By Judah Rhine
Camp Mesorah recently hosted its annual Yachad 5K Color Run. The entire camp was involved in the run to support Yachad. Camp Mesorah is proud to partner with Yachad and hosts 20 participants in camp this summer. Two fantastic Yachad programs are offered in camp, including the Yachad camper-integrated program, where Yachad members, with the help of a shadow, are integrated into mainstream bunks, and the Yachad vocational program, where Yachad members live in their own bunk with specially trained counselors and participate in a variety of jobs around camp.
Many of Mesorah’s staff members, campers, and Yachad participants have been training since the beginning of camp for this major event. On the day of the run, the youngest divisions–Nitzotzot, Younger Nerot, and Older Nerot–assembled at the main dining room and ran to the front of camp, where they were greeted by the Shalhevet and Teen divisions and staff who were participating in the run. As an added bonus, Yachad programs from camps Morasha and Lavi joined the Color Run this year. A tremendous amount of unity was displayed, with nearly 1,200 participants, conveying an important message especially during the Nine Days.
After the Color Run, there was an awards ceremony, followed by a siyum and delicious barbecue. Team Yachad prizes were given to the top three race winners on girls’ and boys’ campuses, and those who raised significant funds for the race were awarded bunk prizes such as an ice cream trip to Hoppies.
Chani Herrmann, program director for Yachad at Camp Mesorah and director of Yachad in New Jersey, finds that the Color Run in particular is a great mechanism to teach mainstream campers to become more sensitive to others who are different and to help them become more aware of what it means to be inclusive. After months of preparation, this Yachad fundraiser brought in close to $40,000, enabling future campers to have an enjoyable and meaningful integrated summer.
Camp Mesorah would like to extend special thanks to Guilford’s town supervisor, George Seneck, who permitted the public roads outside of camp to be closed off for the 5K run. It was also wonderful to welcome Dr. Jeffrey Lichtman, international director of Yachad, to Camp Mesorah for this year’s Color Run.
Judah Rhine, who has been coaching youth basketball for more than 35 years, is co-director of MVP Boys Basketball Camp and MVP Girls Basketball Camp and coâ€‘commissioner of the National Council of Young Israel basketball league. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Keep everyone informed of all sports going on in your camp–intercamps, special sports events, and tournaments. Send the information to Judah Rhine to ensure inclusion in the 5TJT Sports Center column.