A Message from Tiferet, a Maoriginal Camper
Shabbos in NCSY Camp Maor is truly magical! Shabbos begins each week with pre-Shabbos ruach where all campers meet in the dance studio and watch our weekly video followed by dancing. After dancing all campers head to the tent while singing Sha Sha Shabbat Shalom. Then everyone sings our original Kabbalat Shabbat song written about the female experience of bringing Shabbos in, followed by davening Kabbalat Shabbat together while the sun sets around us.
Counselors quickly head to the dining room before Shalom Aleichem to place their campers’ “Shabbat O’ Grams” at their seats and to greet campers as they enter during Shalom Aleichem. After Shalom Aleichem the entire camp sings our original Eishit Chayil tune and listens to Rabbi Josh make kiddush. Our Friday night dinner always begins with delicious soup and depending on the week includes chicken,
brisket, salmon, rice, vegetables and roasted potatoes. During dinner the entire dining room is silent when listening to campers’ Divrei Torah. Soon after we launch into an array of camp cheers/zmirot, and every bunk gets a chance to lead a cheer/zemer of their choice. Next we begin our Shabbos bentching inspired by the Cup Song, and campers play the beat. Friday night dessert is always an enjoyable type of cake or pastry and afterwards campers and staff sing our original Friday Night melody reflecting on our
incredible night. Our Rivka division campers then head to the theater for an oneg and to play exciting games as a bunk, using The Box by NCSY. After a fun-filled, inspiring night campers head to bed to get ready for the next amazing Maor day!!!
Starting with a 9am wakeup Shabbos day, campers head to davening and then to a delicious kiddush breakfast with pastries, cereal, fruit, and yogurt. Next the Miriam division goes to play parsha games while Esther and Rivka go to the theater shul for mussaf and to answer fun parsha-related questions in- between leining. Soon after, the entire camp meets at the dining hall for a lunch which depending on the week can incorporate deli, chicken, chili, cholent, noodle kugel and vegetables. Another round of
cheering/zmirot happens and campers listen to more inspiring divrei torah. Following lunch, we head to the theater for Big Sister Little Sister time, where the girls with corresponding parts meet up to rehearse their lines/blocking for the final performance. Next we say mincha then walk to the tent where we enjoy an amusing version of The Lion King, performed by our counselors. Afterwards, campers head to their bunks for rest time and to enjoy relaxing time chilling with their bunk.
After rest campers enjoy their bunk Shabbos parties followed by Shiur with Rabbi Josh or Bethany, fun and games with Shoshie and Maayan and improvisational or singing games with the professional staff. Then the entire camp goes to Shalosh Shudas where we enjoy a delicious dairy buffet and after bentching go to ebbing where we sing as Shabbos ebbs away. During ebbing the entire camp sings and listens to Sari tell inspirational stories. Our ebbing program ends with our staff member and camper of the week bracelet ceremonies where these members of our Camp Maor families who have gone above and beyond this week receive a special rainbow bracelet. The remainder of the camp receives the weekly bracelet based on the past week’s theme. We then sing our original Havdalah song clad with glow in the dark necklaces, followed by Havdalah where our campers of the week get to hold the Havdalah candle. The night than ends with dancing to classic Melava Malka songs, as well as Camp Maor originals.
And that is our magical Shabbos at NCSY Camp Maor. You should all come and visit us and share in the magic.
The Blog Post You’ve Been Waiting For… Literally
Hi! My name is Maayan. Last year at NCSY Camp Maor I spent my days with the
cutest staff kids in the world while soaking up Maor culture and ideals. This year, I
came back to the culture not as a day camp counselor, but as the Ruach Coordinator.
As the Ruach Coordinator, I try to ensure that the campers are having fun and
smiling all day long.
This year was Maor’s first ever Color War! Color War was a great opportunity for the
girl to let their Ruach shine through. We saw their Ruach from the very minute
Color War was broken out, to the Apache race on the first night, to their cheers for
achdus before the winner was announced. Whether because they were cheering for
their friends, or coming up with their team anthem, seeing the girls get into color
war was really heart-warming.
Shabbos is also no less than incredible. During our Friday night Shabbat meal, you
can hear the thunderous cheering from down the road! Girls up their chairs, smiles
on wide, the Shabbos Ruach is there for everyone.
