For this week’s blog I wanted to share an insider’s view into “Choose Your Own T’fillah” which happens every Tuesday night at camp! At dinner, a list of different options are read, and then with the help of their staff, cabins figure out where they are going. Each week brings something new, whether it’s meditating on the docks, or praying through painting!
And of course, everyone’s got their favourite service. Me – I loved going to a guided meditation service on the Chadar (Dining Hall) porch! So check out what your fellow campers and staff have to say about their favourite “Choose Your Own T’fillah”!
And I would love to hear from you! Hit up the comments and let me know all about your favourite service!
-Until next time!
Abigail, a Kochavim camper: “I absolutely loved the “Banana-Grams” service and the “Shake In the Lake” service. The ones with activities are always the best!”
Matt Gorlick, Head of Bikes: I enjoyed the nature walk service and another one that involved chalk drawing. Since a lot of campers (and staff) enjoy learning visually / while doing something, these were a great way to connect an activity and memory to prayer.
Zoe, a C.I.T.: “I’d have to say that in all my years of attending Camp George my favorite services always end up being the ones that take place at the beach. So I’d definitely say the same for summer 2012. There is just something so intangibly special that takes place as you look over the water as the sun is setting in the warmth of the community that I love so much.”
Ben, a Kochavim camper: I enjoyed the “Bananagram”s T’fillah with Michael Weiss because we got to interpret things for ourselves, and I felt that it was a comfortable environment. This one sticks out to me in my memories from the summer.
Michael Weiss, Jewish Living Specialist: “The Bananagrams Service: I really enjoyed this option, as it allowed for a freeform discussion about what prayer meant to myself and campers, based on what random letter tiles we happened to find ourselves holding. It was an experience about finding meaning in chaos, which is really what the spirit of Jewish prayer is!
The Niggun Service: This service was based around the niggun, (a song without words.) I loved it because it was so counter to what we usually think constitutes prayer. It showed that worship can be just as powerful through music as it is through words.
The Haiku Service: If you can’t tell, I love trying to find new ways to pray and medieval Jewish liturgy combined with ancient Japanese verse was definitely new for me. Campers wrote and shared their own haiku poems about the themes of particular prayers.”
Emily, a Lehavot camper: “I think all of the services are great but my favourites were the ones with Judy and David because they told funny stories and sang lots of songs.”
Jacob, a Nitzotzot camper: “My favourite service was the “Shake In the Lake” Service with my Dad. I liked it because it was in the lake, which was a good idea since it was fun when we had to go under the water and say the Shema.”
Amy, a C.I.T.: “My favourite ‘choose your own T’fillah’ was at the beach on the last night of camp with all of the C.I.T.’s. We all got in a straight line and then made a swirl around Ryan Leszner (Head Songleader). He played us his guitar and then we all put our feet in the water and watched the sunset. It was very relaxing and magical because it was one of our final opportunities to be together as a unit, and it became such a special memory for me.”
Adam, a Barak camper: “My all-time favorite “Choose Your Own T’fillah” was the “Bananagrams” T’fillah. I liked it so much, because I LOVE Bananagrams and it was a really cool way to do T’fillah, there was even a Hebrew set for the Israelis. I also really liked it because I was undefeated!”
Another one of my favorites was “Shake in the Lake,” which I went to in 2011. I liked it, because I love the lake, and it was a cool way to incorporate the lake into T’fillah.”
Allie, a Nitzotzot camper: “My favourite service was “I Am An Acorn” service where we read a story about a tree sang a song about an acorn and wrote thank-you’s to people at camp who had taught us something.”