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Overcoming Challenges

This Friday at Shabbat services, our Kineret (rising 6th graders) campers and staff will share these writings based on the theme nitzachon or pushing through a challenge. 

By Ethan (counselor)
At camp we aspire to include and celebrate everyone, no matter what our differences. That aspiration is extremely important for all of us to have the best camp experience we can possibly have, and it’s especially important for those of us who are treated differently for being different out in the real world.

At camp we believe strongly in our ancient rabbinic text that reminds us that when a person makes coins from a mold, they will all resemble each other; in fact, they’re all exactly alike. But even though God made every person from the mold of Adam, the first person, and even though God made Adam in the image of God, not a single person is exactly like another. That’s why each and every person should say, “The world was created for my sake.” Regardless of our differences, we matter and we belong, especially at camp.

That being said, being a little different at camp can still come with many challenges. We should all remember our aspiration for inclusivity and act according to it, helping everyone to push through their challenges. Be more patient, be respectful, stand up for yourself and for others, be actively inclusive.

Our diversity and differences make us a better and stronger community, able to learn from each other and bring that mentality to other communities that we’re a part of.


By Drew & Evan
At the end of K’far night, it was dark and rainy and there was thunder and lightning. We had just gotten out of K’far Village when I noticed that I was following the wrong group of people. I stopped to wait for my group, which was behind me, but I guess they took a different path. That’s when it started to rain like crazy. It was so dark that I couldn’t see what was ahead of me except when there was a flash of lightning. 

Drew needed to find a way back to the bunk, but he was alone and he didn’t know if he was going to be able to get back in the dark and rain. It was a really scary night and really challenging situation. Think for a second — what would you have done?

When I started to lose hope of finding my bunk and finding my way out of the woods, I saw a group of faculty. Our rabbi told me that she would help me get back and pulled out a flashlight.

The storm and the darkness were really scary, but Drew pushed through and found people who could help him. We don’t need to overcome challenges on our own, we just need to have hope and remember that people can help us find light in the darkness.


By Noa, Evie and Samara
Dear Mom & Dad,
Camp has been hard with no family here. Last year I had my siblings to make me feel less homesick. As I went through the week, I realized that I have family here — my bunkmates. They have given me so much love and support that I now know this is my home away from home.

Dear Mom & Dad,
Second session has been great! It was difficult at first, but I pushed through it! I realized that camp is camp. It doesn’t matter if I’m with my first session friends because I made new ones at second!

Dear Mom & Dad,
Camp has been awesome! I’ve noticed that some of my friends have been struggling to push through challenges, so I decided I should try helping them. Making everyone feel welcome has been a challenge for me. But helping them realize that this is their home no matter what has made me realize the same thing:

We at home and we love each other! 


By Pria, Dani, Meital
Sometimes listening to others and taking others’ advice is the best way to help yourself push through a challenge. When you’re trying something new, your friends’ encouragement can be the thing that helps you use nitzachon. In the years I’ve been at Harlam, my friends and counselors have helped me use nitzachon. Listening to your peers’ advice and encouragement and you can push through any challenge that comes your way.


By Maddy & Victoria
The very first day my brother, my parents and I were driving through Harlam. We were welcomed by staff and the leadership team saying “Welcome Home!” At the time I was extremely tired, nervous, and excited. That night, I was really nervous about making new friends. After a few nights, I started to realize what “welcome home” and “where friends become family” actually means. My bunk protects and accepts me for who I am every day.

My favorite part of singing Hashkiveinu every night is that it shows that we protect our Camp Harlam family. As our staff unfold the tallitot and spread them over us. 


By Abby, Madi, Sasha
Some examples of Nitzachon are: watching your friends struggle, leaving your home and family and learning to manage your feelings.We found that some ways to push through these challenges include hanging out with your friends, talking to your counselors and distracting yourself. By using these solutions we can live camp to the fullest!


By Hannah, Eden, Maddie
This is the longest time I’ve ever been away from home, but my friends have helped me push through this challenge. Even though this is our 3rd year, it can still be pretty tough. We still have many arguments, like who gets their hair done first, or who gets to go first at adventure, and who gets the most sugar cereal.

But sometimes the biggest challenge can be trying to find peace. But there are ways to solve these problems too, like rotating every Shabbat to get our hair done, or doing shower hour order for adventure, and only getting half a bowl of sugar cereal. No matter how long we’ve been at camp, we push through the challenge of finding peace.


By Sofia, Elyssa, Maya, Ashley
If it’s your first or your last year, you can be pushing through challenges at camp, home, or school. Whether you’re trying to get used to camp or trying to fit into the bunk. Everyone pushes through challenges, big or small. It’s our job as a community to help each other push through obstacles. This week, Kineret wants to encourage you to help a friend overcome a challenge. You never know, it might help you overcome your own obstacles.

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