This isn’t only fun for the campers… I’m having a blast too! My favorite is when the
girls start cheering their bunk cheers, each bunk with pride to cheer for their bunk.
But I must admit that random dance parties at meals or snack is a close second. I’m
loving it here at Maor, and am so excited for the rest of the summer!
A Message from Lynne, Camp Mom
Wednesday was a magical day at NCSY Camp Maor. All campers and staff boarded a bus to Manhattan to attend two workshops at Ripley Grier Studios. The first was with our own resident dancer instructor, Rhonda Malkin. She worked with the Maorlies on a new dance in honor of Ari Kahn. And then as a special treat, we learned an authentic dance routine from the Broadway musical “Aladdin” as taught by Paige Williams, an “Aladdin” ensemble member.
After all that dancing, we walked to the New Amsterdam Theatre to see “Aladdin”. (Where’s a magic carpet when you need one?) As we settled into our seats, we knew ”a whole new world awaited.”
Sure enough, it was a dazzling show. All of Maor gave our new friend Paige a huge cheer when she danced onto the stage! And we couldn’t stop laughing at the Genie’s antics.
After the show, we had an exclusive question and answer talk-back with the stars! We got to talk to the actors who played Aladdin, Jasmine, Iago and others. Arielle Jacobs (Jasmine) gave us a scoop that she hadn’t shared with anyone else yet: she has recorded a version of the song “Speechless” from the “Aladdin” live action motion picture. Coincidentally, we will be performing that song with an original dance at our finale.
Although we were sad to leave the theater, we had our pizza dinner in Teaneck, NJ to look forward to. And then, it was back to camp and to bed because tomorrow is the Festival of the Arts! Could Maor be any more fun?
A Message from Chava, Former Camper & Current Counselor
My name is Chava. I was a camper at Camp Maor for four summers. Those four summers were probably the best summers of my life. I went to Israel last summer, but I couldn’t stay away from Maor. When I came back from Israel, I went up to Maor for a visit on the last Shabbat of camp and it was amazing Shabbat.
This summer I am back again as a counselor. I am the Rivka 8/9 counselor and it could not be a better experience. As a counselor my perspective of camp is different than a camper’s, obviously, but it is still a wonderful way to experience Maor.
As a counselor, I get to watch my campers do what I did for four years: rehearse, rehearse and rehearse some more. I also get to participate in some of their activities and join electives. One of my favorite electives this year was Pound, taught by Kasiah Kluger, who is the voice major instructor. Pound has nothing to do with singing, though. It is a creative workout using drumsticks. The workout was so intense that we couldn’t really walk to our next activity!
My favorite part of being a counselor, though, is something I never got to do when I was a camper: use a walkie-talkie! They are the coolest things ever! They are also really useful on the rare occasion that they work. I can call any staff member for help if need be, and I feel really cool when I do it.
Camp Maor feels like a family from day one. Every year there are new people who join that family, and other people who have to move away, but even those who move away come back to visit sometimes.
Even though it’s only been two weeks of camp, I really enjoy being a counselor and I get a lot of nachas from my campers, some of whom I’ve only known for two weeks.
Can’t wait for another two amazing weeks of camp!
A Message from Kasiah, Voice Major Instructor + So Much More!
Let me just say, as a first year Camp Maor staff member I am completely blown away by the talent that surrounds me every day. As this year’s voice instructor, I have been working with our Voice Majors on our upcoming Festival of the Arts performance. Our girls have been diligently preparing four songs ranging from folk and showtunes in the Miriam/ Esther bunks to Broadway ballads and Big Band Jazz in the Rivka 7/ Rivka 8,9 bunks.
We begin each class with a variety of vocal warm-ups and breathing exercises. We continue our rehearsal practicing our harmonies, working on dynamics and individual solo work, and close with a tip for a vocal technique. Our sessions are always filled with laughter, fun, and of course, beautiful music from these talented young ladies.
When we are not working on trills, triplets, and 2-part harmonies, we have been tapping into our inner love for fitness with POUND classes. POUND is a rockout workout that utilizes weighted drumsticks in a choreographed fitness routine. The girls have been having a blast letting loose and feeling like rockstars. It has also been a great way for me to get to know the campers from majors other than voice.
