The URJ 6 Points Sci-Tech community has returned to Byfield after undergoing a tremendous amount of change both in the community and in the world. Science teaches that through change, new insights are discovered, making it fitting that discovery (taglit) is one of Sci-Tech’s five values.
Throughout the eight years of helping campers and staff find a feeling of home in Byfield, Sci-Tech has made so many discoveries (tagliot). Here are eight of them:
- Encouraging Flextivity: Flextivity is a combination of flexibility and positivity and encourages embracing unexpected change or transition as a community rather than only feeling apprehensive about it. Flexitivity helps those discover that transitions can be fun and allow for more discovery.
- Our Community Transforms Spaces: Sci-Tech is on the beautiful campus of Governor’s Academy in Byfield, MA! Although it is a boarding school during the year, Sci-Tech creates the feeling of camp through decorating the halls so the campers feel at home and putting signs all over camp to establish Governors’ Academy as a summer home.
- Cultivating Passion: At Sci-Tech campers and staff are given the space to share their passion for STEM. Sci-Tech has inspired career choices and new interests through participating in workshops and bonding with other people passionate about science and technology. Sci-Tech has sparked discoveries for other interests! Every Friday, campers have the opportunity to share part of their identity through Express Yourself Day! Sci-Tech is a community where others enthusiastically express their identities and interests and spark that interest in others.
- You Can #LiveYour6 Anywhere: Last summer, Sci-Tech created its virtual academy in lieu of being able to meet in person. Through Sci-Tech’s Virtual academy, we discovered that the feeling of home within Sci-Tech is not a place but a community capable of creating connections over great distances. Going into this summer, connecting over Zoom is integrated for Shira and bedtime rituals so camp pods can all be together in a safe way.
- Connecting Science and Judaism: Sci-Tech proves that science and Judaism are woven through the same circuits similar to the one on the ark, rather than two separate ideas. Sci-Tech is a place where campers can discover it is possible to believe in science and have a strong Jewish identity. In fact, the two together can make each other stronger.
- Establishing traditions: There are traditions that are so quintessentially Sci-Tech such as Boker Big Bang every morning to the Sun Song on Friday night Shira, These discoveries have shaped Sci-Tech into so much more than just a Jewish Stem camp.
- Creating joy around Health and Safety: Sci-Tech creates rituals and traditions around health and safety such as wearing lab coats or closed-toed shoes during experiments and hall bonding during weather holds. This helps create joy around keeping ourselves and our community (kehillah) safe. Sci-Tech helps those discover that conscientiousness of safety is cool and fun and something to be embraced as part of a meaningful experience, rather than taking away from the experience.
- Making Connections: Even if campers or staff come to learn something about STEM, the community is something unique to Sci-Tech. When I started as a staff member at Sci-Tech, discovering this community was the main reason I wanted to keep coming back year after year and I have heard so many express the same thing. There is this feeling of inclusion, safety, and freedom to be oneself and discover who that is in this welcoming community that helps people value discovery. The community of Sci-Tech is the connecting link for campers and staff that taglit can be wonderful and life-changing rather than feeling apprehensive about it.
This summer is a chance for so many more tagliot and we cannot wait to see what our community discovers this summer.