Posted on 06/29/2014 @ 08:00 PM
As the sun fell closer and closer to the horizon, everyone at IMPACT: Boston began preparing for Shabbat. Dressed in our best, we took pictures with one another and walked down the long hill to the Sherman ballroom. The theme for Shabbat was “Past, Present, and Future.” The past represented what us teens have done either this past week at our sites or what we’ve done personally in the past. The present represented what the participants are going to do at their sites after Shabbat. And the future represented what we will do after they return home from IMPACT. It was a wonderful Friday night, filled with laughter and relaxation, thanks to the Shabbat Atmosphere Group. one of the many Shabbat planning groups.
The next morning, everyone got to sleep in a bit later than usual. The teens could either choose from a traditional/meditation service or a nature walk service. Both services went well, and after lunch, we all enjoyed a restful menucha. Teens and staff relaxed, talked with friends, walked around; there was even a rousing game of ultimate Frisbee on a nearby field. Afterwards, the teens got to choose two Shabbat electives from a slew of options like Jews in the Media, Mistaken Identity, and Musical Memory!
Following the Shabbat electives and dinner came Separates, a program where AZA (males) and BBG (females) separate into two different programs. Separates is a program that focuses on the brotherhood for AZA and sisterhood for BBG. The guys’ separates was oriented around facing our problems in our lives and strengthening the bond we have with each other while the girls’ separates focused on stopping the use of the r-word, and “Spreading the word to end the word.” Both went extremely well, and proved very effective. Following a lovely Havdallah service, cheer sessions erupted, truly embodying the passion of AZA and BBG. To end the night, we celebrated in style with a “Peachy Party”, exciting the teens for AZA BBG IC 2015 in Atlanta, GA.
On Sunday, each connection group spent three hours preparing a presentation for Monday, on one of the five texts they studied last week. We thought of new and creative ways to teach our texts to the other teens without simply restating what we already learned. Later, we all piled onto the buses to head into town to listen to the Public Voices in Charlestown. There were four speakers who told their stories of dealing with homelessness. We learned how they came back from their very challenging circumstances and how they dealt with their life choices. Once that finished, we all headed to Harvard Square and enjoyed the evening there.
The first week of IMPACT: Boston is done and we only have a few days left. We have done some incredible things at our service sites and learned a lot, but we’re still not done yet. Still, there’s a lot left to do and a lot of fun left to be had. IMPACT has been fortunate to have an amazing group of participants this year, along with an amazing staff.
Cameron Smith (North Texas Oklahoma Region), Teen Coordinator