Ultimate Peace: Learning the Sport and Learning the People

19 Aug

Rachael Cerrotti, our camp photographer this year, reflects on ultimate, the Middle East, and Camp UP. You can visit her website at www.RachaelCerrotti.com.

Two cameras, two peace signs.

It is always challenging to try to find your place in a community that you are unfamiliar with. Meeting new people, adjusting to a certain daily routine, and attempting to understand a new culture and social dynamic can be overwhelming. How does one acclimate while still embracing their own personality and style? This is a perpetual challenge in life, but Camp UP provided me with an exceptional number of opportunities to figure it out.

Now, let me mention that I am not an ultimate player. I think that this small fact about me greatly influenced my experience at camp this year. Not only was I trying to learn the ins and outs of Arab-Israeli, Jewish-Israeli, and Palestinian cultures and relations, but there is also a culture of ultimate itself– which was completely foreign to me.

I only found out that I would be working with Ultimate Peace a few weeks prior to my already scheduled flight to Israel. In less than a week’s time, my 10-day trip turned into a welcomed six week long adventure.

I was beyond enthusiastic about this opportunity. I had known about Ultimate Peace for a while, as my friend Jonathan Masler, who is an avid ultimate player himself, introduced the organization to me in 2009 while we were studying abroad at Hebrew University. I was immediately intrigued. The idea of “promoting peace through spirit of the game” resonated with me before I even knew what this spirit was.

There were only a handful of us at camp who were as new at the sport as many of the campers were. I was not part of the ultimate community, which I have learned is a very tight-knit group. I did not know the rules of the game and learning about the self-refereeing aspect blew me away. I had never heard of such a thing in a competitive game, but all of a sudden it made sense; I now understood why ultimate frisbee was an effective tool for building relationships and learning conflict resolution skills.

Rachael capturing the ultimate action.


In many ways, not being a player myself, made me feel like an outsider amongst the staff. I don’t mean that as a negative thing; it just gave me a very different experience. My zest for camp didn’t stem from my enthusiasm for the sport as it did for many of the coaches. I had a different perspective, much of it being drawn from my passion for documentary photography and my interest in Middle Eastern culture.

Being part of Ultimate Peace camp exposed me to a variety of different communities and groups of people. The inevitable challenge in life that I mentioned, existed in all corners of this camp. It was a diverse group of people, who sometimes only had the sport of ultimate frisbee to connect them. With language barriers being a common occurrence, the frisbee became a tool for conversation.

I am not sure what I expected arriving at camp, but I do know that I didn’t think it would be so easy. I assumed I would see some type of conflict. I have spent enough time living in Israel and analyzing it through an academic lens that I recognize that bringing Jews, Muslims, and Christians together can lead to cultural clashes. But, what I found was to be the contrary; it was as though none of the stigmas that follow either religious group existed. Ultimate Peace did an impressive job at making a fun and peaceful camp experience for all.

All about friends: Masler and Rachael at Camp UP


By staying away from politics and letting people be themselves, embracing and supporting unique personalities and styles, a very productive and happy environment was fostered. It didn’t matter if you were a top ultimate player, someone who has only thrown the disc around with friends, or if you have never touched a frisbee in your life, it was all about making friends and having a good time.

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Young Women Find Their Voices at UP

10 Aug

One of the many benefits of athletics for young women is the sense of empowerment that comes from moving your body and being part of a team.  For adolescents struggling with body image issues (and yes! it happens in the Middle East, too!), learning that your body is a tool and a resource for things other than looking good can be a revelation.  Sports also provide a certain structure in which adolescent girls, provided with the right environment, can feel safe being a little rowdier, a little more assertive, a little more themselves than in other social contexts.  While mixing it up on a team with girls from cultures that you fear may not seem like the ideal environment for such individualistic expression, it is that mix of challenge and absolute commitment to mutual respect and friendship that makes UP the perfect place for young women to find their voices.

Camp coaches Jonathan Masler (Frizzly Bears),  Nancy Glass (Froggy Frogs), and Josh Seamon (White Noise) reflect on some of the transformations they saw at camp this summer.

The Frizzly Bears get frizzly.

