NU Campaign: Heroes

Using the NU Campaign t-shirts, campers will learn the stories of some of Israel's greatest heroes, including David Ben Gurion, Hannah Senesh, and Golda Meir. They will have an opportunity to reflect on the importance of these well-known stories and on how these stories intersect with their own personal stories. And finally, take out the markers and bubble paint because it's time for them to create their own t-shirts!

Curriculum Themes: 

Materials Required: 

Program Duration: 

Physical Space: 

Number of Campers: 

Age of Campers: 

Core Learnings: 

David Ben Gurion (1886-1973), Israel's first Prime Minister and "Founder of Israel," declared the establishment of the State of Israel on May 14, 1948 at the Tel Aviv museum.
Hannah Senesh (1921-1944), originally from Budapest, made aliyah at age 17 and then trained as a paratrooper with the British to rescue Jews from the Holocaust. She was captured and killed during her mission at the age of 23.
Gold Meir (1898-1978) is Israel's first (and so far only) female Prime Minister of Israel. She was one of only two women to sign Israel's Declaration of Independence.

Explanation: 

Stage 1: Setting the Stage

  • Your campers' own lives and routines will make an effective "hook" to draw them into this activity. Introduce it with a series of questions that help them focus on their own reality and surroundings:
    • What are the articles of clothing that you feel best represent you?
    • Are their t-shirts with slogans or pictures that you feel especially good wearing?
    • Have you seen t-shirts with slogans or pictures that you would feel uncomfortable wearing?
    • How do you feel when you wear a t-shirt advertising a product (like Nike, Coke, etc.) or store (Abercrombie, Gap, etc.)?
      • Have you ever chosen not to wear a t-shirt that advertises a product or store? Why did you come to that decision?
      • Why do you think people choose to wear t-shirts that advertise products or stores?
  • Engage the group to discuss the personal statement that clothes make about the people who wear them. This will prepare them for the awesome opportunity to wear their ideas for all the world to see. You may want to lead them into a discussion of wearing sports shirts, camp shirts, etc.

Stage 2: The NU Campaign

  • Explain the NU Campaign:

Taken from the Israeli (Yiddish) slang word, “NU” which means, “C’mon” and begs a response, NU Campaign supports important Israeli and global causes & stories through the sale of unique designer t-shirts.

We strongly believe that SMALL actions can have BIG outcomes and therefore by wearing a NU shirt and spreading its message, 'With Passion,' you can change the world!

Beyond selling t-shirts, the NU Campaign team educates and raises awareness about featured causes and stories through presentations and seminars, social media campaigns and supporting student led initiatives on college campuses, schools and communities worldwide.

  • Staff should be modeling a few of the t-shirts that feature important figures in Israel's history (Ben Gurion, Golda Meir, Hannah Senesh).
  • If you are working in a bunk, you can stay in one big group, otherwise split into smaller groups where each group has one or two t-shirts. Ask the group to share anything they know about the people on the shirt. Pass a few shirts around the room and let everyone explore them a bit.
    • What do you learn by the graphic that was designed by the NU Campaign?    
    • Why would someone wear a shirt with these images on them? Can you think of t-shirts you see people wearing that are like this but not part of this series? (i.e. Obama's Hope picture, Hugo Chavez, etc.)
    • What kind of political leader/ national hero would you feel comfortable walking around with on a t-shirt?
  • Choose the t-shirt that resonates the most with the group and flip it over to read the story inside. Ask your campers:
  • What did you learn from the story?
  • Was the story a history lesson or a good story? Why is one preferable to the other?
  • Why do you think the story is one the inside of the shirt instead of on the front or the back?*

* According to the Nu Campaign: "On the inside of every NU shirt, a unique message is printed directly opposite your HEART. This way, every time YOU wear your shirt, you feel inspired to carry it close to you and represent it out to the world!"

Stage 3: Make Your Own Hero!

  • It's now time to create your own shirt! If you have limited time, this can be a discussion rather than an arts and crafts project.
  • Here are some possibilities for what can be created depending on your group and their interests. In each case, the group will create a picture on paper or on a white t-shirt, as well as write the story that would appear on the inside:
    • A shirt that tells an important story about camp, or your unit, or your counselor, or someone else who is a key part of the camp community.
    • A shirt about a famous Israeli leader or hero.
    • A shirt about a famous American leader or hero.
    • When the group comes back together, everyone should share their t-shirt designs or prototypes.

Stage 4: The Wrap-up

  • Conclude the activity by asking:
    • What did you learn about Israel and Israeli heroes that you didn't know before?
    • What similarities do you see between Israel (as seen in the shirts) and our camp?
    • What do you want to do with the ideas you came up with today?
  • Ideally, responses will touch on increased awareness of some of the people whose choices in life changed the world and impacted the way we live today; an appreciation for the work and sacrifices made by people on behalf of the collective.

Variations: 

Variations in format

  • An alternative hook would be to ask campers to wear an article of clothing that represents something about themselves they'd like others to know about, or something they care about.
  • This acvitity can conclude with a competition or contest, in which the winners get to keep the shirts.
  • This can continue with an arts and crafts project in which campers make their own shirts with messages.
  • Tie-dying is always fun. Have campers decorate their new tshirts with the splashes of tie-dye colors.
  • This can be an all camp competition to create a new camp t-shirt. What hero represents the camp? What story would be the one that printed on the inside of the shirt?
  • This activity can be incorporated into Staff Week. The GE and others can use it to introduce the way Israel is being integrated into camp, and after pursuing one of the options described above, staff can work in small groups (by cabin, unit, or specialty area) to design their own shirt with a storytelling, eye-grabbing image on the outside and a narrative story on the inside.
  • Presenting the shirts can be paired with other actvities during which campers learn about Israeli leaders.

Variations in content

  • For a version of this program using Israeli chairities, see NU Campaign: Israel Impacts the World
  • You could also do this program for famous Israeli places. Campers can choose a photograph of a place to put on the front of the t-shirt and
  • You could also do this program for famous Israeli inventions. See www.Israel21c.org for ideas on products the campers can campaign for.

Background Cards: 

Supporting Images: 

Supporting Materials: 

Curricular Subjects: