Hi there, I’m Alter Kloogershaft and I’m back to give you a full update on the Learning Program here in Gan Yisroel Parkville NY Summer of 5773. Before I begin, I must confess that I would never have made it without my dear Klooger friends: Kalman W. Derher and Isaac D. Farshtier. It’s really all three of us that make up the newly revised Klooger Nation that has invaded camp this summer.

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As you know from my video, every week there are Klooger Game shows in camp challenging the campers on their knowledge of what is being taught in learning class. There are two weekly games; one on the Gemarah Curriculum and one on the Halacha and Moshiach curriculum. The end of the month concludes with playoffs and Championships (the Klooger Kup) for each division, both of which are already full steam ahead.

Did I mention Klooger Nation before? Because Klooger is far more than just the Championships, it’s a NATION! Any camper that does well in the Klooger games and answers five correct answers joins the “Klooger Nation”. As recognition for his membership the camper receives his own rank badge with his picture also displayed accordingly on the Klooger Nation board in the camp lobby. There are four levels in Klooger Nation and the campers are working their way to the top, so far I’m the first Klooger in camp (that would be the highest rank).

Additionally how can I fail to mention the “Klooger All Star” game, where the highest ranking Klooger Nation members, in each division, split into three teams and competed before camp in the most exciting Klooger game of the summer! The All Star game was on general topics ranging from Gemarah to Camp trivia and the game ran off a PowerPoint presentation giving the teams the ability to choose their topic, question level and use a lifeline if necessary.

You may be surprised by this one, but the Learning Program has revised a lot more than just the Klooger game shows, starting with introducing the “Klooger Dollars”. Based on a class’s behavior and participation, each class can receive limited Klooger Dollars from one of the Learning Directors. The class with the most Klooger Dollars at the end of the week receives a special pizza party. Klooger Dollars also rollover from week to week, with the learning class able to buy a special activity ranging from a small Nosh party to the ultimate Rabbi Baras Experience.

Now in Gan Yisroel learning is a 24/7 thing and goes beyond class and the books, how do we do that? Well everyday campers walking through the lobby are embraced with the updated daily “Learning Board”, campers can learn the Hayom Yom and Sefer Hamitzvos in English or Hebrew, a Halacha of the day, story of the day, Moshiach and Geulah, learning program news, get entertained by the photo of the day and a interview about a staff member or camper. There is even a question of the day, which campers who submits the correct answer can win a prize such as a free ice cream, candy, or can of soda. The learning board is taken care of by one of our talented and dedicated Learning Teachers, Shlomo Leib Goldman.

Have you ever seen campers running to an optional learning class? Well welcome to “Chitas Club”, where every day after lunch during the campers free time, campers fill up the front lawn and enjoy a refreshing freeze pop as they learn together that day’s section in Chumash.

Another amazing feature this summer is the “Campers Koivetz”, yes you read right, here in Gan Yisroel campers thoughtful and challenging questions don’t get swept under the rug, rather campers write their questions and insights from learning classes and submit them to be published in the weekly campers Koivetz. Organized by Learning Teacher Aron Bergman, the Campers Koivetz is already working on their third issue. Campers who earn to have their Haaros printed in the Koivetz receive a special “Koivetz Ruble” to be used in the camps canteen.

To get back to actual learning classes, this year we are focusing on giving the campers a “hands-on-experience” on the material being learned in class. So far the campers learning about Tefillin in Gemarah have been working on making their own paper Tefillin. Coming up are hands-on activities for the 39 Melochos where the campers will be walked through the first 11 Melochos and additionally a day in the Kitchen for the campers learning about foods and the Brochos that go with them.

This is only just a glimpse into the most exciting Learning Program around; to get the real feel of the vibe you will have to come see it for yourself. Klooger out!

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