I am looking forward to our upcoming performance, and of course, continuing to make music with them!
A Message from Rabbi Josh and Rebbetzin Bethany, Chinuch Director
Aaannddd Shiur is back at Camp Maor for another fabulous summer! This time, we are exploring the theme of friendship from a Torah perspective. Last week, we discussed the value of trusting in others by playing a variation on the prisoner dilemma game and by learning relevant Mishnayos in Pirkei Avos. This week, we analyzed the challenges that may arise when chesed and emes conflict. We discussed several real-life cases and explored the halachic and moral implications of each case.
Campers also created a giant friendship bracelet for this week which hangs in the dining room. Each camper wrote a slogan or illustrated a picture connecting to the theme of chesed and emes based on what they learned in Shiur this week. It is a stunning display of individuality and creativity merging with unity and friendship. Thank you to Caitlin, Visual Arts Director, and Tehila, day camp counselor, for your help with this project!
Finally, our first two Parsha Challenges have been highly successful in helping the students engage fully in the text of the Chumash as well as work cooperatively with their bunk members. It is so beautiful to see how much effort the girls put into the Parsha Challenge each week as they sharpen their independent learning skills and build up their resilience, resourcefulness, teamwork, and respect for each other. Looking forward to a wonderful Shabbos with the campers!
A Message from Rachel Klein, Theater Director
Hello fans of of the superstars at NSCY Camp Maor! Rachel Klein here, the director of this year’s production of the Jungle Book, adapted from the novel by award winning playwright, Ashley Griffin. In addition to working on memorizing their lines and developing their characters, the campers have been working on creating the physical life of their animal characters, to transform the Maor stage into an exciting, active jungle.
The campers this year are portraying a vast array of creatures from the animal kingdom, spanning from monkeys to vultures, to jungle cats to elephants. In addition to working hard and having a lot of fun in rehearsal, they are working on studying the specificity of each animal, and bringing the characters to life in great detail. They are asking thoughtful questions in rehearsal, taking risks and making bold choices. Everyone is incredibly excited about the final performance this year, and we look forward to welcoming you all to the jungle!
A Message from Rena, Assistant Director
Yes, we did!! It took us six years to do it and, of course, we Maor-ified it, but we are having Color War!
Last night we brought all the campers in for a special video message from Shaindel Antelis, who couldn’t come to camp this summer because she’s getting married!!! Shaindel shared her thoughts on the summer’s theme of Friendship and our week sub-theme of Chesed V’Emet (the names of our teams, get it??) and then broke the news to the campers while Shoshie and Maayan showered the room with confetti and the whole room burst into song and dance.
Our first event was an Apache relay complete with bobbing for apples, the classic egg-on-spoon race, matching faces to names, cookie face and more! After a much needed rest last night, the girls had some team time today to prepare for tonight’s incredible Lip Sync battle competition where each division will present a lip sync performance, a dance and a D’var Torah to exemplify their team’s theme.
At the lake today, the campers participated in swimming races, boating races and a sand art competition because we do everything with a twist!
Stay tuned to our Facebook posts and Instagram feed to see beautiful pictures of the girls in their pink and blue best.
A Message from Lisa, Head Lifeguard
My name is Lisa Silvey, and this is my fourth summer guarding at NCSY Camp Maor, and my 30th as a life guard! Of all the jobs I have done in my life, life guarding and life guard training has always been my favorite. Watching your daughters, granddaughters, nieces, sisters, and friends laughing, singing, dancing, swimming and boating on the lake, and knowing that they are experiencing something so unique on the lake in camp, gives me such joy.
I hope you are enjoying the photos and videos as much as I am making sure your girls are happy, relaxed and safe on Hickory Lake!
A Message from Rhonda Malkin, Head Choreographer
It was such a pleasure to work at Camp Maor this week, and the campers started off our first rehearsal on July 4th literally with a bang!! We had such a great time learning our dance “Beautiful” for the upcoming performance at HASC next week!! It is amazing to see how the dancers really focused and were able to finish the piece in just 2 rehearsals— the dancers are loving the dance and their energy and excitement is palpable—way to go, ladies!!! We also started the piece “Acheinu” for the dance minors, and it’s going to be awesome and so lovely showcasing our ballet and dance technique for the audience!!