Peulot Alef-Dalet (Afternoon Activities) 2:15-5:30
We finished an action-packed morning, a hearty lunch, and an incredible (hard-earned) nap…it must be time for the second half of our daily programming:
CYJ’s award-winning, world-famous, unbelievable afternoon Peulot!
While campers stay in the same morning chuggim for half the session, they spend the afternoons on a different activity every day. In fact, our programming staff arrange the schedule to guarantee every camper tries every program. One day they’ll dance in the ‘Zoid, another they’ll hit the archery range; one day they’ll make pots in Ceramics, and another they’ll soar down the zip line. The peulot period offers a buffet of fun programs, each in convenient single serving size!
But campers won’t be sampling alone. Our mornings focus on exploring campers’ personal interests, but the afternoons are designed toward building a community. Not as large as the whole camp but bigger than the bunk, we’re talking about building our aidot— i.e. our age groups, including both girls and boys.
The bunks in an aidah share their tefillot (prayers) and evening activities, but the afternoons are when they really become a family. When they’re scheduled for activities they’ve often never tried, the group ends up relying on each other as they learn and explore. They laugh together, discover new talents together, and impress each other with their skill and drive. By the end of the session, they know each other well enough to be siblings!
The other major part of the afternoon is the educational peulah. Every aidah is given a specific topic or theme related to Israel and Judaism, which they study two or three times per week. But don’t think desks and chalkboards—this is camp we’re talking about! Our youngest kids learn through play, enjoying scavenger hunts, performances, and quiz shows. As campers get older, the programming becomes more mature, slowly introducing more challenging topics and experiential learning.
Some Peulot highlights include:
The Ofarim Wedding
Demonstrating what they’ve learned about the Jewish lifecycle in their peulah, our youngest campers invite the camp to a mock wedding ceremony that they’ve prepared. (Who knew that learning could be so adorable!)
Chalutzim Kosher Hunt
Our fourth graders use what they’ve learned while exploring a real grocery store, searching out the kosher items they’ve been trained to identify. When they return to Camp, they celebrate their success by sampling their findings!
After spending their summer learning all about Israeli culture, it’s time for our incoming fifth graders to share the wealth! All younger campers are invited to enjoy stations dedicated to different facets of Israeli society, enjoying the opportunity to learn from older kids! They also may do some cow milking at the “kibbutz”, get henna designs at the “Yemenite Wedding”, and enhance their camouflage skills with some “Israeli soldiers”!
By the last week, our sixth-graders have learned all about Israeli culture and values. Through cooking, art, sports, first aid, and more, they to explored Israeli diversity, creativity, teamwork, and humanitarianism. Now it’s time to put their new skills to the test in the ultimate challenge– the Maginim Race! A relay race/scavenger hunt of epic proportions, this incredible challenge has teams of campers racing around the entire camp, completing tasks and solving problems that only their knowledge can help them with! Who will be this years Maginim champions?
Kesher’s Tikkun Olam Shabbat Shebang
Impassioned seventh graders present charities of their choice to the camp, each trying to persuade their peers why their organization is the most worthy. Based on their arguments, CYJers decide where to contribute the real tzedakkah they brought with them to camp, giving real-world significance to Kesher’s efforts!
Army Day and Holocaust Remembrance
As our oldest core-program aidah, the eighth grade Bogrim participate in not one, but two incredibly powerful events. The first is their Holocaust Remembrance Day, where they’ll spend their afternoon discussing and learning about that dark period in our history. Guest speakers and a miniature museum enhance the already moving programming.
Their second event is Army Day, a full day’s programming meant to simulate the experience of an IDF soldier. These kids put their will and their bodies through some of the hardest challenges of their young lives, but the program’s conclusion makes it all worth it. In an emotional ceremony, the Bogrim are recognized for completing their basic training. Campers who demonstrate the most resolve, courage, and teamwork, will receive badges of honor, souvenirs that they treasure for years to come.