In this week’s parsha, “Be-ha’alotekha,” God instructs Aaron to “raise light” on the seven lamps of the menorah in the Sanctuary. One piece of commentary on this from the sages is, “When a person builds a house, he makes the windows narrow on the outside and wider on the inside, so that the light from the outside should optimally illuminate the interior. But when King Solomon built the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, he made the windows narrow within and wide without, so that its light should emanate to the outside and illuminate the world” (Midrash Rabbah).
This illumination from within the Temple to the outside world is exactly what we strive to create here at camp. Our “interior windows” may be narrow, meaning that we are a small, tight-knit community, but we hope that the light created here continues to radiate from every camper and staff member when they leave this space. Camp is a fantasy bubble where kids are taught to dream big and to work towards making the world a better place. Our goal is that the values that we live by at camp will be carried on outside of here, so that the light we produce continues to shine in the world.
On the first night of the session, campers participated in “The Game of Life,” where they ran from location to location playing icebreakers and learning about “Chai Tiles.” Chai Tiles are our system of living intentionally at camp. Throughout the session, cabins work towards fulfilling Jewish values that make up the foundation of our community, such as Gemilut Chasadim (Acts of Loving Kindness), Ometz HaLev (Courage of the Heart), and Shmirat HaAdamah (Guarding the Earth). Since these values were introduced, we have seen so many campers going above and beyond to become better versions of themselves. For example, the Apprentice girls have been writing compliments and kind words on name tags and passing them out to the rest of the camp. It’s this kind of behavior that we love to see happening here. Kindness is contagious, and it’s catching on at Camp Inc.!
As we enter into our first Shabbat of the session, we focus on our goal of “raising light.” May we all aspire to raise light wherever we go and in whatever we do. We all have the ability to illuminate this world.
Jordyn is the Jewish Educator at Camp Inc.! She is originally from Long Island, New York, and has spent the past four years at The Ohio State University doing her undergraduate work in sociology and Judaic studies. She is thrilled about living in the beautiful mountains of Steamboat Springs, Colorado for the next couple of months! She loves spending time outdoors, and can’t wait to do plenty of that at Camp Inc.!