On Thursday night, we hosted an outdoor talent show that was set up like a concert at Tanglewood or Red Rocks. We set out lawn chairs and picnic tables for the campers to sit on and decorated with lights and tiki torches. Campers showed off their talents singing and dancing and performing magic. Some of these were talents that had been hidden from the camp community up until the time of the talent show. Campers wowed the community with their singing ability and their skills playing violin.
What impressed me the most, however, were the cabin acts. One cabin sang their bedtime ritual song. As they sang, it was clear that the song had come to be more than just a set of words set to music. It had a deeper meaning. The song had come to represent their cabin. Another cabin put on a skit that represented the community that they have built over the previous ten days. Each of their personalities came out clearly in the skit. They showed us the jokes that they had developed as a group. Even the smaller group acts showed that campers have friends from all across camp. Two of our Explorers sang a song with an Apprentice camper and an Apprentice counselor.
The cohesion and friendships were not only evident in the acts themselves, but also in the responses to the acts. Everyone who performed was met with enthusiastic cheers and support. Everyone wanted to congratulate each performer after each act, and the buzz both at intermission and at the close of the evening was palpable. We closed out the evening with a band made up of staff members who invited the whole community to get up and dance, which everyone did with gusto. The whole evening was a great show of the talent that our campers have and the great community that we have built here. It was also a perfect lead-in to this Shabbat’s theme of community.