Shalom Camp Families,
The past few days have been an exciting few days of saying lehitra’ot [goodbye] to our Session I chalutzim [campers], taking some time to refocus and refresh with our tzevet [staff], and welcoming our Session II chalutzim. Now that we are all together here as a kehillah kedosha [holy community], I wanted to share with you all a few highlights from the first few days of our second session.
Our opening day this session was probably one of the hottest days we have had here at the ranch all summer! Our tzevet were ready with water and sunscreen as the cars and buses streamed in throughout the day. With Israeli music playing in the background, chalutzim got off the busses and were greeted by tunnels of madrichim that the chalutzim came running through. Already within the first few hours we heard cheers of “Bo-Bo-Bo-Bo-Bogrim!” and all the other edot [age groups] learning and enthusiastically shouting their names!
The opening day also saw our chalutzim doing the typical ice breakers, health checks, and unpacking. The following day, our chalutzim awoke to a full day of programming. Chalutzim were biking our single track, riding our horses, planting in our garden and playing basketball. A new highlight this session for our chalutzim is beekeeping. Led by Rinat Levinson, one of our veteran tzevet members, chalutzim are learning all about bee life cycles and needs, as well as getting some honey snacks for themselves.
The first night we enjoyed our traditional opening medura [bonfire], where we created a special musical space together. We learned our camp song, and sang a few other favorites around the bonfire. It was so thrilling to watch our oldest chalutzim sitting next to our youngest and dancing the moves of the camp song side by side.
Last night we tried a new camp-wide game, capture the counselor. Often we like to play a camp-wide game of capture the flag in our Ramah Valley, but in our constant attempt try new things we decided to try this new game. In capture the counselor, essentially a giant game of hide-and-go-seek, each staff member was assigned a point value and in teams by ohel [tent], chalutzim sought out the counselors within the time window. Those with the most points at the end of the time period won the game. Ohel 11 of Sollelim were the victors of the evening!
We often say that one day in camp time is three days in the outside world. With that said, while we have only had a few short days with your kids, it seems like we have all been here together forever. After these few short days (or was it a week?) we are ready to make the special transition to Shabbat together. Our chalutzim are currently showering and changing into their special Shabbat whites. Each time I see our entire kehillah enter the Pardes T’fillah [our outdoor amphitheater], smiling in their Shabbat clothing, I know the hard work of the staff and the devotion of our families is all worth it.
Next week all of our chalutzim will be heading out of camp for their masa’ot [trips]. This morning, our JOLI and Bogrim chalutzim packed their group gear and prepared their food for the week. They leave on Sunday and Monday mornings. Our younger campers will also be heading out next week, Metaylim and Ilanot on overnight trips and day trips, and Sollelim on a four-day masa starting Tuesday morning.
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 ours on Facebook, please become one. Here is the link to our online photos that we update every two or three days, and here is a link to a video we posted on Facebook of the first day.
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