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Our junior counselors do anything to keep kids smiling

Updated: Jan 7, 2021

One group of 5 newly trained counselors refused to let severe restrictions and fences stop them from bringing a week of fun and laughter to the students of a Netanya summer school

“What, you’re not coming tomorrow? But I have to know how it ends!”

“Don’t worry, it’s only temporary. We’ll find a way.”

At the beginning of summer vacation, we committed to going to the summer school at the Dora school in Netanya to give the kids the best week of their summer.

Even if most of them aren’t youth movement participants at this age (elementary school), we’re in a state of national emergency, and when we’re needed, we’re there.

Just before the week started, we were told that the guidelines changed, and that maybe we wouldn’t be allowed to go to the school. We chewed on our nails and at the last moment we got the green light, and the junior counselors, despite all the uncertainty, arrived.

80 students, 5 counselors. Skits, cheers, songs and paint. We had two crazy fun and intense days, and then we got another phone call.

“I’m really sorry, the kids had such a great time, but now we can’t let you or any other external people into the school. We were given more severe restrictions.”

That canceled all we had planned. Sounds like a good reason to give up. But the junior counselors team consulted others, came up with some ideas, and called the summer school principal: ‘Can we run an activity on Zoom, and then in-person, through the fence?’

The director agreed to follow our lead. Yalla! Let’s do this experiment!

And that’s how at a moment’s notice the counselors met, prepared a series of activities via Zoom, filmed and edited a video inviting the students to meet the counselors by the school fence to see the end of the story!

The next day we ran the activity and skit we had planned via Zoom (it was complicated), and yesterday we surprised the kids with activity at the fence, including the trademark youth movement cheers, competition and dancing.

It was challenging, amazing and inspiring.

This is the power of the movement. That counselors know how to reinvent the wheel, work in ways nobody had dared to before, and when plans change, we change with them.

So thank you to all the amazing counselors, and the Dora school and its two amazing principals Yossi and Shir, who broke ground with us. See the photos attached of the activities – at the school, via Zoom, and from the other side of the fence.

The kids’ smiles make everything worth it!

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