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 proud to introduce Emma Nathenson, Jacob Dunn, and Max Mogilner, 3 incredible Tzofim madrichim. They’re here to tell us about Tzofim’s Oconomostock Talent Show and what goes into this rich tradition at OSRUI.

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

EMMA, JACOB, & MAX: We are Emma Nathenson, Jacob Dunn, and Max Mogilner, three Tzofim madrichim (counselors) and the roshei Oconomostock (heads of Oconomostock)! We are all entering our third year of college and have spent a few summers in Tzofim. All summer, we have been preparing for Oconomostock, an all camp talent show during the 7th week of camp, and working hard with the chanichim (campers) in Tzofim Gimmel to make it happen.

BEN: What is Oconomostock? You said it was a talent show. 

EMMA: Oconomostock (Oconomowoc + Woodstock) is one of two all camp talent shows at OSRUI. In the beginning of the summer, Gesher hosts Mesibah, but O-Stock is hosted and produced by Tzofim. It includes a shtick that tells a story about camp and friendship, songs that the entire unit sings together, and talent acts from all around camp. The whole talent show is centered around a theme as well, which Tzofim guards as a big secret! In the past we’ve done themes like Honey I Shrunk The Kids, Shrek, and Winnie the Pooh! 

BEN: Wow! And you do this with Tzofim campers? What is the process like? Is it easy?

JACOB: Even though it takes place at the end of camp, our staff is working on it throughout the summer. Before the campers even arrive, we come up with the theme and write a script for the Tzofim chanichim (campers) to perform. We also do some parodies of different songs that relate to the theme and Tzofim Gimmel learns the songs and choreography to them, and traditionally the older campers get to be MC’s for the night and act in the shtick we wrote. Oconomostock requires hard work, but it’s a huge honor to plan it and teach the children all of the long lasting Tzofim traditions that go along with it. The week before the show, we spend a little bit of time each day preparing for the big night with all of Tzofim. The night before the show, the madrichim (counselors) stay up late perfecting all the last minute details too!

BEN: So this is one of 2 all camp talent shows? Why is it so special to Tzofim?

MAX: A couple of reasons. First of all, Mesibah has been hosted by a lot of different units over the years, but Oconomostock has always had its home in Tzofim. It’s one of the oldest camp traditions from my knowledge and something we all get excited for.Seriously, part of the love in Tzofim Gimmel comes from the energy and excitement that O-Stock brings. Plus, it adds to Tzofim’s culture. When you’re a first time camper in Tzofim Gimmel, you look up to the MC’s and can’t wait to come back in the next year(s) to be more involved in the process. The same thing goes for staff. Jacob said it before, but being Rosh Oconomostock is something that Tzofim madrichim really take seriously and wear it with pride. O-stock brings Tzofim together to create something that is fun and entertaining for the entire camp, and that’s a special opportunity for 10-12 year olds. 

Wow! Thanks Roshei Oconomostock, for sharing your insight and expertise with us about the inner workings of Tzofim’s Oconomostock Talent Show. 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!