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September 2, 2014 | 7th Elul 5774

URJ Crane Lake and Joseph Eisner Camps

West Strockbridge and Great Barrington, MA

Eisner began growing food at camp last year as an educational project, but they're already growing enough to contribute to make their dining hall salads fresher and tastier! They continue to add recycling bins around camp to make recycling more visible and accessible. When an historic tree was lost last winter, Eisner responded with a camp-wide program addressing the importance of trees and the challenges of deforestation/reforestation issues. Though their dining room is a big source of waste, they are looking into biodegradable options to reduce landfill waste.

Turn off the water signEnvironmental education has long been part of the picture at Eisner and Crane Lake, with TEVA programs incorporated into the weekly elective cycle and each unit taking turns cooking their own food. This year they even used food from the garden for their meals! Their education resources for the "our God in Teva" curriculum teach young campers - through interactive activities, story-telling and Jewish study - how all species on earth are connected and how what impact our actions have on the littlest ants to our fellow humans.

Crane Lake has grown fruits and vegetables as well, and their garden expands each summer as the program continues to succeed. Each summer they compete in the West Stockbridge Zucchini Festival with what they grow!

Visit cranelake.urjcamps.org and eisner.urjcamps.org for more information.

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