Welcome to Moshevet Shivtei Yisrael – summer 2021 First session – where we will spend a month making new friends, enjoying tons of outdoor and indoor activities, creating art, spending inspiring shabbatot together and learning about our history from the time of Yehoshua ben Nun leading us into Eretz Yisrael, after 40 years in the desert, all the way to Chizkiyahu’s reign as king! We are all so grateful to be back here in Sugar Grove, PA after a two year hiatus – שהחיינו וקיימנו והגענו לזמן הזה!
When the chanichim (campers) came yesterday, they unpacked and bonded with their madrichim (counselors) and their bunkmates. Each bunk has a name related to the places and people in the books of Yehoshua, Shoftim, Shmuel and Melachim (for example Shimshon and Shilo). This morning, the chanichim went around camp to 4 stations where they experienced: 1) crossing the Jordan River into Eretz Yisrael (a.k.a. the stream behind the boys’ bunks), 2) learning about Jewish law for a farmer who has to give food to the kohanim, leviim and poor people 3) bringing the vessels of the mishkan into the mishkan-structure in Gilgal (a.k.a. the grass near the lake) and 4) bringing the red string to Rachav, the woman in Yericho who helped our spies and who would be saved when the soldiers identify her home by the red string. At each station, there was a team-building activity for the chanichim to do, as they identified with what they were learning. (Now you will hopefully understand the pictures with building “monuments” after they crossed the Jordan River, gathering oranges, marching with mishkan vessels and running a red rope through a tunnel in the walls of Jericho)
At the end of the round robin, each bunk stood in a circle with their flag, just like the tribes each had a flag.
When the Jewish nation entered Eretz Yisrael, they kept Pesach by sacrificing the Pascal Lamb – something, according to the verses in Sefer Yehoshua, they hadn’t done for years since no one had been circumcised in the desert. In order to feel that “passover feeling” we all had meat for lunch, something we never usually do during the week. Special occasion!! And, after lunch, we gathered around “the walls of Jericho” and watched as they miraculously collapsed!
The afternoon schedule was more typical for a day at summer camp with peulot (activities) such as swim, archery, climbing wall and basketball. And tonight’s night tochnit (program) will be more bunk time with sports activities and games, so everyone can continue learning each other’s name and feeling comfortable and at-home as a bunk family.
We cannot wait for tomorrow’s 7:30 kima (wake-up over the camp intercom): BOKER TOV SUGAR GROVE 🙂
Those words are music to our ears….
(This blog post will be written daily in the evening/night hours and will give you a chance to learn about and appreciate some of the magic that goes on here with the experiential education that excites, stimulates and inspires your children! Just in case you do not receive detailed letters about that 🙂 The descriptions you read here are also beneficial in that they will help you understand many of the pictures, about which you find yourself saying “What is that?” or “What are they doing exactly?”)