begins, Atzmayim has already started their workday in Eagle River. Our Atzmayim participants work at a variety of places in a variety of roles, including Eagle River Roasters, Trig’s Grocery Store, Walgreens, The Flour Sack coffee shop, New Beginnings Day Care, the Walter E. Olson Memorial Library, and The Northwoods Children’s Museum. During this hour they’re serving customers that can include our staff members on their days off!

DSC_080311:06, Kochavim: During Perek Bet, Kochavim enjoys omanut (art). Sitting around the paint-laden table, Kochavim decorates their own challah boards and challah covers. By the last Shabbat they are here, their challah boards and covers will be complete, and they’ll be able to use them for their very own fresh-baked challah.

11:11, Garinim: In Judaic studies class for Garinim, campers are learning about traditional Jewish folktales and modern Jewish stories, and what we can take from these stories to be better versions of ourselves. Learning about inheritance—both literal (monetary) and metaphoric—from our families, campers explored the things they’ve inherited from their families. Garinim campers in Dr. Edna Levy’s class were challenged to write down thirty names on a sheet of paper. When they finished writing—some getting to forty or fifty names of people they know—they were told to underline the names of people who taught them, circle the people who support them, and put a triangle around the people who listen best to them. Campers in Edna’s class both learned about what inheritance means, and how to listen and respect their fellow classmates’ feelings and varying views.

DSC_052611:17, Solelim: Solelim has either Judaic studies or Hebrew class during Perek Bet. In Hebrew, Solelim is learning about zman (time). In Tzlil Cohen’s class, Solelim learned about the days of the week. They were given a piece of butcher paper and told to draw what each day means for them. They presented their posters for each day using some Hebrew to describe time like “yom” (day), “dakah” (minute), and other words they associate with that day.


11:20, Shoafim: In Hebrew class, Shoafim is learning the words for the colors and body parts. They’ve practiced the Hebrew words for everything from head, “rosh,” to legs, “raglayim.” Using these new words, Shoafim classes played paint twister. On a piece of white butcher paper piled with paint, Shoafim campers and their teachers yelled the Hebrew names for colors, contorting their bodies in order to get their left hand, “yad,” onto the red paint, “adom.” This game helped reinforce the new vocabulary, while also being a lot of fun for our campers.

DSC_010211:29, Bogrim: Walking onto the sports courts during Perek Bet, you would see Bogrim practicing their free-throws, catching and hitting balls on the softball field, practicing volleys on the volleyball court, and much much more!

6-20 (9)11:36, Machon: Machon can be found in the lake during Perek Bet. They have a variety of opportunities, everything from water aerobics, to lifeguard training, to water polo. They’re enjoying learning from each other in the water of Lake Buckatabon.

11:40, Tikvah: Sharing the lake with Machon during Perek Bet, Tikvah has a variety of swimming classes and activities. Some Machon campers spend their swimming time with Tikvah, further developing both friendships and skills in the water. 

photo1311:44, Nivonim: From the anafim (specialty areas), to the teatron (small theater), to Eagle River, Nivonim can be found in various areas during Perek Bet. Depending on their choices, Nivonim has their internships, preparation for the Nivo English Play, or their community service projects at the Eagle River Children’s Museum. At the Children’s Museum, Nivonim has been doing a lot of painting. They painted Hopscotch leading up to the main entrance, benches, repainted the fish for the fishpond, among other things. Children who go to the museum are able to make their own volcanoes, and Nivonim campers have also been helping prepare the materials for those. They’re enjoying giving back to the Eagle River community that is so close to our summer home in Conover.

From the kikar to omanut, campers are spread out across camp during Perek Bet. When the perek ends, they rush to get chatif (snack) of granola bars and apples from Sam Gordon’s golf cart, answer his trivia question of the day, and then head to Perek Gimmel.

The Perek Preview: Perek Alef

Posted on June 23, 2014

Every day at camp starts with kimah (wake up), t’fillah, breakfast, nikayon (cleaning), and then the daily schedule begins with Perek Alef (first period) from 10:15-11. Here’s a snapshot of what was happening around camp today during Perek Alef:

10:15, Atzmayim (Tikvah Vocational Program): While the rest of camp is getting ready for Perek Alef to begin, Atzmayim travels with their job coaches to their respective work locations in Eagle River. Along the way they rest and chat about their experiences on the job.

10:18, Kochavim (4th grade)DSC_3980 and Garinim (5th grade): When Kochavim and Garinim arrive at the sports courts, they are split up into groups and given their rotations. They rotate through a number of sports during their two- or four-weeks at camp, which include volleyball, floor hockey, boating, basketball, softball, tennis, and soccer. Once on their respective courts, they stretch and learn about the rules of the game.

10:21, Solelim (7th grade): Solelim has Hebrew or Judaic studies class during this perek. Different teachers conduct their classes in different ways, always with the intention of learning in a fun environment. One Hebrew teacher, Yael Katsav, uses boating paddles to teach her Solelim class the Hebrew smol (left) and yamin (right). When she says smol, the campers pass their paddles to the left, and vice versa.


10:29, Shoafim (8th grade): Just like Solelim, Shoafim has Hebrew or Judaic studies class during this perek. Going along with their tzedakah project for the summer, Shoafim’s text class is focused on thinking about what causes and Jewish values are important to them. With enlightening discussion, they look at Jewish texts to discuss what causes, like global hunger or the environment, are important to them in order to understand the underlying reasons why tzedakah projects are so important.

DSC_404910:32, Bogrim (9th grade): Bogrim can be found at the lakefront during Perek Alef. They are split up into different skill levels, and will also be creating and performing their synchronized swimming routines this summer. The theme for this year’s show is Jewish holidays, and different swim classes have different ones: Lag Ba’omer, Simchat Torah, Hannukah, Pesach, and Rosh Hashanah.


10:38, Machon (10th grade): During this perek, Machon has their Intensives, special classes they will be focusing on for the summer. Some of those intensives include drama, teva (nature), radio, shirah (music), and Tikvah chaverim (friends). Our campers in the music intensive will be writing, composing, and playing their own music, while those campers in the radio intensive will be recording that music and editing it for the larger camp audience. In teva, campers are testing the lake water in Lake Buckatabon. Every Machon camper is working toward a final project at the end of the summer.

DSC_049110:43, Tikvah (Special Needs Program): On July 11, Tikvah will have their Tikvah Arts Festival, which includes drama, rikud (dance), and omanut (art). In drama, Tikvah performs skits for Bogrim, Machon, and Nivo to see. The theme Tikvah is creating art around is “Kol yisrael arevim zeh bazeh,” “All of Israel are responsible for each other.” They will be creating a multimedia mosaic using their own creations of Eric Carle art, self-portraits, charcoal sketches, pottery, and photography. In rikud, they will be learning and performing a dance that utilizes the idea of taking responsibility for one another. There will be parts of the dance that use pairs, while other parts are focused on the individual. Inbal Jakubowitz, shirah staff, will be playing a live song for Tikvah to dance to.

DSC_049310:52, Nivonim (11th grade): For part of the summer, the Nivonim will have their internships in the anafim (specialty areas). This includes being counselors-in-training for aidot cabins, interns on the agam (waterfront), in teva, omanut, and other areas around camp. They will be helping our campers to learn and grow in areas they’ve developed over their summers at camp.

At 11, Perek Alef concludes and campers go to the Fruit Bowl to get a fruit snack, talk to friends, and walk to their next perek. Tune in next week to learn about Perek Bet!

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