Here is today’s “sermon” by Jack Leshem
Shabbat shalom. The year is 2007, and I am at camp for the first
session. I am greeted by the staff, but confused like most first year
campers. I knew a bit about swimming the bay, and about the
pow-wows, but nothing much else. Thankfully the staff was here to
guide me in the right direction.
Now, jump a year ahead and it is the summer of 2008. I come to
camp, and I am again greeted by the staff. This year I know more
about how camp works, but I still relied on the staff to be able to
answer my questions, such as which court is the stadium court, and
how to sign out at the buddy board. Surprisingly, during this time, I
was learning more about the 5 pillars of Kawaga, and Kawaga’s ideal.
As I continued through my 7 years as a camper, I never fully
understood how camp would be able to shape its campers to live by
the 5 pillars. We always said please and thank you in the mess hall,
and we always made our beds during inspection, but I did not
understand the specifics of how camp would teach its braves.
Every day at leagues, we play as hard as we can, like our
coaches tell us to. Then, we cheer at the end. When we get back the
the cabin, our counselors tell us to leave the games on the field. This
is the pillar of sportsmanship, and how the camp embodies it.
During meals, we will often cheer in the mess hall. We are loud,
and all sing together. We have fun and cheer for camp. Lead by the
campers, camp’s volume levels are at the peak during meals. This
display is the root of camp’s teachings of spirit.
At camp kawaga, we are all friends with each other. Also, we all
work together to achieve the larger task at hand. On camping trips,
age groups often work together to set up camp and collect firewood.
Because of this, the trip is then enjoyed, and a great time is had by all.
Through simple examples like this, Fellowship is easily found all
Every activity at camp is fun. Everything is run with high levels
of intensity and perfect execution. When an activity is announced,
such as an EP, it is immediately followed by cheering. This level of
enthusiasm is at camp 24/7, and is the reason the campers learn how
to live by the pillar of enthusiasm.
The pillar of leadership is made up of the other 4. For a leader to
be able to succeed, he/she needs to bring energy to whatever they are
doing. Also, that leader needs to respect what everyone else is doing.
A leader lives by the 4 other pillars. A leader is a brave who
constantly displays sportsmanship, fellowship, spirit, and enthusiasm.
At Camp Kawaga, every camper learns to live by the 5 pillars. We
come as younger campers not knowing the magnitude of what we
learn at camp. We leave our CIT summers as men who know how to
be the best people they can be. Thank you, camp Kawaga, for turning
me into the man I am today, a man who displays the 5 pillars of
Kawaga every day in everything I do.