by Annie Azriel, Gesher Rosh Eidah (Unit Head)
What a week it’s been for Gesher! We started off the week with a pool party during which we had dinner at the pool and were able to relax and cool down after a long hot day. We also switched our Chugim (elective activities) and had fun sailing, doing arts and crafts, drama, music, songleading and much more.
The highlight of our week was leaving camp on Thursday to do community service. The chanichim went to 4 different stations around the Waukeshaw, Wis., area. In total the children picked and hung to dry 18 1/2 pounds of parsley to donate to a food panty, painted 80 picnic tables, cut tons of invasive species of buckthorn, picked 50 buckets of weeds, sprayed liquid fence to keep woodchucks away, made 220 lunches for different groups and served 120 of the lunches to children who otherwise would not have gotten lunch, played sports with children at a park, sorted over 1000 food items for the food pantry, made scarecrows, pumped over 75 gallons of water, made 100 picture frames for foster care children, made 200 sets of addition subtraction and sight word flash cards, put together 150 craft bags for the children’s hospital, made 100 cards for the children’s hospital, and made 100 cards with positive messages for the organization More Love Letters. We ended the day with ice cream, which was much deserved and appreciated by all the campers.
This week we also decided on our carnival theme (sorry I can’t share it with you – it’s top secret) and started to work on our booths. The next week will get busy as we continue preparing for our fun day!
In the next week we also will be traveling to Madison to lobby our state senators on hunger. This will give the chanichim a chance to learn about community service on a macro level. While we are there, we will also take some time for a little bit of fun and games in the city.
We are sad to say goodbye to our faculty who have been here for the last two weeks, Rabbi Bellows from Temple Beth Am and Rabbi Helbraun from Temple Jerimiah. But we are looking forward to welcoming Rabbi Prass from Temple Beth Am and Rabbi Conovoer from Temple Sholom to our kehila (community) today.
It’s been a great last two weeks and we are looking forward to an even better next two!
Annie Azriel is the Rosh Eidah (Unit Head) of Gesher. This is her thirteenth year at OSRUI and second summer as Gesher Rosh Eidah. She is a graduate of Bradley University in Peoria, IL.