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14 Ways to Unplug Camp-Style on the National Day of Unplugging

The Foundation for Jewish Camp’s One Happy Camper program is proud to be sponsoring Reboot’s 2011 National Day of Unplugging on March 4-5!  In preparation, we’ve written up a list of creative ways to unplug at home with your happy camper. Of course, every family will observe Shabbat according to their own custom, but there should be something for everyone on our list below. Feel free to comment and add your own ideas!

1.  Build a Ga-Ga pit in your backyard (use picnic benches, chairs, whatever you’ve got!) and invite some neighborhood friends over for a tournament! Make it into an afternoon of Color War. Plan ahead and visit UltimateCampResource.com for great ideas from Freeze Tag to Human Tic Tac Toe.

2.  Can’t be outside? Organize a board game “color war”: Divide friends and family in teams for a tournament series of several board game face-offs over the course of the Sabbath.

3.  Make s’mores in your fireplace or in an outside fire pit. Nothing keeps you warmer in winter than graham crackers, roasted marshmallows, and melted gooey chocolate.

4.  Scavenger Hunt: Plan a neighborhood or household scavenger hunt for the signs of summer: bathing suits, bug juice, flip-flops, sunscreen, and more.

5.  Participate in a local park clean-up. Beautify the outdoors near your home.

6.  Plant some seeds: Get your summer garden started by planting herbs in pots indoors.

7.  Write letters to far-away friends and family members.  Everyone is excited to receive mail from someone they love.

8.  Break out some supplies and do arts & crafts projects!  Try making some lanyard keychains and clay Shabbat candleholders.

9.  Encourage your camper to write their own blessing  – over the candles, the challah, the wine, or for their family and friends. Talk about what each Shabbat guest finds most meaningful about the day of rest.

10.  Over Shabbat dinner, share camp memories! Alumni can reminisce about past experiences, and new campers and counselors can dream aloud about what summer 2011 will be like

11.  Sit under your favorite tree with a great book

12.  Bake challah. Enjoy it as a family, deliver loaves to friends and bring some to your local soup kitchen.

13.  For the second National Day of Unplugging, REBOOT forged a national partnership with VolunteerMatch and is encouraging communities to“Unplug and Give Back”.  Visit Reboot’s “Give Back” page to identify volunteer opportunities in your own community.

14.  Keep track of how many times you or your camper “slip up” and use technology throughout the NDU and tally them Saturday night.  Collect $1 for each instance and donate the money to your favorite charity.

Want to learn more about what others are doing to observe Shabbat on the National Day of Unplugging? Check out Reboot’s 10 Principles.

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Comments (2)

  1. sharon starr says:

    It is too bad that this world has to even have a day like this. We send our children to a camp in the midwest (old fashion Jewish camp) that does not even allow cell phones, or computers of any kind) My kids know what it is to connect in the old fashion way.

  2. [...] The Foundation for Jewish Camp’s One Happy Camper program, a sponsor of Reboot’s 2011 National Day of Unplugging on March 4-5, has written up a list of creative ways to unplug at home with your happy camper. Here is a sampling. See the entire list here. [...]

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