In this past week’s parsha, we learned the story of Korach, who incites a mutiny against Moses. Instead of approaching peacefully to discuss his grievances, Korach rallies his tribe to rise up against him. God responds by opening up the earth and swallowing the mutineers in a pit of fire. While tragic, this parsha is a classic lesson in the importance of good vs. bad communication. Korach and his followers may have had valid arguments, but their abrasive approach led to their untimely end. As one scholar has said: it’s not what you say, but rather how you say it.
The importance of positive and healthy communication is timeless. It’s a lesson that is so important in the competitive and highly collaborative world of business. It is therefore something we work hard to explore here at Camp Inc. As our campers embark on collaborations in their start-ups, coding, and marketing projects, as well as daily cabin life, we urge them to remember this lesson. We work towards creating an open and safe environment, where all ideas can come together in a healthy and positive way.
Beyond this, we have worked to integrate many Jewish values into our Camp Inc. life. On our very first night, the campers explored our beautiful campgrounds while collecting “Chai Tiles.” These tiles help us live more intentionally at camp. Throughout the session, each cabin works towards fulfilling six Jewish values that help build our wonderful community. These include Gemilut Chasadim (Acts of Loving Kindness), Ometz HaLev (Courage of the Heart), and Shmirat HaAdamah (Guarding the Earth). When a cabin completes one, they earn a Chai Tile, which goes on our giant game board in the dining hall. Each cabin that achieves all the values will win a special prize of their choice! Every cabin is already well on their way.
Recently, our Executive Boys and Girls (Grades 10-12) went above and beyond in one Jewish value that is central to life at Camp Inc: Hachnasat Orchim (welcoming guests). Last week we hosted Moziya Bridges, the 14-year-old Shark Tank contestant, and CEO of Mo’s Bows. Our campers immediately integrated Mo into camp life by including him in various activities and cabin life. They even baked him a cake during their rest hour!
This is only one example of the remarkable way our Chai Tile program evolves from conceptual game to real life practice. As the Jewish Educator, one of my goals over these two and a half weeks is to give our campers the tools they need to become the best and most well rounded version of themselves. Central to that is the message of Korach, and the everlasting importance of effective communication and collaboration. In our times, success comes not to the brightest among us, but rather to those who can effectively communicate their ideas, and work with others to implement them correctly and efficiently. This is our hope and dream for every single camper here, and hopefully the results will speak for themselves.
Landon is the Jewish Educator and Song Leader at Camp Inc.! He is originally from Vancouver, Canada and currently lives in New York City where he works as a musical theatre composer and producer. He is an active member of BASE Hillel in Brooklyn, and recently returned from Israel where he staffed a Birthright trip. Landon is thrilled to be in the spectacular Colorado Mountains for the first time, and can’t wait to make new amazing memories with everyone at Camp Inc.