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Camp Terminology

For those of you who are first-time GUCI parents, or for those who have always wondered just what your campers’ letters home mean, we thought it would be helpful to provide you a GUCI glossary of terminology used around camp. Enjoy!

The camp logo is the Torah wrapped around a tree. It symbolizes not only how the Torah is a tree of life, but also how we use the Torah to help our children grow. This helps understand the names of camp’s different age groups (units).

Garin– (gar-een) “seed”; they are incoming 3rd and 4th graders who stay at camp for two weeks.

Shoresh– “root”; they are incoming 4th, 5th and 6th graders who spend four weeks at camp.

Gezah– “trunk”; they are incoming 7th and 8th graders who spend four weeks at camp.

Anaf– (ah-nahf) “branch”; this is the oldest group of campers. They are incoming 9th and 10th graders.

Avodah– “work”; it is the name we give our group of incoming high school seniors. They spend their entire summer working at camp and learning about how camp operates behind the scenes.

Camp K’Ton– “little camp”; it is our day camp program for 4-8 year olds from Greater Indianapolis. Camp K’Ton runs from 9am to 3pm daily with campers participating in many of the same activities as our regular campers.

Kallah Aleph– the first session of camp; it lasts two weeks for Garin and four weeks for Shoresh, Gezah and Anaf.

Kallah Bet– the second session of camp; it also lasts two weeks for Garin and four weeks for Shoresh, Gezah and Anaf .

Chadar Ochel– “dining hall”

Mirpeset– (meer-pess-et) “porch”; at camp the Mirpeset specifically refers to the porch next to the office.

Misrad– (mees-rod) “office”

Mirpa’ah– (meer-pah-ah) “infirmary”

Migdal– (meeg-dahl) climbing tower; during the summer, each cabin spends a day at the migdal. There is also a giant swing at the migdal that cabins often use for a bunk activity.

Braycha– “pool”

Migrash Sport– “sports field”

Mercaz Chevrah– “center of friendship”; this is an open-air building where many programs and activities take place.

Mercaz Tarboot– “arts center”; it is the newest building on camp, opened in 2009. It is mainly used for performances, but also as a gathering place for all of camp.

Oolam– “hall”; this is a multi-purpose building. It houses the art and ceramics room.

Beit Am– “house of the people”; this is another multi-purpose building used for a variety of programs and activities.

Beit Tefillah– “house of worship”; this is our outdoor chapel where camp prays on weekdays and Shabbat, weather permitting.

Chug– (hoog) “workshop”; this is a special interest activity that the camper chooses. It can be art or sports-related. Every two weeks, campers who take part in art chugim (hoog-eem; plural), such as drama, dance and music hold an all-camp performance to show off their new talents.

Roll Call– our gathering time in the morning; we sing three songs to help camp rise and shine: Modeh Ani, a prayer thanking G-d for allowing us to wake up; the Shema; and the Nana Song, a prayer thanking G-d for giving us the opportunity to mend the world.

Yom Sport– “Sport Day” (known at other camps as Color War); a day of healthy competition. The camp splits into four teams (Yellow, Green, Blue and Red) that compete in many different activities, such as a massive all-camp relay race, quiz bowl, and sports. This day is a surprise to all the campers and is always full of fun and healthy competition.

Kesher– “connection”; it is a three-day camping trip for Anaf campers. During the session, the unit spends an hour each day learning everything they need to know in order camp out. They learn how to pitch tents, work lanterns and stoves, and how to connect with nature. Anaf campers look forward to this trip because they get to make their own food and plan their own programs.

Yom Tiyul– (tee-yool) “trip day”; it is a surprise overnight trip for Gezah campers. They camp and cook out at Morgan Monroe State Forest and enjoy a special activity. In the past, they have gone to an Indianapolis Indians baseball game and the Indianapolis Children’s Museum.

Shoresh Day Off– this is a special surprise trip for Shoresh. In the past they have gone roller skating, to the movies, to an Indians baseball game, the Children’s Museum, a local water park and much more!

Project– a musical play produced and performed by Anaf for the rest of camp. The show is a secret until the day of the performance. Anaf practices daily and creates all their own sets and costumes.

Chaveroot– (hah-vay-root) “friendship time”; this is time each cabin spends together doing an activity planned by their counselors.

Olami– (oh-lah-mee) “my world”; it is a session-long program to learn Hebrew and Israeli culture. We learn about the songs and prayers we sing at camp as well as all about Israel!

Shiur/Limud– (shee-or) “lesson” / (lee-mood) “study time”; an educational hour. During this time, campers learn a wide range of topics that help campers become better Jews and citizens of the world.

Ruach– (roo-ahk) “spirit”; Goldman Union Camp has plenty of ruach that can be seen and heard all over camp

Midurah– (mih-doo-rah) “campfire”; an all-camp activity on Friday night (Shabbat). After tefillah (services), dinner and Israeli dancing, everyone journeys into the woods to our campfire site, where they sing and listen to a Jewish-folk story from our camp director, Rabbi Ron Klotz.

Bunk Night– a designated evening when campers hang out with just their cabins. They cook out and enjoy activities that allow the campers and counselors to bond as a cabin unit.

Now that you know all about camp, hopefully you’ll feel like you are a part of the fun! Stay tuned for more posts throughout the summer.