Over 150 Jewish girls aged 9-17 from all over Ukraine stayed in a stunning Sonya’s camp on the shift from June 16 to July 4 (Sivan 22 – Tammuz 10).
The camp was conducted by Shiurey Torah Lubavitch (STL) organization, founded by Dan Makogon, which is a significant part of the Dnepropetrovsk Jewish community, led by Chief Rabbi Shmuel Kaminezki.
The girls’ camp is being held every year within the STL Teens & Kids project; located on the base of the best kids camp in Ukraine ‘Aurora’ placed at the shore of the Black sea and available for only the children of country’s elite.
Jewish girls stayed in the camp for 19 days. They spent their leisure at the seaside, had day and night entertainment events, sports activities and creative pursuits. Kids were involved in the camp’s local radio and news-channel: they created videos about latest doings and events.
Besides the camp amusements, a great Olympic pool with seawater was also for the service of our kids. Additionally, they had their studies on Jewish traditions and out-of-topic informal talks with teachers, where they could have asked all the important questions and discuss different issues in-group. This year we had three rabbis who worked as camp teachers and made their classes extraordinary.
Within the camp activities, girls had a chance to meet their friends from another Jewish girls camp ‘Yeka’, located not so far away, and had some great time together.
STL’s purpose is to show youngsters that yiddishkeit is interesting cool and easy. Moreover, interest appears with understanding; that is why all the educational materials were created to be easy for kids’ comprehension (in accordance to their age) as well as the examples how to use Torah wisdom in the everyday life.
We asked for the girls’ feedbacks, as we usually do after all grand events; the smallest kids were excited and eager to go on a next camp, the older ones admitted the new format of lessons and the topics touched there. They talked a lot about thankfulness, Ahavat Yisroel, etc. The eldest ones emphasized the value of Torah lessons and said, “Camp let me know, that I’m special and Judaism means a lot. That gave me a feeling of exclusiveness.”
Working with kids is a two-way road: we give and get at the same time. The team that worked in the camp answered our questions on what they received from kids and found out.
“A camp is a small where during a small period of time every girl experiences her own wins, tragedies, love, fame, friendship, sadness and happiness. When you unwillingly meet those pure emotions and feelings you reinvent a lot in your life and reality.”
“Every minute of every day in the camp is filled with so many bright and powerful emotions which you could never get in any other way or place.”
All the staff said that working in the camp gives a lot of energy and inspiration to jump over the bar. Nevertheless, the biggest reward for us was the excitement of the girls during the camp and after it.
A special thanks to all those who made it possible.