The Magic of Sci-Tech
by Lisa Friedman, Faculty member
There is magic at camp.
There is something special, something intangible that happens at camp that can only be described as magic. It’s a combination of the unique way in which relationships are formed, the way in which Jewish living and learning blend seamlessly into the everyday with a depth of experience rarely felt in other settings.
Camp magic uplifts us, invigorates us and sustains us from one summer to the next.
In the case of Sci-Tech, the magic is sometimes literal. It is not uncommon to wander into a chug (elective) session where counselors are demonstrating and teaching a series of magic tricks much to the delight of their campers.
But the other other kind of magic, the intangible magic, also exists at Sci-Tech. It is magic when campers radiate joy as they finally get their Rube Goldberg machine to work. It is magic when campers naturally and easily mention one of camp’s core Jewish values in conversation with their hall mates. And, of course, it is magic when all of camp, dressed in white, comes together in celebration of Shabbat.
But as much as we might like to think that this magic just happens, it really is the result of significant intention. And as I (sadly) finished my time on faculty at Sci-Tech, that intention is what I find myself reflecting on the most.
It’s intentional when Greg (camp’s director) says that no one with a food allergy will feel like a second-class citizen at Sci-Tech. And they don’t.
It’s intentional when the lead instructor of Forensics turns to me each day, eager for me to connect Judaism to what she’s been teaching.
It’s intentional when the inclusion coordinator walks around camp with a bag of fidgets and knows which ones are best for which campers in which situations.
It’s intentional that the staff consistently looks for ways to weave camp’s core Jewish values into every activity.
It’s intentional that the Head Counselor calls home to tell each parent something positive about their child’s camp experience.
Everything about Sci-Tech is intentional. And I’m pretty sure that’s the magic.