Camp Kawaga Blog

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.