By Josia Klein
Less than a week ago, two Shoresh campers (Cabin 4’s Emma Z. and Ellie K.) decided they wanted to make a change at camp; they noticed a lack of available recycling and green-awareness at GUCI. [Editor’s Note: Camp recycles all of its cardboard, but there are no recycling bins around camp.] Shortly after noticing the absence of recycling bins and the abundance of soda cans being thrown away, the two girls put together a presentation and offered it to camp’s leadership staff. They addressed why we need to recycle: it’s great for the earth, it’s easy and convenient, and it’s a Jewish value! Impressed with the campers’ aptitude for Tikkun Olam (mending the world), the leadership staff approved the girls’ initiative to implement a recycling program at GUCI and purchased multiple recycling bins.
Last Saturday, these two girls and I hosted a mini-chug together in the hopes of bringing attention to the issue and coming up with viable solutions about making recycling a camp-wide program. There was a great turnout of 15 children, and the Recycling Crew was formed! Together, we made signs that advertised the benefits of recycling and announced the upcoming arrival of recycling bins, hung the colorful messages around camp, came up with catchy cheers about going green, and wrote a skit.
The Recycling Crew distributed bins throughout camp. In addition, another container for can tab collection was placed near the vending machines, with the plan being to donate the tabs to the Ronald McDonald House charity. The skit was finalized and rehearsed, and the Recycling Crew gathered to perform it in front of the entire camp to announce the initiative. Now, the Recycling Crew meets every day during chofesh (free time) before lunch to collect the tabs, empty out the recycling bins, and learn more about helping the environment.
More bins have recently arrived, and paper and plastic bins should be designated shortly! More campers are joining the initiative with every passing day, and it’s been amazing to see such a positive response from the GUCI community. Campers are choosing to spend their free time cleaning up camp and making their world just a little bit better. As we learned in this summer’s Tikkun Olam project: we may not finish the work, but that does not mean that we can delay beginning it.