K’far Noar Alumni Initiation
K’far Noar (teen village) is often THE BEST summer of a camper’s experience at Camp. They get to live in their own village in yurts. They get to stay up a little later than the rest of Camp, and they get to sleep in a little longer. They make breakfast each day in the bayit and get to enjoy something fresh and different each day. They get to create many of their own programs. They get to choose the theme for the final banquet. And, most importantly, they get to take over Camp for K.T.O.! Being a K’farnick is by far the best, and it comes with many cool opportunities for each camper. In addition to immense joy, the K’far Noar campers also feel sadness when they realize that this is their final year as a camper, and their Interlaken experience may be coming to a close. No matter how many times we tell them that this isn’t the end of their Interlaken experience, it is hard for them to wrap their heads around not being campers anymore.
About 10 years ago, we created a K’far Alumni Inititaion program where we’ve invited one or two camp alumni to share their personal “camp story” showing that their Interlaken experience didn’t end for them when their camper years ended. Instead, their experience continued to impact them and be a part of their entire life. As a part of this program, the campers are encouraged to write their own camp stories on paper without endings. The alumni will join the campers for a beautiful Saturday evening campfire after Havdalah where they sing some songs together, share their story, and connect with a group of campers who they may have never met before because of their shared experience in K’far Noar. After the alumni share their stories, they distribute a pin to each camper with Interlaken’s logo on it and they repeat a pledge together in becoming Camp Interlaken Alumni. After this, the K’far Noar campers begin to share their camper stories at the campfire, and the night is filled with lots of laughter and some tears. It is truly a beautiful night, and we are grateful for the alumni who have joined us over the years to initiate our K’far Noar campers as Camp Interlaken Alumni. If you are interested in being a part of this program in the future, please contact Tova Blasberg.
In 2023, David Korenthal (K’far Noar 2003/Ozo ‘05) and Gina Samson (K’far Noar 2007/Ozo ‘07) initiated our K’far Noar campers. Here are excepts from David Korenthal and Gina Samson that they shared about their experience initiating our campers:
“This past summer, Gina Samson and I had the great honor of facilitating the K’far Noar Alumni Initiation program. I had the pleasure of being Gina’s counselor when she was in K’far in 2007, and it was so much fun to tell our stories, see how they intertwine, and welcome all the K’farnicks of 2023 to Camp Interlaken’s circle of alumni. As Committee members, camp is still an important part of both our lives. As a professional in the Jewish nonprofit world, I could draw a direct line from my experiences at camp as a camper, Ozo, counselor, and unit leader to my current work. It was amazing for us to hear the deep impact that Camp is having on our young people today, and we are so energized and excited for our future alums!” – David Korenthal
“L’dor V’dor (from generation to generation) is embodied in every aspect of camp life. The K’far Noar alumni initiation ceremony was no different! David was my counselor when I was in K’far, and now 16 years later, I found myself initiating K’farnicks into our alumni circle alongside David and Danya Paley, the K’far Noar unit leader, who was my shoresh camper in 2011. It was such a special experience to share a little bit about what camp has meant to me and how it has impacted my journey with the next generation of young alumni. I can’t wait to see all of the wonderful things they do and how camp continues to play a part in their lives!” – Gina Samson