The Frizzly Bears really came together as a team.  The coaches preached the value of unity from day one, but with the help of a couple day-one leaders, and girls who really bought into the camp environment without hesitation, the entire team really came together unlike I’ve seen at camp before.  There were no problems or issues between girls on the team whatsoever, and everything we did, or didn’t do, was done as a collective.  The icebreaker games (medusa, WAH, detective, etc) became a staple, and even when there was argument over which one to play, all the girls enjoyed playing with each other once we got started.  When we talked about everyone working hard together in our practices (often at times when the energy was low post-swimming), the girls collectively put it on themselves to raise their focus and complete our drills together.  Without being prompted, the girls would put their arms around each other when we would bring it in to a huddle.  By the end of camp, we had a lot of tears, but a lot of grateful messages for having each other, as well as hopeful ones looking forward to the future.  All and all, a remarkable group of young women that operated beautifully all under the idea of team.

-Bar’a was also someone who came in a bit shy and unsure of the week to come.  But due to the conditions mentioned above, as well as her own initiative, she found her voice, and was leading our cheers for the rest of the team to follow (often hilariously with her hands over her mouth while shouting at the top of her lungs).
-One of our girls, Neta, came from Binyamina and was very shy/hesitant the first day of camp.  She stuck to her good friend, also from Binyamina, and didn’t want to do any activities with anyone else.  A little encouragement from the coaches, as well as (what became) our team vibe of community and friendship ushered Neta into stepping completely out of the box she came in.  Once we discovered her infectious laugh, she became a center piece of our team.  Everyone enjoyed being around her, and she enjoyed being around everyone else.  By the end of camp, she had become really good friends with Bar’a from Tamra (they would hold hands and laugh with each other constantly), and had a very emotional goodbye with her, as well as the rest of the team.  A true transformation.

-Noa was someone that was a true camp champion.  She came into camp having never played frisbee, nor any organized sports for that matter.  She was incredibly opened minded from day one – in terms of Ultimate, camp, the team, and everyone at camp.  She stayed relatively quite, but led the team by example in our practices, and on the field.  She mixed it up with EVERYONE on the team, and stayed positive throughout.  By the end of camp, she had earned a spot on the starting 7, and the admiration of everyone who’d had a chance to interact with her.

 -Jonathan Masler, Frizzly Bear Coach

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Ribbit! with Heba front and center.

One of my favorites was watching Heba’s (from Jericho) progression unfold.  She came with no throwing experience and she didn’t exactly look like a athlete. She left camp capable of throwing both her backhand and forehand with good spin and accuracy.  She was reluctant/shy to speak but let me know in no uncertain terms that she was displeased when I subbed her out after 2 points and wanted back in…from there in out I knew we had her!

-Nancy Glass, Froggy Frog Coach

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On day 1 of camp, Maia came across as focused but a bit reserved. She always worked hard in all of our initial activities, but didn’t really make herself known in any sort of loud way. By the end of camp, Maia was clambering for play time on and off the field, and helped drive lots of team activities. She never changed who she was. She just combined her focus and razor-sharp wit with a bit more confidence and comfort. She stepped up big and at the end of camp was chosen as one of the  members of the all-camp “starting 7”, chosen for their overall play and how they live spirit of the game.

-Josh Seamon, White Noise Coach

Moments: Ultimate Challenge Leads to Natural Bonds

2 Aug

As the planning and scheming for another year of Ultimate Peace in the Middle East gets under way, the kids are getting a little down time.  Over the next several weeks, we’ll be posting “Moments” from both of the summer camps:  Moments observed by coaches, campers, and staff that provide little glimpses into how Ultimate Peace is actually WORKING in the Middle East.  They may seem small to the uninitiated, but, as our camp photographer put it, “The big deal is that it’s no big deal.”  Kids from different cultures in this complicated region are just… getting along, getting to know each other, forming impressions and sometimes even relationships.  No big deal.

Our first comes from Sam Chatterton-Kirchmeier, a training camp coach who plays for Chain Lightning in Atlanta, GA.

Habibi Blue Team Pow Wow

I was on the Habibi Blue team, and we (Sam Kanner, Dan Tapuach, Nadav Pearl and myself) decided we would teach zone to our team.  They were ballers, were pretty advanced, had good skills, and they had quickly picked up on everything else we had taught them thus far, so we figured we would keep challenging them with new/difficult concepts.

Ballers…

with skills.

