Work/Life Balance at Camp

Posted June 27, 2015 by

By Sarah “Zippy” Magida, Chief Fun Officer

Hungry HipposWork/life balance is one of the most difficult things, even for adults to achieve.  It is something that we are trying to teach our campers.  To help teach them this valuable skill we provide menucha (rest hour) almost everyday after lunch, and we encourage each of our campers to take the time to truly rest and take time for themselves.  We also provide the opportunity for campers to take a Chug (Elective) and explore their own specific interests.  We break from Inc. time and Electives for Community Time, Cabin Time, and Brainbreak where campers see people who are not in their cabins and Inc. Teams.  We spend Shabbat away from the Inc. rooms.  All of our evening programs involve playing games, dressing up, and generally being silly.  My goals in creating the evening programs for our campers always include “To have fun,”  all in service of providing a healthy balance between the work of the Inc. times and the life in the cabins and outside of Inc. Teams.

Tonight after dinner, we played Live Games.  Campers played both “Hungry, Hungry Hippos” and “Pacman”, with our own camp twist.  For Human Hungry, Hungry Hippos, campers had to collect ball-pit balls from the gaga pit while attached to stretchy bands.  Seeing the smiles and hearing the laughter as campers scrambled for the balls, it was clear that they were having fun and focusing on the “life” part of work/life balance.  For Human Pacman, I set up a paper maze over the entire gym floor and campers took turns wearing a Pacman costume and ghost costumes while running through the maze.  As they ran, campers marked off circles on the butcher paper to indicate that they had “eaten” the circles.  Hearing campers cheer for one another as they ran through the maze and seeing their joy as they completed the activity, it was again clear that they were enjoying the “life” element.

Our campers had a restful Shabbat and a fun evening, and tomorrow they will go back to thinking about the work of their Inc. Teams in preparing for Pitch Day, but we will continue to break up their work time with times to enjoy life at camp as well.