D’Var Torah Emphasizes the Importance of Camp

  • Two of Camp Pembroke’s counselors approached us this week, requesting the honor of delivering the D’Var Torah for Shabbat.  As I watched them excitedly writing the words they were going to present to the campers at Shabbat services, it was clear that they were working from their own emotional connection to camp, and to Camp Pembroke in particular.  Read on to recognize the impact that camp has had on their lives.  Camp is an amazing place, made even more amazing by counselors like these…………..

                                                                                           D’VAR TORAH

                This week’s parsha tells the story of Moses’s farewell to the chosen people after having lived the past 40 years in the desert. He recounts Adonai’s words which urged the Israelites to make the trek to new land. This journey brought the Israelites to the wonderful new home that we know today as Israel, the best reward for any risk they could take. It can sometimes be hard to relate the stories of the Torah to our own lives. After much thinking, we came up with a few ideas on how this particular portion could relate to each of you. 

              Camp itself is a new land, full of exciting surprises and different people. For many of us, it is a place to step outside of our comfort zone and explore activities we would not ordinarily want to do. For others, it is a place to broaden their horizons and take on more challenging tasks for things they may already feel comfortable doing. Either way, it is the courage to try that makes camp such a special place, a place where girls can expand their boundaries and shape the person they are, into the person they would like to become.D'var

              For the Israelites, Mount Sinai was their comfort zone, the place that they were used to and had lived for decades. The idea of leaving was not only scary, but also difficult to accept. However, they braved the daunting move through the desert and ended up gaining a reward for the risk they took.

              Many of us at camp have to take risks every day…. maybe not risks as big as crossing a desert, but risks in the sense of trying new things. Standing up on waterskis for the first time, auditioning for the camp play, or trying out for the basketball team. These are all risks that we take every day and as a result, we gain the confidence to keep trying.

              The biggest risk many of us take here at camp is the risk to live all on our own. Of course you have wonderful counselors such as us to help you out, but overall this is probably the only experience of true independence you have had during your childhood years. This independence has taught us so much about ourselves and our capabilities. It has provided us with leadership skills, the ability to take action when it is necessary and the confidence to continue to try new things.

              This week, our final week of first session, we hope that you all challenge yourselves to take a risk and try a new thing. Make a new friend, learn a new game or find a way to get involved. Though you don’t know what lies ahead, we hope that you too will find a reward in the risk that you take.

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