After doing a chalk talk, we were out on the field having the campers play the cup and wing defensive positions and the four coaches playing handler and popper offensive positions.  At a brief stoppage during the drill, Sam K. and I looked over to check in on the kids who were not currently on the field as part of the drill (more than half the team), to see them all intently huddled up over a spot on the ground drawing out zone positions and explaining to each other the concepts of the zone positions for the players who were less familiar with the positions or who hadn’t completely grasped it yet.  It was, of course, a mix of Arabic and Hebrew speaking kids from different communities.  Sam and I both did a double take, then recognized how awesome it was that our players were comfortable taking on teaching and learning roles within the group.  Our brief conversation went something like this after seeing the huddle of players:

Sam C-K:  Woah?!

Sam K:  Yeah!

Sam C-K:  Sweet!

Then we went back to the drill and once again, they did a great job of picking up on the concept that we challenged them with.  We never played zone in a game against another team, but it was nonetheless really cool to see them commit to and grasp a team defense as a TEAM.

High 5 line post-scrimmage

 

From Wesleyan to the West Bank

23 Jul

Wesleyan Freshmen Gabriel Frankel and Noam Sandweiss-Back were awarded a Davis Projects for Peace Grant which enabled 8 kids from a refugee camp near Bethlehem to attend Ultimate Peace summer camp.  Gabriel and Noam both volunteered as part of the coaching staff for both training camp and summer camp.  Gabriel reflects on his experience below.

An Aida camper watches the final intently.

On the last day of camp I sat down with the eight Bethlehem campers to discuss their final impressions of their first UP Summer Camp. Although they weren’t aware, my journey from Chicago to the Middle East was entirely predicated on and intertwined with their journey from the Bethlehem to Akko. Late in 2011, Noam Back and I began talking with Linda Sidorsky (co-founder of Ultimate Peace) about applying for the Davis Projects for Peace grant to create an Ultimate Peace community in Bethlehem and bring kids from the West Bank to the summer camp in Akko. Only six months later, I was interviewing some of the warmest, most sincere group of young, rising talent in the Ultimate Frisbee community because of this grant. For slightly selfish reasons, I organized this group interview to confirm that Noam and I had done what we set out to accomplish: support interactions amongst youth from different cultures and bring these kids to a powerful, supportive, and fun summer camp. The response given by one kid of one name, an answer that seems, for all intents and purposes, insignificant, gave me the confidence that we had succeeded.

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Campers focus group at the end of camp.

“Who is someone you met here,” I asked, “that you will never forget?” Coach Hamouda Deejneh translated this to Arabic. “Oron,” Ahmed said. There was no translation to English necessary; I knew exactly whom he was talking about and why. Ahmed and Oron played together on team “Hulk”, the team I helped coach. Oron is a good player and a natural leader-by-example, but this is not unusual for campers at Ultimate Peace. Rather, Ahmed and I found Oron worthy of mention (Oron had won the “spirit award” on the last day) because he interacted with campers without regard to their ethnicity, religion, or place or residence. In the Middle East this is very rare. At Camp UP this takes a special type of camper. There are cultural, social, and religious barriers that have enormous temporal and spatial foundations. Oron is from Ra’anana, a city just outside of Tel Aviv. For Ultimate Peace statistical purposes, Oron is an Israeli-Jew. Ahmed is from Aida, a United Nations Refugee Camp in Bethlehem. Ahmed is a Palestinian. At a basic level there are language barriers: Oron speaks Hebrew, and Ahmed speaks Arabic. Despite these seemingly insurmountable divides, Oron and Ahmed found a way to make a dent in the barriers between them.

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Davis Projects for Peace West Bank campers with Noam standing on the right and Gabriel squatting on the right.

Some would say they are worlds apart, but one short response held all the confirmation that I needed to know that the smallest dent in the largest wall can make the greatest difference: it can, in unassuming ways, allow a kids to remember a kid as another, not as the “other”.

Gabriel Frankel, UP Summer Coach

Winning at Camp UP

16 Jul

So, it’s over.  Many of the international coaches and staff have returned home and the post-camp blues have started to set in.   After such an intense physical and emotional experience, one can’t help but feel a little gloomy when it comes to an end.  Thank heavens for Facebook!  Being inundated by friend requests from campers whose names are written in Hebrew or Arabic script is a great reminder of all the love we shared this past week.

Mixed Pick-Up team huddles up for a cheer.

