The Values of Camp

  • At CTN we have always promoted a strong sense of community, deep, caring relationships, a strong connection to Israel, and a love of being Jewish. Three years ago our community was selected as one of eight camps to the pilot program of the Foundation for Jewish Camp’s Hiddur Program.  The goal of the program is to help camps enhance, amplify, or as we say “double down” on what we already do well and deepen the impact that camp can have on our community.

    As part of our Hiddur program we have emphasized helping make our Jewish programming relevant and meaningful to our campers and staff, empower more staff to take an active role in facilitating Jewish experiences and serve as Jewish role models, enhance our physical plant to better reflect our Jewish identity, and infuse camp culture with values to support the emotional growth of our community.

    One of my favorite new traditions that has come out of our Hiddur initiative happens on Shabbat morning, when I have the unique privilege to share a message with our entire camp. As a way of highlighting the particular weekly value that we are exploring that week, I share a short YouTube clip with a few open questions for everyone to consider, and discuss with their neighbors. I wanted to share a few of those clips below and hope they help you connect to the values and character traits that make Tel Noar a place where “Nice is the norm”.


    In the past week, who has gone out of their way to bring you joy? Who have you brought joy to?

    While materialism has its challenges, we all have items (similar to the shoes) that bring us childlike joy, what are those items for you? Do you have everyday things that make you happy? What are the things that have more sentimental, than monetary value for you?


    In the past week, what have you done to be kind to others? Who has been kind to you?

    Kindness can have an incredible impact on others, as well as the giver. In this video, what impact did being kind have on the child in the wheel chair, as well as the other kids?


    In the past week what is something that you learned about someone else that surprised you? What assumptions do you think others make about you? What is something that you think you have in common with the other people in your bunk/family and what is something that makes you unique?

    In the clip people learn more about each other and build a closer community because of their experience. What do you do to help bring your bunk/ family/ community closer?


    In the past week who has made an impact on you? Who do you think you impact with your actions, attitude, and personality?

    What are the relationships in your life that you are grateful for- how can you show that appreciation?


    Our summers on Sunset Lake provide us with the perfect setting to experience beautiful moments that reflect our values and they help us build that strong foundation we all need to continue to grow into the best versions of ourselves. Counting down the days until we are back together again!



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *