With the summer in full swing, thousands of children are away from home at various summer camps. Meanwhile, a unique camp is now in its third year providing a realistic camp experience in a virtual setting. From their homes in scattered locations around the world, young Shluchim log in daily to unlock the summer of their dreams.
Over the two sessions in camp, over 150 children have enjoyed the full camp experience from the comforts of their homes. Organized by the MyShliach team at Merkos 302, the two and a half hours of daily fun, excitement, learning, and friendship have replaced the quiet summer lull for those still at home.
“The mission and goal of MyShliach is to provide for young Shluchim in all areas they may need, both spiritual and physical,” explains Rabbi Mendy Shanowitz, Director of MyShliach. “Geographical distance and other obstacles prevent many from being able to join their peers at traditional camps. Every child deserves a fun summer, and we see it as our responsibility to fill the void for these children.”
Live performances delight the children with quality entertainment. Jugglers and magicians enthrall with their skills and tricks, and animal shows showcase the distinct features and characteristics of all types of creatures.
For a deeper look into various fields of Judaism, professionals in each field deliver eye-opening educational presentations. A trained Sofer displayed the ins and outs of producing Sefrei Torah and Mezuzas. They explored the entire process, from the skinning of the cow and manufacturing of the ink, all the way to the special writing used in a Torah.
“We put an extra emphasis on making sure all of our activities are engaging and hands-on for the children. We want the camp to come to life in each home, not to be confined to the screen of the computer,” said Rabbi Shaya Itkin, Program Director at MyShliach.
Staying consistent with the classic camp structure, the children are divided into bunks giving them an opportunity to socialize and connect with kids their age. Many friendships sparked in previous years have continued throughout the year and into the current summer session. Devoted counselors are assigned to each bunk, leading them in davening, learning, and activities. Bunks prepare cheers and engage in bunk-based competitions, helping them to bond as they would in a typical camp setting.
The camp is catered to campers in grades K to 4, and runs for 4 weeks throughout the months of July and August.
“The idea for the distinct camp format was born during the widespread Covid lockdowns of 2020. Seeing the positive feedback from parents and children propelled the idea to develop into a mainstay for young Shluchim,” says Rabbi Mendy Kotlarsky, executive director of Merkos 302.
For more information you can visit www.myshliach.com/mvc