In the opening week of the brand new CKids overnight camp in Waupaca, Wisconsin, a new Tanya was printed, mirroring the tremendous growth in Yiddishkeit the camp inspired.
With 17 years of experience in running a day camp, Rabbi Avremi and Shaindy Schapiro noted that “it’s hard to inspire children to feel a true connection to their Yiddishkeit if it’s only a part-time thing.” This is a challenge that many other Gan Israel day camp directors related to as well, and so the need was born for a totally immersive overnight experience. In the words of the Rebbe, “a camp on the outside and a Yeshiva from within.”
After securing the Twin Lakes Scout Camp, featuring a beautiful lakefront, large sports fields, and many other on-site amenities, CKids Gan Israel Wisconsin became a reality.
“When we heard that Rabbi Schapiro was open to the idea of establishing an overnight camp, we were excited to expand the CKids branch of Gan Israel to include a Midwest location,” says Rabbi Zalmy Loewenthal, Director of CKids at Merkos 302, who along with Rabbi Yisroel and Mendel Shmotkin of Chabad Lubavitch Milwaukee worked on assisting the Schapiros in this endeavor.
After a wildly successful 11-day girls camp, 28 boys boarded buses last Monday en route to the campgrounds for the start of an amazing summer experience, soaking in the Yiddishkeit and incredible Gan Israel spirit.
On Thursday, all the boys gathered in the dining room for the very first printing of the Tanya in that city. “It was a truly amazing sight to see boys from all different backgrounds excitedly crowding around a printer to watch the 8,002nd edition of the Tanya being printed,” says Mendel S., one of the counselors at CKids Gan Israel. “We tend to take these things for granted, but watching many of the campers experience Shabbos, or put on Tefillin for the first time, gives me a new appreciation for it all and makes me want to reach as many Jewish kids as possible.”
Sixty Jewish boys and girls from all across North America experienced their heritage in a fun and immersive way this summer, thanks to CKids Gan Israel Wisconsin. CGI Wisconsin has launched a campaign to help cover the tremendous costs.
Please donate to help give these kids a Jewish summer that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.