It was a regular Tuesday evening as we all gathered in the Beit Am to learn about the Business world together, when all of a sudden we received a Skype call from Dr. Étranger. It seemed rather odd to be receiving a call at this late hour of 7pm, but we answered the call with curiosity. He told us that twenty(!) aliens had escaped from his lab and invaded Eisner camp! We were excited to join together to help Dr. Etranger! We quickly broke into our bunk groups, uniting together to create our alien search and recovery teams.
Once in our teams, we proceeded to run around camp in search of our alien friends. Some of them could talk, some of them could only say limited words or speak with silly voices or couldn’t speak at all. Each of these different aliens had a specific task for the bunks to complete in order to “capture” them. For each alien, there was a point value assigned to them. Point values were based on the difficulty of the tasks and the capture. In the end, the bunk with the most points won. The activities ranged from solving a puzzle to chasing them to singing songs.
For example, up on the hill by the animal farm, bunks had to encircle FreeXYZ. She did not speak much English, but through some beeping, booping and gesturing, the group understood that they needed to figure out the following code to capture FreeXYZ and bring her home to the lab. Can you solve the code? “hactc yzx. cenad tiwh em!”
For our campers, “Alien Invasion” is an opportunity for bunk groups to work as a team and persevere through a variety of different tasks. Many tasks required campers’ brain power and others required their hands and feet to complete. All however, needed them to come together as a unit to complete the task. At Eisner, we try to center our programs around middot, our Jewish values. Our areyvut (community-mindedness) helped us work together as a team. We used histakr’nut (curiosity) to find the aliens around camp and solve their puzzles. It took quite a bit of netzach (perseverance) to capture the fastest alien who was continuously running around camp without stopping!
One of the most important values at camp is zerizut, zest and zeal, so “Alien Invasion” is a program filled with whimsy and imagination. We hope by exploring zerizut, our campers will also embody our other core values that can help them in their lives in and out of camp. We had so much fun! Especially thanks to the aliens (our staff) who brought with them so much sameach (joy), ahavah (love) and yetzirah (creativity), in addition to energy and athleticism, to camp for a riveting evening program!