It was a bitter sweet morning.  All of our chalutzim have safely left the Chava.  Many are arriving at the airport as I type this, others are already at their homes in Denver.  It was a wonderful session, filled with growth and adventure, but it is also sad to see this empty camp without our chalutzim.

Yesterday was an emotional day with all the ups and downs of camp and of a united tight community.    It started with a moving bar mitzvah of one of our chalutzim, and finished with a final banquet which included a slideshow followed by a camp fire with time for reflection about the session that just finished (it will be up online soon).  After the banquet we also davened Maariv together and supported one of our staff members as she lit a memorial candle for her late-father whose yardzeit started after dark and continued today.  After the closing campfire, all returned to their tents for a final tent program; then at 11:30pm many chalutzim came to the field to stargaze and talk late into the night.  We were all back in our tents by 1:15am and asleep shortly thereafter.

This morning, we had our final breakfast together before saying goodbye.  There were smiles, hugs, tears and laughs all at the same time.

Last night at the banquet we also announced that dates for 2011 have already been set and registration opens at midnight tonight.    In 2011 we will be running two week and four week programing for entering 5th-11th graders as well as a one week session for entering 3rd and 4th graders.  We can not wait to see our first session chalutzim return to this amazing community next summer!

As I write this, our staff is preparing the tents for our new chalutzim who arrive on Sunday, before taking two days off to relax.