Shomrei Adamah Day
Shomrei Adamah means Keepers of the Earth in Hebrew. Each summer, our Teva (nature) staff put together this day of creative programming.
With six different sessions, campers were kept busy and learning.
One of the sessions, the Butterfly Project, focused on moral courage and the Holocaust. Campers painted ceramic butterflies in Arts & Crafts, glazed them and they will soon become a permanent fixture in Camp. The project is a call to action through education, arts and memorial making. It uses the lessons of the Holocaust to educate about the dangers and hatred of bigotry and cultivates empathy and social responsibility. The project was inspired from The Diary of Anne Frank, through the poem The Butterfly written during the Holocaust. Surprise Lake Camp is now part of a global memorial of over 200 plus communities working towards hanging 1.5 million butterflies in honor of the children who perished in the Holocaust, and honoring the survivors.
Another session, Lean on Me, is also based on moral courage, gaining trust from a partner and empathizing with what the people around you are going through. Campers walked in pairs, one person blindfolded while the other led them through an obstacle course.
During Kindness Vine, campers thought about their actions and the impact they have on others. They learned about making conscious decisions to do good things for the people around them. They discussed kindness in general and things that evoke happiness. They closed the session with how they’re going to spread kindness and inspire others.
Environmental Appreciation taught campers to care for the world around them. They went on a nature walk with a trash bag to clean up trails often used around Camp. Campers were divided into groups, each group holding a bingo card with pictures of leaves, insects and other nature objects. The goal was to find everything on the card.
A session exclusive to Mainside included learning about bees and making bracelets. Campers learned about the importance of bees and other pollinators. They made bracelets with reminders on them, including phrases such as, Shomrei Adamah, Save the Bees and other creative phrases. Campers left the session with knowledge on how to increase pollinators, limit pesticides and shop for local food.
In an effort to encourage environmental stewardship, campers built “bug hotels.” Campers learned about the importance of bugs, how they pollinate plants and how they’re part of the world’s food web. With a bucket, a bottle, newspaper, paper straws, sticks, and leaves, they made bug hotels. They decided where to hang them up and decorated them.
Shomrei Adamah Day has been a very successful day, thanks to our Teva staff, cooperative specialists and engaged campers and counselors. We’ve learned about how moral courage and environmental stewardship work together to create a better planet.