8 Nights, 9 Candles of Chi
For some, it might be hard to imagine what Hanukkah and Camp Chi have in common. For us, it’s easy – both use the symbols of flames and both are really special. At this time of year, we want to share my nine reasons, one for each candle on the menorah, that the Chi flame can burn so long inside each of us even on the coldest days in December.
Shamash- The Camp Chi family. All staff, campers, campers’ families and alumni make up a huge, dynamic network that is the Camp Chi family. We are scattered around the globe, but we don’t lose touch. When we go a long time without seeing each other, we are able to pick up just where we left off.
Candle 1- Our evening programs. Our counselors love creating amazingly fun and unique evening programs. We have witnessed Mario Kart come to life, countless versions of Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja, and so many more. Nothing is better than a good messy program. After all, who doesn’t love smearing paint all over their counselors?
Candle 2- Shabbat and Song Session. From Shuk through Havdallah, Shabbat at camp is just so special with the highlight being Song Session. What a better way to burn off those calories from the delicious Shabbat dinner than jumping, dancing, and screaming? Whether it is in the dining hall, or on the deck, the absolute craziness followed by sitting with your cabin, swaying with arms around each other, is magic.
Candle 3- Specialties. We love that Chi campers get to choose from a list of activities and create a schedule just for them. Want to play basketball – we have that. Write and record your own song – check. Woodworking? Glass Fusion? Photography? We have it al! From Horseback Riding to the Ropes Course to Waterski, we have everything imaginable. And the list keeps on growing every summer!
Candle 4- Field Trips. As fun as being at camp is, sometimes it is nice to get a change of scenery. We travel all over Wisconsin in search of fun. Besides a guaranteed awesome day at Mt. Olympus for Waterpark Day, we go to the movies, bowling, jet boat cruises, minor league baseball games and so much more!
Candle 5- Camp. This may sound silly, but how often over the summer do you walk around camp and take in the beauty of the hundreds of acres around us? We make a habit of sneaking away every once in awhile to just walk the campgrounds. We have a truly breathtaking property and taking in the peacefulness is a favorite thing of ours to remind us to be thankful for what we have.
Candle 6- The camp staff. We’ve said it before and we will say it again – we absolutely have the best staff in the world. Our favorite quote is from Walt Disney. He said, “You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.” Well we’ve done just that; filled the most wonderful place in the world with the most talented, patient, caring, and fun people. Simply put, our staff rocks.
Candle 7- Campers. Without campers where would we be? Without our campers, our camp has no identity, as our campers define what Camp Chi is. Our campers are the key ingredient to the Camp Chi Magic we create, and are the reason the staff members put their hearts and souls into everything we do.
Candle 8- Chi Burning. Much like Hanukkah culminates with 9 lit candles, camp ends with Chi Burning. As we sit on the beach for Chi Burning, we reflect on the session that is coming to a close. This final night of camp is when we each re-light our internal Chi flame. Chi Burning combines everything on this list into one night that is one of the most beautiful and touching ceremonies, taking all the campfires from the summer and combining them into one giant light.
Every summer that flame is rekindled, and on Hanukkah, when we rededicate ourselves like the Israelites rededicated the Temple, we challenge everyone to join us in rekindling that flame. After all, we are only 6 months away from camp.