Our Philosophy of CAREPosted on June 4th, 2015
By: Ben Wong, Communications Coordinator
At URJ Camp Newman, we operate under a philosophy of CARE. CARE is an acronym created by camp that is indicative of the positive learning environment we are always striving for. Through emphasizing these words/phrases: Community, Acceptance, Role Models, and Each and Every One, we aim to inspire a love of Judaism in our campers, staff, and leadership.
This is how we see CARE at camp:
Community is a huge part of camp and within Judaism. It is highly important to us that every camper feels a part of something bigger than themselves. Activities such as forming cheers, singing their session songs, gathering for t’fillah, and even eating meals are all opportunities for campers to participate in camp as a unit. Camp is all about creating relationships, passing on traditions, strengthening bonds, and sharing experiences. Those are all accomplished together, as a collective Jewish community.
Acceptance is a very important part of camp. We want your child to not only feel free to be themselves, but maintain a sacred space that encourages finding one’s identity as a Jew and as a person. Part of that is having our leaders set a compassionate example of how we all want to be treated. URJ Camp Newman is a place where we should all feel the freedom to be who we are and encourage that freedom among our peers as well.
Role models at camp can be found from the gates at the bottom of our hill to our tower at the top. We lead as teachers and through our actions, believing that setting a great example is the first step in teaching the many Jewish values we hold dear to our hearts. It is important that we hold ourselves to a high standard and understand our power as individual influencers and as a community. Equally as important, being a role model is not limited by your role at camp. For example, a teen camper teaching a junior camper how to throw a frisbee is an action from which we can all gain, regardless of our job at camp. We are all role models and the responsibility of treating others with respect, fairness, and humility rests on our collective shoulders.
Each and Every One:
This part of our philosophy has to do largely with individuality. Though community is also an ideal, our campers must be seen as individual people. This means that each camper be treated with care specific to their specific desires and needs. Time remains the world’s most valuable currency, and from the top down, we aim to give as much to every single camper as possible.
This week, our senior staff participated in a CARE based program. This program outlined how CARE manifests itself at camp, how we each see CARE as individuals, and how we can all contribute to a positive learning environment.
This program featured writing words that also begin with C,A,R, and E that support CARE. Words like “creativity, cuddles, closeness, adaptive, alert, attention, reaction, rest, respect, emotional, emet (truth in Hebrew) and empowering” all aid our message.
We concluded that CARE comes about in many shapes and forms, but that there’s an opportunity to support our philosophy every time we interact with one another. Whether it’s senior leader to staff member, camper to camper, department head to director, or anywhere in between, it’s how we communicate and connect with each other that holds value.