We spoke with Ariela Herman, head of sports at Camp Shoshanim, about the many sports opportunities and activities available for all the campers.
Ariela: Last week was a full week of sports competitions. We took part in Yom Nate, and the Wayne County camping association inter-camps. On Tuesday, our teams went to Camp Nesher for the 8th annual Yom Nate. We sent 3 Basketball, 2 Soccer, 1 Hockey, 1 Softball, and 1 Volleyball team to compete in the many games throughout the day.
Shoshanim Blog: What was it like preparing for Yom Nate?
Ariela: Yom Nate is a very special day. It was named for Nathaniel Cohen, a former Nesher camper, who passed away 8 years ago. Nate loved sports, and the fun, yet competitive spirit that you can feel on a court. For Yom Nate, Nesher invites many of the Jewish camps in the area to participate in a day of sports.
Given the nature of Yom Nate, and for who the day is named- there is a competitive spirit, but also a camaraderie among all of the teams and a sense of sportsmanship in all of the games they played. It was a lot of fun watching the girls participate in the games, play their hardest, but also with huge smiles on their faces.
Shoshanim Blog: How did you prepare the girls for all of the games last week? Was it hard to keep them motivated for all of their games?
Ariela: Over the first couple weeks of camp, the girls had regular practice times. But what is most inspiring (and makes the entire sports staff very excited) is how motivated the girls are on their own. The girls want to practice–with or without a coach. Some of the girls began practicing at 7 am every day.
We also had many fantastic coaches who worked with the girls to keep them focused and engaged. For example, Aliza Hiller (a hockey specialist) came to camp to work with the high schoolers, to hone their skills on the hockey court, but even more, to inspire them to keep working.
We have people who are specialists in each of the sports that the girls play (and even a few that they might have never played before) so that the girls could learn new skills, improve on the ones they already have, and learn how to play as individuals and as members of a team.
Shoshanim Blog: What is the most important thing that you want to girls to learn over the summer?
Ariela: We want the girls to experience many sports, sports that may not even be on their radar. We want them to play games they are comfortable with, and those that they have never been exposed to. We want them to explore new interests, learn new skills, but most importantly, learn to be the best at whatever they set their mind to. Camp Shoshanim is a special place; there aren’t many camps that expose the girls to the amount of team sports that we do here. We want the girls to know that whatever the sport they want to play, we will support them.