Today was special day! The day was themed around the movie WALL-E, with a greater overarching educational goal of teaching about environmentalism.
We began in the year 2050, and the world was no longer recognizable. Resources were depleted, pollution had overtaken nature, and humans had been replaced by robots.
The chanichimot began the day with a carnival where they learned the ins and outs of being robots. They got their faces painted, adopted robot identities, learned how to speak robot, etc. Once they completed robot boot camp, the chanichimot were then split into groups for a round robins, where they did fun activities modeled around different environmental issues, such as an oil spill slip and slide.
Just before lunch, the chanichimot time traveled back the present day. Then, after lunch, they did another round robin, this time consisting of themed activities relating to the present day environmental issues that we face. These stations were themed around current issues like deforestation, plastic usage, fracking, fossil fuels, and others.
After that round robin, WALL-E and Eve, the characters from the movie, gathered the chanichimot into one big group to play a machaneh-wide game of “Hunger Games.” Each chanichol had to try to get each other out by pulling the streamers out from where they are tucked into on the other person’s body.
Then chanichimot had some swimming time at the “last body of water on Earth” (the pool), because the oceans had evaporated with the depletion of the atmosphere.
After pool time, the chanichimot got to choose two of seven different chugim centered around specific environmental topics. The topics covered dumpster diving, food justice and Jewish farming practices, GMOs, fish farming, city planning, environmental racism, and consumerism.
Just as the chanichimot began feeling helpless in their impact on saving the environment, we ran a carnival proposing different environmentally aware/active ways to combat all of these environmental issues. Activities were centered around reducing waste, promoting moral environmental practices, not buying new clothing, buying local, and writing letters to representatives asking them (Cuomo, Hogan, Wolf, etc.) to prioritize the environment.
By the end of the day and after dinner, the chanichimot had gained an extraordinary amount of information on how to fight for the environment. They then split up by age group for a sikkum (closing discussion) regarding all that they had learned throughout the day. In their own circles, each shikva processed the day and related it back to machaneh and the things we do here, like composting. We asked the kids to change habits at home in order to live more environmentally friendly lives, whether that be buying local produce, shopping at thrift stores, or something else. For the older chanichimot, we read an article discussing teens leading the movement against climate change and proposed ways for them to get involved.
Overall, the day was educational and fun, and the chanichimot came out of it with tons of new knowledge on how they can contribute positively to the environment so that we never see a world like WALL-E’s.
P.S. Check out the CampMinder for more photos!