Life Lessons on the Tower

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By Galit Shapira, Ropes Supervisor

When it comes to climbing the Tower at Camp Kalsman there are a multitude of emotions the campers face during their journey. Feeling the nerves of anticipation to the excitement of climbing. From the fear of falling to the accomplishment of reaching your goal and for some, even disappointment. But something all of us encounter on a daily basis at the Tower is Mitzvot. The most important one of all for us as Ropes staff, ‘Not to stand idly by if someone’s life is in danger’ (Lev 19:16) however for our campers there are other Mitzvot they encounter and participate in while at the Tower. The Mitzvot of ‘Do not embarrass others’ (Lev 19:17) and ‘Do not speak derogatorily to others’ (Lev 19:16) are a huge part of the experience at the Tower. We are both physically and emotionally supporting each other as we climb the tower. Campers giving words of encouragement to the each other and the staff who physically belay the campers up the Tower ensuring their safety.

Conquering your fear as a camper is an incredibly empowering moment. Although staff who are the ones belaying them up the Tower, the actual act of climbing and figuring out the best path for yourself to climb and self correcting as you go is all on the camper themselves. It is a huge life lesson some of them may not even realizing they are learning. Every camper, no matter how high they may climb, always come down off the tower with a smile and a sense of self accomplishment. And we always end the climb with a high five so every camper knows he or she is doing his or her best is always worth praise.