We are about to begin our pre-Shabbat dancing and with it our first Shabbat of Session IB. Today started off under brilliant blue skies, and by 1:00pm an awesome rain storm moved through, sending us all into our tents and shelters for almost two hours. As the sun tries to break through the afternoon clouds, we are frantically trying to shower and change in the much shortened period we have to get ready for Shabbat.
This has been another exciting week on the chava [ranch], full of goodbyes, hellos, and welcomes. We said lehitraot [goodbye] to our Session 1A chalutzim [campers/pioneers] and greeted a new batch of chalutzim for Session 1B. As has become tradition, our new chalutzim were greeted by a tunnel of staff and chalutzim as they streamed off the bus, initiated by some of our oldest, our Bogrim chalutzim.
The week began with camp-wide tfillot [prayers] with Rabbi Marc Soloway, our scholar-in-residence for the first two weeks and a Rabbi in Boulder CO. He led in the style of his mentor, Reb Zalman Schachter Shalomi ז’’ל (may his memory be for a blessing). Reb Zalman was an iconic figure in the Boulder and world-wide Jewish communities and will be missed. Rabbi Marc spoke about his impact in the world of Jewish spirituality and used his original prayer translations to help augment our service.
In addition to the 1B chalutzim that came on Tuesday, we welcomed children with special needs to camp in our Amitzimedah! The Amitzimchalutzim have participated in activities alongside their typically-developing friends. While Amitzim is not new to us in Colorado, the level of integration we are doing this summer is new to us, and thus far has been a terrific success.
This session we also began a new chug [elective] for our older campers—salsa dancing. Gabi Wasserman, who most people here know as a winning triathlete, is also an excellent salsa dancer. This chug, started as an experiment earlier in the week with our Bogrim and Sollelimchalutzim, has become a raging success and reached capacity. The chalutzim are learning all the basic steps and routines of salsa dancing and livening up the dining hall during the day.
We have also continued running our usual programs. Throughout the week, chalutzim could be found biking our roads and single tracks, riding horses on the trails, climbing both on the slab and on the bouldering wall, and just having fun hanging out around their tents during free time. Additionally, our Jewish Outdoor Leadership Institute (JOLI) chalutzim have started working with the various edot in Shmirat HaGuf [morning warm-ups/ Protecting the Body], and other leadership opportunities throughout camp. It’s really incredible to watch these 11th and 12th graders learn the ropes of being dugma’ot [role models] for the camp. We hope that these incredible chalutzim will join us on tzevet in the future!
Sunday is sure to be a special day here at camp as it is Yom Sport (but shh…it’s a secret!). Next week, all of our chalutzim head out on masa’ot [excursions] from three-day trips for our Metyalimchalutzim (5/6th graders) to five-day trips for the 9-12th graders.
As a reminder, we post pictures and updates on Facebook most days that chalutzim are at the chava [ranch]. If you are not a fan of our Facebook page, please become one. Here is the link to our online photos that we update every two or three days.
As always please be in touch with any questions or comments. You can always email me or our yoatzim [camper care team] at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rabbi Eliav Bock