A Little Chesed Goes a Long Way
Earlier this week we joined in with camps all over the country to celebrate Camp Kindness Day. We are no strangers to kindness, or chesed, as it is one of our core values. When the opportunity to devote a day of programming to it came about, we jumped right in. And now as we enter Shabbat, we reflect on a week filled with chesed and what that has done for our kehillah.
When we introduced Camp Kindness Day to our staff, we gave some tools and ideas for how to implement it as a village and as a cabin, but we gave no requirements as to what would happen. Instead, we empowered the staff and they brainstormed with the campers as to what they could do to show chesed.
The results were creative, unique, and inspirational. Young campers took supplies found all over camp, rocks, and wrote inspirational messages on them. And while it may sound silly, when a 10 year old hands you a rock and tells you “you rock and if you ever forget it look down” and written on the rock is “YOU ROCK,” it brings a smile to your face. Other campers gave water and lemonade to the hardworking staff in camp, showing their appreciation for just how hard everyone works to make camp a successful and happy place for everyone. Other campers surprised staff around camp with songs and dance, as well as posters and cards of thanks for all they do.
Kindness is more than just saying thank you. Chalutzim chose to go a different route and show some chesed to the world outside camp. The 7th grade campers learned that one of our staff member’s friends was recently diagnosed with cancer and spent an hour making cards and writing notes to this young man, to help him stay positive and inspired as he goes through treatment.
What stood out to us on Camp Kindness Day is the selflessness of our kehillah. Whether it was handing out rocks, making cards, or providing refreshments, all the activities we did were for others. It became a day about everyone else, not a day about specialties and evening program. We spent an entire day trying to make others feel good and inspire them to be their best. What stood out at Chi was how easy for our campers to show chesed. And it was a success too! Campers described as fun and asked why we dedicated just one day to it. When you hear those things, you know you’re doing something right. We are in the business of helping little people become good big people. And if this day is any indication of what’s to come, the little people of Camp Chi are going to be some superb big people someday. So, this weekend we want to challenge you to perform some acts of chesed and keep the kindness flowing. Shababt Shalom Camp Chi!