Let’s face it. It is hard for bochurim to learn in camp. Keeping bochurim focused and listening during the summer is a challenge to which virtually every Rebbi can relate. This year, eleven camps comprising some 2,500 bochurim found a remarkable solution to this dilemma: A daily halacha program that sought to teach bochurim halachos relevant to them while simultaneously giving them a defined goal of one page of Mishnah Berurah daily. The program, patterned after Dirshu’s well known daily Daf HaYomi B’Halacha program, featured regular tests and rewards for excellence. The program is appropriately called Daf HaYomi L’Bochurim.
Rav Menachem Schmelczer, Daf HaYomi L’Bochurim maggid shiur at Camp Toras Chaim Tashbar, said, “A bochur gains so many benefits from a summer camp halacha program. First and foremost is the limud haTorah itself. The summer is a time when bochurim require a bit more motivation than during the year and the program has proven an exemplary motivator. The fact that bochurim are learning halacha and accustoming themselves to learn Mishnah Berurah every single day is a remarkable routine that starts when they are young but can often continue through life.”
One of the mechanchim who teaches the seder in a camp related, “The seder played an integral role in the learning and ruchniyus of the entire camp. It taught every boy the value of temidus, of regular daily learning, no matter what happens. On a trip, the Mishnah Berurah comes along; on Friday afternoon, a time that is often neglected, we were plugging away with the seder after Mincha; on Shabbos morning after kiddush before the seudah the daily seder continued.”
This year, the participating camps were, Achim Mesivta, Agudah, Agudah Toronto, Degel Hatorah, Derech Aliyah, Merkaz Hachaim, Nachal Yam, Rayim Mesivta, Ruach Hakayitz, Tashbar and Toras Chesed.
Perhaps, Rabbi Shaul Pinter, a maggid shiur in the Camp Rayim program put it best when he told the bochurim, “Here in camp during the summer we have the zechus to become part of the worldwide Dirshu movement that seeks nothing more from every Yid other than that he should learn more Torah and maximize his Torah learning. Not only that, but they are willing to reward you for your effort! Some of you might focus on the rewards, but the truth is, the ultimate reward is that you have now experienced what it means to learn with a cheshbon, in a structured way. That is a reward from which you will gain for the rest of your lives!”