Camp Yeka Girls was planning to celebrate its tenth summer this year, but then coronavitus hit. Instead, they created ‘Yeka at home’, a virtual camp- in- a-box experience.
We didn’t plan for a pandemic. We planned for The Big Ten. It was meant to be a grand celebration. Over a million dollars raised, thousands of Jewish classes studied, hundreds of campers embraced, multitudes of life-sustaining food packages, and Ten incredible camp sessions. Banners should be printed, balloons inflated and music recorded.
Instead, the directors and head staff, made the painstaking decision not to open camp this summer. With continuous rising numbers of infections in Ukraine and their international borders still closed it seems like The Big Ten celebratory summer will not be taking place;
Or will it?
For the last 3 months of corona-related lockdown, staff of Camp Yeka Girls have been communicating with their campers with great success. What began as a weekly Zoom to keep up morale and give over some fun-loving Jewish content, quickly morphed into weekly kids sessions, Rebbe time and shema sessions, teen meets and counselor Farbrengens all with the exciting and family-like Yeka Girls energy.
Every Zoom session ended with calls for the countdown to camp and the headstaff smiling with uncertainty. As of last week with the final decision made, we are at cross roads of how to break it to the kids that camp is not happening and what will take place instead.
Like many camps and organisations we are working hard to put together a virtual camp- in- a-box experience, complete with games, activities, crafts, candy prizes and more. We also need to include clothing and various necessities that we usually hand out during the summer program.
Yeka Doma – Yeka at home, will be the closest experience we can give to our campers of the 3 weeks of normalcy and calm which they crave for the whole year. With the majority of our girls in orphanages or dysfunctional situations, everything needs to be completely child-user friendly with the assumption that there is no safe or responsible adult to help them out. There will be Jewish content, entertainment and useful day-to-day items. A daily Zoom call with an entertainer, shiur and singing followed by bunk rebbe time and shema to wrap it all together nicely. Hours of effort and organisation are needed to take this off the ground and the countdown to shipping day is in 3 weeks time.
To do that we need to raise $25,000 to cover the supplies, printing, shipping and delivery. With the staff once again volunteering their time, the work has already begun and with your donation The Big Ten summer experience “Yeka at Home” will indeed take place.
For just $30 you can sponsor one box for one child with the option of an additional $25 to cover shipping and customs fees, you can make it happen.
Checks can be made payable to “Merkos L’inyonei Chinuch”
Camp Yeka Girls
1460 President St.
Brooklyn, NY 11213
or email us [email protected] for others ways to donate.
Help us to help them and let the celebrations begin.
“No Jewish child should be forgotten or given up on” – The Lubavitcher Rebbe
Camp Yeka Girls – A family full of hope, love and friendship
Follow us @Campyekagirls to be part of our journey