Sunday July 31
“Sha-sha-shavua tov!” (as they sing/chant/cheer here)
Shabbat was awesome! The hadracha and tzevet were full of ruach which, of course, creates a whole vibe here that the chanichim go along with 🙂 The tefillah Friday night was beautiful and fun, the zemirot and dancing at both meals had so many children participating: yakov told the tzevet before havdalah that a 9th grade boy (eidah daled) came up to him during the dancing “I just love it here!” We know when we have magic here when a 14 year old boy is gushing about the shabbat dancing and singing!!
The afternoon schedule has some free time and games by eidah, but the most unique part is right after mincha, which is immediately after lunch. Due to the high ratio of staff to camper, we have a special one-of-a-kind opportunity to have “chavruta time” when every staff member (counselors and specialty staff) are paired with one or two campers for learning for 45 min. They sit all over the grass around the main campus and learn what they want or they choose one of the chavruta sheets we have – on a mitzvah, a tefillah, Sefer Yonah, Pirkei Avot and more!! No prep needed, just learn together what is on the sheet. It is truly unbelievable to see so many pairs of meaningful learning going on. The banot with banot and banim with banim, except for a few sibling pairs that are special requests 🙂 Seudah shlishit is our big finale to shabbat with machane trivia (fun questions about random facts having to do with camp structures or personnel) and singing all together on the benches pulled into the middle of the room. This week Rav Adi Krohn told the story: did you know there is a crater on the moon called the Eben Ezra?? It was named after our very own Rabbi Avraham ben Ezra – commentator, poet and astronomer from the period of history the chanichim are studying in shiur. This wandering Jew was known well beyond the Jewish community, and a Jesuit astronomer-priest named a crater after him 500 years ago… 500 years after the Ibn Ezra lived!!
There are night activities for all ages after Shabbat – except for Kaytana. Shabbat is over late here and past their bedtime : ) Some of the night activities are playing basketball, climbing wall, night swim, capture the flag, “just dance”, and dodgeball. Each eidah by gender had its own activity.
Today’s wake up was a little later than usual (we usually do that Sunday morning, after everyone goes to sleep late Motzei Shabbat) but we packed 3 peulot (activities) into our morning and then had a fun afternoon…with a surprise announcement at shekem about leaving for a cookout! Sometimes skits are done at shekem (or after mincha) by Roshei Eidah or the Roshei Moshava and today’s skit was about running from an invasion which they learned about in shiur – everyone was told they were leaving for their own eidah cookout with pareve Impossible Burgers, corn and s’mores!!! Fun way to make tochnit relevant : )
Kaytana learned about Yosef and his dreams by visiting our camp planetarium (yes, Camp Stone has a planetarium, you read that correctly) and talking about the stars and constellations. They tie-dyed shirts after learning about his “colored coat” and then went “down to Egypt” away from “a famine” to their…yup, you guess it: Impossible Burgers, corn and s’mores.
Machal spends a little time each morning learning a section from Sefer Yehoshua, which serves as a trigger for a discussion about leadership, building community, creating societal values and other important themes that the Machal program spends time developing. Each counselor learns with a small group after tefillah – the same group for the whole month. Today, after tefillah and shiur, they left for an eight-mile hike, followed by tubing down the Buckaloons for about 3 miles. Such a fun day for them!! And it ended with….Impossible Burgers etc etc.