Welcome to the garden

The third ring of our mission focuses on building a partnership with nature. One of the integral locations to actualize this partnership at camp is the garden. Our garden coordinators, who are part of our wilderness staff, facilitate several activities — or “blocks” as we call them here — including tea making, learning about organic gardening and sustainability, teaching campers about how to harvest vegetables and herbs, and much more. In addition to tending to the plant life in the garden, we also care for several animals. We have 18 chickens, two goats respectively named Rocket and Becky Bonanza Jellybean (yes, really), and we will be welcoming two pigs later this summer who will eat table scraps to reduce our land impact.

Campers will have the opportunity to learn about composting and sustainability through our work with the pigs, collect eggs from the chickens, and milk the goats. We believe this hands-on interaction with animals and plants helps kids develop an understanding of and appreciation for our relationship with the food we eat. During garden programs, bunks enjoy tasting homegrown produce and herbs from the garden and eggs from the chickens.

New structure built in the garden this year.

This morning, our garden coordinators, Rebs W. and Emma W., held the first of several blocks teaching campers about all of the herbs in our garden, as well as how to make lip balm. Using cocoa butter, beeswax, and Valencia Orange Essential Oil, campers were part of each step of the process in making their balms — a product most use every day. A main component of the block included learning about the Jewish value of Shmirat Haguf, meaning to guard one’s body. Campers learned about the importance of self-care of the body (and mind) and how to be aware of what they’re putting in and on their bodies. Together campers also shared what self-care means for them; we hope that using their lip balms for the rest of the session and back at home might remind them of these important lessons.

Marsha Attie, former Tawonga Song Leader sings with the Unit of Haifa (G7,G8A, G8B, B7, B8).

Below, enjoy a few photos of G-7 in the garden, one of the bunks of several that participated in the lip balm activity. Later tonight we will post many more photos displaying the broad range of activities campers get to enjoy everyday. Until then!