The last day of camp started with mixed pick-up for all the teams who didn’t make the finals of the tournament.  This was the first time the teams had had boys and girls on them… another cultural challenge, especially for campers from more conservative Arab villages.  But, as expected, the challenge was met with open arms and the freedom of pick-up– where mistakes are embraced and creativity encouraged– was apparent everywhere.

Simultaneous boys and girls finals saw the Men in Blue and Blue Steel on one field and the Ninjas vs. the Froggy Frogs on the other.  A blue boys team has won the tournament every year so far and even before the first pull, this year was no exception with Navy and Light Blue facing off for first place.  The Ninja Frogs showdown promised to be a good battle as the Frogs had defeated the Ninjas in an early scrimmage, but lost to them in pool play the day before.  The funny thing about the finals though… nobody really cared.  Everyone was out dancing and cheering mainly for the sake of dancing and cheering.  In fact, at the final camp meeting in the afternoon, David nearly forgot to mention the victors at all:  “Oh, yeah.  And congratulations to our tournament winners,” he said as kids were starting to file out for our final team meetings and goodbyes.

Ninja-Frog Spirit Circle post-final.

Clearly, victory at UP is not about the score.  It’s about spirit. It’s about our 5 values.  It’s about relationships.  As I sat in our team circle watching girls cry their eyes out as they talked about each other, their new friendships, and their experience over the last several days, I couldn’t help (cheese alert!) but see us all as winners.  (And in case you’re dying to know:  Blue Steel and the Ninjas came out on top in the end.)

The Birth of Tradition

12 Jul

This is the 4th year of Ultimate Peace camp and certain things have come to be expected.  Like the Camp Talent Show.  Campers from previous years were talking about it on the first day– looking to recruit people for whatever crazy skit or cheer they’d been cooking up.

Dabka at the talent show.

A natural place to look for talent show comrades is your own team, but this takes time.  You’re with new people from different communities, some who speak your language and understand your culture and some who don’t.  It’s a bit scary to propose a joint live performance.  It’s easier to gather up your friends.  But we had 3 full team acts this year, including one that got the whole audience on their feet dancing the macarena.  Other acts included a traditional Arabic song sung acapella by a camper from Buena Nujedat, a “magic” show from an American coach, an American camper and a camper from Ra’anana, a musical number mocking the simplicity of all pop songs– including our own camp song(!) from the CITs, beatboxing from Tamra, a piano piece, and numerous goofball skits and jokes.  And there were also the “old standbys”:  a freestyle frisbee act from a Ra’anana camper and his mentor coach, Yarden; a dabka from Hammoudi, joined this year by campers from various other communities; a poetry reading from Areen; and Masler, Zolo and Jez’s rather pathetic, but very hilarious versions of all the acts that served as introductions to the real thing.  Without these, the talent show just wouldn’t be complete– and when I realized this, I also realized that I was watching the birth of many of our own Ultimate Peace community traditions.

Snack-a-time is another blossoming UP tradition:  Rebellion would ensue if we were to be deprived of our peaches, plums, Turkish delight, muffins, and bread and chocolate spread.  Cheering in the dining room, clapping rhythm games (great for circumventing language barriers), bracelet making, slip-n-slide, nighttime dance parties on the big field, welcome tunnels, camp song… All of these things have become familiar enough and reliable enough that they have earned ‘tradition’ status for next year.

Tournament Time: Fireworks vs White Noise

Today was also the first day of tournament play and the campers dug deep to make it through 4 rounds of ultimate.  The high spirit of the games was unprecedented as coaches watched kids work out their own foul calls, spontaneously erupt into cheers for the other team, and stand at the ready waiting to play.  The only unspirited moment I observed came from a camper from Daburriya after a pretty sound victory.  In her lace hijab she walked up to the coach of the other team, pointed at his face and yelled, “You lost!  You lost!  You lost!”  It turns out, though, that she’s in love with America and was just trying to be a part of all the affectionate heckling that the American coaches engage in.  She didn’t quite get it right– it doesn’t feel good to be reminded of a loss 30 seconds after it happens, no matter how affectionately– but the “spirit” was in the right place.

The presence of Americans (and this year included other nationalities, as well) does indeed provide an additional cultural complication, but one that forces all the campers to step outside their comfort zone.  All of them.  And that’s exactly what we want.  Equal footing, equal uncomfortableness– all moving in the direction of building our own community, with our own traditions, independent of the various cultures that the campers, staff, and coaches come from.

