Rachel Stevens is a long time camper and staff member who attended Kivun, a convention for art specialists and directors who work at various Jewish camps throughout the country.
This will be my seventh summer on GFC staff and my fifth in the art room (third as director), but this is the first year that attending Kivun was an opportunity. Much like Hava Nashira (that will be another blog post), different art specialists from URJ and Ramah get together and learn new and innovative things to bring back to their camps
This was the second annual Kivun but the program has been completely been re-vamped since last year. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect when I was being sent there, especially having done this job years prior; I was interested in what there was still left to learn. I was pleasantly surprised by my findings in this 4 day adventure.
When we arrived, it was a normal orientation where we were able to schmooze with one another and also figure out what we wanted to learn while there. Our first task that evening was creating something in 30 minutes that expressed us while having free range of the art room there.
One of the cooler programs that we did was creating a visual service. Each person was given a prayer from the morning service and we had to create something that represented it. I created a wire sculpture, but the coolest part about it was seeing what everyone did and being able to visualize an entire service and still getting the same message across.
We learned how to create an art project and then find the Jewish value in it, instead of just making ‘Jewish art’ (i.e mezuzah’s or challah covers). This will allow kids to express themselves in a much better way while still being able to find the spiritual message we strive for them to find all summer.
This experience was one that I hope every person who works in the art room at GFC has an opportunity to attend. It was something incredibly beneficial to me and I hope that it is just as beneficial to all the kids and staff that walk through the art room during this summer.