Achoo! “God bless you.” “La’briut.” “Alhamdulillah.”

merk4p —  July 23, 2015 — Leave a comment

by Rachel, Christian Adviser for 6th grade, NC

IMG_5620The campers woke up bright and early this morning in their cabins and got ready for their first full day spent together as a group. At breakfast we learned the morning routine from the incredible Camp Bob staff. Many of the campers and counselors from Jerusalem headed straight for the Cheerios cereal.

Carla, one of the counselors from Jerusalem, explained to me that many of the Jerusalem campers would add sugar to the cereal. She said there is a similar cereal in Jerusalem that is much sweeter to taste. Already many of the campers, from the US and Jerusalem, are seeking the familiarities of home in this new place and with this new group.

This morning the group had some time to get to know one another a little better with a session led by our facilitator Jill. Jill prompted the group to be accommodating and hospitable to one another.

“We have to begin to tune our ears to each other’s languages,” Jill explained.

Next to Jill one of the campers sneezed.

“This is a great place to start!” she said. And as a group we learned how to excuse a sneeze in all three languages.

English: “God bless you”

Hebrew: “La’briut”

Arabic: “Alhamdulillah”

IMG_0589Throughout the morning we took time learning how to pronounce each other’s names. Each camper received a journal for their use this week. On the cover they wrote their names in all three languages (with the help of their new friends). The morning activities wrapped up with the campers creating a recipe for success for use during their morning “Discovery” times this week. Some of the ingredients they named were: fun, respect, trust, community, listening and curiousity. They are excited about using these new ingredients to promote fruitful and multi-faceted discussions in the days to come.

The day was sprinkled with outdoor activities like swimming at the pond and playing games outside with Camp Bob staff.

In the Faith Adviser’s afternoon session the campers got some time to speak one-on-one with a new friend about the origins and meaning of their names. Next the campers discussed their intentions for this week and wrote them on a sheet of paper in all three languages. From these intentions, they got to pick a special camp name for themselves from their favorite intention and an element of nature that reminds them of themselves. They created necklaces with their camp names written on them and shared with one another.IMG_0666
The day ended in reflection. David Rowan, Director of the NC 6th Grade Camp, asked the campers to reflect on their new beginnings.

“I fell asleep in a new place and woke up in a new place,” one camper remarked. And tomorrow is a new day.

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