Mr. and Mrs. Israel

It's a talent show! It's a beauty pageant! It's Mr. and Mrs. Israel, where camper teams representing places in Israel compete for the recognition and bragging rights. With costumes, songs, cheers and the like, campers won't even realize how much they are learning in the process. This is ideally a multi-period activity, with campers preparing earlier in the day for the evening competition. However, the entire program could be as big or small as you'd like.

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Campers will learn about important Israeli cities (Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Eilat, Tsfat), regions (the Negev, the Golan Heights) and landmarks (The Dead Sea)
Israel is a small but very diverse country, as seen by the differences between each of the cities and locations campers will represent.

Explanation: 

Stage 1: The Prep Stage (for the campers)

This stage could take anywhere from 15 minutes to several periods, depending on how extensive you want their entries to be.

Campers are introduced to the camp-wide/ unit-wide competition, where each bunk will represent a place in Israel and compete in several events

  • Once they learn which area they will represent, have the campers brainstorm what they already know about the location.
  • Depending on how much time you are setting aside, they could either be sent to find out more information from counsellors/ staff/ schilichim/ other campers or you can just give them the fact sheet and a map of Israel.
  • Help them think about the following questions:
    • Where is your city in relation to the rest of Israel (north, middle, south)?
    • What is around their city? Is there water? Are there mountains? Are there other cities?
    • What do they think their city looks like?
    • What do you think people like to do in your city?
    • What makes your city unique/ special/ different?
       

Stage 2: Planning for their event

  • Each bunk should divide into three groups -- one for each of the talent competitions. Here are some suggestions for competitions but you feel free to add others:
    • Costume Competition: Campers will use the fact sheet and pictures to dress in a costume that best represents their city/area.
    • Talent Competition: Campers will come up with a talent that they can demonstrate for their city based off of what they learn about their city. For example: Tel Aviv's talent could be roller blading on the boardwalk looking pretty. The desert's talent could be gardening because they can make the desert bloom.
    • Art Competition: Campers create a giant mural that represents their city using butcher paper and art supplies.
    • Song Competition: Campers will adapt a popular song (their choice) to reflect what is great about their city.
    • Jingle Competition: Campers will create an ad campaign for their city.
  • Let the campers know that they will be judged for creativity AND how much they know about their city.

Stage 3: The Competition

  • This is the fun part! Make the competition as exciting and wild as you can to hype up the audience.
  • Here are some ways to do it but the sky's the limit:
    • Think about using a panel of judges. You could use:
      • Senior camp leadership
      • Your schlichim
      • Other international staff. Even better if they don't know anything about Israel!
    • Your judges could each play a role that comes across as they comment on each of the acts (American Idol style)
    • Between events, have Israeli music playing
    • If you use AV equipment, flash pictures of places in Israel
    • Have your Israeli staff or American staff who has been to Israel introduce each of the cities with a personal story or connection

Variations: 

Variations in format:

  • Make this an all-camp activity. You could have a winner per age group or have each group have campers from different bunks/ units working together.
  • Have this activity build up all week. Your specialists (art, music, etc.) can be brought into it to help the groups create their events.
  • Certain events can be displayed throughout camp. Murals can be affixed to buildings, songs or jingles can be played over the loudspeaker. Or each group can be given a different area in camp to represent their city.

Variations in content:

  • Instead of having campers represent cities and places, they can represent famous Israelis. See Amazing Autograph Race for information on different Israeli leaders and heroes they can choose.

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