Dana @ the Riga, Latvia Summer Camp
Riga is one of the unique locations in the camping program where camps for the youngest kids just 6-10 years old are conducted. For many of these children it is the first time when they leave their homes and stay for so long without parents or grandparents.
The game concept of the camp is "a town of Jewish craftsmen". In the first day of a camp a child chooses which craft (dancing, storytelling, drawing, photo etc.) he or she loves and joins of the groups. During the camp session children learn about their Jewish heritage through a certain "craft", art techniques and creative methodics.
This summer is very hot in Latvia and in the very first day the counselors faces the issue that children need to drink water. In order to make the process fun they organized water wars during one of the breaks after lunch. "It was so fun!" – recalls Karina, one of the counselors in the camp. "It was not something that the children expected in such situation from adults. It was a great surprise for them! Later we met in groups and explained about dangers of dehydration. Those who were in Israel shared their experience".
Dana, a 9 year old girl from Riga came to the camp for the first time:
I had mixed feelings in the first day. On one hand I was proud for being alone, without parents and meeting new people, but on the other hand, I felt myself a small child. The first evening in the camp made me feel comfortable in the new situation and meet new friends. We were all sitting in a big hall with nice music and the counselors suggested us writing letters to one another. I wrote to the girls I was living with and received their answers. I wrote dozens of letters that evening and later I was not afraid to come up to my new friends".
On the next day children in their groups spoke about family, Jewish families from Tanakh and created emblems for their groups and families.
The upcoming days promise even more fun and learning.