Nurture and Nature: Loving the Land
One of the highlights of our Wellspring location is the 200 acres of outdoor space. Exploring and understanding our landscape is at the forefront of our teva (nature) program. Specifically, with our summer theme of Ahavat HaAdamah (loving the earth), our chanichim (campers) are learning to care for and appreciate our beautiful campus.
At the root of our teva program is the gan (garden). Each summer, camp is given a plot of land in the Wellspring garden. During chugim (electives) and z’man migvan (group time), our chanichim learn how to cultivate the gan. The first week of camp was spent weeding our new space. In recent weeks, chanichim have been busy planting and learning how to care for the crops. We are already seeing the fruits of our labor – our radishes have sprouted and we are seeing little peppers on the vine. We learned that planting marigolds next to these plants helps protect them from pests.
While physically caring for the garden is important, we are also learning how to live mindfully in nature. Chanichim are painting rocks with positive sayings because of a belief that speaking kindly to plants helps them grow – a lesson that will resonate with chanichim beyond the gan.
Because it is also a shmitah (sabbatical year), we are leaving a section of our gan untouched to rest.
New this year, we partnered with the Jewish Seed Project, to grow biblical qishuim (cucumbers). “What we’re doing with the Jewish Seed Project as modern day Jewish farmers is reaching so far back into our own history to pull these seeds into the present, so we can share them with the future.” Below are pictures of our chanichim planting the seeds in a special plot away from the gan. Keeping them separate from other plants ensures they remain pure.
Beyond the gan, our teva program teaches about composting, recycling, and the natural habitat at Wellspring. Through hands-on experiences unique to camp, chanichim are learning how to love the earth and keep it beautiful for generations to come.