 

Foamy Tuesday

12 Jul

After breakfast, campers stepped out of the dining hall and over a fire hose, which was being uncoiled from the glass case in the wall and dragged into the plaza outside. Something was going on… but presumably if it were a fire, someone would let us know? Minutes later, we emerged from the morning meeting in the auditorium to discover the gazebo thigh deep in foam.

Kids were too busy frolicking in foam, searching for the Frisbees and tennis balls that were concealed underneath it and giving each other Fu Manchu beards, to wonder how and when and why an industrial strength foam machine had materialized on campus. Who cared! Chocolate Float’s coach Moshe and Floater Nadeem from Buena Nujidat had a foamy pull-up contest. Nadeem won 30-10. “He’s in good shape,” said Moshe.

But to the coaches, who have a hard enough time getting less exotic items like Frisbee golf baskets to make their appearance, this was one more notch in the collective CIT belt. Unbeknownst to most of us, the local CITs had been working all year on this event.

The foam-filled gazebo was just one of six stations that the CITs had set up for the morning. Aside from scavenging in foam, kids scored points for hitting the pink-wigged, eye-shadowed balloon fairy (Zolo) with water balloons; scavenging (on land) for items worth various points according to their rarity, like a blue flower, a feather, sunglasses, an orange Frisbee, an umbrella, and Linda, who probably didn’t get much work done over the course of the morning; and getting golf discs in baskets after jumping rope and spinning around. Team Frostbite erupted when Achmad, a diminutive teammate from Jericho, scored the maximum 200 points at the buzzer by hitting two in a row arcing 25-foot putts from the long range cone.

The first day that naptime is a scheduled activity is always a big day at Ultimate Peace. In past years, I recall that the coaches were the ones tearfully grateful, while the kids – well, I don’t know what they did during naptime because I was asleep, but it was clear afterwards that whatever they’d done had not involved REM. This time, the announcement of naptime was greeted with cheers. American camper Elijah Levine, 11, said, “Who doesn’t like naptime? If you don’t want to sleep you can just lie down and rest!” My thoughts exactly.

After naptime, Slip n Slide, the last of the team practices, and dinner, a highly anticipated tradition: the coaches versus the CITs on the field under the lights. Despite the CITs’ catchier and more oft-chanted chant, when Barkan polled the auditorium, it looked like the crowd was about split on who they thought would win. There were some counterintuitive but perfect matchups, like Barkan manhandling 16-year old Itai Semo from Raanana, who is probably half his weight. In the end, the coaches gave the youngins a sound 10-2 drubbing. “I think we all learned that it’s not all speed and strength, experience is usually gonna win. See you next time, Punks,” said Barkan in his post-game interview.

What Spirit Looks Like

9 Jul

The first night of camp went as you might think– 130 teenagers in dorms away from home does not make for a restful night for anybody, but somehow the “Froggy Froggers” were still lively at our 7:30am breakfast.  They “ribbited” in to the dining hall and the cheering began, including a standing team, “Good morning, David!” when our fearless leader walked in.

The dining hall, looking deceptively orderly.

Our first spirit awards were given out in the morning meeting.  Coaches from each team took the stage to describe the camper who best exemplified our 5 values on Day 1.  Phrases like, “participated in everything, smiled all day, called himself out of bounds, included people from outside her own community, volunteered to translate” came up.  We don’t spend a lot of time talking here at UP.  We like to show.  So bringing these special campers up right away as models of the attitudes we’re trying to cultivate is our way of teaching what we mean by Spirit.

Then each team had a 4 hour morning block for team-building, both on and off the ultimate field.  Many of the campers are not used to such long periods of physical exercise, so when the Ninjas ran their players through the gauntlet (a diagonal sprinting/fast feet drill), the girls were destroyed.  They were hot, they were tired.  They wanted to quit, but instead, a couple of rallying souls got them all to cheer their teammates on as the last of them made it through the drill.  And then they were so pleased with themselves!  They’d survived!

The pool provided its usual release and barriers continued to crumble.  A religious girl from a northern Arab village recruited a girl from a privileged Jewish boarding school to write a team song for the talent show.  A Jewish boy from a wealthy neighborhood decided it was his mission to guard a girl from Jericho in a game of keep away.

