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The gravel crew at Massad's Volunteer Work Day

Liat Stitz and Jordan Shapera doing their part

Transporting chairs to the pool area

David Shapera does some yard work


Dena Stitz


By Dena Stitz, June 21, 2010

Dena Stitz just completed Grade 10 at the Gray Academy of Jewish Education.

On Sunday, June 13th, around 25 volunteers headed out to Winnipeg Beach, Manitoba eager to take part in Camp Massad’s third annual “Volunteer Work Day”.  The volunteers helped out by gardening, raking leaves, cutting the grass, weed whacking, adding gravel to paths, cleaning cabins and moving kayaks and benches.

Avery Spigleman, chair of Camp Massad’s Buildings and Operations Committee and organizer of the day, said that back in 2008 when he became chair of the committee he realized that there were many items that required attention and that it would not be possible to fund them  all.

“We had also identified that a lot of the items that required attention were of a nature that required limited skills and were things that volunteers would be able to complete and thus Volunteer Work Day was hatched” says Spigleman. Each year, for the past three years, there has been a similar amount of people who show up. Although the Buildings and Operations committee is very happy with this number they are looking for ways to increase it.

Mia Elfenbaum, co-president of the Camp Massad Board of Directors, says, “I really enjoy the camaraderie. It is fabulous when campers, counselors, parents and board members come together to invest time and energy in improving the campsite.”

“Each year we’re thrilled to see hard working volunteers come out and make a huge difference to camp,” adds Elfenbaum, who attended the work day with her daughter Liat Stitz.

 “My husband and I both loved Massad as campers and counselors. I am thrilled to be able to give back to the camp in such a tangible way. Now that our three kids are campers, it is especially meaningful.”

Liat Stitz, who spent the majority of the day laying gravel down on paths, moving kayaks and cleaning cabins, says “I came out to help because I like the atmosphere at camp and think that it is important to help out because I spend part of my summer there.” Stitz says she saw a lot of people who were willing to help and who really care about camp.

Spigleman says that the Buildings and Operations Committee is looking into adding another work day in the fall to help with landscaping needs created by the new shower building, after the ground has had time to settle.

“Volunteer Work Days are a way for friends of Camp Massad to give something a little more meaningful to the camp since it allows participants to actually see the fruits of their labor, and enables the camp to focus their resources on other items,” he says. “People that have come out on Volunteer Work Day have expressed that they felt many different emotions. For some it gave them an opportunity to feel that they belonged, for many of our campers that come out it gives them a sense of ownership, and for others coming out and helping is just about tikkun olam.”

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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

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