Cornerstone Happenings!

  • Written by the 2016 Cornerstone Fellows:

    CstoneThis week at Cornerstone has caused us to think a lot about how we’ve been influenced by past counselors and how we can have the same influence over our campers. The Cornerstone Fellowship–a program for camp counselors hosted by the Foundation for Jewish Camps–serves the purpose of coaching returning counselors to become more effective leaders and bring innovative Jewish programming to camp. We’ve been discussing and exploring the programs and people who have influenced us and how we can utilize the lessons we’ve learned from past experience and from this week to become better counselors, leaders, and educators.

    Camp has been our home for many years. Our experiences have all been shaped by counselors–unique, caring cstone3people who have been our role models since the beginning. This week, we had the opportunity of seeing an old counselor, Shy Ashkenazi, who now works on Jewish programming at another camp. As Ben’s Bunk 1 Counselor, Ben still remembers the great advice and amazing stories Shy would share with him and other campers. Ben was thrilled to see Shy again this week because it reminded him why being a counselor is so important to him. Shy encouraged Ben to push himself, and created a space that was safe for Ben to explore and become his best self. It was Shay’s influence that made Ben want to do the same for future groups of campers. Like Ben, we all had the mission of learning something new this week that would give back to and influence camp in the same way.

    cstone2Cornerstone gave us the opportunity to venture into new experiences and gain outside and different perspectives on ways we can impact camp. Through different educators, programs, and peers, we learned new ways of thinking. Through social justice, we explored gender roles and how to feel comfortable in one’s own skin. We discovered new ways in which to incorporate Judaism into sports and blend the two together. And through Israeli dance, we were taught how one can forge a bond between Jews around the world. Overall, the Cornerstone experience helped us discover how to make small impacts that will make every day at camp a better day.

    This summer, we will be implementing new Oneg programs for Shabbat. Some of these programs will include meditating with a clementine, a mikvah experience, and reaching out to soldiers, patients, and others who can be uplifted by our words. Further, we will be bringing even more spirit to camp by teaching staff and campers our traditional Tel Noar songs, cheers, and dances. We also hope to have a pep rally before our first game day! In addition, we will be bringing new rituals into bunk life that will increase a sense of community, and enhancing the way our community practices Judaism. We are so excited to be infusing camp with even more positive energy. We hope our campers will feel empowered with us by the end of the summer, and will have the courage to be proud of their Jewish identities.

    See you on Sunset Lake,

    Gordo, Rachael Hershon, Matt Liberman, Sabrina Robichaud, Jordan Silvermanand Ben Jacobson

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