Friendship at the pool

Our evening plans for the most epic game of capture the flag this campus has ever seen were foiled by lighting issues.  Coaches had already painted their faces with team colors and were anxiously awaiting the kids when the decision was made.  Safety first!  You’d think this would be a great disappointment– and, ok, it was.  But you’d never know it.  The lights were on at the big field and immediately, a game of Galaxy Quest started up at one end, a game of DDC on the side, 500 at the other end, soccer on the basketball court and a big dance party in the corner.  Kids were out asking for help on their forehands and running laps around the field to stay in shape.  No one complained, no one protested… they just got right to the business of enjoying each other again.  That’s what spirit looks like.

A leap of faith

8 Jul

Breakfast was half an hour earlier this morning, and the coaches were looking less than lively at the morning meeting in the auditorium. Volunteers to play opposite camp director Barkan in various role plays were not exactly jumping out of their seats — until Haneen Nassar, a coach at training, offered herself up as coach to Barkan’s non-participatory camper.

Everyone in the auditorium straightened up in their seats to see this one. Barkan was sullen, arms swinging, head down. Haneen, 15 – recently the shy camper herself – was soft-spoken but firm. Making the dynamic funnier was the fact that she now towers over Barkan. Barkan didn’t want to play with kids he didn’t know; Haneen told him he’d make new friends just as she had. He wanted to text his dad; Haneen told him “no telephones,” he could do it at night. OK but could he just sit on the sideline for five minutes and send one text? Some coaches would have been tempted to make the compromise. Haneen plucked the imaginary phone right out of his hand.

The lesson: showing respect to your kids means setting and keeping rules. We’re here to be their coaches, not their friends.

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Fast-forward a couple hours and teenagers from 13 communities around the country are arriving by the busload, getting their tri-lingual nametags, and splitting from the friends they know into teams of strange kids from foreign-seeming communities who may not have a word of language in common with them. The first day requires a leap of faith.

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The bus from the West Bank arrives.

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Most kids jump right in, but some take a minute. One camper, for instance, on the Frostbitten Bunnies (the working name for the white boys’ team), didn’t particularly want to “mingle.” Mingle is a silly ice breaker where everyone bops around in a cluster, singing “mingle, mingle, mingle,” until the leader yells one of four instructions: toaster, tea party, princess, and washing machine. Groups form in imitation of whatever the leader called, and anyone left out of a group is out of the game. This particular camper, who speaks only Arabic, preferred to sit on a table. When forced to play, he made no effort and got out immediately – a non-verbal version of Barkan’s character from the morning.

But when, having run out of ice breakers, the coaches emptied the disc bag and told the kids to throw for a bit, the camper’s face lit up. He clapped when his partner made a nice catch. Where he learned the game is a mystery, but he’d clearly been working on his forehand. Not a word was spoken, just a sigh of relief for the first of the breakthroughs.

We spent the afternoon in team practices, learning catching, backhand, forehand, and marking, and coming up with team names like Blue Steel, Spongebob Frisbeepants, and Firetruck. Ah, practice is over, a little time to relax. Jump in the shower, check the time – dinner’s in eight minutes.

The evening was a parade of stations: team ping-pong, Frisbee bowling, human spider web, hot lava hopping, pass the balloon without using your hands, human pyramid, etc. etc. Then free time, when all the day’s duties are done, there aren’t really any rules, and it’s cooled down to the perfect weather for games of 500, catch and an impromptu dance party. 

Here We Go.

8 Jul

The kids arrive for UP Summer Camp tomorrow!  We’ve spent the last two days in our own mini-camp– going through team-building exercises, working on our teaching skills, talking about what it means to model the dynamics we hope to develop in the campers.

We have such a mix of old and new coaches this time around– and in a couple of senses.  We have people who have never been to the Middle East before (and for the first time ever, we’ve gone international with a coach from Australia and one from Hong Kong!), and resident Coaches In Training (CITs) who have never coached before.  And then, of course, the veterans… the mentor coaches who live in Israel and have been working with many of these kids for nearly a year and the “returners”– the American coaches and staff who have been here once, twice, even three times before.

And every year we get a bit more organized, a bit more prepared for the inevitable chaos, but we never feel quite ready.  It’s 3am and most everyone has gone to bed after a flurry of last minute discussions about spirit, schedules, and expectations.  Follow us here and on facebook for the latest UP Camp happenings.

You can also follow our media team, Maggie and Nathan, our photographer, Rachael, and our Director of Coaching, Josh for some more personal perspectives on UP Camp.