Around Camp with Ben

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Hi There! My name is Ben. I’m one of the Assistant Directors on OSRUI. I think we all know that camp is a pretty amazing place. It has something for everyone: sports, art, learning, friends, the list goes on and on. There’s a lot of awesome things happening at OSRUI this summer and I am so excited to tell you all about them. So join me as we go on a tour of camp with some of the people who make it possible as they share how they make camp magic happen every single day!

Today, I am so happy to introduce you to Sam Cohen. He’s here to tell us about OSRUI’s Trip and Travel Program, Moshavah, of which he is the Rosh Eidah. Read below to hear what he has to say:

BEN: Who are you and what do you do at camp?

SAM: My name is Sam Cohen, and I’m the Rosh Eidah (unit head) of Moshavat HaTeva.

BEN: How would you describe Moshavah as a unit? What does Mosh do that separates it from other units?

SAM: Moshavah is an eidah at camp that explores the Judaism through outdoor experiences in the natural world. Mosh is different from any other unit on camp because we have the opportunity to embark on tiyulim (trips) across the great state of Wisconsin. The tiyulim are incredibly unique opportunities to build community and explore connections to Judaism while challenging ourselves as we navigate the wilderness.

BEN: What kinds of trips do you do? Is there downtime? What is the “schedule” of a trip like and how does the programming change?

SAM: The tiyulim we go on are biking, hiking, canoeing, and rock climbing. Each trip goes on its own unique schedule which always includes t’filah (prayer) moments, team building activities, and plenty of time to explore and play in teva (nature). On our tiyulim, our chanichIm (campers) get the chance to lead evening programs as well. From making meals to setting up and taking down their tents, Moshavah has a community bonding experiences that come from both the trails we traverse and the spontaneity that comes from working with and in nature.

BEN: What is the value in these trips for campers? Isn’t it just OSRUI but you make your own food and sleep in smaller bunks (aka camping tents)?

SAM: In my opinion, the Moshavah tiyulim are the most valuable experiences a camper can have during their time at OSRUI. The trips aren’t easy – that’s no secret. By embarking on the tiyulim, our campers get a chance to try, face challenges, and try again. They learn that they can do hard things on their own or with the support of a friend and community, while also learning that the plan can’t always go exactly as they expected. The growth I see all of our campers’ experiences on our tiyulim is what makes Moshavah such a wonderful and special unit on camp.

BEN: This is your second year as the Moshavah Rosh Eidah. Why did you decide to come back? Do you have fond memories of Moshavah? Do you feel attached to it in any way (different than feeling attached to OSRUI)?

SAM: After my first summer as a Madrich (counselor) in Moshavah, I changed my major from Sports Marketing (bleh) to Education – my only reason was because I wanted to continue to work with kids and have the opportunity to come back to camp each and every summer. I came back because Moshavah is my home. On my first tiyul as a Mosh camper in 2013, I was assigned to a tent with 2 other campers who I did not know. Now, they are two of the closest friends I have in the entire world. We continued through camp together, were MadrichIm together, and now we talk every single day. Moshavah gave me so much, and I hope to continue to give that same experience to my campers. 

Wow! Thanks, Sam, for sharing your insight and expertise with us about the inner workings of OSRUI’s Trip and Travel program. We thank you for everything that you do at camp and wish you the best summer ever. And for all of you reading this, thanks for checking out our blog, and come back next week as we feature more of the great parts of camp that make it the greatest place on Earth! See ya later!