Nitra Camp Holds Pretend Hachnasas Sefer Torah in Woodburne, Shmira Stands Guard
By Yehudit Garmaise
The 13-year-old boys at the Nitra Camp in Woodburne got to participate in a simulated hachnasas sefer Torah last night.
The event was complete with a truck playing music, torches, a boy dressed up as the Chassidus’s rebbe, and security provided by Shmira from Boro Park and the Catskills.
As leibidig music played from a hachnasas sefer Torah truck from 7 to 8:30pm, in a grassy field at the camp, the Shmira volunteers’ sirens blared in the background to teach the boys about the security the community provides for itself.
The lights and sirens, which many boys said was their favorite part of the experience, also provided sights and sounds of an authentic hachnasas sefer Torah they would experience back home in Boro Park, said Lipa Levy, who was one of the four Shmira volunteers who helped out with the event.
“When a camp calls, we come and do this,” said Levy, who added that the Shmira volunteers use such opportunities at overnight and day camps to give tours of their truck and to provide safety tips on dangerous scenarios.
The four Shmira Volunteers also provided the Catskills Shmira Truck and three cars: which were used to escort the boy who served as the rebbe.
The "Rebbe," who came out of a sleek black car, was escorted into the simcha by another boy, before waving to his “Chassidim” and leading the dancing with his friends.
While Shmira volunteers are asked several times each summer to participate in camps’ hachnasas sefer Torahs, other camps call Shmira to create dramatic color war break-outs.
For instance, Levy said he has helped out with scenarios in which Shimra volunteers come into camps and pretend as if they are looking for a perpetrator who entered the camp.
Do the kids get scared in such dramatic break-outs?
“Not really,” Levy told BoroPark24. “The kids enjoy it. We try to do it in a smart way, so the kids are not scared.”
A few kids even confided in the Shmira members that they also wanted to volunteer to protect their communities when they were older.