It is hard to believe that we are half way through our second session!  Our days have been jammed packed, and so I must apologize for not writing more frequent updates over the past two weeks.  If you are not a fan of our Facebook page, please become one, as we post frequent updates on camp there.

A few highlights of the past 10 days.

Last week all our chalutzim headed out on Massaot.  As anyone in Colorado knows, we had a very wet week.  Each morning and early afternoon was sunny and in the 80s.  But by late afternoon, the clouds thickened and the storms rolled in.  Many of our groups spent an hour or more each afternoon/ evening huddled under tarps.  Even our Metayalim chalutzim (entering 5/6th grade) had a fun time huddling together on their overnight in the northern part of our property in the Ramah Valley shelter.    Thankfully, the rain never dampened the spirits of the chalutzim, and all trips returned safely with lots of fun stories from their time on the trail and river.   Since Friday, we have only had about 10 minutes of rain in total, which means that at least for the short term, we are back to a more normal weather pattern.

After a relaxing Shabbat and moving havdallah, the spotlights were lit atop our chadar ohel (dining hall) where two of our star counselors (“Juice Box” & “G-Baby”) put on a skit to introduce the following days rivalry between the anavim (grapes) and the zaytim(olives) in Yom Sport!  Throughout the day, the two teams battled to see which fruit (both part of the seven  species of Israel) would be victorious.  Both of these fruits are vital to our Jewish lives, but only one could be the MOST important.  Anavim took the competition by ten points!  Most importantly, the entire day was filled with good sportsmanship, lots of friendly competition and the landing of a helicopter (Our VIP guests know how to arrive in style!)

Last night, we played one of our favorite Peulot erev: capture the flag in Ramah Valley!  As we have grown considerably as a community this year, we have been getting together less and less for camp wide programming.  However, it was amazing to see over 100 chalutzim and 30 staff members out on the field together, strategizing, chasing and laughing together.  As on Yom Sport, there was one team who won, but numerous people who had a wonderful time.

Our chalutzim have also been engaging  in regular limmud (learning) session at the ranch.  The Metayalimers (5/6)built a geniza together and what Judaism says about waste and garbage.  The Sollelimers (7/8) have been learning about where their food comes from.  Today, they had a “values auction” where they had to bid on specific values like: being happy, conserving resources, helping other, being spiritual etc.  The purpose of the activity was for individuals to realize that when making food choices, one must also take into account which values one holds most dear and which one might be willing to put aside in the name of eating specific food.  Finally, our Bogrim (9/10) chalutzim spent the past few days building innovative Sukkoth based on the Sukkah City project.  Today they gave tours of their Sukkot to a group of judges who ranked each one based on innovation, adherence to the laws they learned and use of natural materials.

As for our JOLI trip (11/12).  We have gotten word that all are safe.  Last week they encountered frequent rain and even snow!  We drove out fresh Shabbat food and clean clothes for them on Shabbat.  They enjoyed a relxing Shabbat all together before heading back out on the trail on Sunday.  They have bonded group better than anyone could have hoped.  Today they had a 12 hour solo where they sat alone for many hours listening to and appreciating nature.  We can not wait to welcome them back to the Chava on Thursday!

This week, our older chalutzim are spending their entire time at the ranch engaged in regular camp programming while our youngest chalutzim are heading out tomorrow for a rafting overnight.

We will continue to post pictures from camp and the Massaot as chalutzim give us their cameras.  Please continue to write should you have any questions.