Update from Ariel Stern and Shalom Lipszyc, summer 5774 Learning Directors at Camp Gan Israel in Parkville, NY:
With Hashem’s help we have completed the first month of a very successful learning program here at Gan Yisroel Parksville. Featuring a multi-faceted learning program geared to campers of all ages and learning levels, B”H the results have been fantastic.
Here is a short recap of some of the highlights that have happened so far.
Building on the success of last years ‘redeveloped’ Kluger program, we once again implemented the Kluger campaign into camp. Complete with buzzers, lights, sound effects and scoreboards, the Kluger Game Show injects much more excitement compared to regular written tests. Games are held several times a week in each of the thirty-three learning classes.
Successful contestants are able to rise in rank with ID cards awarded for each rank achieved. Campers have even been sighted studying and reviewing the material in their spare time. We are now only days away from the first month Kluger Championship and Kluger Cup.
Whilst Kluger is an amazing tool to encourage high levels of learning, we have also filled in certain gaps with a special incentive system, the incentives are designed to encourage and reward good behavior and class participation. In the developing of this program, we decided not to waste an opportunity but rather to teach the boys invaluable information at the same time. Mimicking the currency from the times of the Mishna, a camp currency was created with realistic exchange rates and denominations (Dinar, Shekel, Sela, etc.)
The advantage being campers gain a valuable understanding of the currency often cited in Gemorah and Shulchan Aruch. Twice a week the Dinar Store opens in the Camp ‘square’ with campers able to purchase pizza slices, small toys and even framed pictures of the Rebbe. As an added social incentive, the Dinarim can be reused towards a refreshing class swim or an exhilarating hike in the Rebbe’s forest.
With the help of key individuals, student workbooks were developed filled with interesting information complete with full color graphics on a wide range of interesting subjects. The workbooks keep the campers entertained the entire time with essential material including; Gemora, Halocha, Tefila, Medresh, Chabad History, Inyonei Geula Umoshiach and more. Regular classes are also complemented with occasional hands on projects, including Safrus, 39 Melachos, Brochos and Tefillin.
All of this would not be possible without the amazing team of caring learning teachers who are doing an amazing job helping the campers grow intellectually, as well as strengthening their Emunah and Midos Tovos!
To help the Learning Teachers in educational techniques and methods, we have once again teamed up expert mechanech, Rabbi Sholom Barras (Principal of ULY Ocean Pkwy) for full time onsite guidance. Camp Mashpiim; Rabbis Shmuly Graj and Nochum Bukiet as well as many guest Roshei Yeshivos and Mashpim.
We are very proud of the results over the past few weeks and the amazing accomplishments that have been achieved. We look forward to positive change that will lead us proudly with Moshiach Tzidkenu to the Beis Hamikdosh!Ste