Sunday, August 21
Our last Shabbat in Machane was a beauty! It was a spirited, inspiring, fun Shabbat with hours and hours of singing and dancing! By the fourth Shabbat, the chanichim know exactly what to do and when, and so they gave it their all. Shabbat had beautiful weather, so everyone had their fourth and last chavruta-time, finishing up whatever they had learned together, and friends could hang out on the grass and play board games. Singing at seudah shlishit was quite special. We sang our favorite songs (including “Adon Olam”, “Tova haAretz,” and “Nachamu, nachamu”) at seudah shlishit, and chanichim of all ages and genders sang loudly and in unison. Some were crying and hugging, thinking about how sad they would be to go home. We also heard a story told by Estee, about the “Keter,” the medieval manuscript of the Tanakh that was kept for centuries in the Aleppo Jewish community.
Today, there was a full day of peulot here in camp, everyone getting in their last requests for their favorite activities, including paint tag, Limonana, Susim, slip-and-slide, and agam. Each bunk was also given a peulah to go shopping at the “Stonewear Shack” and purchase camp swag/merch – sweatshirts, t-shirts, sweatpants, mugs, keychains, hats, and more! They had no trouble spending the money that was put into their account – and they were all in their new clothes for dinner 🙂 They were so excited and cozy!
In shiur today, the chanichim learned about the compilation of the Shulkhan Arukh. They discussed on one hand, how this was an incredible gift — of having a definitive halakhic guide that encapsulated centuries of medieval halakhic scholarship. And on the other hand, the creation of this halakhic code created a challenge in having to choose some opinions over others.
Machal, after two weeks of travel, went cycling close to home today — on Presque Isle, a peninsula in Lake Erie — having a more relaxing day than their strenuous 50+ miles of canoeing on the James River last week.
After Maariv, it was the annual evening of Machal-Edah Daled basketball games. Every year, the two oldest age groups of campers face off against each other, in both a boys’ game and a girls’ game, to battle it out for basketball supremacy. The games were simultaneously played while camp celebrated the (almost) end of the session at a carnival, with cotton candy, popcorn, and sno-cones!
Tomorrow will be the last full day for all of the chanichim, everyone is feeling extremely grateful to have had this month together at camp. With all going on in the world around us, we have cherished our special time here at Camp Stone. We all had an amazing month, and we are so sad to be leaving this incredible place where experiential education works like magic; each of us, staff and campers was able to develop new talents and enjoyed summer activities; friendships were started and deepened, and a real family-feel was created.
כי בנפשנו הוא – מחנה סטון