Kerem… (Counselors In Training)
For many decades, Camp Yavneh’s staff has been enriched by counselors who are graduates of the camp’s highly regarded and selective Kerem program, Counselor in Training (CIT). This leadership program offers dramatic performances, Maccabiah, special trips and overnights, a day of group dynamics on a high and low ropes course, and other special events that will enhance and foster a sense of spirit and friendship. The Kerem experience helps participants define the meaning of their own Jewishness.
Kerem is a leadership program to which campers must be invited. Yavneh looks to Kerem for: leadership, enthusiasm/ruach, guidance, and positive Jewish role models. Some other attributes to consider are: maturity, responsibility, good behavior, good peer relations, a commitment to Klal Yisrael, and the ability to supervise children independently for short periods of time. These are some of the desirable qualities we seek in Kerem participants. In addition to supervising younger campers, Kerem runs Maccabiah, runs Kerem KTV(musical competition), participates in the Portsmouth Breast Cancer awareness Walk, puts on a play/musical (which is always a highlight of the summer), and creates and runs several educational programs for campers. With these additional responsibilities come various privileges such as a 2-day trip white water rafting, a day-long ropes course, a one-day Boston trip, phone usage at the payphone at the office (no cell phones allowed), a curfew, leading Zemirot Friday night as well as giving a drash and doing Kiddush, and an opportunity to be in camp with staff for a Shabbat preceding the official camp opening.
Kerem requires a full season commitment. It is a very popular program; however, because of the nature of the program and the physical limitations in camp, we must limit the numbers we can accept. While applications are accepted on a first come first basis, preference is given to those who have been Yavneh campers the longest. Therefore, even among those who will be invited to participate in Kerem, those who have been coming to camp since they were 8 or 9 years old will have preference over those who began camp at the Leviim or Maalot level. An evaluation of their Maalot summer is also considered in the process. The application process for Kerem is the same as it is for other campers. The application is sent out at the same time and includes a special letter inviting the camper to participate in the Kerem program. At a later date, the Rosh Kerem will write to participants welcoming them into the program and inquiring about their interests.